Top 5 things to do in the summer in and around Merced County

The days are long and hot, and many of us – especially our kids – have extra time to get out and do things.  

Here’s five recommendations for some of the best local things to do during the hot months:

#1 – Go swimming

  There are lots of places to cool off in the water in Merced County and we’ve updated our swimming page with details for this summer.  CLICK HERE for local swimming

#2 – Celebrate Independence Day at one of our county’s big 4th of July events

  • Atwater has always celebrated Independence Day in a big way.  That tradition continues this year with a parade, entertainment, food, bounce houses, a live concert, and a fireworks show.  This year’s parade theme is “Back to the 80s” and celebrates the entertainment and events of that decade.  For more information, go to  

  • Gustine:  This year’s Gustine’s parade will begin at 10:30 AM and will feature a flyover by the Flying Eagles, squadron VFA-122 from Lemoore Naval Air Station.  The parade will be followed by activities for children in Henry Miller Park.  Food and drinks will be available from a variety of food venders.  The celebration will conclude with fireworks at Gustine High School after dark.

  • Lake McClure.  You can bring food and beverages to enjoy before and during the show.  For more information go to

  • Livingston offers live music, a fireworks show that is billed as the largest in the valley, a carnival, and a car show.  The events stretch from July 1st through 4th.  For more information, go to  

#3 – Beyond the Fourth of July, there are lots of other community events to enjoy throughout the summer

“The Original” Merced Certified Famers’ Market:  

The Merced College Farmers’ Market -



The City of Chowchilla has released the schedule of summer park concerts for 2019. The weekly Thursday night concerts will be presented in Veterans Memorial Park on the Barragan Family Stage.

There are some favorites returning along with some bands making their first appearance in the concert series. Concerts begin June 20 and continue to August 1. Because of the Independence Day Holiday there will be no concert on Thursday, July 4. All shows will begin at 7:30 PM.

We will have a larger dance patio installed before this year’s concert series so come prepared to listen, clap your hands, tap your feet, and dance into the night this summer on Thursday nights in downtown Chowchilla.

June 20 – Danny Milsap Band – Honky Tonk Country

June 27 – Bill Clifton’s Chicken & Whiskey Band – Rhythm & Blues

July 11 – The Monsanto Band – High Energy Latin Sounds

July 18 – Michael Walker Band – California Country Rock

July 24 – Yard Dogs Band –50’s and 60’s Classic Rock & Roll

August 1 – QPOP Radio Band with the Blow-Pops Horn Section – Groovy 60’s & 70’s Rock & Roll

Mark your calendars and plan to be in downtown Chowchilla on four special Friday nights this summer as the City of Chowchilla presents FREE family-fun movies that will delight audiences of all ages.

“Movies in the Park” returns to Veterans Memorial Park on Robertson Boulevard at 6th Street starting Friday, June 21. Show times start at SUNSET. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, sleeping bags and enjoy a fun night watching an outdoor movie on the BIG inflatable screen with full sound filling the park. This summer enjoy the following movies.

June 21 – How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

June 28 – Holes (2003)

July 12 – Cool Runnings (1993)

July 19 – Monsters, Inc. (2001)

City of Merced

Sports and fun for kids of all ages. Flag Football, Baseball and lots of fun activities.

For more information -

Outdoor movies:  City of Merced Parks and Recreation.

For more information -

Merced Shakespearefest ‘s performance


#4 – Enjoy the waterslides at a nearby waterpark

For a memorable day you can enjoy these waterslides nearby:

#5 - Rafting adventure

For the wildest kind of water adventure, raft one of our amazing local rivers with a professional whitewater rafting company, or rent equipment to raft the gentler lower section of the Stanislaus River on your own:

Guided whitewater trips:  The Merced and Tuolumne Rivers provide some of the best rafting in the state.  Rafting these rivers is an unforgettable experience, full of thrills and excitement.  The following companies lead trips of various lengths and difficulty levels.  

