Merced Area Museums and Educational Opportunities
UC Merced Library
The UC Merced Library hosts long-term displays, like "The Great Central Valley Project," as well as an ever-changing set of short-term exhibits providing opportunities to learn about a wide spectrum of topics. Exhibits are available whenever the library is open.
Castle Air Museum
The Castle Air Museum collection includes planes from the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War eras. Visitors walk through manicured grounds to view and learn about the aircraft. Military artifacts are housed indoors.
Merced County Courthouse Museum
The museum houses 8,500 square feet of exhibits, both permanent and rotating, which depict the history of Merced County as well as the settlers of the Central Valley. It is one of the oldest historical buildings in all of California and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center is a space-science learning center with a curriculum that includes math, technology, team-building and much more. Kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits let visitors learn by doing. The center features exhibits built by UC Merced students and faculty and enjoys an ongoing relationship with the service learning program in the UC Merced School of Engineering. The center also offers a two-hour space mission in its simulator.
Agricultural Museum of Merced County
The Agricultural Museum of Merced County depicts the lives of local farmers past. It features antique farm equipment, demonstrations, a living history program, 19th century wagons and a working blacksmith shop.
Applegate Park Zoo
Since 1962, Applegate Park Zoo has been home to many wild animals in need of a safe place to live. Currently, the zoo has about 75 native California mammals, birds and reptiles, most of which came from wildlife rescue centers.
Bloss Home Museum
The Bloss Home Museum in Atwater is a historic home built in 1914 by the Bloss family, who were among the founders of the city of Atwater. It houses Atwater and area memorabilia, including early photos, maps and papers, as well as some Yokut Indian artifacts.
Convention and Visitors Bureau Tours
Self-guided walking tours of Merced's downtown area are available to help visitors and new residents become familiar with attractions as well as shopping and dining highlights.