Modesto Attractions

Modesto Attractions

John Thurman Baseball Field

Take your friends and family to cheer on the Modesto Nuts at the John Thurman Baseball Field! The ballpark has stood in its present location since 1952, and has upheld baseball tradition and sportsmanship. The stadium has undergone recent renovation but still upholds the conventional no-frills baseball feel, where the excitement comes from the love of the game. From July 21-23rd the Modesto Nuts Skills Camp is hosted by professional athletes in the Colorado Rockies Minor League. Young athletes will practice the fundamentals of hitting, pitching, base running, defense, and stretching for an intensive three day session. The John Thurman Field is also a great place for birthday parties, where box tickets, cake, autographed baseball, and other treats are available in a single package for a party of ten. Handicap seating is available on all levels. Come check it out at 601 Neece Dr.

Great Valley Museum of Natural History

The Great Valley Museum of Natural History is a non-profit foundation that features five different ecosystems present in the California’s Great Central Valley. The museum provides information about the natural sciences and native cultures to the public via classes, programs, and exhibits. The natural history museum is broken up into five habitat types that include grasslands, wetlands, aquatic, riparian, and oak woodlands. Each exhibit features dioramas that display native plants and animals with hands-on activities. There is also a display on the Yokut and Miwok Native Americans that used to live in the Central Valley and Yosemite region. Experience this fun and educational learning opportunity at Modesto Junior College, 1100 Stoddard Avenue.

McHenry Mansion

Travel back to the late 1800’s by stepping into The McHenry Mansion Museum. This building is like a time-capsule, capturing the intricacies of daily life in old-west Modesto. Originally the city library, the Mansion was given to the City of Modesto in 1912 by the Oramil McHenry family. The mansion features a general store, a complete dentist’s office, and a blacksmith shop, square nails and all. One of the museum’s priority projects has been to assemble a first class collection of early photographs and documents. The Western Gallery exhibits oil paintings by Virgil W. “Bill” West, which depict the lifestyles of cattle ranchers in old western times. Special exhibits come and go in the museum, offering uniquely themed windows that peer into history, such as vintage bicycle collections, depression-era glassworks, and trains. You can take a tour from a trained docent or view slide shows, movies and musical events that are held in the auditorium. One can also become a member of the historical society. Admission is free, and the building is run by donation. 1402 I Street.

Gallo Center for the Arts

The Gallo Center for the Arts is truly the gem of Modesto, raising the bar for community arts, education and entertainment for the entire region of Stanislaus County. This art center opened in the fall of 2007, and its new state-of-the-art performing arts complex attracts artists and entertainers from around the globe. The center houses two venues: the Mary Stuart Rogers Theater (1,250 seats) and the Foster Family Theater (444 seats). Each theater has an orchestra pit, stage aprons, and is equipped with modern drapery, lighting control, orchestra pit lift, and many other high tech features that enhance acoustics and provide staging manipulation. Stage performances here include New York City’s Chicago City Limits improv comedy group, Verdi’s Requiem by the MSO chorus, jazz festivals, and juggling acts like the Gizmo Guys. You never know what splendid performance will occur at the Gallo Center for the Arts, so keep an eye on the calendar of events. Downtown, 1000 I Street

E&J Gallo Winery

The E&J Gallo Winery is a massive business that still maintains a quaint family character. E&J stand for Ernest and Julio, the two Gallo brothers that started the winery over 75 years ago. Today, the Gallo family boasts values of “a strong work ethic, a drive for perfection and a focus on quality,” and is still run by E&J’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.The family business is operated by thousands of employees, making it one of the largest employers in Modesto. People find lifetime careers working for Gallo Wineries. Yet they hold true to family ownership, resisting selling out to other companies because they believe the only way to uphold quality of wines and maintain their shining status as a world-renowned winery is to keep it within the Gallo lineage. While the family has stayed local, the wine has not. The varietals come from all stretches of the globe, from California’s coast to Artentina to New Zealand, bringing world class wines to Modesto. These wine experts also can make recommendations on food pairings. For example, if you are dining on roasted lamb this evening, the best wines to pair with this dish are a Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot. Gallo winery runs their own bottle making factory and bottles over 50 brands of wine labels.

Prospect Theater Project

The Prospect Theater Project is a group of talented actors, directors, educators, designers and technicians who are dedicated to presenting unconventional and traditional works of theater arts. The Prospect Theater was created in October of 2000, and received official nonprofit status in 2001. The theater thrives today, propelled by thespians who share their passion for theater by putting themselves on stage for the Modesto community. Based on donations, grants and community enthusiasm, this group puts on high quality performances. The Prospect Theater Project also offers guidance in the performing arts by hosting workshops for aspiring artists. On occasion, the theater also puts on events, such as the 2009 Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves Ball, an evening full of eclectic music, costumes, dance, theater, food and wine. Plays performed include: The Life of Galileo Galilei, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Molly Sweeney. Check on the calendar of events to see what performances are coming up. 520 Scenic Drive.

Farmer’s Market

The Modesto Certified Farmers Market is a local attraction and is the best place to find the season’s fresh fruit and vegetables. There is no better way to support the local economy than having your dollar go directly into the grower while receiving the gratification of eating produce that was harvested nearby. Aside from fresh produce, there are treats like homemade jams, frozen yogurt, fresh honey, herbal tinctures, bouquets of flowers and dried fruit. This is a great place to meaner the streets by yourself or with friends and family, munching on sugar snap peas and absorbing the good vibes of live music, people watching, and street performers. Special events can include local food demonstrations, where professional chefs prepare and explain recipes for delectable meals. Other demonstrations include the Modesto Police Department’s canine training, which displays the incredible abilities of crime-fighting dogs. This is a community event that occurs twice a week that you cannot miss! The Modesto Certified Farmers Market runs on Thursdays and Saturdays from 7am to 1pm in Downtown Modesto on 16th Street between H Street and I, directly next to the Stanislaus County Library.