Cal Poly Parent & Family Weekend plus 5 Must-Dos for First Time Poly Parents

san luis obispo

Join Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students, faculty and alumni for Parent & Family Weekend October 23rd – 24th. The Mustang community will introduce you to its “Learn by Doing” philosophy with hands on experiences and festivities all weekend long. Enjoy concerts, specialized department events, comedy shows, sporting events (including the Homecoming Football Game versus Portland State at Spanos Stadium Saturday night) and much more.

To register and see the weekend’s full schedule visit Cal Poly’s Parent & Family Programs.

While most of your Friday and Saturday will be occupied on the beautiful Cal Poly campus, plan to stay an extra day or two to experience 5 must-do activities for first time Poly parents and visitors to San Luis Obispo.

1. Thursday Night Farmers’ Market

San Luis Obispo’s downtown weekly Farmers’ Market is not your average fruit stand. The community gathers on five blocks to bring locals and tourists a variety of concerts, live entertainment, children’s activities, fresh produce and noteworthy information on organizations and events within San Luis Obispo County.

More than 120 vendors provide the best barbeque, seasonal delights, produce for sale, as well as fresh flowers. Outside table and chair seating is available for your evening dinner or opt to sit on the curb for an authentic SLO experience.

Local downtown shops and businesses participate in the evening’s event with special deals and extended hours to accommodate Farmers’ Market goers. You will also be pleased to see these new features being implemented this year: a beer / wine tasting area, free Wi-Fi.

Have your kids keep an eye out for “Downtown Brown,” Farmers’ Market’s own six-foot tall mascot bear. Hugs and “paw shakes” are his favorites.

Farmers’ Market is held on Higuera Street between Osos and Nipomo Streets every Thursday 6:00pm to 9:00pm, except Thanksgiving Day and in the case of rain. Please no dogs.

2. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

The Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a piece of history set on beautifully manicured grounds within a perfectly serene setting. It is one of the few Missions still offering Catholic Mass. Visit the Museum and Gift Shop for a history lesson of the Mission itself, select artifacts and the different groups of people who have inhabited and influenced the San Luis Obispo region throughout the centuries.

The Museum is open seven days a week. Winter: 9:00am-4:00pm and Summer: 9:00am-5:00pm. Time changes coordinate with Daylight Savings Time.

Docent led tours are also available for schools and organizations. Visit for more information. The History Center of San Luis Obispo County is also right around the corner.

3. Good Downtown Eats: Firestone Grill

There are a number of outstanding restaurants in downtown San Luis Obispo, perhaps one of the most well-known is Firestone Grill. People travel miles and miles for the extra-tender tri-tip sandwiches, good burgers and best fries in town. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. You can also enjoy a wide selection of beers on tap while watching a number of big screen TVs.

Other downtown dining favorites include F. McLintock’s Saloon, Woodstock Pizza and Novo Restaurant.

4. Sunset Drive-In Theatre

Experience one of the last authentic drive-in theatres in California. Pull into one of the parking spaces, grab treats and drinks from the snack bar, turn on your radio and enjoy the show! Two currently released movies are included with the price of admission. The first movie is typically family oriented and starts at 7:30pm. The second movie is for a more mature audience. The featured movies change each week.

The Sunset Drive-In is located at 255 Elks Lane in San Luis Obispo.

5. Explore the Outdoors: Kayaking, Hiking and More

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, San Luis Obispo has an activity for you.

Explore the Pacific Ocean with an unmatched kayak tour that takes you through caves and the beautiful waters from Avila to Pismo Beach. Central Coast Kayaks offers tours, classes and rentals.

If hiking is more your style, read our blog on hiking SLO County. It explores the Nine Sisters, a sequence of volcanic peaks offering five hiking trails, and many more easy to hard hiking experiences.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the beaches. SLO County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in California. Get started with Avila Beach,  Pismo Beach and the Oceano Dunes.

A weekend filled with Cal Poly Parent & Family events plus many more SLO County experiences will not be complete without staying at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach. Ocean views, private beach access, a heated pool, barbeque area and luxurious accommodations provide you with the classic beach stay you have always dreamed of.

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