The East Hills Mall located on the east side of Bakersfield has had its share of financial troubles within the past few years. However, recently the mall has been making some changes that bring new life and customers to an old landmark.
Spray parks are a recent source of entertainment for the city of Bakersfield. The biggest and most centrally located is the spray park at Jastro Park.
Once home of a public swimming pool Jastro Park underwent a remodel to turn some of its space into a public water spray park. Open from May until October this park offers an inexpensive and fun way to the beat the Bakersfield heat. The park offers fun interactive water hoses, spray tubes and even dumping buckets to keep visitors entertained for hours.
Jastro Park is just one of many spray parks that Bakersfield has to offer. Ranging from smaller parks with only a few spray hoses like Beale Water Spray Park. Or Greystone Spray Park that in addition to its regular spray fun features a large duping bucket that unloads every 2 minutes. Some locations like Jefferson Park offers both a spray park and public swimming pool for just $2 admission.
Of course the ultimate spray park and public swimming pool destination is McMurtrey Aquatic Center located downtown. For a minimal fee you can have wet summer fun on the centers 2 pools, spray park and water slides. With recreation areas and picnic tables this location makes a family fun day easy and cheap.
With a total of 8 city spray parks it’s not hard to find a location near you. Remember to apply plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated as Bakersfield temperatures can reach over 100 degrees in the summer.
For a complete list of Bakersfield spray parks and hours please visit the BakersfieldSwim website.
Catching a movie is an affordable and fun way to stay entertained in Bakersfield. Maya Cinemas is a local movie theatre that offers much more than blockbuster hits.
Summers in Bakersfield are hot! Just this week our city is forecasted to bring in it’s first 100-degree day. McMurtrey Aquatic Center is the answer for staying cool while having fun. Located in downtown Bakersfield, this aquatic center is centrally located and offers amenities for young and old alike.
With an 8,551 square foot pool it is unlikely that you could get bored of lounging and swimming. If you do, the aquatic center also offers double water slides with a plunge pool. For the youngest swimmer the zero depth, beach entry, into the kiddie area is most likely where you’ll want to hang out. In the kiddie are you will find hoses, fountains and waterfalls to entertain for hours.
In the larger of the 2 pools you can utilize diving boards, designated swimming lanes and wet play equipment. This area is also open for early morning and late evening lap swimming for $5 entry.
In addition to the swimming fun there is also a snack bar, picnic and volleyball areas. These areas including the aquatic center are all available to reserve privately or semi-privately. With reservation fees starting at just $100 you can afford to host a party that’s sure to be a splash hit.
In the summer you can find McMurtrey open daily from 1–5 pm. Admission is $3 per person or $10 for a group of 4-6 people. Lather on the sunscreen and take a dip in our city’s newest aquatic center. For swim hours and reservation fees you can visit the McMurtrey Aquatic Center website.
In August 2012, a new restaurant opened its doors in an attempt to offer fine dining with a downtown Bakersfield flair. The Mark, located at 1623 19th Street, offers its diners a unique experience with a sophisticated ambience for both lunch and dinner.
A good restaurant is nothing without its food and beverage menu and The Mark doesn’t disappoint. With daily lunch specials to steak and lobster for dinner the chefs are hard at work to please any appetite. Appetizers include calamari ($8.95) served with spicy dipping sauces, duck rolls ($11.95), and baked goat cheese marinara ($10.95), one of the restaurant’s top sellers. In addition to soups and salads are the entrees including the ever popular New York steak ($29.95), grilled chicken fettuccini ($13.95) and maple sage fried chicken ($17.95).
For those wondering if the atmosphere requires a refined clientele you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Among business professionals and couples out for a date you will find families dining with children and young teens out for a pre-prom dinner. Daniel Reynolds, a fan of the new restaurant, raves about the atmosphere and food.
“I can bring my wife dancing, have a glass of wine and just relax. The atmosphere is lively and the staff is always friendly. But, what I really come here for is the food,” he said.
Besides appetizers and entrees, The Mark also offers a variety of delectable desserts. Their cheesecake ($6.95) plated with chocolate sauce and garnished with a strawberry seems to be a customer favorite according to Mark Tess, a server at The Mark.
“Customers seem to love our desserts as much as our entrees. The cheesecake and vanilla bean ice cream are our top sellers,” he said.
The Mark also boasts a full bar with specialty drinks and wines to please all palettes. This new restaurant has taken the drinks pretty seriously; not only can you order a drink but it’s delivered interactively. The restaurant serves its own version of “coffee on the rocks” ($8.95) mixing coffee and alcohol all while lit to a flame at your table.
On Friday and Saturday nights you can find Kelly Jean and Mr. Timble alternating jazz rounds and providing live entertainment to diners. With a designated dancing area near the stage the atmosphere comes to life.
“My wife and I have two children so we look forward to our Friday date night where we can get to not only eat wonderful food but also dance the night away to our favorite songs,” Reynolds said.
The Mark seems to hit the spot and has a promising future in the Bakersfield community with delicious food, specialty drinks and live entertainment. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with bar hours from 11 a.m. to midnight.
- The Park at Riverwalk offers a variety of outdoor entertainment. For the younger adventure seeker this park offers a full playground complete with swings, bridges, slides and sand play. Two smaller lakes are joined together by a small stream that runs the entireity of the park for fishing and toy boating. The Park at Riverwalk is also host to the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre. This state of the art theatre is capable of full functioning audio and video for shows and concerts. One of the highlights of this park is its bike trail where you can jog, bike, skate, or walk along the parks perimeter. The Park at Riverwalk is located at 11298 Stockdale Hwy.
- Hart Memorial Park is one of Bakersfield’s oldest treasures. Nestled within the Northeast hills of Bakersfield along the Kern River is a 370 acre landscape that entertains the young and old alike. Beyond several children play areas and group picnic spots this park offers two 10 acre lakes. Several times throughout the year fishing derbies are held for a minimal entry fee. The hills surrounding Hart Memorial Park are favorites of hikers and cyclists looking for a challenge. The most treasured facet of this park are the animals that call it home. On a leisurely stroll you can find ducks, geese, kit foxes, beavers, and peacocks. Hart Memorial Park can be located 8 miles Northeast of Bakersfield on Alfred Harrell Highway,
- Jastro Park, in the heart of Downtown, has been delighting the citizens of Bakersfield for over 95 years. The park offers full tennis and handball courts. A full children’s play area located next to the biggest picnic spot the park offers. Most loved, though, is the spray park open yearly from April to October. Jastro Park is located at 2900 Truxtun Avenue.
One of America’s favorite pastimes is going to see a show. Whether you’re watching an action, drama or family feature; there’s fun for all at the movies. One of Bakersfield’s newest cinemas is Maya Cinemas 16.