Things To Do

Upcoming Family-Friendly Events

(Note: Please check with direct organizer for any last minute changes and cancellations, before attending.)

October 1 - 31, 2022 - View month long display of scarecrows lining the streets of Cambria's East and West Villages, Moonstone Beach and San Simeon of San Luis Obispo County.

October 5, 2022 (Wed) - Zoo to You at Santa Margarita Library at 3:30. Take an imaginary field trip around the world to discover the habitats where animals call home. Learn about the niche that animals fulfill in their environments and how they survive in an ever-changing world. Address: 9630 Murphy Ave, Santa Margarita, CA 93453 

October 5 & 6, 2022 (Wed & Thurs) - Oceano Library Birthday Celebration from 2:30PM - 4:30PM. For their birthday celebration The Friends of the Library will be handing out pumpkins and books. Come join the party and sign up for a free library card! (Espanol: ¡Ven a celebrar el 17 Aniversario de la biblioteca publica de Oceano! Recibe un calabaza y un libro gratis. Ven a celebrar y registrate para un tarjeta de la biblioteca gratis!) Address: 1551 17th St, Oceano, CA 93445

October 7, 2022 (Fri) - Charles Paddock Zoo presentation at Cambria Public Library from 2PM - 3PM. The Charles Paddock Zoo is coming to the Cambria Library! Join them as we learn about the exciting animals you can visit at the zoo and meet some amazing animal ambassadors! Address: 1043 Main St Cambria, CA 93428

October 8, 2022 (Sat) - Maritime Family Fun Day in Morro Bay from 10AM - 4PM. Sandcastle building, fishing booth, chowder contest, treasure hunt, fish prints and more. Free event located in the triangle lot behind 1210 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442 See my pictures of Morro Bay.

October 8, 2022 (Sat) - Central Coast Railroad Festival at San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum from 10AM - 4PM. Tickets for members are free, adults are $5, children ages 4 - 15 years old are $3 and Children 3 years old and under are free. There will be a food truck there outside and wine tasting inside the Cuesta Lounge. Address: 1940 Santa Barbara Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (I've visited this museum before, see our review post of San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum here.)

October 8, 2022 (Sat) - Free Monthly Family Art Activity for kids and kids at heart from 11AM - 1PM every second Saturday at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Address: 1010 Broad Street on the west end of Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo, California 93401

October 8, 2022 (Sat) - Harvest Festival at Cambria Historical Museum from 11AM - 4PM. Admission is free. Live music, food, craft beer, local wine, amazing vendors, fall and Halloween items, jewelry, watercolor paintings, face painting and kid friendly fun. Address: 2251 Center St., Cambria, CA 93428 See my pictures of Cambria.

October 15, 2022 (Sat) - Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services 2022 Open House from 10AM - 2PM. Tour the fire station, meet the firefighters, observe demonstrations, learn hands only CPR and enjoy provided food and drinks. Address: (Fire Station 1) 900 Park St., Paso Robles, CA 93466 

October 15, 2022 (Sat) - Avila Beach Children's Business Fair at Avila Beach Community Center from 10AM - 1PM. Free and open to the public. Address: 191 San Miguel St., Avila Beach, CA 93424

October 15 & 16, 2022 - 76th Annual Pismo Beach Clam Festival. Wonderful parade of local organizations, vendors and food trucks as well as a Kids Zone at the Pismo Promenade. Sample local chowders with the Clam Chowder Cook-Off and enjoy live music all weekend long. Address for GPS: 101 Stimson Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 See my pictures of Pismo Beach.

October 15 & 16, 2022 - Paso Robles Art in the Park at Paso Robles Downtown City Park for two days. Sat Hours: 10AM - 5PM and Sun Hours: 10AM - 4PM.  130 booths representing 145 independent artists and craft workers. Address: Spring Street and 12th Street Paso Robles, CA 93446

October 16, 2022 (Sun) - Harvestly's 2nd Annual Harvest Festival from 11AM - 2PM at Irish Oaks Mercantile in Atascadero. Free event full of some great food, live music, farm animals, kids activities and more. To get updated before the event, you can register for this free event. Address: 7425 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422

October 19, 2022 (Wed) - Paso Robles Night Out from 4:30PM - 6:30PM in downtown Paso Robles. Free food, K-9 demo, games, giveaways, police and fire interaction, children's activities and more. Address for GPS: Spring St & 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446 

October 20, 2022 (Thurs) - 17th Annual Great Pumpkin Contest from 4PM to 7PM at Mission San Luis Obispo. There will be education, tractors, face painting and giant pumpkins. Address: 751 Palm St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 See my IG video reel of Mission San Luis Obispo for a different event.

