Although there is no major arts scene in Foster City, with just a few annual festivals filling this niche in the community, it is the home of the Hillbarn Theatre and one of the oldest amateur theater companies in the state. In fact, Hillbarn's performance troupe predates the existence of the city by more than two decades, operating in the Foster City area since 1941. Presenting half a dozen live stage plays annually, the Hillbarn Theatre is a popular spot for a night out in town. Live music, seasonal celebrations, and other live performances also occur at the Hillbarn throughout the year.
In conjunction with its many parks, Foster City's lagoons offer plenty of recreational options. To cut down on noise and pollution, powerboats are not useable, but you will see plenty of sailboats, paddleboats, and rowboats. If you do not own your own equipment or vehicles, rental services are common as are places to take windsurfing, kiteboarding, and other water-based activities. Swimming is also permitted anywhere in the lagoon system, and the well maintained waters make for comfortable and safe saltwater conditions. The lagoons are rich with a wide variety of fish, too, which draws fishing enthusiasts to the water's edge as well.
Foster City's population is very diverse and, like many communities in the Bay Area, the city celebrates its cultural ties to the Pacific Islands each summer. Leo Ryan Memorial Park, which looks out onto Central Lake, is the venue of the Polynesian Festival. The park's rich green lawns and the deep blue waters of the city's biggest lagoon create the perfect backdrop for this free, one-day event, which features live music and dance performances in addition to educational programs, canoe rides, and a number of other activities. Not to be overlooked of course are all the vendor booths and the festival-style snacks and Polynesian cuisine.