This meadow shaped like a crescent moon was nicknamed the "Gem of the Sierra" by John Muir. Picnic tables and bear boxes. Pit toilets. Hiking trails start here. Road to Crescent Meadow closes with snow.
Trail head to the High Sierra Trail. Crescent Meadow (1/8 mile), Tharpe's Log (0.8 mile), Eagle View (1 mile), Bearpaw Meadow (11 miles), Mount Whitney (60 miles).
So there are two hikes in Sequoia that I consider right up there among my favorite hikes for kids, and Crescent Meadow is one of them. It's a .9 (each way) hike from the parking lot through Crescent Meadow to Tharp's Log with many options to veer off the paved trail and explore as much of the Big Forest as you'd like.
We opted to stay on the paved trail, which was very flat, and stroller and wheelchair friendly. We loved it! It was peaceful. There were lots of spots to marvel at the huge sequoias, to watch bears graze on grasses and flowers in the meadows (We saw 5!!), and let the kids feel free to walk on their own (for the most part).
There were bathrooms at the trailhead along with parking spots. Our group of 30, from age 1 through parent-age, loved it.
We were told this was the place to see a bear. No bears, but it was a easy flat, hike. It basically does a loop around a meadow. There aren't anything significant attractions to see here, just enjoy the pines and green. we found a bush full of ladybugs, and turned around at the big tree that you complete the loop with. We didn't want our littles to fall off. We grabbed a scavenger hunt from a ranger at the museum beforehand to occupy the kids and that worked out great!
Several hiking trails start at Crescent Meadow and we took the paved one to Tharpe's Log. My kids loved the open meadow (covered in snow and ice in December) and the flat trail that meandered through the woods. I was impressed with the moss covered trees and the sprinkling of Giant Sequoias on our walk.
We didn't have a picnic at the tables in December, but I could imagine that it would be a beautiful, shaded, and warm place to enjoy a picnic in other seasons.