October 20, 2022 (Thurs) - Moonlight Hours at San Luis Obispo Children's Museum from 5PM - 7PM. Visit for free between those hours. Address: 1010 Nipomo St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

October 22, 2022 (Sat) - Golden Oak Honey & Pumpkin Festival from 10AM - 5PM in Downtown City Park in Paso Robles. Free admission. Backyard beekeeping practices, honey tasting, arts, crafts, vendors, Navy Sea bees, yoga, spelling bee, monster mash dance, and more. Address: Spring St &, 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

October 23, 2022 (Sun) - Harvest Festival at Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria from 1PM - 4PM. Free event but they are requesting for registration in advance to help them plan. Select your own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and decorate it. Play carnival games, try your hand at ax throwing, kids can enjoy some ooey-gooey caramel apples and adults can sample some local wine and beer. Hamburger lunch will be available for purchase for $10 a person. Address: 1473 Randall Dr., Cambria, CA 93428

October 27, 2022 (Thurs) - Halloween Themed CaliKids Class at Heritage Square Park in Arroyo Grande from 4PM - 5PM. Perfect for youth kids ages 5 - 8 years old and their parent/caregiver. Free. Comfortable/easy to move in costumes are encourages (no masks please). Promoting healthy habits through exercise. Join them for warm-ups, dances, relays, skills & grills and games. Healthy snacks and goodie bag provided for each child. Register here. Address: 201 Nelson St., Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

October 27, 2022 (Thurs) - Halloween at the Downtown SLO Farmer's Market from 5PM - 8PM. Free event. Activities include the beloved Trick-or-Treat Trail at dozens of downtown businesses, a Costume Contest, festive photo opportunities. This event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Address for GPS:   Higuera St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

October 28, 2022 (Fri) - Annual Carved Pumpkin Contest & Halloween Activities from 5PM - 8PM in Ramona Garden Park in Grover Beach. Free event. Child 6 years old and under can enter a separate contest for decorated pumpkins only. Trunk or treat! Address: 993 Ramona Ave., Grover Beach, CA 93433

October 28, 2022 (Fri) - Boo Bash at Meadow Park from 5PM - 9PM. Join the Parks and Recreation Department for a family friendly costume party and haunted house. Youngsters (and their families) will enjoy food, games and activities, as well as choose to venture through a spooky haunted house. Concluding the night, enjoy the kid-friendly outdoor Movie Curious George: A Boo Fest on the Meadow Park lawn under the stars. The Food Bank Coalition of SLO County will be collecting canned food and participants who are able are encouraged to bring one or more items to donate.  Address: 2333 Meadow St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

October 28, 2022 (Fri) - Halloween Bash Dana Adobe in Nipomo from 6PM - 9:30PM. Cost is $10 per car. Trunk or treating is only from 6PM - 7PM. Movie starts afterwards. Show off your awesome costumes in their costume parade, trunk or treat at all the trunks, then grab some popcorn and stay for the movie!! Grab your ghouls and goblins for a spooktackular good time. Parking fee per car. Address: 671 S Oakglen Ave., Nipomo, CA 93444

October 28 - 29, 2022 (Fri & Sat) - Candy, Haunted House and Carnival at Elks Lodge 322 in San Luis Obispo from 6PM - 9PM. Free & Open to Public. Food for purchase, donations appreciated. Address: 222 Elks Lane, San Luis Obispo 93401

October 29, 2022 (Sat) - Pumpkins in the Park in Pismo Beach from 10AM - 1PM at Dinosaur Caves Park. Free event. Children 12 & under are encouraged to participate in pumpkin decorating, games, crafts, bounce houses, etc. for ages 12 & under. The costume contest will begin at 11:30 and will include multiple prizes for all age divisions. Food & Beverage will be available for purchase, please leave pets at home. See pictures that I've taken of Dinosaur Caves ParkAddress: 2701 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

October 29, 2022 (Sat) - Morro Bay Trick or Treat from 2PM - 5PM in Downtown Morro Bay. There will be trick or treating, bounce house, face painting, games and photo booth. Address for GPS: 2650 Main St, Morro Bay, CA 93442 See my pictures of Morro Bay.

