It’s the middle of summer vacation, past noon on a Thursday, and your teen may still be in bed. After she finally drags herself up, bleary-eyed to forage for food, she turns to you and complains.
“There’s nothing to do in Lodi,” she says. “This summer is so boring.”
Sure, there’s marathoning shows on Netflix, family outings to the beach and trips to theme parks like Disneyland, but some of those can be expensive and only entertain for a short time.
Fear not. There is plenty to do in livable, lovable Lodi.
Marilyn Sprake, who registers people for classes at Hutchins Street Square, said that there are many popular classes at Hutchins for children and teens looking for something to do each summer. For 12-year-olds, the IntelliBricks Lego Engineers and Robotics Camp is popular. Older teens can choose from courses such as Ballroom Dance, Bellydance, Creating with Clay and a Fused Art Glass Jewelry Workshop.
“All the classes are educational, and if they like it they can continue taking classes throughout the year,” she said.
Here’s a list of other activities for those who have run out of ideas:
Join in the fun at the One-Eighty Teen Center
The One-Eighty Teen Center sponsors several summer activities, from swimming, to game and movie nights, to cookouts. The center provides a venue for teens to hang out, with pool tables, a skate park, a cafe and space to hold concerts. It’s located at 17 W. Lockeford St. and is open from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours on Friday from 7 to 11 p.m.
Swim at Lodi Lake or Enze Pool at Blakely Park
Summer is hot and the best way to cool down can be taking a dip in a body of water. Bring swimsuits, drinking water, snacks and sunscreen. Water guns and beach balls can make for some interesting team games with a little creativity.
Enze Pool at Blakely Park, located at 1050 S. Stockton St., is open weekends from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Labor Day for free.
Lodi Lake Beach is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. until Aug. 4. After that, the beach will remain open on weekends until Sept. 1. The cost is $3 for adults, $2 for ages 3 through 16, and $1.50 for seniors and children 2 and under.
Prepare art to enter in the Lodi Grape Festival
In less than two months, the Lodi Grape Festival will roll into town. Budding artists who have produced work during the school year can prepare to enter several of the contest categories, where they may be able to win cash prizes. Just get an entry guide and form online at www.grapefestival.com/competitive-exhibits, follow the guidelines for presenting your art, and submit it by Aug. 15. If you haven’t created any masterpieces yet, there is still time to break out your paints and pencils this summer.
Watch a summer play
Changing Faces Theater Company holds theatrical productions every summer. The theater company will be putting on “The Wizard of Oz” at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at Jessie’s Grove Winery. Theater under the stars can even make a good summer date night.
Start up a game of kickball with friends
Nothing brings the little kid out of a person like playing kickball with a giant red ball. Just because elementary school has passed doesn’t mean teens can’t have a little goofy fun. Gather your friends and head out to one of Lodi’s 20 parks, such as Legion or Salas parks.
Test new tricks at Lodi Skate Park in Kofu Park
Skaters, BMXers and scooter lovers in Lodi may be up to speed on their street skills — to the chagrin of many residents — but there are plenty of tricks to master at the skate park. Try out a front flip or land a 360 off a ramp. Lodi Skate Park, located at 1145 S. Ham Lane in Kofu Park, is open from 2 p.m. to sunset on weekdays and 9 a.m. to dusk on weekends. Also, remember that helmets and pads are required.
Shop and hang out in Downtown Lodi
Downtown isn’t just for wine tasting. Several cute shops and hangouts have sprouted near School Street. Barbara’s Boutique, Renee’s Boutique, City Girl and Smart Alic Accessories have trendy items to fill your wardrobe before school starts again.
Smack Pie Pizza is a good place to share a small pizza with friends out on the terrace. Tom’s Used Books offers a unique selection of things to read while you say hello to the store cats. Bunches of Beads is a good place to make bracelets for friends or something new.