SLO County holiday events guide: Get out and get festive


By Jennifer VanderSmith - San Luis Obispo - The Tribune

Holiday parades, concerts, theater, craft fairs, tree lighting ceremonies - and more. They're all within your reach no matter where you live in San Luis Obispo County. Just glance through our handy list to select the activities that will put you in a festive mood.


"September Song - The Great American Songbook Salutes JB's 100th." Through Dec. 31. Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. Holiday musical. Pewter Plough Playhouse, 824 Main St., Cambria. $20 to $25. 805-927-3877,

"The Holiday Extravaganza." Through December. Days and times vary. A comic opera to celebrate the music of the season. The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville, 1863 Front St., Highway 1, Oceano. $18 to $22. 805-489-2499,

Santa's House. Open daily. Through Dec. 24. Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo. Classic carousel open through December in the plaza. For specific hours, call 805-541-0286 or visit

Pismo Beach Holiday Harmony and Tree Lighting. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday. Event includes snow on the pier, Santa's village, bounce house, crafts, music and tree lighting with hot drinks and Santa. Pismo Pier, Pismo Beach. Free. 805-773-7063.

Atascadero Holiday Lighting Ceremony. 6 p.m. Friday. Tree lighting, live music, Santa, refreshments, wine and art tour. Palma Avenue, Atascadero. 805-470-3472.

"Nutcracker Ballet." 7:30 p.m. Friday and Dec. 7; 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 and 9. Presented by the North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation. Templeton Performing Arts Center, 1200 S. Main St., Templeton. $19 to $24. 805-550-5965.

Holiday Concert. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Community choirs perform selections from Handel's "Messiah," other traditional seasonal music and sing-along carols. Mission San Miguel Archangel Church, San Miguel. $20 to $50. 805-467-2131.

Christmas in the Village. Friday through Christmas. Santa roams the Village on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Village of Arroyo Grande.

"The Snow Queen." Friday through Dec. 9. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Performance by the Cuesta Drama Department. Cultural and Performing Arts Center, Cuesta College, Highway 1, San Luis Obispo. $10 to $15.

"It's a Wonderful Life." Friday through Dec. 23. 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. San Luis Obispo Little Theater, 888 Morro St., San Luis Obispo. $15 to $25. 805-786-2440,

Grover Beach Holiday Parade "Wild West Holiday." 10 a.m. Saturday. West Grand Avenue from 16th Street to Ramona Avenue, Grover Beach. 805-473-4580.

Woods Humane Society's Holiday Open House. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Event includes pet portraits with Santa, feline painting studio, $20 microchip clinic, vaccination clinic, $57 Holiday homecoming adopt-a-thon and shelter tours. Woods Humane Society, 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo. Free. 805-543-9316.

"Babes in Toyland." 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday. Presented by the Coastal Chamber Youth Ballet. Clark Center, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande. $18 to $25. 805-489-9444.

Morro Bay Holiday Tree Lighting. 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Holiday music, tree lighting, hot cider, cookies, dance performance, caroling and Santa Claus. City Park, Morro Bay Boulevard, Morro Bay. 805-772-6278.

Grover Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony. 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Event includes snow, Santa Claus, music, refreshments, cookies and tree lighting. Ramona Garden Park Center, 993 Ramona Ave., Grover Beach. Free. 805-473-4580.

Holiday Walk Around the Lake. 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Event includes choirs, carolers, musical groups, refreshments, holiday decorations and community singalong. Atascadero Lake, Highway 41, Atascadero. 805-466-8142.

Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Decorated boats cruise the harbor from Tidelands Park to Morro Rock. Several announcing stations with coffee and hot chocolate. Embarcadero, Morro Bay. Free. 805-772-4467.

Paso Robles Holiday Light Parade "Christmas Past... Christmas Present." 7 p.m. Saturday. Parade marks Santa's arrival. Downtown City Park and Spring Street, Paso Robles. 238-4103.

SLOFolks Holiday Concert. 7 p.m. Dec. 1. Windham Hill winter solstice concert. United Church of Christ, 11245 Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo. $20. 805-544-1373.

"A Christmas Celebration" Concert. 8 p.m. Saturday. Cal Poly Choirs perform a variety of musical selections including holiday favorites and sing-along. Cohan Center, Cal Poly. $9 to $14. 805-756-4849.

"Christmas Around the World" Concert. 8 p.m. Saturday. 3 p.m. Dec. 2. Presented by the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Luis Obispo. $10 to $40. 805-541-6797 or

San Luis Obispo Blues Society Holiday Concert. 8 p.m. Saturday. Performance by Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, Strata-Tones opens. Free dance lessons at 7:30 p.m. 21 and over. Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo. $17 to $20. 805-541-7930.

Christmas at Hearst Castle. Saturday through Dec. 31. The Experience Tour is a yearly tradition of Christmas decorations at the Castle. Tours offered daily. Reservations are encouraged. Hearst Castle, Highway 1, San Simeon. $12 to $24. Call for times 800-444-4445 or

Jack House Victorian Christmas Open House and Candlelight Tours. 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9; 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. Docentled tours, hot cider and cookies. Jack House and Garden, 536 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo. $5, kids are free. 805-781-7308.