October 29, 2022 (Sat) - Halloween Carnival and Haunted Maze at Elm Street Park in Arroyo Grande from 4:30PM - 7:30PM. This is a ticketed event by the City of Arroyo Grande. It is not free. Address: 1221 Ash St., Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

October 29, 2022 (Sat) - Zoo Boo from 5PM - 8:30PM at Charles Paddock Zoo! Admission is $15 per person; $14 for members and 2 and under are free. I went to this Zoo Boo event! See my video reel from our experience. Address: 9100 Morro Rd., Atascadero, CA 93422 

October 30, 2022 (Sun) - Trunk or Treat by Paso Robles Army Recruiting Station from 3:30PM - 6:30PM. Haunted Army tent, face painting, trunk or treat and carnival games. There will be 51 vehicles handling out candy.  Address: 211 Oak Hill Rd., Paso Robles, CA 93446

October 30, 2022 (Sun) - Atascadero Trunk Or Treat from 5PM - 7PM in Sunken Gardens organized by local churches. There will also be games, food and other family activities. Address: 5942 West Mall, Atascadero, CA 93422

October 31, 2022 (Mon) - Trick or Treat on Entrada Avenue in Atascadero from 4PM - 6PM. People and pets of all ages are welcome to come and enjoy family, children, hay ride and pet costume contests. Trick or Treating! Event is free to attend and is sponsored by Downtown Atascadero's Business Improvement District and the City of Atascadero.

October 31, 2022 (Mon) - Safe & Fun Halloween Downtown in Paso Robles from 4PM - 7PM. Costumes required and admission is free. Address for GPS: Spring St &, 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

November 12, 2022 (Sat) - Free Monthly Family Art Activity for kids and kids at heart from 11AM - 1PM every second Saturday at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Address: 1010 Broad Street on the west end of Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo, California 93401

November 11, 2022 (Fri) - Happy Veteran's Day! See a list of free meals for your veterans throughout San Luis Obispo County.

November 12, 2022 (Sat) - Elegant Evening Downtown from 5PM - 8PM in downtown Paso Robles. Free open house refreshments, wine & bits & entertainment.  Live Mannequins by Class Act Dance Studio. Address for GPS: 835 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

November 18 - November 20, 2022 - Atascadero Fall Festival 2022 at Sunken Gardens. This is a 3 day family-friendly event with free admission. Check out carnival rides and games. Schedule: Friday, Nov 18th: 4PM - 10PM, Saturday, Nov 19th: 12PM - 10PM and Sunday, Nov 20th: 12PM - 10PM. Address: 6505 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422 

November 25, 2022 (Fri) - Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony from 5:30PM - 7PM in Paso Robles. Free admission. Candlelight caroling, greetings from City officials, Mrs. Claus and the Elves, live music. Address: Spring St &, 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

December 2, 2022 (Fri) - Holiday Harmony at Pismo Beach Pier from 5:30PM - 7:30PM. Free event. There will be kids activities: cookie decorating, bounce houses, tree lighting ceremony, 2 snow zones and Santa! See my instagram video clip of my walk on the Pismo Beach Pier. Address to pier for GPS: 600 Cypress St., Pismo Beach, CA 93449

December 2, 2022 (Fri) - Annual Light Up at the Downtown Holiday Celebration from 5:30PM - 8PM in Sunken Gardens in Atascadero. Beginning at 5:30 pm, you can sip and shop with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce’s ever-popular Art, Wine & Brew Tour! At 6 pm, gather in the Sunken Gardens area in front of Historic City Hall as our City officials and the community counts down to the lighting of our beautiful building. Soon after the lights come on, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving via an antique Model-A fire truck to the tune of “Here Comes Santa Claus.” You will then be invited to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at the North Pole entrance located at the back of City Hall that faces Atascadero Middle School. Address: 6505 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422

December 2, 2022 (Fri) - 46th Annual Downtown SLO Holiday Parade from 7PM - 9PM in Downtown San Luis Obispo.  This beloved Central Coast holiday tradition will feature over 80 decorated floats, marching bands, vehicles, dancers, and more, representing all kinds of organizations. The Downtown SLO Holiday Parade is one of the largest parades on the Central Coast, attracting thousands of spectators each year. Address for GPS: 733 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 

