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5 fun and safe summer activities

There is usually great times to be had in the 209 during the summer. Yes, it’s almost always hot, but the list of fun to be had is long. Concerts, summer theater, cruising in a boat on the Delta, hiking the trails, food festivals and winery tours just to name a few. But just because we’re all having to stay home this summer doesn’t mean that the 209 doesn’t have some options for some summer fun. 

A night of theater

One popular summer activity is heading to one of the many community theaters in the 209 and watching the summer shows.
Theaters have had to close their doors for the time being, but some are finding ways to keep the show happening. In the case of Changing Faces in Lodi, they’re bringing the show to the people. They’ve been hosting pop-up shows in backyards, neighborhoods and other outdoor spots that allow for social distancing. The group is planning on performing pop-up shows of “Robin Hood” starting in August and continuing through October. To get more details or to reserve a date, visit

Cooking classes

Let’s face it, we’re all doing a lot more cooking these days and perhaps your meals have fallen into a rut. Ron Erickson is here with some help. 209 Magazine has previously written about Erickson and his Yankee Hill Winery and Cooking School in Columbia. Erickson’s classes are always entertaining and the end result is scrumptious. But since he can’t conduct his classes in person, he’s turning to a virtual platform. Yankee Hill is offering online cooking classes via YouTube and Facebook for free. The classes focus on everyday items, so no searching for hard to find ingredients. To find the links to the cooking videos visit

Take a hike

Getting out and exploring the outdoors is an activity that harkens back to summer camp for many people and fortunately is one of the safe activities people can do right now. 
People should be staying in their own county, but the good thing is that all the counties in the 209 region have some great options for hiking.
Need help finding some local trails? Check out the app All Trails.

Take in some art

When it gets too hot, one of the best way to escape the heat is to visit some of the great art galleries that can be found in the 209. Unfortunately, an in person visit is not possible right now, but that doesn’t mean a life without art. Galleries are hosting shows online and some are taking annual events to the virtual world. The Calaveras County Art Council is planning on making their annual Artist Studio Tour an online event this year.
Typically, the event is a two-day tour in September, but this year it will be September through October and will include filmed studio tours and images of the artwork. For more information visit

Car show

Summer and car shows go together hand in hand, but this year many of the annual events have had to be canceled or postponed this year. At least two organizations are planning to host their annual shows in September.
The Modesto Area Street Rod Association will be hosting the Graffiti Classic car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 6 in McHenry Village in Modesto. For more information visit
Ironstone Vineyards will hold the Concours d’Elegance on Sept. 26 with some changes. The event will be converted to a one-day rally/tour format highlighted by a drive over the Ironstone stage to receive a ribbon and gift basket. For more information visit