1. Visit the Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay.
  2. Visit the Hearst Castle visitor center. Tour the free museum. Watch the IMAX movie to learn about art, architecture, and local history. Look for zebras.
  3. Write a letter to congress or your local representative, sharing your feelings about local issues- positive or otherwise.
  4. Roast mini-marshmallows with toothpicks over the flame of a candle.
  5. Go dancing at or just listen at one of the many free outdoor summer concerts throughout SLO County.
  6. Participate in a coastal clean-up day.
  7. Grocery shop together. Make it fun or educational by planning a meal, practicing math, or having a scavenger hunt!
  8. Check out a theatre production. Enjoy a High School production…especially at the school your Little attends or will attend in the future. Call the SLO Bigs office to find out about free tickets for SLO Little Theatre, Kelrick Productions, Cal Poly or PCPA.
  9. Visit Boo-Boo records and listen to the featured artists at the listening stations.
  10. Go to Farmer’s Market. See if you can identify the different types of fruits and vegetables. Sample something you’ve never eaten before.
  11. Tour local yard sales. Let each person have $5 and see who can buy the best item for it. Learn the stories behind the stuff.
  12. Have a competition to design a protective package for an un-boiled egg. You can not spend more than $1 on supplies. Then see whose egg can be dropped from a pre-determined height with out breaking.
  13. Take an architectural or art tour of a nearby city. Spend a few minutes researching the buildings, sculptures or murals online and then stake ’em out. You may have passed by cool sites you have never even noticed.
  14. Make up short stories and remove random nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Ask your Little to fill in the blanks, then read the story aloud.
  15. Hold a movie marathon. Show classic movies that the Big enjoyed when s/he was the Little’s current age.
  16. Go rock climbing at SLO OP bouldering gym. (Call the office for free passes)
  17. Visit the Green Acres Lavender Farm in Atascadero.
  18. Play your favorite sport with a twist (with your non-dominant hand, make up silly rules, hop on one foot.)
  19. Go to Doc Bernsteins Ice Cream in Arroyo Grande on Tuesdays and check out the Reading Lab.
  20. Learn to skate at a local skate park. Talk about why it’s important to wear safety gear.
  21. Take a trip to a discount clothing store. Design a new look for each other. (No purchases necessary.)
  22. Get a free make up demonstration at Sephora in downtown SLO (Remember to get parent permission!)
  23. Teach a dog a new trick. If you don’t have a dog, sign up to borrow one from the local shelter.
  24. Write a letter to one of your favorite celebrities.
  25. Shoot paintball guns at each other in Santa Maria. (call the SLO Bigs office for discount)
  26. Take a tour of the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo from November to February.
  27. Visit Carrizo Plain National Monument, the nationally protected wilderness & ecotourism area in Paso Robles.
  28. Play a board game. (SLO Bigs has some for loan if you don’t have any.)
  29. Learn a magic trick.
  30. Sketch or paint self-portraits. Then switch and do portraits of each other.
  31. See the animals, stroll through the herb garden, and pick fresh produce at Jack Creek Farms in North County.
  32. Visit the Dallidet Adobe in SLO and learn about local flora and history.
  33. Check out the oldest residence in SLO County, the Dana Adobe in Nipomo
  34. Go otter spotting near Morro Rock ( mornings are best).
  35. Visit your local library, or a branch elsewhere in the county. Help your Little get a card of his/her own. Check out the on-going calendar of special events.
  36. Take a ride in a sail boat with the Morro Bay Yacht Club (call SLO Bigs office for details)
  37. Bake and frost cut-out cookies.
  38. Learn about plants and ecosystems of five Mediterranean climate zones, from California and Chile to Australia and South Africa at the SLO Botanical Garden.
  39. Write thank you cards or letters to loved ones who are far away.
  40. Roll up and make paper balls. Hold an indoor snowball fight or shoot hoops into a waste paper basket.
  41. Volunteer at the Cal Poly Organic farm or with SLO Glean.
  42. Learn about local birds on a guided hike with the Morro Coast Audubon Society
  43. Take a walk together or at a local beach and with a memento bag, collect interesting leaves, rocks, junk.
  44. With your Little’s birthday money, open a savings account for him/her at a local bank
  45. Call your Match Support Specialist together and ask her for ideas.
  46. Take your Little to visit the middle school or high school he/she will attend.
  47. Skip rocks on the water at a local lake.
  48. Take turns playing advice columnist and help seeker. Take turns to see who can come up with the worst problem and the best advice. Then try coming up with some of society’s most challenging problems, wit your ideas for real solutions.
