Op-Ed: Things to do in Bakersfield during COVID-19

Clarecca Hargis, Reporter

It has been almost one year since the initial lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed people away from their friends and family, and did put a hold on the way we used to live. To find things to do in Bakersfield can be hard since it is not really a place that has multiple attractions or activities. Those who have chosen to follow federal regulations on social distancing by staying indoors can find that it can get lonely and boring.

Restaurants are currently only offering outdoor and patio dining, the movie theaters are closed, and so are the clubs, so most people can feel bored. However, Bakersfield does offer beautiful sceneries; there are many things to do that are surrounding Bakersfield College and the Bakersfield area to keep active while also practicing social distancing.

The Bluffs is a local lookout that also offers a trail that one can walk or explore. Students can go to the Bluffs and work on their homework at one of the many picnic tables of the park. There are people during the weekend that participate in yoga classes, walk with their children and exercise. There is also a lot of graffiti art that local artists have painted on the electrical boxes, giving a Los Angeles vibe. Depending on the side of the bluffs people are at, it is possible to see a great view of Hart Park.

Hart Park is a nice familiar place located surrounding the Kern River. Hart Park has many picnic tables and offers complimentary BBQ pits for families to enjoy for a gathering. Hart Park has a more family-oriented setting where families can enjoy fishing, hiking, and swimming. However, Kern River is dangerous, and it is not recommended to bring young children and leave them unattended due to the strong current. Even as an adult, the Kern River can be very dangerous. Hart Park has beautiful scenery that is surrounded by mountains and has lots of shaded areas where one can enjoy a picnic by the river.

Before the pandemic, Riverwalk Park was known for live concert events at the Spectrum Amphitheater. Riverwalk Park has many other features like a walking trail and there is a large hill that is perfect for watching the sunset. During the weekend Riverwalk is packed with families who are fishing and sometimes there will be children swimming in the pond as well. However, Riverwalk Park does lack picnic tables to accommodate families. The view at Riverwalk Park is beautiful and if one can find a nice, shaded spot under a tree, many ducks in the pond will keep them entertained.

Bakersfield has many other attractions and things to do to keep active during COVID-19. The Bluffs, Hart Park, and Riverwalk Park are just a few areas that have great views and areas for families to keep active. Practicing social distancing can be fun if you take precautions and know where to go.