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.