December 3, 2022 (Sat) - South County Holiday Toyland Parade at 10AM in Grover Beach. Then, Santa Workshop begins in Ramona Garden Park after the parade. Address: 1230 Trouville Ave., Grover Beach, CA 93433

December 3, 2022 (Sat) - Lighted Boat Parade in Morro Bay by The Rotary Club from 6PM - 8PM. Address for GPS: Morro Bay Embarcadero or 1185 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442

December 3, 2022 (Sat) - Christmas Light Parade in Downtown Paso Robles from 7PM - 8PM.  Address for GPS: Spring St &, 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

December 9, 2022 (Fri) - Winter Wonderland in Downtown Atascadero from 5PM - 9PM. Free event. Atascadero’s Sunken Gardens and the entire downtown will be transformed into a magical snowy paradise! 75 Tons of snow make up will offer larger snow pile play areas and will help make way for a massive snow slide built. This year’s snow themed events include a lot of kids' activities and Santa and Mrs. Claus! Address: 6505 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA, 93422

December 10, 2022 (Sat) - Breakfast with Santa in at Tar Creek Ranch in Arroyo Grande for $10 a person from 8:30AM - 11AM. Enjoy a pancake breakfast and picture with Santa. See my video reel of Tar Creek Ranch in a past visit on my instagram. Address: 2514 Huasna Road, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

December 10, 2022 (Sat) - Free Monthly Family Art Activity for kids and kids at heart from 11AM - 1PM every second Saturday at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Address: 1010 Broad Street on the west end of Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo, California 93401

December 10, 2022 (Sat) - Vine Street Christmas Victorian Showcase from 6PM - 9PM. Free. Santa, Mrs. Claus, Snow King & Queen and Scrooge. Address: Vine St - Between 8th and 21st Streets, Paso Robles, CA 93446

December 18, 2022 (Sun) - Holiday Magic at Charles Paddock Zoo from 10AM - 1PM. Admission is $10 for 13 years old and older, $8 for ages 3 and 4 years old and $9 for seniors 65 and older. Children 2 years old and and younger are free. Address: 9100 Morro Rd., Atascadero, CA 93422

Though December 2022 - Sensorio (famous art light installations) in Paso Robles is open for weekends. Weather permitting only as it's all outdoors. See my most recent video clip of Sensorio during our 2022 summer visit here on my instagram reel.


Ongoing - Every 2nd Saturday of every month, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art has a free monthly family art activity for kids from 11AM - 1PM. Free and open to the public. Address: The lawn outside SLOMA’s Mission Plaza double doors - 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Year RoundSee the free story time schedule for libraries in the San Luis Obispo County area.

2023 Events

January 14, 2023 (Sat) - 7th Annual Tamale Festival in Atascadero at Sunken Gardens froom 11AM - 7PM. Expect over 20 tamale vendors. Free entertainment. Vendors can participate in the "Best Tamale Contest". Participants can participate in the Tamale Eating Contest and the Chihuahua & Pet Costume Contest. Address: 5942 West Mall Atascadero, CA 93422

February 4, 2023 (Sat) - Daughter Dance in Pismo Beach at Pismo Beach Veterans Hall from 6PM - 8:30PM. Hawaiian Luau theme. Tickets will be available starting on 12/1/2022 (more details to come). Address: 780 Bello St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Free Things To Do in SLO

Monarch Butterfly Grove

You'll find Monarch butterflies around here seasonally from late October - February (sometimes longer) but this state park is always open and free with occasional special events! The grove is located between Grover Beach and Pismo Beach and you park off the road. There are no designated parking areas. Once you walk around the grove, if you are up for it, you can actually head to the beach continuing on the trail towards the back! The trail heading towards the south side is beautiful. See pictures and blog of the Monarch Butterfly Grove and the Meadow Trail that connects to it. Address: 400 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449




Bubblegum Alley

Always free to explore in downtown SLO! Address: 733 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


Avila-Pismo Beach Trolley

This FREE trolley service connects you from the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets all the way to Port San Luis via Avila Beach, Avila Valley (Avila Barn, Bob Jones Bike Trail, Avila Hot Springs Resort, and KOA campground) and various resort hotels in Shell Beach and Pismo Beach. Connections from the trolley are available at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets for SCT (Route 21 and Route 24) and RTA (Route 10). The trolley runs in 3 seasons with varying schedules. Regular schedule runs Friday, Saturday, Sunday. to see more info, go to the Avila-Pismo Beach Trolley website.

