The Central Coast might not be a winter wonderland of snow, but there is no shortage of things to do when it comes to celebrating the holiday season. We have all of the fun to-dos without the less than ideal temperatures and messy winter weather! The month of December may be halfway gone, but the glass is half full with tons of holiday events left to fill your calendar. Here are our favorite ways to spend Christmas on the coast with the most!
The 7th Annual Cambria Christmas Market
Now through December 23 (open most dates) from 5 pm to 9 pm
The annual Cambria Christmas Market is in its 7th year and it has become a Christmas staple around these parts. Immerse yourself in this winter wonderland and enjoy the twinkling lights, live music, shopping, photos with Santa, and more. Based upon the historical Christmas Market traditions dating back to the late Middle Ages, this Instagram-worthy holiday event is a must. Visit cambriachristmasmarket.com for details. Tickets range from $10 to $25 depending on the night, when purchased online in advance. Prices increase by $10 at the door. Children 10 and under are FREE and do not require a ticket.
Hearst Castle Holiday Twilight Tours
Starting at 5 pm December 14-23, and 26-30
Hearst Castle is undoubtedly one of the most visited sites on the central coast, but the holiday season brings about some extra special decorations to one of the countries largest estates. Bring the whole family to share in the splendor as you wind your way through the castle’s beautiful architecture. This special seasonal tour showcases an array of holiday decorations, including numerous Christmas trees. Mr. Hearst loved the holiday season and always made his home especially festive for family and guests. See his dreams recreated in the Holiday Twilight Tour! Visit hearstcastle.org/tour-hearst-castle/daily-tours/holiday-twilight-tour/ for details and ticket information. Adult tickets start at $30. Children’s tickets (ages 5-12) start at $15.
Santa’s House in Mission Plaza
Now through December 24
No Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa’s house! Bring the whole family to Downtown San Luis Obispo in Mission Plaza to visit jolly Saint Nick—and you won’t leave empty handed! Every child who visits Santa receives a complimentary activity book, toy, and candy cane. Make the holiday season last a lifetime with a souvenir framed photo or take your own photo on your mobile phone! Pricing and date/times vary. Visit downtownslo.com/events/santas-house/ for details.
A Christmas Story
Now through December 23
The SLO Little Theatre puts on this holiday classic almost every year and it’s back again, A Christmas Story! This production is based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd and the popular motion picture of the same name. A perfect show for the entire family to enjoy together, make Ralphie Parker and his quest part of your family’s holiday celebration! For details visit slorep.org/shows/a-christmas-story/.
Now through December 31
Need a new family tradition? Look no further! Check out the Great American Melodrama’s Holiday Extravaganza. The annual production features: the timeless classic A Christmas Carol, a hilarious fractured fairy tale, and a vaudeville revue featuring the song, dance, and comedy of the season. It’s a special tradition designed to bring a year’s worth of smiles to you and your loved ones. Get your tickets by visiting https://www.americanmelodrama.com/now-playing.html.
Holiday Magic at the Charles Paddock Zoo
Christmas comes a little early at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero! Santa is visiting the animals to deliver some special gifts. Presents will be delivered between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on December 15th, so don’t miss it! Enjoy a visit with Santa and start your holiday off with tons of animal fun. For more info visit https://www.slocal.com/event/holiday-magic-at-the-charles-paddock-zoo/3676/.
Holiday Movies at the Fremont
If you’ve walked Monterey Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, you’ve probably seen the Fremont Theater’s beautifully colorful neon lights. While they usually house big name concerts or comedy gigs, for two nights in December the theater will open its door to the public for free holiday movie showings. Bring the whole family to enjoy the Christmas classic “Home Alone” on December 21st and the family favorite “The Polar Express” on December 22nd!
Reserve your free ticket now at https://fremontslo.com/shows.