Activities and Events Graphic

There are luckily still many ways to stay entertained in the midst of our current circumstances. (Illustration by Ethan Hunt)

It seems like this year has been an endless loop of COVID statistics and bored, lonely people.  Although business is not going on as usual, it is still going on in a new way. Turlock and the surrounding area have alternative forms of entertainment to offer as a way for us to ward off the quarantine cabin fever.  Here are some ways to stay social and entertained during the on-going pandemic:

Farmers' Markets

Summer has begun to wrap up with the incoming of fall and the (smoke-induced) cooler weather, but that doesn’t mean the Farmers' Markets are gone yet! For the rest of September, Turlock has Farmers' Markets every Saturday from 8-1 p.m., Oakdale has them every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m., and Modesto has them every Thursday from 8-1 p.m.


One of the notable absences of this pandemic has been movie theaters. What are we supposed to do for dates now? As the return of movie theaters looms near, there is at least one theater nearby that’s currently available! The Regal Theatre in Sonora is open for business and adhering to COVID safety guidelines.


With the absence of movie theaters, pop up drive-ins have become a recent occurrence. There is currently a drive-in at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds that has been receiving some attention. You can check them out on their Facebook page. The Oakdale Family Church of The Nazarene has also been conducting family movie nights, with the next drive-in set to show the film “The Greatest Showman” for free on September 19.


Billiards is a safe social distancing activity, as long as the pool tables are spaced apart enough.  Such is the case at Diamond Billiards and CR2 Bar & Billiards in Modesto, both of which are currently open.

Dance Classes

Turlock is offering salsa dance classes every Monday from 6:15-7 p.m. for a fee of $15. Only six people are allowed to pre-register into each session and temperature checks are enforced, so COVID safety guidelines are clearly being followed.


With rain still holding off on us, now is a good time to go out and golf. A perfect social distancing sport, many golf courses have remained up and running. More recently, the TopGolf in Rocklin is open again according to William Jessup University student, Erica Marshall (junior, Christian Leadership, Business concentration).  The facility is well worth the drive.

Special Events

Some upcoming outdoor events include: The Vines and Rushes Winery’s monthly live music events, The Sacramento River Train’s Pumpkin Patch Express starting October 3 and the city of Tracy’s 5th Annual Halloween Town Event on October 10. There are also virtual events ready to entertain, such as online classes in activities such as cartooning and pottery with the city of Ceres, and live performances being streamed by the city of Modesto’s Prospect Theater Project.

Although daily life is far from being similar to last year, there are a variety of ways in which we can maintain our sanity in this new normal! Doing new things can be a great way of distracting ourselves from the stress of a pandemic, so try out some of these COVID safe events!

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