Elephant Seals in San Simeon

Come see the elephant seals in their natural habitat in San Simeon! Also part of SLO County and located close to Hearst Castle, any visitor can park near designated parking areas near the beach to see the elephant seals. Of course there's no admission because you're viewing them in their natural home. Amazingly, you can get close to them without them being bothered by it (but not too close!) and they seem to be so used to human visitors. There's a boardwalk and viewing area. Address: 250 San Simeon Ave, San Simeon, CA 93452. See more elephant seal pictures and a full review of San Simeon.

Playgrounds for Kids in SLO County

Mitchell Park

Located in downtown San Luis Obispo is Mitchell Park with a large playground, picnic tables and public restrooms. Address: 1400 Osos St, San Luis Obispo, CA 9340

Meadow Park
Not too far from the famous Madonna Inn hotel is a park with a playground and a trail called Meadow Park. With a lot of green grass area, families can come here and enjoy a picnic on a nice day out. Address: 2333 Meadow St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Dinosaurs Caves Park
Located in Pismo Beach is the beautiful Dinosaurs Cave Park with a playground. Right on the edge of the park are the cliffs with amazing views of the ocean! You can't miss a visit here. Like with any public parks, it is free to come here and the views are world class. To see more pictures of Dinosaurs Caves Park and the cliff view there, go to: this blog entry: Dinosaur Caves Park Cliff pictures. Address: 2701 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Spyglass Park
Spyglass Park (see my Instagram video reef of the breathtaking ocean view at Spyglass Park) is right by the bluffs too but smaller than Dinosaur Cave Park. Surrounded by homes, this park is a bit more private with a smaller parking lot and playground but still open to the public with a restroom. You'll find owners walking their pets here and people sitting on one of the benches and taking in the beautiful ocean view. See videos and more pictures of the ocean that I've taken at Spyglass Park. Address: Spyglass Dr, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Avila Beach Park
With a pirate theme, right by the beach and close to shopping, tourists with kids and local families come here for swings, slides and sand fun! See pictures of the Avila Beach Pier and the Avila Beach. Address: 50 San Juan St, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Chumash Park 
Located in Pismo Beach is Chumash Park that has a large playground with a soft ground. There's also a basketball court, trail and clean private bathrooms. Address: 156 Ventana Dr., Pismo Beach, CA 93401

Del Mar Park
Del Mar Park is a lush nine-acre park featuring an outdoor basketball court, amphitheater, roller hockey rink, children’s play area, horseshoe pits, and two great barbecue and picnic areas.  Address: Island Street & Panorama Drive, Morro Bay, CA, 93442

Hero Park

Hero Park is located in Grover Beach/Arroyo Grande area and has a playground for the smaller kids. It's located in a quiet residential area. Address: 1600 Farroll Rd, Grover Beach, CA 93433

Atascadero Lake Park

Located in Atascadero and next to the Charles Paddock Zoo is a large green park with a playground and a nice lake. The playground makes it very convenient for the kids after the zoo. They don't sell food at the zoo so you can bring a picnic here at this park (right outside the zoo) and enjoy a little a break. Address for GPS: 9100 Morro Rd, Atascadero, CA 93422

City of Arroyo Grande Parks & Recreation Park

Also known as Elm Street Dog Park, it has both a playground and dog park. There is also a Park & Recreation building there that has preschools and special programs for kids. Address:1221 Ash St, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Rancho Grande Playground and Park in Arroyo Grande

Rancho Grande Park is one of the bigger parks in San Luis Obispo county that is very kid-friendly. Address: 500 James Way, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Oceano Playground Park
This large playground is only 2 blocks from Oceano Beach with a lot of green grass area! Address: 1330 Dewey Dr, Oceano, CA 93445

Popular Beaches to Explore in San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo is lucky to have beautiful and many kid-friendly beaches including: Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach. Here are a few suggested activities to do by beach.

Avila Beach

One of the best well-kept beaches, this beach town covers the bases for wine enthusiasts and families. They have swings right on the sand of the beach, a small pier, a full playground nearby and many restaurants along the beach. During the spring (mid-April) through summer months, they have a seasonal Avila beach farmer's market on Fridays from 4pm - 8pm. You can also take advantage of their free beach trolley during these busy months from Pismo Beach Outlets to many stops at Avila Beach, including First Street, near the farmers market. See pictures of the Avila Beach farmer's market and Avila Beach pier.

