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)
- San Miguel Park, 1325 K St.
- Barney Schwartz Park, 2970 Union Road
- Centennial Park, 600 Nickerson Drive
- Downtown City Park, 11th and Park streets
- Sherwood Park, 1860 Creston Road
- C.W. Clarke Park, 101 West Centre St.
- Templeton Park, 550 Crocker St.
- Atascadero Lake Park, 9305 Pismo Ave. (you can rent a paddle boat or kayak at Atascadero Lake Park or go by Charles Paddock Zoo while there)
- Heilmann Regional Park, 9400 El Bordo Ave. (there are water features that operate in the warmest part of the year)
- Joy Park at Colony Park Community Center–Special needs park COMING SOON!
- Paloma Creek Park, 11665 Viejo Camino
- Santa Margarita Community Park, 2210 H St.
- Cayucos Beach, 200 Oceanfront Lane
- Hardie Park, Ash Avenue and B Street
- Paul Andrew Community Park (small pocket park), 3rd St.
- Centennial Parkway, 830 Embarcadero (not play equipment–it features a giant chess game)
- City Park, corner of Morro Bay Boulevard & Harbor Street
- Cloisters Park, Coral Avenue
- Coleman Park, on Embarcadero on way to Morro Rock
- Del Mar Park, off Island Street (turn left from Highway 1, heading north from Highway 41)
- Lila Keiser Park
- Monte Young Park, corner of South and Shasta streets
- Tidelands Park, 351 Embarcadero
- Los Osos Community Park, 2180 Palisades Ave.
- Cuesta Park, 2400 Loomis Park
- El Chorro Regional Park, State Highway 1 at Dairy Creek
- Laguna Lake Park, 504 Madonna Road
- Meadow Park, 2333 Meadow St.
- Mitchell Park, 1445 Santa Rosa Road
- Avila Beach Community Park, 50 San Juan St.
- Dinosaur Caves Park, along Highway 101
- Boosinger Park
- Chumash Park, on Ventana
- Eldwayen Ocean Park, on Vista Del Street (on playground, but there are tide pools!)
- Highland Park, on Highland
- Ira Lease Park, on Dolliver
- Margo Dodd Park, (no play equipment, but access to a large tide pool)
- Palisades Park, on Hermosa
- Spyglass Park, on Spyglass Drive
- Oceano Memorial Park, 1330 Dewey Drive
- Grover Heights Park, 901 Atlantic City Ave.
- Biddle Regional Park, 3500 Lopez Drive
- Nipomo Regional Park, 255 Pomeroy Road
Did we miss any parks? Let us know by posting a comment below or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Have fun and Go Go!