Parks, Giant Buddhas, World-Class Art and Ethnic Food in Stockton

Get the wiggles out on your way to Yosemite with these seven family-friendly activities in Stockton, Calif.
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Pixie Woods Amusement Park

Wild West Train at the Pixie Woods Amusement Park in Stockton

All aboard!

This outdoor fairyland is perfect for kids eight and under. Open May through June, your little ones can ride on a vintage carousel, experience a Wild West train and splash in a water park. With slides, swings and quirky gnomes galore, the back seat is sure to be quiet on the rest of your drive to the park after stopping here.

Stockton Marina

Kayaking at the Stockton Marina

Paddling at the waterfront

If your children are older, head to the heart of downtown Stockton, and stop at the Stockton Marina to rent a kayak or water bike to spend a few hours exploring the waterfront. There’s no age minimum for children paddling their own boat, as long as the child is capable of operating his or her own craft, and life jackets of all sizes are available. After working up an appetite, you’ll be just steps from all the best restaurants downtown.

Children’s Museum of Stockton

Children’s Museum of Stockton police car and motorcycle exhibit

Play on the police car and motorcycle at the museum

Beat the heat or escape the cold at the Children’s Museum of Stockton. With interactive exhibits with topics like the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta estuary, Stockton native astronaut Jose Hernandez and a live reptile display, your children will be sure to learn something new – and you just might, too.

Oak Grove Nature Center and Regional Park

Frisbee golf at the Oak Grove Nature Center in Stockton

Toss the frisbee at the course in the park

Explore nearly 200 acres of beautiful oak forests in Stockton at Oak Grove Regional Park. Bring a frisbee to play the 18-hole disc golf-course, fish on the lake or walk the nature trails before heading to the nature center to learn more about the ecology and history of the San Joaquin Valley with hands-on displays perfect for kids.

Art Stash

J.C. Leyendecker art at the Haggin Museum in Stockton

J.C. Leyendecker Art Exhibit

See stunning paintings by artists like Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Albert Bierstadt at the Haggin Museum, which completed a $2.5 million renovation of its galleries in fall 2017. You'll even catch a glimpse of Yosemite's timeless natural beauty here in Bierstadt’s panoramic paintings of Yosemite Valley. The Haggin has the largest museum collection of major Bierstadt works. In fact, President Ronald Reagan borrowed Looking Up Yosemite Valley to hang in the Roosevelt Room in the White House during his presidency.

You'll also see a new permanent gallery dedicated to J.C. Leyendecker, one of the nation’s most successful commercial artists during the first 40 years of the 20th century. A mentor to Norman Rockwell, he designed hundreds of covers for Saturday Evening Post, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and others.

In addition to its permanent collection, the Haggin showcases artists like Picasso and Mary Cassatt in revolving temporary exhibits.

“It’s beautiful on the outside, but I think people get inside and are amazed by the collection we have here in the Central Valley,” says Wes Rhea, Visit Stockton's chief executive officer.

Get a Taste

Beyond, get a taste for the city’s rich diverse population by dining at one of its many ethnic restaurants. Choose from Thai and Cambodian to contemporary American farm-to-table restaurants. Fresh produce, live chickens and exotic spices draw locals, travelers and chefs to the hustle-and-bustle Downtown Stockton Asian Farmers Market every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. (or until things sell out). It’s one of the state’s oldest and most successful farmers markets. Find it under Hwy. 4 at Washington and San Joaquin streets.

See the Buddha

Giant Buddha in Stockton's Cambodian Buddhist Temple

Giant Buddha in Stockton's Cambodian Buddhist Temple

Walk past a giant buddha and 90 other jewel-encrusted statues without ever leaving the country. In Stockton, you'll find the Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple, which celebrates the life and story of the Cambodian buddha. An active Buddhist temple, you may spot monks walking along its paths. The temple area is free and open to visitors during daylight hours. Donations are accepted. 

For more information:
Visit Stockton
(877) 778-6258
125 Bridge Place, Stockton, CA 95202
www.visitstockton.org