"Magnificat" Winter Concert. 2 p.m. Dec. 2. Performance by Cuesta College North County Chorus. Santa Margarita Barn, 9000 Yerba Buena, Santa Margarita. $10 to $15. 805-546-3195.

Holiday Concert. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2. Holiday songs performed by Take It SLO. Davidson Music Center, Room 218, Cal Poly. $5 to $7. 805-756-2406.

A Celtic Christmas Celebration. 4 p.m. Dec. 2. Performance by Molly's Revenge joined by Christa Burch and Rosemary Turco Irish Dancers. South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave., Los Osos. $18 to $20. 805-215-0306.

Elegant Christmas in the Village. 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2. The Village will be decorated for the holidays; merchants offer holiday treats, street carolers and Santa's house. Downtown Arroyo Grande. 805-473-2250.

"Festival of Trees" and Silent Auction. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Bid on fully decorated trees. Includes food, wine, music and live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit local charities. Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., Cambria. $20. 805-927-3624.

Hospitality Night in Cambria. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Stroll through town; enjoy treats, festivities, Santa, tree lighting and trolley rides. Main Street and Burton Drive, Cambria. Free. 805-927-3624.

"The Sound of Music." 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7; 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8. Performance by the Nipomo High School Drama Department. Clark Center, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande. $10 to $25. 805-489-9444.

Brown Bag Concert. Noon. Dec. 7. Music from around the world and holiday music by Sage Harp Ensemble. First Presbyterian Church, 951 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo. Free. 805-543-5451.

Templeton Old Fashioned Christmas. 5 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. Evening includes visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, bell choir performance, music and dance performances, scavenger hunt and holiday shopping. Main Street, Templeton. 805-714-5963.

Atascadero Winter Wonderland. 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7. Festivities include a huge pile of snow for the kids, Santa Claus, entertainment and refreshments. Sunken Gardens, Palma and Entrada Avenues, Atascadero. 805-462-0177.

San Luis Obispo Holiday Parade "Dreaming of a Downtown Holiday." 7 p.m. Dec. 7. Prizes for the best floats and a downtown window-decorating contest. Downtown San Luis Obispo. 805-541-0286.

Yuletide Concert. 7 p.m. Dec. 7. Brocelïande playing Celtic and early music. Coalesce Bookstore, 845 Main St., Morro Bay. $15. 805-772-2880.

Cuesta College Holiday Choir Concert. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The Cuesta College Chamber Singers, Voce and Concert Choir perform a variety of musical selections. St. Timothy's Church, 962 Piney Way, Morro Bay. $7 to $12. 805-546-3195.

Needs 'N Wishes Holiday Fundraiser. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 8. Visit with Santa, craft and gift store, baked goods, silent auctio n, raffle, live entertainment and dancing. South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave., Los Osos. 805-528-5800.

Holiday Home Tour. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Visit Cambria homes in ocean and hillside settings. Cambria. $22. 805-927-1858.

"Christmas Under the Sea" Los Osos Holiday Parade. 10 a.m. Dec. 8. Los Osos Valley Road from Fairchild Way to Palisades Avenu e, Los Osos. 805-528-4884.

Lion's Children's Christmas Program. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Hosted by the Cambria Lions. Food, games and Santa. Pinedorado Grounds, 1001 Main St., Cambria. Free. 805-927-3202.

Holiday Concert. 1 p.m. Dec. 8. The Atascadero Community Band presents music celebrating the holiday season. Atascadero Bible Church, 6225 Atascadero Mall St., Atascadero. Donations benefit the North County Woman's Shelter. 805-239-4644.

Holiday Concert. 2 p.m. Dec. 8. Performance by the Central Coast Children's Choir. Trinity Lutheran Church, 940 Creston Road, Paso Robles. $8 to $15. 805-464-0443.

"The Nutcracker." 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8; 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Presented by The Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo. Cohan Center, Cal Poly. $18 to $52. 805-756-4849.

"Chanson for Christmas" Concert. 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Holiday music and sing-along performance by the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra. United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St., San Luis Obispo. $12 to $15. 805-456-3333.

"Strings in the Chapel" Christmas Concert. 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8. Old Santa Rosa Chapel, 2353 Main St., Cambria. $15 donations. 805-927-5212.

Vine Street Victorian Showcase. 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8. Holiday-decorated Victorian homes, bands, dancers, carolers, characters, cider, coffee, popcorn, cookies, roasted chestnuts and candy canes. No cars or dogs. Vine Street, Eighth through 21st streets, Paso Robles. Free. 805-238-4103.

"Festival of Lights" Menorah Lighting and Hannukah Party. 6 p.m. Dec. 8. Candle lighting, children's activities, singing, treats and beverages. Menorah lighting each night of Hannukah. Missions Plaza, San Luis Obispo. 805-426-5465.