Avila Valley Barn
Free to park and free to visit the barn animals here!
 
Read more details about Avila Valley Barn! Address of Avila Valley Barn: 560 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

San Luis (SLO) Lighthouse
Go visit the Point San Luis (SLO) Lighthouse located on Avila Beach. This lighthouse is owned by Diablo Canyon Power Plant and runs tours on Wednesday and Saturdays year round for different times. There are more tour times during busy seasons. Costs are different for adults and children. Proceeds go towards their restoration efforts. Address: 1 Lighthouse Rd, Avila Beach, CA 93424
This aquarium is very, very small so if you're on a budget, I would consider skipping this one. However, it's right by the playground in Avila Beach so it is tempting to visit. Prices for admission is different for adults and children, and free for children 2 and under. If you have an EBT card, the admission price is significantly less. They have seasonal camps for kids throughout the year. See a list of summer camps for kids throughout San Luis Obispo County.

To see more pictures of Central Coast Aquarium taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com, click here.
Address: 50 San Juan St., Avila Beach, CA93424

Avila Beach PIER
You can find whales coming through here which makes Avila Beach so special. The Whale Trail sign is located at the entrance to Avila Beach Pier just off Front Street, adjacent to unique shops, tasting rooms, charming boutique hotels, vacation rentals and restaurants. The sign is still accessible for all to enjoy although the majority of the Avila Beach Pier is currently closed for repairs.
Address: Pier 3 Port San Luis, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Additionally, you can go on another pier at Avila Beach that is further down from the main road called Port San Luis Pier. This pier is my favorite of all the piers at Avila Beach.

Pismo Beach

The most famous SLO beach is Pismo Beach and attracts the majority of the tourists who come to this area. Come to the Pismo Beach Pier to take in some beautiful ocean views. 

With clean beaches, a lot of shops and restaurants, many tourists, local families and surfers come to Pismo Beach for a nice day out. The boardwalk is also a nice stroll along the beach in Pismo Beach.

Oceano Dunes, part of Pismo State Beach, is only 3 miles south of Pismo Beach

HotShots Billiards & Family Entertainment at Pismo Beach
Don't let the word Billiards throw you off from coming here with your kids! They have a lot of arcade games in the back with some centered on little ones! You can buy food or draft beer while the kids have some fun. 

It's very close to the Pismo Beach Pier. You can park in the beach parking lot there and walk here. We came here with the little ones around 8pm and it is still family-friendly. 
There is never an admission fee to enter the game area. Bring your quarters. Otherwise, bring cash to dispense some quarters here. Addre
ss: 250 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Grover Beach

The smallest San Luis Obispo beach among the four, Grover Beach is a local quaint beach area. This place is more like a local beach than a tourist beach but of course, visitors are always welcome. The town is inviting with a lot of restaurant options. 

Grover Beach and Sand Dunes Beach Entry
There is entry to the beach from Grover Beach via Grand Ave. Limited vehicles are allowed to park pass the check point or toll road because this is where you can enter your 4x4, ATVs and trucks and cars on the beach!

If you are planning on spending a long time at the beach here, walk to this entry point by parking down the intersection where there is public parking available, behind Fin's Restaurant. See more beach pictures of Grover Beach taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com

Grover Beach Playground on 16th Street
About 16 blocks from the ocean is a residential playground that is open to the public in Grover Beach! With soft grounds, swings, slides and picnic tables, kids can roam freely with a lot of grass area. This is a great neighborhood park and there are also ADA-friendly swings. Address: S 16th Street & Mentone Avenue, Grover Beach, CA 93433

Cayucos

Located in the Northern part of San Luis Obispo County, this small beach town has a pier and a playground on the sand of the beach all centrally located side by side. There are many restaurants for you to dine at and the vibe is very relaxing. This town neighbors Cambria, another beautiful beach town in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County. 

Morro Bay

As one of the more popular beaches for families, Morro Bay also has a lot of activities family can enjoy. With trails, surreys and kayaks for rent, many tourists come here to enjoy some outdoor activity as well as some water fun.

Check out the weekly farmer's market here as well. Link to Morro Bay's SLO farmer's market info and other markets in SLO.