  49. Buy and decorate old t-shirts for each other. (Use old ones you own, or visit a thrift store.)
  50. Make chalk art on the sidewalk.
  51. Have a water balloon fight.
  52. Learn to sing a song together from your favorite musical movie, rock-star or childhood memory.
  53. Research famous individuals that have lived in SLO County. Find out which ones attended Cal Poly.
  54. Pick up a free map of SLO open space and hiking trails at the Parks and Rec office downtown and then explore them!
  55. Visit and tour Cuesta and Cal Poly. Explain the difference between a junior college and a university.
  56. Go Geocaching! Use a GPS watch or smart phone to find local treasures!
  57. Cheer on your favorite racecar at the Santa Maria Speedway
  58. Plan an outing around a book checked out from the library (i.e., astronomy, origami, French cooking, etc.)
  59. Challenge each other to a contest. Anything works, and the sillier the better! Try sand castle building, hop scotch, name that tune, marbles, or kite flying.
  60. Hike the “9 sisters,” starting with Bishop’s Peak.
  61. Learn to Salsa dance with the Salsa Club at Cal Poly. (best for teens)
  62. Visit the San Luis Art Center and the Historical Museum.
  63. Fly a kite. (Make your own, borrow one from the SLO Bigs Office, or visit the Morro Bay Kite Festival in April)
  64. Hike up the sand dunes in Los Osos or Oceano and then slide down!
  65. Use a Frisbee to knock down 2 liter plastic soda bottles, set up like bowling pins. Score the game the same as bowling.
  66. Try out a few fitness classes at the SLO YMCA or any local gym that offers a free trial membership. (Best for teens)
  67. Practice filling out applications for everything.
  68. Take a health and safety class at the SLO Country Red Cross.
  69. Visit a local coffee shop to sip hot chocolate or soda while playing chess, checkers, or backgammon.
  70. Create a time capsule and bury it. Open the capsule on your next year matchiversary.
  71. Take a tour of City Hall or attend a City Council meeting to find out how your local government works.
  72. Visit the Sweet Springs Preserve, Elfin Forest, meditation maze or Audubon Overlook in Los Osos.
  73. Make up a non-sense word and come up with a creative definition. Add the word on Wikipedia.
  74. Read through the Guinness Book of World Records together. Look for a record you and your Little could potentially beat.
  75. Get active with a local intramural sports team. (Meathead wrestling offers scholarships for Bigs and Littles.)
  76. Visit the Children’s Museum in SLO or Paso. (Contact office for free passes)
  77. Create your own treasure hunt and use a camera to capture the goal items. Example- find one thing from each color of the rainbow, or, spell a word with photos of things that look like letters of the alphabet. Make a photo collage with all the “treasures” you found.
  78. Go out to breakfast before school. Many schools have “late start” Mondays.
  79. Explore a specialty shop learn about the hobbies or careers of the people who shop there. Examples: boating, plumbing, knitting, photography…
  80. Write a letter to the editor about your relationship and what it has meant to you. (Copy SLO Bigs staff when you email it!)
  81. Raise money for future outings by collecting recyclable bottles and cans, holding a lemonade or ice cream stand.
  82. Practice one-on-one drills for any team sport you are interested in.
  83. Buy a glow in the dark Frisbee and two glow sticks. Go to the beach at night and play a game of Frisbee. Each person wears a glow stick so the other knows where to aim.
  84. Have a sock war— five minutes and 20 pairs of socks.
  85. Build a fire at Avila Beach.
  86. Attend a local sporting event at the High School your Little attends (or will attend) or call the SLO Bigs office for tickets to local games.
  87. Learn a new trick. It could be a day of learning card tricks, learning how to juggle or learning to make bird calls.
  88. Take a tour of the Luffa Farm in Nipomo
  89. Volunteer together at a local non-profit or charity during the holidays. (We especially recommend the Food Bank and Must! Charities.)
  90. Go to the airport for lunch and watch planes take off and land.
  91. Practice a map-reading or map-making skills. Take turns navigating on a walk or drive.
  92. Rent a paddle boat at Lake Nacimiento.
  93. Make a card, create a gift, or go shopping for a loved one’s upcoming birthday.
  94. Go to the Avila Aquarium.
  95. Hold a thematic dinner for your friends or family (e.g. beach, 50’s, jungle, superhero, etc.) Pick foods, decor, invitations that reflect the theme, and ask everyone to dress up.
