San Luis Obispo County is the culture, arts and entertainment hub of the Central Coast. Each night of the week can be built to suit. Craft cocktails, done, late night at the Children’s Museum, sure, science or art after dark, you choose, Willie or Snoop, it’s up to you. San Luis Obispo plays host to after-hours entertainment aficionados from all walks. From the open air amphitheater in Paso Robles to the peanut shells-on-the-floor melodrama in Oceano or one of the many wine bars and kid-friendly hotspots in-between, SLO has got what you’ve been looking for.
The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is located on Cal Poly’s beautiful campus. Opening in September 1996, this state-of-the-art performance facility has two main venues: the 498-seat Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre and the Christopher Cohan Center, which includes Sidney Harman Hall with 1,289 seats, Phillips Hall with 180 seats, and the multipurpose Pavilion that can hold up to 400 people. This magnificent performing arts center is the result of a partnership between Cal Poly, the City of San Luis Obispo and the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center.
The San Luis Obispo Little Theatre presents live theatre on 45 weekends a year in their intimate 100 seat playhouse in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. Featuring professional actors and directors in a year-round season of delightful musicals, comedies and powerful dramas, SLO Little Theatre is your dramatic destination on the Central Coast.
One of the country’s most illustrious theaters. Professional performers from all over the U.S. will sweep you away for an evening of fabulous entertainment with their season of classic comedies, musicals and melodramas. Plus, every show includes a musical revue full of song, dance and comedy! The Melodrama has been providing terrific family-friendly entertainment all year round since 1975.
The Palm Theatre is an independently owned and operated movie theatre which showcases a variety of independent, foreign, arthouse, and mainstream cinema. The Palm Theatre was also the first movie theatre in the United States to be run by solar energy. The Palm Theatre pays tribute to the history of the area it is located, formerly known as a small Chinatown, with the design of the cinema’s logo which include Asian-inspired lettering and palm branches.
The SLO Art Museum is a family friendly museum located on the west end of Mission Plaza. The museum staff is always happy to give a quick orientation and answer any questions about the current exhibits, films, lectures, events and classes that may be of interest to you. The museum also frequently offers cell phone audio tours of the exhibits so you can access inside information about current exhibits from the convenience of your own phone.
The SLO Children’s Museum is a place for children to explore hands-on exhibits and programs. It has three floors of exhibits and an outside playscape designed for children ages 1-10. Educational programs and activities are held each week. One of the newest features at the museum is a kinetic sandbox that portrays a landscape where kids can control rivers and build peaks tall enough be covered with snow.
Every first Friday of the month, locals and visitors fill the streets of downtown SLO to see new art exhibits and add to their collections. With dozens of galleries and non-traditional exhibit spaces, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate art for free! Though many shops open earlier, Art after Dark officially runs from 6-9 p.m. On a typical night, more than 20 galleries and non-traditional art venues such as restaurants, boutiques and salons spotlight the best of established and emerging local artists. Sometimes the works of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists are features as well.