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Things to Do In Inland Empire - Moreno Valley with Kids - Global Women Network

Things to Do In Inland Empire – Moreno Valley with Kids

Before we moved here I probably dismissed Moreno Valley much like I feel most Inland residents do, but after living here for six years, sending my kids to school here, engaging in activities here, living my life here,  I LOVE Moreno Valley and here’s why:  my husband still works close to his job but doesn’t have to deal with Riverside traffic to get there, we adore our school, enjoy local activities, and revel in the sense of community we’ve felt here from day one.

Lately we tend to go into Riverside or other cities less and less to do things with our kids and we try to get more friends and family members to come here and try our things with us.  There are some things worth coming here for, some things we may even do better.


Photo Credit: Howie’s Game Shack

First off, we have a Howie’s Game Shack.  There are only four locations and we have one!  Located in the Moreno Valley Mall, where three different Things to Do are, it makes a perfect place to spend awhile or have a party with the food court (where you can still get an Orange Julius!) right next door for refueling if your kids are into games like mine.  It is certainly a great place to occupy a teen not keen on shopping with their mother.

While a bowling alley isn’t exactly a novel idea, Round One is so much more than that.  There are different kinds of games galore, karaoke, pool, and darts for all different kinds of fun.  Also located in the mall, it is a must stop when looking to waste time before a movie starts at Harkins, a fun night out with friends, or simply a nice break from shopping.  It is 18 and over after 10pm and 21 and over after midnight, and although it is located in the mall, it is still open till 2am.  If you prefer your bowling away from the mall, there is always Universal Strike and Brunswick Zone both with really great deals.

I’d say movies is certainly something we do better out here, which is awesome for a cinephile like me.  At Harkins, use your loyalty popcorn shirt and refillable cups anytime you take your kids to the movies and you’ll save a bundle!  Also the ticket prices there are generally lower when compared with other cinemas, for kids (3-13) they definitely are at only $6 a ticket.  However, if you still find that the regular first run movie theater is a bit too pricey with your kids in tow, the Towngate 8 Regency Theatres is the best solution!  Tickets are only $2 for matinee and $3 for evening tickets ($2 extra for 3D) and last year they upgraded their soda fountains to make them self-serve and refillable.  Completely worth waiting a few extra weeks to save some money on a movie that your kids just HAVE to see on the big screen.

Photo Credit: Lake Perris

Photo Credit: Lake Perris

Honestly, our FAVORITE thing to do here with our kids is to just go to the park.  Celebration Park is always a big favorite once they “turn the water on,” with birthday parties and team parties and lots of families crowding there from spring to late summer.  Parking can be tough there but it is always worth it.  Two other parks, Gateway Park and TownGate Memorial Park, recently upgraded their playground equipment and it has made them our two most frequented parks in the city.  Each of these parks and others has plenty of grass to fly kites, commandeer remote control vehicles, or play a bit of soccer.  The Lasselle Sports Park is scheduled to open here in late Spring 2014 and will include three turf football/soccer fields, an exercise track, picnic facilities, and play equipment.  Last but not least, let us not forget that Moreno Valley is also home to the 8,000-acre Lake Perris State Park.

All the things to do here would be peanuts if not for our Parks and Community Services department.  I LOVE using the activities and services they offer.  Besides the fact that two of my kids have utilized their Time For Tots program complete with special Halloween, Christmas, Mother’s Day & Graduation activities, there are free movie nights on the lawn of the Community Center in summer, special activities for kids during school breaks, and there are more activities going on for kids all the time (like Stop Motion Animation class, Comic Book Creation class, various dance, sport, and music classes), just check the Parks and Community Services Soaring magazine.  Spring activities are coming up soon along with a Wine and Art show at the TownGate Community Center at the end of April for the grown ups!

Last but not least, kids gotta eat right?  Within the last year we have gotten bunches of “new to us” restaurants like Chipotle, Polly’s Pies, Miguel’s Jr, and most recently Jersey Mike’s.  C’mon, give Moreno Valley a chance, it really is a very family friendly place or at the very least a place where you’ll get more for your family entertainment dollar.  Maybe I’ll see you at the park!

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Celina Atkinson

Writer at Inland Moms
Celina is a wife and mother of three that has lived in the Inland Empire most of her 36 years and continually since the birth of her children.If she’s not baking, she’s either transporting her kids to and fro, or lost in some chasm of pop culture that she’s currently obsessed with.She blogs at Nerdy Baker.

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