The Tuolumne River can usually be rafted all summer, while the Merced River is more dependent on the amount of snowmelt and the rafting season often ends in July.

Stanislaus River raft and tube rentals:  Starting at the historic town of Knights Ferry, a 6-mile stretch of the river can be easily floated without a guide.  Two companies rent rafts, oars, and life jackets.  Rafts can accommodate entire families and it is an adventure that any age can enjoy.  The raft companies provide transportation back to Knights Ferry after you have completed your float down the river.

Swimming Pools in Merced County area


Swimming Pools

Community swimming pools are located throughout Merced County.  Programs include swimming lessons, recreational swimming, and pool rentals. 

A variety of local swim leagues provides the opportunity for youth to improve their swim skills and compete in swim meets.  Scroll down to explore the possibilities.

  • Atwater - (209) 357-6320

  • Delhi - (209) 656-2000

  • Dos Palos - (209) - 392-2178

  • Gustine -  (209) 854-6471

  • Hilmar - (209) 667-6947

  • Livingston - (209) 394-8830

  • Los Banos - (209) 826-3801

  • Merced - (209) 385-6978

  • Local Swim Leagues

Swimming is also possible at the following reservoirs, state, and county parks


Recreational swimming is offered Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 PM and Saturday from 12 to 4 PM.  Swim lessons for children are also available.

Location:  2201 Fruitland Avenue, Atwater, CA 95301

For current information, including swim lesson schedules, call Atwater’s Department of Parks and Community Services at (209) 357-6320.

We are offering 3 sessions: June 12 thru June 23, July 3 thru July 14 and July 17 thru July 28. We offer: 11am, 12am, 1pm,3pm, 4pm, 5pm, and 6pm classes each class is for one hour a day Monday thru Friday. Each session cost $45 per child.


Located at Delhi High School, the Delhi pool offers recreational swimming, family swim nights, and swim lessons during the summer months.  During the summer of 2016, the pool will be open from June 28th through August 6th.  

Swim hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 4 PM.  Admission is $1.  A special family swim night is offered every Friday, with the pool open from 5 to 7:45 PM.  Admission on family swim nights is $0.75 per person.

Location:  Delhi High School, 16881 W. Schendel Road, Delhi.

For more information, contact the Delhi Unified School District at (209) 656-2000.

Dos Palos

The pool at Dos Palos High School offers swimming lessons and recreational swim hours during the summer months.

Recreational swim hours:  12-4PM M-F, $1/person

Adult lap swim:  7-8:30PM, $1/person

Location:  Dos Palos High School, corner of Mabel Avenue and Palo Alto Street.

For current information call City of Dos Palos Parks and Recreation at 392-2178.


The Gustine Aquatics Center at Henry Miller Park offers the following programs during the summer months:  water aerobics, open swim, night swim, and pool rental.

Location:  Henry Miller Park, corner of 3rd Ave. and 6th St., Gustine, CA

For more information call Gustine City Hall at (209) 854-6471.

The pool is open from 9 to 10 AM Monday through Thursday for adult lap swim.  Open swim is held Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 PM. 

NIght swim is offered on Tuesday andThursday nights form 6 to 8 PM.  Admission is $3/person or $2 for senior citizens. 

You can save money by paying in advance and for those who want to swim frequently, unlimited visit passes are available.  

Water aerobics and swim lessons are also offered - see the City of Gustine webpage for more information:


Located in the Hilmar Park, the pool offers swimming lessons, recreational swimming hours, water aerobics, and lap swimming.

Location:  Hilmar Park, corner of Lander Avenue and Falke Street.

Morning lap swim:  6:30-8 AM, Monday-Friday

Combined lap swim and water aerobics:  12-1 PM, Monday-Friday

Evening lap swim:  6:30-PM, MWF

Recreational swim:  1-4 PM Tuesday - Friday, 12-3 PM Saturday

Water boot camp:  7:30-8:30 PM, Tuesday and Thursday

Swim Lessons 4:30-6:30 PM Monday through Thursday in 2-week sessions

To sign up for swim lessons or for more information call the pool at 667-6947 between 1 and 4 PM on a weekday.

