Pismo Beach and the surrounding communities offer tons of kid friendly activities to enhance your family’s beach vacation. From museums and a zoo to bike riding and good old fashioned playtime at the beach, your family is sure to enjoy every last minute of your vacation.
Pismo Beach offers an array of activities right out the front door of SeaVenture, including 17 miles of sandy white beach. You can keep the kids entertained for days with boogie board and surfboard rentals, horseback riding and kite flying, but if you are up for a little exploring check out these other fun children friendly activities in San Luis Obispo County.
Museums, Aquariums and Zoos
There are a variety of museums and animal encounters scattered around San Luis Obispo County, many are even specifically designed with children in mind.
The Central Coast Aquarium is located in Avila Beach at 50 San Juan Street next to the famous children’s playground. Children will get a fun, hands-on experience that allows them to explore the world of the ocean beneath the surface. Gain new insight for the sea life in the area and leave with valuable knowledge about ecosystems that impact our lives. Entry is $8 for adults, $5 for children 3 to 10 and free for children 2 and under. The Aquarium is open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. School programs, private tours and birthday parties are available by appointment only.
The Morro Bay Natural History Museum is located in the Morro Bay State Park overlooking Morro Bay which is both a State and National Estuary. Gain a wealth of knowledge on your day trip to the museum as it is a prime supplier of information on the natural resources of our area. The museum is also located just minutes from the Heron Rookery, Montana de Oro State Park, the El Moro Elfin Forest and Audubon’s Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. Entry is $2 for adults and free for children 16 and under. The Museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The Charles Paddock Zoo is located at 9100 Morro Road in Atascadero, just 30 minutes north of SeaVenture on the 101. The Zoo is home to hundreds of animals, many of which are part of a globally managed program to preserve animals and their habitats. The Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of both local and exotic species. The Zoo’s educational department “aims to educate, inspire and empower youth about conservation and wildlife.” It is also a great place to celebrate a birthday or special event with its lovely picnic area. Entry is $7 for adults 12 & over, $5 for children 3 to 11, $6 for seniors 65+ and free to children 2 years and under. The Zoo is open seven days a week all year long with hours of operation varying by season. April 1st through October 31st from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and November 1st through March 31st from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum is located at 1010 Nipomo Street in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo just two blocks from the San Luis Obispo Mission, Tolosa and right next to the San Luis Obispo Creek. The Museum is dedicated to encouraging children’s exploration and offers special events, exhibits and craft hours with prior enrollment. Visit their website for more information on upcoming events.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The Museum is closed on Mondays. Entry is $8 for children and adults, except children under 2 are free.
The Paso Robles Children’s Museum is located at 623 13th Street in Paso Robles. It was established at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse as a public charity to develop and maintain interactive education for children, families and educators in the community while preserving the heritage of the Paso Robles Volunteer Firefighters. Children of all ages will enjoy a pizza kitchen, grape stomp, theatre stage and a Farmers’ Market play area for hours of fun. Entry is $7 for adults, $6 for children ages 1 to 13 and $5 for seniors 65+. The Museum is open Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Whether your children are into banana bike rides by the surf or mini ATV rides on the Dunes, there are plenty of wheel-loving activities for the kids to enjoy. A local favorite is the shady Bob Jones Bike Trail stretching from Ontario Road near the Avila Hot Springs to Avila Beach. The trail offers a peaceful bike ride or walk along the shady San Luis Obispo Creek and away from motor vehicles. There is even a kids’ playground located along the way and a second playground at the end of the trail in Avila Beach.
Thursday Night Farmers’ Market
The San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market held every Thursday night, except during times of rain, is famous for more than just its fresh produce, although you will find the finest fresh fruits, veggies and flowers around. Your children will be begging you to take them to this social event of the week where San Luis Obispo closes down its main street for five blocks to allow people of all ages to stroll Higuera Street watching magic shows, listening to music and delighting in a dinner of barbeque ribs and corn on the cob.