As midterm season comes to a halt due to Spring Break, we want to know how to relax ourselves in the upcoming week. Merced is literally at the center of many popular cities such as San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Jose just to name a few. A popular question that UC Merced students ask themselves is: what is there to do in Merced when you can’t go somewhere else? To answer this popular question, I’ve put a list together of possible places to check out with your friends or just go to on your own. 


First off, the place in our backyard is Yosemite National Park. Yosemite has various places to explore ranging from various trails to museums. “Yosemite National Park includes nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous scenery, including high cliffs, deep valleys, tall waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, and a large wilderness. Millions of people visit Yosemite each year to experience its beauty and its many opportunities for enjoyment.” It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. 


One of the things that you can do in Atwater, the next town over, is bowling. They have a bowling alley where you can get together with your friends or family to bowl down some pins! 

Another thing that can be found in Atwater is the Castle Airport Museum. You can take a “glimpse” into the past and see all the different types of aircrafts that were used in the historic World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Conflict. 


If shopping is your forte then head over to the Vintage Fair Mall where it has various stores to shop from. Popular stores include Tilly’s, Zumiez, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works and the Disney store. 

Boomers is a great place to hangout with friends and have some fun. They offer activities such as mini golf, lazer tag, and go kart racing. Inside they have lots of arcade games and delicious pizza!


Another shopping mall just a few miles away is the Fashion Fair located in Fresno. Stores that can be found here are: American Eagle Outfitters, Buckle, Foot Locker, GameStop, Hot Topic and Sephora. 

If your friends are up for a challenge head over to Fresno Escape Room, “A physical adventure game where participants are placed into a room and have to use teamwork along with elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit. Each room is themed and has a unique storyline that engages the players through their environment.”

Another trendy thing to do is jumping around. Aerozone, a facility completely filled with trampolines can be something you and your friends might like. Some of the activities they have are basketball, dodgeball, and a foam pit! 


If transportation is an issue, there are things to do here locally. There is Rollerland where you can skate your heart out. 

Yosemite Lake to enjoy the gorgeous sunsets or to play a game of volleyball in the sand. 

Downtown on Main Street there is the Regal Cinemas Hollywood Merced Movie Theatre where you can see all the movies that are coming out, which can be found on the Fandango website. 

Something else that can be found downtown is Cue Spot Billiards where you can play a game of pool. They have a deals such as $2 Wednesdays where each game of pool is only $2! 

If you’re in the mood to learn about the history of Merced County, you have a chance to do so. The Merced Courthouse Museum has a lot to offer such as “8500 square feet of exhibits, both permanent and rotating, which depict the history of Merced County as well as the settlers of the Great Central Valley.”

There is also a Playhouse downtown where different events are being held, you can find out more on their official website.

We also have the Applegate Park zoo in town where you can see various wildlife “consisting of Cougars, bears, bobcats, birds, squirrels, deer, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, California desert tortoise, water fowl, a variety of birds of prey.”  

If money is the problem, head over to Nickel Arcade where you can spend all your nickels on arcade games. 

Let’s not forget the variety of places to eat. Whether you like sushi or burgers, or just a boba drink or coffee, Merced has it all. If none of these places fit your needs, just staying at home and watching Netflix can be just as enjoyable. I hope you all have a great and safe spring bobcats!

Photo Credit: Marcus Fox & Rae Anne Tamayo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here