Outdoor fun in SLO County

GIrl on Pismo Pier

Summer break can be both fun and draining (or both). While my daughter attends a summer, all-day day camp, we pepper the two months with beach days, special outtings and more.

There are many choices of things to do around the county. For working parents, there’s the option of putting your child in an all-day childcare program (CLICK HERE to search for referrals from CAPSLO), or find different summer camps or Vacation Bible Schools to occupy their time (that list is coming, check back later).

Charles Paddock Zoo, Atascadero

Charles Paddock Zoo is a great stop in Atascadero, not only can you see a variety of animals in the small zoo (exhibits are always being built or improved), but you can also visit the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial and Atascadero Lake Park (where you can rent paddle boats and tour the lake, if the water is high enough).

The zoo also hosts birthday parties, special events, and spring break and summer camps. The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1 through Oct. 31 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 to March 31, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Admission is $7 for those 12 and older, $4 for children 3 to 11, $6 for seniors 65 and older and free for children 2 and younger.

​Play dates at local parks

SLO Play Facebook group has member-hosted (anyone who joins on Facebook) playdates. It’s a great way to meet other moms with children the same age and to meet up for some play time.

​Playgrounds and Beaches

One of my favorite activities year-round is to go to the park or beach. Going to park to play is certainly less intensive than going to the beach, but going to the beach is my favorite!

Grab a book, water and some snacks and hang out at the park to get the kids some much-needed energy run off while giving them other children to play with. I love getting stuff done around the house, but there’s only so much I can hear “what can I do now, Mom?”

We always plan at least one beach day each week during the summer. Our favorite SLO County beaches are Caycuos and Avila Dog Beach. There’s better parking, fewer people and not as far to walk to the water. Avila Beach proper is gorgeous, but the parking, number of people how far you’ve got to walk through the hot, soft sand is enough to keep me home, but that’s just me personally. There’s a great playground next to the sand (between the beach and Central Coast Aquarium–another great spot to take the kiddos).

Some other ideas….take the kids to the local school track or ball field to walk, run and play frisbe and more! 

​Parks in San Luis Obispo County (starting from the North)

Photo of Paso Robles Downtown City Park
Paso Robles Downtown City Park

San Miguel

​Paso Robles




Santa Margarita



Morro Bay

Los Osos

San Luis Obispo

Avila Beach

Shell Beach

Pismo Beach


Grover Beach

  • Grover Heights Park, 901 Atlantic City Ave.

Arroyo Grande


Did we miss any parks? Let us know by posting a comment below or sending an email to admin@kiddosagogo.com

Water parks & out fun centers

  • Ravine Waterpark in Paso Robles, opens Memorial Day weekend and closes Labor Day weekend is open daily during the summer.
  • Mustang Waterpark at Lake Lopez is currently open on the weekend until summer and then is open daily.
  • Vista Lago Adventure Park at Lake Lopez, ropes course and ziplining and more. It’s open on the weekend for the public and during the week for groups of 25 or more.
  • Margarita Adventures in Santa Margarita, ziplining & adventure, tours daily.

There are many things to do year round, check out information on concerts around SLO Countymoviesfamily-friendly wine tasting and indoor fun.

Have fun and Go Go!