27 Things to Do & Places to Go This Summer

Something for everyone – kids, adults, and the entire family

By Meagan Friberg

Children enjoying Concerts in the Park Templeton

When it comes to summer activities for kids, adults, and the entire family, there are abundant offerings in Paso Robles and the surrounding area. There are plenty of classes, activities, events, and spaces for families to be involved and active.
Here’s a round-up of some of the best offerings this summer:

1. Swim Lessons and Aquatics Classes
Paso Robles Recreation is offering numerous swimming lessons to local youth ages six months and older at both Centennial and Municipal Pools. Atascadero’s recreation department will offer swim lessons in conjunction with Kennedy Club Fitness in Atascadero. County aquatic programs offer lessons and open swim at a low cost throughout the summer.

2. Lake Activities & Camping
Lakes offer great ways to cool off this summer and fun activities for kids of all ages. Find camping and water sports options including fishing, skiing, wake-boarding, kayaking and paddle-boarding at Lake Nacimiento, Lake San Antonio, and Santa Margarita Lake; most supplies and rentals available at marina stores. Hiking, picnic, and outdoor adventures are popular options as well.

3. The Ravine Water Park
The perfect way to cool off and have fun for the entire family happens at the Ravine Water Park, located at 2301 Airport Road. Enjoy unlimited visits all summer with a 2017 Season Pass; special pricing for children, seniors, and families. Private cabanas available with advanced reservations. 

4. Concerts in the Park
These local favorite concerts happen almost every day of the week around the county and feature bands that appeal to a wide range of musical tastes. To find out who’s playing where this summer, CLICK HERE.

5. Go Bowling
Cool off at Paso Bowl, 2748 Spring St. in Paso Robles, or Mustang Lanes on the campus of Cal Poly in SLO where children and adults will find entertainment daily. Bowling lanes with children’s mode/rails are available, plus plenty of arcade games, a snack bar, pizza parlor and more.

6.  Parks around the county
There are many options for park around San Luis Obispo County. Paso Robles alone has a number of different options. Downtown City Park has an expansive play area and is home to the Historical Carnegie Library. Sherwood Park has a basketball court, horseshoe pits, and tennis courts; Sherwood Dog Park is adjacent to the main park, as is the medieval-themed Sherwood Forest Park with two playground areas. Barney Schwartz Park has options for baseball, softball, and soccer, a one million gallon lake, group picnic areas, and two playgrounds. Centennial Park is home to Centennial Pool, a group barbeque area, picnic areas, walking paths, playground, and outdoor basketball, tennis, and Pickleball courts. Pioneer Park has a skate park, softball field, basketball court, playground, and picnic areas.

7. Local Museums 
Located at 623 13th St., the mission of the hands-on Paso Robles Children’s Museum is to engage children in, “a joyful learn-through-play environment to inspire educational curiosity while honoring the heritage of our volunteer firefighters.” Kids of all ages will be captivated by the historical and educational collections at the Estrella Warbird Museum, located at 4251 Dry Creek Road near the Paso Robles Airport. The Woodland Auto Display at the museum boasts an expansive automobile collection and unique artifacts. Learn more about the history of our local area at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum, located at 2010 Riverside Ave. See numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits including a one-room schoolhouse and farm equipment. The Museum of Natural History at Morro Bay State Park is free for children 17 and younger and only $3 per adult. The museum offers a number of free programs through the year, with more during school breaks and the summer. The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum offers a similar atmospher as the Paso Robles Children’s Museum, but with some different exhibits.

8. Children’s Art Classes
Young artists will enjoy a series of dynamic art classes with children’s educator Anna Meyrick at Studios on the Park on Thursdays during June and August. Different projects presented weekly, students are encouraged and supported as they learn, experiment, and create. Pre-register with Anna at 971-221-3438 or annameyrickmosaics@gmail.com; scholarships available by request.

9. Adult Crafts, Fitness & More
With a huge variety of classes and leagues for adults, city recreation departments around the county have summer schedules have something for everyone. Check out the guides for AtascaderoPaso RoblesTempletonSan Luis ObispoArroyo GrandePismo BeachMorro BayNipomo and Santa Maria.

10. Art After Dark 
Art After Dark happens the first Friday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. in San Luis Obispo and the first Saturday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. in Paso Robles. Both events are free and open to the public.

11. Movie Madness
Cool off and enjoy a movie at Parks Cinemas 9 in Paso Robles at 1100 Pine St. or Galaxy Theatres at 6917 El Camino Real in Atascadero. See parkcinemas.com or galaxytheatres.com for prices and current movie listings.

12. Golfer’s Paradise
Paso Robles is the place to be for golfers of all ages and skill levels; contact individual clubhouses for info on tee times, lessons, and special events. Paso Robles Golf Club: 1600 Country Club Dr.; call (805) 238-4722 or see pasoroblesgolfclub.com. Hunter Ranch Golf Course: 4041 Highway 46 East; call (805) 835-4225 or see www.hunterranchgolf.com. The Links Golf Course: 5151 Jardine Road; call (805) 227-4567 or see www.linkscourseatpasorobles.com. River Oaks Golf Course: 700 Clubhouse Drive; call (805) 226-8099 or see www.estrellaassociates.com.