Morro Rock
An idyllic backdrop for Morro Bay, Morro Rock is the last of the (Nine Sisters)  extinct volcanic peaks along Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo. This 576' tall landmark stands at the mouth of our harbor and is home to nesting Peregrine Falcons. The Morro Rock is huge.

You can't miss it and this volcanic plug attracts many tourists. There is a beachside right by the rock too and a trail that you can walk around alongside.

Always free. See more photos of Morro Rock. GPS Address: 1300 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA, 93442

Sea Otters
See the Sea Otters for free right at the T-Pier on the bay! It's of course free to see them because this is their natural habitat! You'll see baby sea otters on the mommies. It's a cute sight to see and worth the drive coming here.

Morro Bay Trolley
Only operating seasonally and links the North Main Street and Downtown Business Districts, Embarcadero, and State Parks. Cost is only $1 per ride. Children under 5 ride free. They may have discontinued this, post-pandemic.


Paso Robles

Paso Robles, California is famous for their wineries and lucky for SLO, it is located within San Luis Obispo county. From award wining wines from dozens of wineries all over Paso Robles, it is a haven for wine enthusiasts. There are also a lot of kid-friendly things to do in this special town. Read about our visit to the famous Justin's tasting room and Bianchi Winery, both renowned wineries in Paso Robles.

Paso Robles Children's Museum

The Paso Robles Children's Museum is a two story museum located in the downtown area of Paso Robles. It may be a bit intimidating for the smaller toddlers but it's still a great place for the kids if you're nearby. See more pictures of our visits at Paso Robles Children's Museum in this blog post. It is much smaller than the San Luis Obispo Children's Museum so if you can pick and don't mind driving, between the 2, I'd recommend going to the San Luis Obispo one. Address: 623 13th St,Paso Robles, California 9344

The Ravine Waterpark (only open during summer season)
Open only during the hot summer months, The Ravine Waterpark is a great size for the family. Parking is free so you only pay for admission. On really busy days, the parking lot can get full so come early. You can also rent cabanas here. See hotels closest to The Ravine Waterpark in Paso Robles. See a list of hotels close to Ravine Waterpark in Paso Robles.

They offer active-duty military discount with valid military ID. Address: 2301 Airport Rd., Paso Robles, California 93446

California Mid-State Fair
Only 12 days during July, the California Mid-State Fair takes place at Paso Robles Event Center. Many famous singers come and perform!
With carnival rides, hundreds of vendors and great eats, it's fun for the whole family. Address: 2198 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446


Check out the blog section to read about our most recent visit or activity in SLO County. 

Free Story Time 


Story times are great for little ones to get a chance to listen to stories with other little ones as well. They are always free at libraries and book stores like Barnes & Noble.


San Luis Obispo County Library Story Times

Story times at the public libraries are always free and great for the kids. They are usually located in the kid's section that has toys and computers for the kids to use. To see all story times at libraries all over the San Luis Obispo county area, go to the library story time page. They are always free.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore Story Times

On Saturdays at 11AM, Barnes & Noble usually does a free story time for children in the Children's area. They are themed story telling according to the season. The kids' area is located on the second floor so take the steps or elevator up! Address: 894 Marsh St Bldg G, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 

SLO Farmers Markets (ongoing weekly as weather permits)


San Luis Obispo Farmers Market in downtown takes place every Thursday from 6PM - 9PM (weather permitting and excluding major holidays) on Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 between Nipomo and Osos. Seasonally, Chorro Street and Broad Street may also be in use.

San Luis Obispo Market at Address: 325 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (World Market/Embassy Suites parking lot) take place on Saturday mornings from 8AM - 10:45AM.

Morro Bay Farmers Market at Spencer’s Fresh Markets parking lot Address: 2650 Main St., Morro Bay, CA 93442 takes place on Thursday afternoons takes place from 2PM - 4:30PM.

