The city of Bakersfield is best known for two things: agriculture and poor air quality, both of which have nothing to do with fun. I am born and raised a Bakersfield citizen and although I have pride in our patriotic community I am not ashamed to say that you do not come to this city for fun. We have the basics: a few bowling alleys, one large mall, movie theatres, a crumbling miniature golf course and an ice skating rink. Bakersfield is a growing city with lots of potential for hosting future advanced developments such as shopping malls and entertainment locations. It is our increasing but smaller population that hasn’t made our city eligible yet for these exciting prospects.
Over the weekend I visited a few local hotspots to see if the citizens of Bakersfield felt the same way as I did or if I was solely perpetuating a stereotype. Angela Majarra, 29, a schoolteacher took her two younger children Daniel, 6, and Elias, 9, to the movie opening “42” this past Saturday.
“ Bakersfield doesn’t have much to offer a family with small children, on weekends it’s either the park or the movies. It gets pretty boring doing the same old thing,” Majarra said.
While I couldn’t have agreed with her more I thought now was a better time than ever to remain objective in hopes that someone would offer a different perspective of our town. While taking my own children to the park on Sunday I chatted with Wendy Carranza, 28, a homemaker who was picnicing in the park with her two young children Iris, 8, and Mason, 2.
“ I think Bakersfield can be as fun as you make it. Sure, there may not be much in the way of entertainment spots but there is a lot of hiking and outdoor activities you can do,” Carranza said.
I can relate to what both of my fellow Bakersfield Citizens were saying. With a larger blended family of five children it’s important for me to keep them active and occupied. Which is why every other weekend we pack up the cars and head out of town to other cities that can offer more “fun”. Other cities do not necessarily mean bigger cities.
Just a short 1-hour drive east to the city of Lindsay, California, population 12,000, you can find McDermont Field House. Our families go-to spot when we don’t want to travel to the bigger cities of Los Angeles and Fresno. McDermont Field House offers: a wave pool, rock wall, skate park, laser tag, arcade, dance floor, soccer fields, basketball courts, bounce houses and aquatic center just to name a few. With prices as low as $10 for an all day pass this location offers lots of bang for my buck.
When we’re not traveling out of town for some weekend fun my family embraces the nature of Bakersfield with its hills and landscapes. We hike, bike ride, and play in the many nature trails that our city has to offer. A great resource for outdoor activities in Bakersfield can be found at the Bakersfield Parks and Recreation website.
The city of Bakersfield has a long way to go to stop this momma from entertaining her children elsewhere.