"The Spirit of Christmas" Concert. 3 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16. Holiday concert with the Cambria Community Chorale. Presbyterian Church, 2250 Yorkshire Drive, Cambria. $15. 805-927-2989.

Catch a Creston Cowboy. 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9. Prizes for the best table decorated in a Mexican Christmas theme. Proceeds benefit the renovation of the Olde Creston Firehouse in the New Creston Community Center. Windfall Farms, 4710 Flying Paster Lane, Paso Robles. $40. 805-610-1517.

Holiday Concert. 6 p.m. Dec. 9. Performance by the Central Coast Children's Choir. United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St., San Luis Obispo. $8 to $15. 805-464-0443.

Holiday Concert. 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Featuring the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony. Clark Center, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande. $5 to $15. 805-489-9444.

Caroling Cop Cars and Christmas Trolley Parade. 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 to Dec. 13. Morro Bay Neighborhood Watch Association and Police Department carol through Morro Bay neighborhoods. 805-772-6225.

Shell Beach Holiday Stroll. 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13. Event includes stroll, music, food, drinks, arts and crafts, and more. Shell Beach Road, Shell Beach. 805-748-2120.

Cuesta College Holiday Choir Concert. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The Cuesta College Chamber Singers, Voce and Concert Choir perform a variety of musical selections. Cultural and Performing Arts Center, Cuesta College, Highway 1, San Luis Obispo. $7 to $12. 805-546-3195.

"It's A Wonderful Life." 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15; 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Production of 1940's live radio broadcast. Cambria Center for the Arts, 1350 Main St., Cambria. Free.

Victorian Teddy Bear Tea. 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15. Children bring their favorite teddy bears. Special guests include the Snow Queen and King, Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and Victorian friends. Space is limited. Paso Robles Country Club, 1600 Country Club Drive, Paso Robles. $7 to $13. 805-238-4103.

"The Velveteen Rabbit." 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15; 2 p.m. Dec. 16. Presented by Ballet Theatre of San Luis Obispo. Spanos Theatre, Cal Poly. $15 to $35. 756-4849. Holiday Concert. 8 p.m. Dec. 15. Cuesta Master Chorale and Orchestra performs a variety musical selections. Cohan Center, Cal Poly. $11 to $32. 805-756-4849.

Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert and Sing-Along. 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Performance by the Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Central Coast Children's Choir and organist Paul Woodring. Cohan Center, Cal Poly. $9. 805-756-4849.

Christmas and Holiday Sing-Along. 4 p.m. Dec. 16. Performances by various groups and audience sing-along. Clark Center, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande. $6 to $12. 805-489-9444.

Santa at the Holiday House. Dec. 16, through Dec. 24. Hours posted on the Holiday House or at . Downtown City Park, Paso Robles. 805-238-4103.

The Irish Tenors with the San Luis Obispo Symphony. 6 p.m. Dec. 21. Holiday music. Cohan Center, Cal Poly. $34 to $75. 805-756-4849.

Winter Wonder SLO Jiffy Lube Ice Skating Rink. Open daily Dec. 21, through Jan. 6. Madonna Expo Center, 100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo. $9, skate rental included. .



German-Style Christmas Market. Through Dec. 23. Featuring light display, artisan shopping, food and live holiday music. Cambria Pines Lodge, 2905 Burton Drive, Cambria. 800-966-6490.

CraftArt Market. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through December: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Showcase and sale of craft and artful gifts created by local artists. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo. Free. 805-543-8562.

Artful Holiday Gift Show. Through January. Handcrafted and original works by local artists. The Gallery at the Network, 778 Higuera St., Suite B, San Luis Obispo. 805-788-0886.

Holiday Street Fair. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Arts and crafts, food, vendors and live entertainment. Morro Bay Boulevard and Main Street, Morro Bay. 877-478-9477.

Holiday Bazaar, Bake Sale and Silent Auction. 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. Chili and cornbread lunch available for $3. Presented by and benefits residents of Arroyo Grande Care Center. 1212 Farroll Ave., Arroyo Grande. 805-489-8137.

Garden Farms Holiday Art and Craft Faire. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Home-made gifts and decorations, treats and live music. Proceeds benefit Santa Margarita Elementary School programs. Garden Farms, 17100 Walnut Ave., Santa Margarita. 805-438-5077.

Santa's Workshop Art and Craft Fair. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Artisans and crafters offer gifts for the holidays, entertainment, artist demonstrations, Santa Claus and kids activities. Ramona Garden Park Center, 993 Ramona Ave., Grover Beach. Free. 805-473-4580.

Alternative Gift Fair. 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 2. First Presbyterian Church, 981 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo. 805-543-5451.

Holiday Craft Boutique. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. Event includes handmade crafts, gifts and baked goods. Lunch is available for $5. Plymouth Congregational Church, 1301 Oak St., Paso Robles. 805-227-4475 or 805-238-3321

Winter Wonderland Carnival and Craft Fair. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Games, food, live entertainment, pictures with Santa, snow field and crafts. Nipomo Elementary School, 190 Price St., Nipomo. Free. 805-310-6660.

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