Pismo Beach Farmers Market at Pismo Beach Pier Address: Pomeroy and Hinds Ave., Pismo Beach, CA 93440 every Wednesday from 4PM - 7PM

Arroyo Grande Village Farmers Market in old downtown Arroyo Grande at Address:  193 Olohan Alley, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 takes place on Saturday Afternoons from noon - 2:30PM

Arroyo Grande Smart & Final Parking Lot Farmers Market at Smart & Final parking lot at address:  1464 East Grand Avenue, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 takes place on Wednesday mornings from 8:30AM - 11AM

Nipomo Swap Meet & Flea Market takes place every Sunday from 6AM - 6PM, weather permitting. They also have train rides called Choo Choo Safari inside the vicinity! It's great for kids! You pay a car entry fee to enter the Swap Meet & Flea Market to park. They have fresh produce, awesome Mexican food options all around the area and good yard sale type finds. Address: 263 N Frontage Rd, Nipomo, CA 93444

Attractions

San Luis Obispo Children's Museum

Prices: $8 for adults & children, $5 for seniors 60+, $7 for military members and children 2 and under are free. Every once in awhile, they would have "Moonlight Hours" where anyone can come for free between 5pm - 8pm. Look out for that. See more pictures from our visit to San Luis Obispo Children's Museum. Address: 1010 Nipomo St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Paso Robles Children's Museum

Located in the northern part of San Luis Obispo County is the Paso Robles Children's Museum. It's significantly smaller than the San Luis Obispo Children's Museum but the little ones will still enjoy it. It's inside a 2 story building in downtown Paso Robles, California and there are many restaurants within walking distance. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but open on the other 5 days. Adult tickets are $8, children tickets for ages 1 - 13 are $7 and grandparent tickets are $5. They close at 4pm so make sure you plan your day accordingly. Address: 623 13th St,Paso Robles, California 93446

Charles Paddock Zoo

Admission Prices are: $10 for ages 13 and older, $8 for ages 5 - 12, $5 for ages 3 - 4 and Free for children 2 and under. See more pictures of Charles Paddock Zoo taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. They also have a senior price at $9 if you're 65 and older. Charles Paddock Zoo Address: 9305 Pismo Ave., 
Atascadero, CA 93422

Hearst Castle

SLO County is home to the famous Hearst Castle! Now as a museum, the castle is open every day for the public. Ticket prices are more for adults compared to kids' prices but it's free for children under 5. Hearst Castle Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452. See more pictures and a full review of Hearst Castle from SanLuisObispoMom.com. 

San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

This is a 2 story museum that's great for kids and any train enthusiasts! Children 3 and under are always free here. Regular adult admission is only $5 and $3 for children ages 4 - 15 years old. They are opening for limited hours due to the pandemic. They have special events throughout the year. Address: 1940 Santa Barbara Ave, San Luis Obispo, California 93401

The Ravine Waterpark

Located in Paso Robles, this Waterpark is only opened during the summer time from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Prices are Regular $34.99, Junior $26.99, Senior $19.99 and Children under 2 are free. They also sell season passes. Address: 2301 Airport Rd., Paso Robles, California 93446. Find hotels closest to Ravine Water Park.

Museum of Natural History - Morro Bay

I chaperoned for a field trip at Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay and after visiting here, this place is now my favorite museum for all of SLO County! The museum is small but still educational. You can see a wonderful view of Morro Rock. There are walking trails around it with phenomenal views. The museum is free for children who are 17 years old and under! Price for adults is only $3 each. Here's a picture that I took looking out of the window with the view of Morro Rock while inside of the Museum of Natural History.

Morro Bay's Morro Rock is one of the more famous landmarks of San Luis Obispo County. Read my blog entry about Morro Bay. Address of Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay: 20 State Park Road, Morro Bay, CA 93442

Birthday Party Ideas

Pacific Flips Gymnastics Birthday Party

Pacific Flips has two locations: Grover Beach and Santa Maria. We've planned a birthday party for our child at the Grover beach location and had an excellent experience. Their birthday packages are either for 90 minutes or 2 hours. Parents are welcome to come watch.

They set up 2 tables ahead of time per your reservation and you just bring your decoraton. For more pictures and details, read about our detailed experience in this Pacific Flips Birthday blog entry.

Central Coast Aquarium Birthday 

For a  2 hour slot, you can have a birthday party for your child at the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach. They host birthday parties on Saturdays and Sundays.  Their minimum birthday packages start at $250 and include 12 children for that price (additional cost for more kids).

To see more pictures of the aquarium, read our review blog entry of Central Coast Aquarium

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande

Located in the Southern part of SLO County in Arroyo Grande is a neat ice cream shop with a private party room in the back. If you host a party here, they have an organized timed slot with a dedicated host included. Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab Address: 114 W Branch St, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 

Go to the SLO family-friendly restaurants section to see restaurants with a play area. These places are great options for birthday parties.