Summer Activities in Riverside

Looking for summer activities in Riverside? You’re in the right spot! Riverside is a vibrant city that thrives in the summertime, offering a multitude of attractions and events to enjoy with family and friends. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures, historical tours, or live music, Riverside has something to offer everyone.


Here are a few must-try activities:



Outdoor Adventures in Riverside

Mount Rubidoux

Mount Rubidoux is a local gem for outdoor enthusiasts. This short, paved trail is perfect for a morning hike. As you ascend, you’ll pass historical landmarks like the Peace Tower and the famous cross. The reward? A breathtaking, panoramic view of Riverside.


  • Trail Length: 3.2 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Features: Historical landmarks, panoramic views

Ameal Moore Nature Center

If you love nature, Ameal Moore Nature Center is a must-visit. This 1,500-acre preserve is home to the endangered Stephens’s kangaroo rat. The center offers naturalist-led nature walks, educational exhibits, and hands-on learning opportunities.


  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Activities: Nature walks, exhibits, experiential learning
  • Unique Feature: Home to endangered species

UC Riverside Botanic Gardens

The UC Riverside Botanic Gardens are a haven for plant lovers. Covering 40 acres, these gardens boast over 3,500 plant species from around the world. Themed collections include a butterfly garden, Native American plants garden, and subtropical fruit garden. The gardens are divided into various microclimates, offering a diverse range of flora.


  • Entry Fee: Free (donation suggested)
  • Special Collections: Butterfly garden, Native American plants garden, subtropical fruit garden
  • Unique Feature: Over 3,500 plant species


Whether you’re into hiking, learning about endangered species, or exploring diverse plant life, Riverside’s outdoor adventures offer something for everyone.

Family-Friendly Attractions


Riverside offers a wealth of family-friendly attractions that cater to all ages. Whether you’re looking for thrilling rides, cultural education, or a nostalgic movie experience, Riverside has it all.

Castle Park

Castle Park is the ultimate destination for family fun. This amusement park features a variety of rides, including roller coasters, carousels, and bumper cars.

For those who enjoy games, the arcade offers a wide range of options from classic pinball to modern video games.


Mini-golf enthusiasts will love the park’s themed courses, complete with challenging obstacles and beautiful landscaping.


During the hot summer months, the water park section of Castle Park is a great way to cool off. With slides, splash pads, and pools, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


Riverside Art Museum

For a more cultural experience, the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is a must-visit. RAM houses the largest collection of visual arts in the Inland Empire. The museum’s exhibitions provide a rich cultural education, featuring works by renowned artists like Karl Benjamin, Millard Sheets, and Rex Brandt.


This summer, RAM is showcasing two special exhibitions:


  • “What would you say?”: Celebrating Californian designers and artists who have championed civil rights and social change.
  • “Made in Plain Sight”: Showcasing artwork created at the RAM, running throughout the summer.

Van Buren Drive-in Theatre

Step back in time at the Van Buren Drive-in Theatre, a historic gem in Riverside. Opened over half a century ago, this drive-in offers a unique movie-viewing experience with the latest technology, including FM transmitters and Technalight.


Movie tickets are affordable, costing $10 for adults and just $1 for children ages five to nine. In addition to movies, the theater hosts swap meets on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Here, local vendors offer a variety of goods, making it a perfect spot for treasure hunting.


Whether you’re seeking the thrill of amusement park rides, the inspiration of visual arts, or the charm of a drive-in movie, Riverside’s family-friendly attractions provide endless summer fun.


Summer Camps and Programs

City of Riverside PRCSD Camps

The City of Riverside PRCSD offers a variety of summer day camps for kids aged 3 to 17. These camps run from June 1 to August 6 at different parks and community centers, each with unique themes and activities.


  • Bobby Bonds Park hosts the Little Totters Camp for ages 3-5, focusing on fun crafts and simple games.
  • Bordwell Park offers a general Summer Day Camp for ages 5-12, featuring a mix of sports, group games, and movies.
  • Hunt Park & Villegas Park offer Splash Camps for ages 5-12, perfect for kids who love water activities.
  • Bourns Family Youth Innovation Center hosts a S.T.E.A.M. Camp for ages 8-12, focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
  • Youth Opportunity Center provides a Teen Venture Camp for ages 13-17, offering more adventurous and engaging activities.

These camps emphasize safety, following CDC guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitization. Spaces fill up quickly, so early registration is recommended.


Riverside Art Camps

For those with a creative streak, Riverside Art Camps offer excellent opportunities for kids of all ages. Camps cater to a wide range of artistic interests, from painting and drawing to performing arts.


  • Riverside Ballet Arts Summer Intensive provides specialized dance training. Located at 6464 Sycamore Canyon Blvd., this camp is perfect for young dancers looking to hone their skills.
  • Color Me Mine Summer Workshops at the Galleria at Tyler offer pottery painting and other creative crafts.
  • Riverside Children’s Theatre Summer Camp focuses on acting, singing, and stagecraft, making it a great choice for budding performers.

Scholarships are available for many of these programs, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder participation.


YMCA Day Camps

The YMCA Day Camps offer a range of activities designed to engage children in sports, arts and crafts, and community-building exercises.


  • Sports Camps teach fundamental skills in various sports, promoting physical fitness and teamwork.
  • Arts and Crafts sessions allow kids to explore their creativity through different mediums.
  • Group Games and community activities foster social skills and a sense of belonging.

The YMCA also offers financial assistance to families in need, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to participate in these enriching programs.


Whether your child is interested in sports, arts, or educational activities, Riverside’s summer camps and programs provide a wealth of options to keep them engaged and active during the summer months.




We hope this guide gives you a taste of the summer activities in Riverside. From outdoor adventures to family-friendly attractions, Riverside has something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the scenic trails of the UCR Botanic Gardens or enjoying the rides at Castle Park, there’s no shortage of fun to be had.


Tourism in Riverside is thriving, thanks to its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and numerous local attractions. By visiting Riverside, you’re not just enjoying a getaway; you’re also supporting local businesses and contributing to the community.


For those looking to enhance their experiences, we recommend checking out Rancho Jurupa Regional Park. This park offers camping, fishing, and a variety of outdoor activities perfect for a summer day.


The best way to truly experience Riverside is to get out there and explore. We can’t wait to see you enjoying all that our beautiful city has to offer!



Visit Riverside
Author: Visit Riverside