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Play ball! Modesto parks host minor league baseball, myriad of festivals
modesto park pic Side
The red, white and blue star-filled design of Freedom Park is a community favorite in the City of Modesto. Many park goers also appreciate the cushioned ground surrounding the play equipment, making it easier for children to stay safe while having fun. - photo by CARA HALLAM/The 209

Maintaining 75 parks, the City of Modesto has a vast array of facilities available for community members to take advantage of while keeping up with a social and healthy lifestyle. With activities such as festivals, concerts, baseball games, picnics and social gatherings, Modesto parks are filled with all kinds of fun opportunities for the whole family to enjoy.

1.  John Thurman Ball Park

As one of Modesto’s greatest facilities, John Thurman Ball Park has long been a staple when it comes to recreation in the City. Home to the Modesto Nuts minor league baseball team, the baseball park can hold approximately 4,000 people, making it one of the largest gathering spots within the City of Modesto.

Since it was constructed in 1955, John Thurman Ball Park has not only been a popular gathering spot for America’s favorite pastime, but has also hosted a range of various concerts and special events. The stadium features two separate party decks, two sponsor suites, a fully equipped concessions area with a variety of food and beverages, a covered picnic area, and a children’s play area.

John Thurman Ball Park is located at 601 Neece Drive in Modesto, and is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Prices may vary depending on events.

2. Graceada Park

Being Modesto’s oldest City park, Graceada Park is a popular hangout spot for Modesto residents of all ages. Designed by John Maclaren, who also designed Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the park features large trees with some reaching over 100 feet tall.

With an outdoor amphitheatre, Graceada is a regular spot for large music festivals, art events, and local concerts. The park also hosts a variety of events, such as the annual Out of the Darkness Walk by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Walk to End STET by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Annual Modesto Chamber of Commerce Harvest Luncheon, and many others.

In terms of recreation, the park offers a full children’s playground, six tennis courts, and a small water feature for kids.

Graceada Park is located at 401 Needham Street in Modesto, and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

3. Freedom Park

Located between two schools, Freedom Elementary and Savage Middle School, Freedom Park is one of the top parks for children in the City of Modesto. With several in-ground water fountains for kids to run through, Freedom Park offers a great escape from the heat during the summer months.

The park features a large grassy area surrounded by paved walkways, making it an ideal location for joggers, runners and dog-walkers as well.

“This is my park of choice by far,” said Wanda Patterson, who brings her grandchildren Aidan and Nathan to the park regularly. “It has a wonderful design with all the open space, and it’s just a really safe environment.”

The star-covered cushioned ground surrounding the children’s play area also gives parents ease of mind while their kids play freely on the play equipment.

“I love the way the ground is nice and soft around the monkey bars for the kids,” said Patterson. “And the red, white and blue stars and stripes design is really stunning and patriotic.”

In addition to the beautifully designed playground and water park, Freedom Park features covered picnic areas, two full basketball courts, and a public restroom.

Freedom Park is located at 3500 Sharon Avenue in Modesto, and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.