3 things to do with kids in Paso Robles CA

The following pit stop was submitted by Bay Area blogger and mom Whitney Moss of 510Families.

Located exactly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Paso Robles, California is an excellent pit stop if you want to get out of the car and feel like you’ve arrived somewhere special. (Pro tip: locals pronounce the town name Paso Robuls, not Paso Roblase.) Here are three things to do with kids in Paso Robles:

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe

Did you say CANDY? The downtown of Paso Robles is set up around a traditional town square, similar to Sonoma if you’ve been there, or the town in Back to the Future with the clock tower on one side and the soda shop on the other side. The square itself is a sufficient park for running around with playground equipment. Parents can take turns manning the playground usage while the other roams around the shops on the perimeter. Powell’s Sweet Shoppe is a super fun vintage candy store which is actually a chain, but maintains a unique small town feel. Find it at 840 11th Street.

Paso Robles children's museum

Paso Robles Children’s Museum

A short distance from the square is the Paso Robles Children’s Museum. Best for kids 2-7, it has art projects, dress-up, a real fire truck to climb on, and a mini-ball pit for toddlers with a wine barrel theme. There’s lots of amusement packed into this relatively small building, the most noteworthy of which is a netted area that features a complex system of ball chutes and blasters. If you have child whose first word was BALL, you should maybe drive straight there this instant. The museum located at 623 13th Street and is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Barney Schwartz Park

Out a little further from the town (10 minutes) sits our favorite park, Barney Schwartz. The equipment is pretty novel and the setting can’t be beat. Well maybe in Kauai, but it’s like nothing you’ll find in LA or San Francisco — the view is pure Paso Robles. Find it at 2970 Union Road, Paso Robles.

Paso Robles Barney Schwartz park

Bonus: wine country:

Paso Robles is wine country. Not a great fit for a day on the road, but I would be remiss to leave out this fact and even downtown, you’ll see tasting opportunities. To really appreciate where the grapes are coming from, head out to winery on one of the nearby highways. I can’t promise that the tasting room won’t have a gift shop full of breakables, but there are certainly several with picnic areas ideal for running around. Bianchi has automated toy sailboats; Castoro has a pot-bellied pig as the house pet; and, Sylvester features vintage train cars in front of the picnic grounds.

Note: Paso Robles has kid-friendly dining listed on Kidscore. Learn more about Kidscore.

Distance from the interstate:

Minutes from HWY 101 (and CA-46)

Cost of admission and hours:

The children’s museum admission is $7 for adults and $6 for kids 1-13.

Headed to the San Francisco Bay Area? Find more pit stops, family outings, and recommendations at PasoKids and 510Families!