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Cool fun in Manteca, Ripon & Lathrop
RIPON WATER1-6-22-13
Kassidy Isham, right, cools off with friends Friday at Ripons Mistlin Park water play feature. - photo by HIME ROMERO



• PLACE: Library Park, 320 W. Center Street

• GETTING THERE: Take Yosemite Avenue from any direction to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The park is located between Sycamore and Poplar avenues (look for the gazebo).

• WATER FEATURE:  It has a historic railroad theme.

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• PLACE: Manuel Valverde Park, 15557 Fifth Street

• GETTING THERE: From Louise Avenue or Lathrop Road, head towards the historic part of town just east of Interstate 5 and between the railroad crossings.

• WATER FEATURE: The state-of-the-arts pulsating jets were part of the $4 million park improvement project that started some four years ago. The water is re-circulated, tested and monitored regularly by city staff for safety. The water play is open daily April 15 to Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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• • •

• PLACE: Mossdale Landing Community Park, 700 Towne Centre Drive

• GETTING THERE: From Interstate 5, go west on East Louise Avenue (it eventually turns into River Island Parkway), travel south on to McKee Boulevard towards Lathrop City Hall. Turn right on the roundabout to westbound Towne Centre Drive.

• WATER FEATURE: A water tower and a large daisy shower children of all ages on the weekends. Mossdale is a 40-acre park with other amenities including a dog park, baseball field, basketball court, and plenty open space.

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• PLACE: Mistlin Sports Park, 1201 W. River Road

• GETTING THERE: From Highway 99, go east on Jack Tone Road. Turn left on to River Road (look for the soccer ball-shaped Mistlin Park water tower).

• WATER FEATURE: During the evenings, the features dazzle with a light display. The water play area is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Great place to cool down on those hot nights.

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– Vince Rembulat, The Bulletin

Toddlers with chubby marshmellow arms and legs chase water as it leaps around the play area.

Others run their hands and feet through small gushes, feeling the geysers slowly growing taller and stronger.

With cameras at the ready and lunch in bag, Mom and Dad soak in a summer day cooled by a play date at Mistlin Sports Park.

Welcome to the Central Valley, where residents have learned to fight the fire of triple-digit afternoons and evenings with – you guessed it – water.

The options are many and the cost often exorbitant – trips to the beach and major water parks can be pricey, and building a pool can put off retirement plans – unless you find your way to one of the region’s many water play areas.

There, fun is free.

Mistlin Sports Park has a popular water feature with its evening light display, large gazebo and playground. More than 50 kids splashed through its springs on Thursday afternoon.

But it’s not alone.

Lathrop has incorporated water play areas at Manuel Valverde Park and Mossdale Landing Community Park.

When Valverde Park began a $4 million facelift about five years ago, the project called for state-of-the-art pulsating jets. The area is open daily from April 15 to Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mossdale Landing Community Park features a large daisy and water tower that shower its guests on the weekends.

The City of Manteca recently re-opened its water play area at Library Park following maintenance to a broken pipe. Situated next to the railroad tracks that cut through the heart of town, the play area’s theme follows suit.

A crossing guard at the area’s entrance along the Tidewater Bikeway warns guests of wet kids and the benches line up like train cars.