Merced is located in the heart of California's Central Valley, making it convenient for accessing the coast, some of the state's major cities and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This city with a small town feel is home to around 80,000 people and offers an assortment of activities for residents young and old. If you're looking for some toddler activities, Merced has plenty to keep your little one busy.
Get your toddler outside for some activities around Merced. Visit the Applegate Park Zoo (no website; 1045 West 25th Street, Merced; 209-725-3337) where you'll find around 75 animals native to California, many of which come from wildlife rescue centers. Toddlers can also participate in special events at the zoo, like Zoo Boo with trick or treating. While in Applegate Park, check out Kiddieland with rides like a merry-go-round and a train. You could also visit Ada Givens Park (no website; Hawthorn Avenue, Merced; 209-385-6855) where you and your toddler can play on the playground, have a picnic or splash in the pool.
Take your toddler for a visit to one of the Merced County Libraries (no website; 2100 O Street, Merced; 209-385-7643). Your little one can participate in free activities like Preschool and Toddler Storytime with stories, songs, crafts and fingerplays. Or, you can take your little one to the Merced Barnes and Noble (barnesandnoble.com) for Special Storytime. Little ones can enjoy a story and activities. Sometimes, there is even a visit from a special costumed character from the stories featured, such as Corduroy Bear or Madeline.
Sign your tot up for some of the classes offered in the area. Tumble Time Gymnastics (tumbletimemerced.com) offers a class for toddlers called LiteBrights in their Tumbling Tots program. Little ones 16 months to 3 years old can learn new skills with a parent by their side, including balancing, jumping and completing obstacle courses. The Merced County Arts Council, Inc. (artsmerced.org) has an assortment of classes available, as well. For example, your toddler can join Miss Noelle's Musikgarten to experience music and creative movement with you.
Events and Festivals
Plan to attend some of the events and festivals held in Merced throughout the year. The Merced County Fair (mercedcountyfair.com) takes place annually in the summer and includes carnival rides, shows and animal exhibits. The City of Merced (cityofmerced.org) puts on an array of events throughout the year. The Spring Eggs Hunt takes place at Stephen Leonard Park (no website; 640 T Street, Merced; 209-385-7434) and includes the egg hunts, snacks, games and bounce houses. Celebrate Parks and Recreation Month with games, activities and bounce houses inside Applegate Park (no website; 1045 West 25th Street, Merced; 209-725-3337) in July.
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