  96. Learn how to play a musical instrument together. Form a band-choose a name for your band and make a music video.
  97. Walk around a boat show, car show, or convention of some kind.
  98. Swim at Sinsheimer pool or at the Avila Hot Springs
  99. Get a book of animal’s tracks and explore a pond or trail together to see what animals live in the area.
  100. Bowl a strike at Paso Bowl, Mustang Lanes, or Pismo Bowl.
  101. Pick berries, fruit or vegetables at a local farm.
  102. Create a mini-golf course with plastic cups. Use real clubs and balls if you have them, or an orange and a stick if you don’t.
  103. Volunteer to help preserve our local trails.
  104. Use pre-made pizza dough or pie crust and make pretzels or cinnamon snacks.
  105. Explore Poly or Stenner Canyon, Oso Flaco or the Salinas River bed.
  106. Develop a list of 30 questions: odd and unusual facts you would like to know about each other. Fill them out and read them to each other.
  107. Make a calendar of the major events of the upcoming year. Include family birthdays and plan to help each other make gifts or treats.
  108. Enter a 5k race together.
  109. Collect leaves and safe plants on a hike. Make plant rubbings or press the leaves between wax paper and hang in your window.
  110. Create an “International Night.” Decorate the home with an international theme, dress up, prepare ethnic foods, listen to appropriate music, and watch a foreign film on DVD.
  111. Take bags and gloves to your favorite open space and pick up trash. Take before and after pictures.
  112. Build a sand-structure. Use things you find in the surroundings to enhance your creation.
  113. Open the hood of a car and learn about the different parts of an engine. Change the oil in your car. Or practice changing a tire.
  114. Grow fruits and vegetables. Then eat them!
  115. Become a local expert. Choose a SLO County place or event that you love and learn more about it. Give a tour or a speech each other.
  116. Ride local transportation. Learn about the bus routes and trolleys in SLO County by trying them out.
  117. Go tide-pooling at San Simeon, Montana de Oro and Shell Beach.
  118. Sit on a bench and watch people. Play “Sherlock Holmes” by looking for clues and take turns guessing where you think people are going.
  119. Look at the stars through telescopes and learn about the galaxy with the Central Coast Astronomical Society.
  120. Visit a local mission.
  121. Use the library or internet to research and conduct age-appropriate science projects.
  122. Check out the listings in the local papers for activities in the area.
  123. Listen to a poetry reading or slam poetry at a coffee shop.
  124. Invent a new meal. Or check out cookbooks from the library and try a new recipe.
  125. Set up a coffee date or on-site interview with someone who has a job in a field the Little finds interesting.
  126. Go fishing off the pier in Pismo or by the lake.
  127. Hold your own Olympic games. Create your own teams, flags, colors, etc. Use sports you already love or invent new ones.
  128. Check out the SLO Bigs Monthly Newsletter to learn about more free and low cost activity ideas!
  129. Test-drive a new car. Discuss safe driving practices.
  130. Make a date to meet your Littles teacher afterschool. Let the Little take you on a tour of the classroom and other areas. Encourage your Little to “show off” the school work and other projects s/he has completed lately. Find out about upcoming field trips and consider volunteering as a chaperone.
  131. Make a themed picnic lunch.
  132. Do chores together. Teach your Little to do laundry, use a dishwasher, make a bed, fold contour sheets, clean windows, vacuum, etc.
  133. Attend a Central Coast Roller Derby bout in Paso Robles.
  134. Build a blanket fort.
  135. Make a cake together. Decorate it. Eat it!
  136. Organize a tea party. Invite real friends or stuffed animals to attend.
  137. Join the free project classes at Home Depot in SLO. All materials are provided and all projects are kid-appropriate.
  138. Do homework together or help with a school project. (This can be an occasional or regular event.)
  139. Learn about holidays that are celebrated in other cultures. Then, invent your own and celebrate it together.
  140. Contact SLO Rowing Club in Santa Margarita to tour the boat house and get a chance to try sculling (sliding-seat rowing.) Or, attend one of their regattas or open house events.
  141. Visit the Coastal Discovery Center across the street from Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
  142. Visit Spooner’s Cove and the Spooner Ranch House History Museum on Pecho Valley Road in Los Osos.
  143. Bike, jog, walk or roller skate along the Bob Jones trail.
  144. Climb the structures at the “architecture graveyard” behind the Cal Poly Campus.
  145. Hike to the Lighthouse at Port San Luis for a docent-led tour.
  146. Watch the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas and learn about their life-cycles from the docents and educational displays.
  147. Do-it-Yourself bike maintenance with your Little at the SLO Bike Kitchen!
  148. Volunteer with your Little at Wood’s Humane Society.
  149. Visit one of SLO County’s hundreds of local parks.
  150. Visit the Monarch Butterfly Forest in Pismo Beach.
  151. Add your own adventures! Then, please contact our office to share your ideas with other Bigs and Littles. (805) 781-3226