13. Educational & Fun Camps
Lego Engineering camps feature Star Wars and STEM themes, or try a cartooning, computer coding, or create-your-own-video game camp. The Earth Treasures camp includes a fossil hunt, crystals, rocks, and minerals. Delve into the intriguing world of forensic science at Spyworkz Science Camp.  Try the Movieworkz Stop Motion Animation camp and learn to create three dimensional stop motion animated films. Call (805) 237-3991 or see www.prcity.com/government/departments/recreation for more info.

14. Charles Paddock Zoo/Atascadero Lake Park
Discover the Charles Paddock Zoo, home to animal species from around the world. Gifts, refreshments, and strollers available at the gift shop; located at 9100 Morro Road in Atascadero, call (805) 461-5080 for more info. In addition to the zoo, Atascadero Lake Park boasts a playground, barbeque and picnic areas, horseshoe pits, walking paths, lake, paddle boarding and paddle boats.

15. Cookie Decorating
Learn the art of cookie decorating from internationally-renowned cookie artist Arty McGoo at Studios on the Park. On June 10, the Beginning Cookie Decorating course features dough and icing recipes and basic decorating techniques. Students in the Intermediate Cookie Decorating course on Aug. 26 will learn more techniques and go step by step through the design of six amazing cookies. For more info or to sign up, see www.artymcgoo.com.​

16. MAD CAMP – MUSIC, ART, DANCE – Offered by the school district, the MAD Camp happens Aug. 7-11 for incoming 5th-8th graders. Move, dance, make art, sing, and play music. Register at school district office; contact Brent at (805) 769-1000 ext 30417 or bmoser@pasoschools.org for more info.

17. WORK RANCH HORSE CAMP & HORSEBACK RIDING – Come on out to San Miguel and bring your own horse or use one of the ranch’s gentle and well-trained horses. See www.workranch.com or call 467-3362 for more details.

18. NORTH COUNTY BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB – Programming is offered at 600 26th St. behind Flamson Middle School. Drop-in activities and programs for students 6-17; to register see www.bgcpaso.org or call 239-3659.

19. READING PROGRAMS – The Paso Robles Public Library system has volunteer applications and additional information on the Summer Reading Program, for various age groups, at www.prcity.com or call 237-3870.

20. YMCA DAY CAMP – Offered at Centennial Park, the summer day camp is for children entering kindergarten through 6th grades. See www.sloymca.org or call 237-0845 for more information, including registration and financial assistance. 

21. PRE-KINDER CAMP & ELEMENTARY ENRICHMENT – The school district is offering a summer camp June 26-July 20 for students exiting Transitional Kindergarten and Preschool. For more information, contact Lauren at (805) 769-1000 x30410. An elementary summer enrichment program is offered June 26-July 20 for students currently enrolled in PRJUSD, grades K-5. Call (805)769-1000 or stop by the district office at 800 Niblick Road to register.

22. HARRIS STAGE LINES – Located at 5995 N. River Road, Harris Stage Lines is all about horses, from ponies to the “Gentle Giants” Belgian Draft horses. Schedule a horseback riding lesson or a driving lesson for children and adults and learn important horsemanship skills; perfect for the serious rider or those wanting to go out on an occasional trail ride. Set up a mini horse camp for small groups of children or the whole family; call (805)-237-1860 or see harrisstagelines.com for more info.

23. FLAG FOOTBALL – The annual Highlands Flag Football Camp, for boys and girls ages 4-14, takes place June 20-22 at War Memorial Stadium with a staff of coaches from local youth and high school programs. Scholarships available; call (805) 226-5800 for more info.

24. BROADWAY BOUND CAMP – Offered by Applause Children’s Theatre June 19-30Contact Vikky Mullins at (805) 610-7187 for more info. 

25. PRYAF CAMPS – Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation has two camps for children ages 5-12 – the Theater & Art, July 24–28 and Music & Dance, July 31 – Aug. 4. Space is limited, call (805) 238-5825 or see www.pryaf.org to register and for more information.

26. MUSIC CAMP – Highlands Church is hosting a music camp is for kids 8+ Aug. 16-18; staff is includes talented professional volunteer and touring musicians from Highlands and throughout the central coast. For more information, call (805) 226-5800; scholarships available.

And, last but certainly not least…

The 2017 fair takes place July 19-30 at the Paso Robles Event Center and features entertainment and concerts, activities, carnival rides and games, livestock area, horse show, exhibits, demonstrations, and more. Be sure to catch the Miss CMSF pageant on Tuesday, July 18. See www.midstatefair.com for more info and to purchase concert and entrance tickets.

Meagan Friberg is a freelance writer located in Paso Robles. This article first appeared in Paso Magazine.