Now through the end of July, San Luis Obispo residents and visitors can enjoy an expansive new pop-up installation in Mission Plaza for free, brought to the community by the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum and the City of San Luis Obispo.  

The Children’s Museum Plaza Pop-Up installation “Home.” explores the incredible planet that we live on and our place in the solar system. The free community exhibit showcases everything from an overhead asteroid belt to ways to experience Earth’s rotation on its axis, and features some of San Luis Obispo’s own unique ties to space exploration. 

There will be multiple stations throughout the plaza with opportunities to learn about phases of the moon, the best places to see the stars, upcoming celestial events, how the sky has inspired art throughout history, and more fun facts about the Earth. Visitors can take photos in front of celestial backdrops, participate in a community sticker mosaic art project, and look up at the 10-foot lighted Earth suspended over Mission Plaza!

“Each cultural nonprofit has executed such different artistic installations, unique to their mission,” said Molly Cano, SLO City Tourism Manager. “It’s been so rewarding for the City to be able to offer this opportunity to these fantastic organizations, and to watch the creative visions come to life and be enjoyed by the community.”

After visiting the Plaza Pop-Up, community members are encouraged to continue learning and engaging with the galactic experience by visiting The Children’s Museum’s new exhibit, Mission to Mars! There they can experience liftoff in a launch vehicle, manipulate a robotic arm and rover on a martian habitat, and command mission control to communicate with the astronauts in the vehicle. The Children’s Museum is located just steps away from the Plaza at 1010 Nipomo Street.

“Our goal at the Children’s Museum is to inspire learning through play, and our Plaza Pop-Up takes that mission to the next level,” said Michelle Jenkins, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum. “Home. is an opportunity to learn more about this precious planet we live on and the wonder in the skies that surround us.” 

This vibrant, immersive installation is the fourth of a series of month-long activations that have adorned Mission Plaza through the summer. Each Plaza Pop-Up features a different cultural nonprofit who, through funding by the City, creates an art installation unique to their mission. The City has tapped local event expert Karson Butler Events to produce the activations, working closely with each nonprofit to help their vision come to life.