Enjoy an affordable, family-friendly community with tons of amenities.
Meridian has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years and is among the fastest growing cities in the nation. The population stands at nearly 115,000 and is expected to exceed 150,000 over the next decade.
Why are so many people choosing Meridian? One aspect is its relative affordability, and that extends beyond real estate to having access to free family-friendly entertainment, says August Henning, a lifelong resident.
“The city of Meridian offers multiple free events throughout the year for residents,â€ Henning says. “One of them is Unplug & Be Outside, a whole week of activities sponsored by the city and local businesses to get kids and families to unplug from electronics for a week and get outside and be a kid again.”
Among the free activities are art classes and events, recreational activities, and sports, with prizes awarded to those who successfully “unplug.â€ Other community events happen year-round, including movie nights, free concerts, an Independence Day celebration, Trunk or Treat for Halloween, and Christmas in Meridian festivities. Several other events focus on the arts, helping others and dining out.
While close to Boise, Meridian delivers the vibe of a safe, small town that boasts affordability and low unemployment. It also has amenities of its own, such as casual and fine dining options, brewpubs, a nightlife and shopping. The Children’s Museum of Idaho is downtown, along with Meridian Music & Arts and the Treasure Valley Children’s Theater.
Some of its retailers in the downtown district include DIY crafts destination The Happy Hour Homemaker, Potter’s Tea House, The Bottle Cap Bar, gastropub Eight Thirty Common and a cigar bar called The Vault.
“Meridian has a really, really good downtown business association,â€ Henning says. “Downtown Meridian itself doesn’t actually have many big chain stores. It’s all pretty much small businesses, and they know that their success is going to be better together, so they all come together and work together, and it feels like a family. Everyone knows each other.”
Meridian is also home to The Village at Meridian, a large outdoor shopping destination that features restaurants, beauty salons, fitness options, a cinema and retail stores. It has a fountain and community space in the center, where residents gather for seasonal events.
Meridian is full of beautiful new and modern neighborhoods, along with great public and private schooling options. The area is home to almost two dozen local parks. One example is Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, which overflows with amenities. It has a lake, band shelter for summer outdoor concerts, a labyrinth and an arboretum, the Senior Center, a biking/walking trail, a playground, a picnic area, a splash pad, a concession stand, and various fields and courts for sports.
While Meridian is a more affordable, younger community, Boise is a university town with a greenbelt, unique downtown shops and cultural offerings, like a Shakespeare festival, and the great thing is that it’s just minutes away. One of the qualities people love most about the area is its proximity to everything.
“The way Meridian was built on a grid system works so well,â€ Henning says. “I can go to Boise, Garden City or Caldwell by freeway and be there in 20 minutes. I can go to all sorts of different places within 30 minutes, be surrounded by lakes and reservoirs to go boating or paddle boarding or fishing or camping – there is a lot of outdoors here.”