Hilmar Hammerheads Swim Team

The website is:


The Livingston High School pool - 209-394-8830


Location: 1617 Main Street, Livingston, CA 95334

For more information call Livingston City Hall at  209-394-8830.

Los Banos

 Swimming lessons and open swim hours are offered at the Los Banos County Park during the summer months.

Location:  1414 South 7th Street, Los Banos, CA 93635

For more information call the Los Banos School District at (209) 826-3801


The City of Merced operates city pools at

Ada Givens Park

McNamara Park

Stephen Leonard Park.

These pools are available to rent for private events.  Swim lessons are offered for children of all ages starting with a “parent and me” class for toddlers as young as six months. 

Merced College offers a variety of swim programs during the summer and throughout the year.

City of Merced Swim Lessons:  Four two-week sessions are offered from June through early August.  Five levels of instruction include:

  • Parent and Me (Ages 6 months to 3 years)

  • Tiny Tots 1: (Ages 3 to 5 years)

  • Tiny Tots 2 (Ages 4 to 6 years)

  • Beginner Prep: (Ages 6 to 10 years)

  • Stroke Technique: (Ages 7 years and up)

Call the city at 385-6978 for more information and current schedules.

City of Merced Recreational Swim Programs

The City of Merced offers swimming during the summer at McNamara Park, Golden Valley High School, and Merced High School.  

Swim lessons are offered for children of all ages starting with a “parent and me” class for toddlers as young as six months.  Merced College offers a variety of swim programs during the summer and throughout the year.

City of Merced Swim Lessons:  Three two-week sessions are offered from June through July.  For the summer of 2016, there are still some lessons available at MacNamara Park in the mornings.  Five levels of instruction include:

Parent and Me (Ages 6 months to 3 years)

Tiny Tots 1: (Ages 3 to 5 years)

Tiny Tots 2 (Ages 4 to 6 years)

Beginner Prep: (Ages 6 to 10 years)

Stroke Technique: (Ages 7 years and up)

Call the city at 385-6978 for more information, schedules, and to sign up.

City of Merced Recreational Swim Programs:  The Memorial Plunge at McNamara Park and the Golden Valley High School pool are available for recreational swimming on summer afternoons.

Recreational swim hours:

  • Golden Valley High School: Saturday and Sunday, 3-6PM

  • MacNamara Park: Thursday-Sunday, 3-6 PM

        The cost for admission  - please call. 

Youth under age 18 swim free on  Fridays at MacNamara Park.

City of Merced Pool Rentals:  

For more information, call the city at 385-6978.  

Rentals are available from May through August.

Location of City of Merced Pools:

Memorial Plunge at McNamara Park:  Corner of 11th and K Streets, Merced

Golden Valley High School Pool:  2121 E. Childs Ave., Merced, CA 95341

Merced High School Pool:  205 W. Olive Ave., Merced, CA 95348  

Map of city pools-(click here)

Merced College Pool:  Merced College’s Community Service Department provides recreation classes for all ages.  Programs for children include swimming lessons, diving lessons, and water polo.  

Adult recreational lap swimming is offered throughout the year.

Location:  North end of Stadium Lane near Parking Lot B1, Merced College campus

For more information  call (209) 384-6224.

Merced College Pool: Merced College’s Community Service Department provides recreation classes for all ages.  Programs for children include swimming lessons, diving lessons, and water polo.  Adult recreational lap swimming is offered throughout the year.

For more information go to: (Click Here)

or call (209) 384-6224.

Local Swim Leagues

The Merced County Swim League is made up of ten teams from Merced County and surrounding communities.  Merced is also home to the Merced Skimmers Swim Team, which practices regularly at Merced College. 

Skimmers offers youth programs and masters swimming for adults.

Contact Information

Merced Skimmers

Atwater stingrays

Atwater stingrays

Hilmar Hammerheads

Contact:  Celeste Tremble

Los Banos Tigersharks