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‘Virtual’ Recreation Programs Still Going

With San Joaquin County entering 2021 in a continued state of lockdown and amid ‘stay at home’ orders, the City of Escalon continues to offer some options for ‘virtual’ recreation.

Recreation Services Coordinator Bridget Gaines said they have a number of ideas on the city website, everything from ‘get moving’ ideas for youngsters to gardening tips.

Gaines said the city was able to first offer the virtual programs in the spring and has continued to frequently add additional information.

“I try to update it, add programs for them to keep learning things and if they’re at home, they have some ideas of things to do,” Gaines said of the online recreational activities. She said items such as drills to do at home for specific sports are available, along with workouts for all ages, just easy things to do while sheltering in place that are designed to keep people active and engaged.

An in-person activity is on the schedule starting Saturday, Jan. 9. The popular dog training program, offered through Bone-A-Fide Dog Training, runs for five weeks at a cost of $125 and is hosted on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

“We are allowing it to start,” Gaines said of the next class kicking off this weekend. “It is outdoors, there is plenty of room to social distance and people do have to wear masks.”

The class is put on in the city’s Main Street Park and focuses on building a good relationship with your dog including good manners, focus, no pulling on the leash, no jumping and more.

Dogs must be up to date on all shots to attend, including rabies, distemper, parvo and canine flu. Attendees must bring a six-foot leash, collar and a water bowl for their dog. Hand sanitizer will be available. Sign up at on the Recreation page.

“We do still have some room,” Gaines said of the new five-week class session.

Meanwhile, those who want to learn more about the ongoing recreational programs can also visit and go to the ‘Recreation’ tab – there it will connect you with such categories as ‘Stay Active’, ‘Keep Learning’, ‘Get Creative’ and ‘Visit Somewhere New’.

A handful of the options for Stay Active are a daily dance break, soccer drills, movement and mindfulness and a ‘fitness blender’ 25-minute workout for kids. Under the Keep Learning tab, there are links to science experiments, agriculture in the classroom, educational games and a NASA Kids Club. Get Creative has everything from how to make a kite to 50 fun and crafty ideas, making a bird feeder and some cooking activities while Visit Somewhere New offers the chance to virtually tour the solar system, Yellowstone National Park and more.

Another page is dedicated specifically to senior citizens, offering low impact aerobics, Young at Heart strength training, Zumba and more for physical activity, trivia quizzes, crossword puzzles and more for creativity. There is also a travel section and links to technology and the Stockton/San Joaquin County Public Library for eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Gaines said the city is not affiliated with any of the programs and doesn’t collect any funding from the resources listed, but just offers them up as options for residents to enjoy during the ongoing pandemic.

“Visit this page often for new updates and ideas to keep you and your loved ones active,” the city website suggests.

Gaines said she can also be contacted if residents have questions or if they want to offer suggestions for either the kids’ or seniors’ pages. She can be reached at 209-691-7372 or by emailing