San Luis Obispo County Brightens the Holiday Season

San Luis Obispo, California | I-5 Exit Guide

The holidays usher in a magical time of year in San Luis Obispo County, — located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s ruggedly beautiful Central Coast — welcoming a variety of fun and memorable activities for the entire family. From ice skating to holiday parades, and festive tree lighting ceremonies to special shopping and dining experiences, San Luis Obispo County welcomes guests to take part in the celebration.

Explore the merry events below and for more information on all holiday happenings in San Luis Obispo County, visit:

Ice Skating Central California Style

Winter WonderSLO Jiffy Lube Ice SkatingSan Luis Obispo
December 18 – January 3 from 9am9pm every day
Don’t miss this Central Coast holiday tradition since 2011, Winter WonderSLO is a real ice rink providing a magical holiday experience for all, located at the iconic Madonna Inn in the heart of San Luis Obispo County.

Parades to Light Up the Holidays

Arroyo Grande Christmas Parade
November 29 at 3:30pm
Usher in the holiday season on the last weekend of November with a Christmas Concert and Parade, featuring a Christmas music choir at the Rotary Bandstand in Heritage Square Park at 3:30pm followed by the parade at 5pm. After the parade, all are invited to enjoy a tree lighting at the Harvest Church.

Paso’s Annual Christmas Light Parade
December 5 at 7pm
This 54th annual event invites onlookers to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday spirit, with an illuminated parade featuring an array of light spectacles from local businesses.

Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade
December 5 at 6:30pm
Gather the family and travel to Morro Bay for a unique procession of skiffs, yachts, fishing boats, cutters, and sailboats along the waterfront, all beautifully decorated and lighted to celebrate the holidays.

South County Holiday Parade – Grover Beach
December 5 at 10am
Visit Grover Beach for the only daytime parade in South San Luis Obispo County. This 49th annual event is themed Hawaiian Holiday – a perfect occasion for entire family.

Los Osos/Baywood Park Christmas Parade
December 12 at 10am
Grab your cheetah print shirt and head to Los Osos/Baywood Park, where their parade theme is “Christmas SAFARI” with awards given to parade entrants in categories including Best of Theme, Best of Music, Best on Foot, Best on Wheels, Best of Animals and Judges’ Favorite.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies for all Ages

29th Annual Downtown Lighting CeremonyPaso Robles
November 27 at 5:30pm

Celebrate a long-time tradition as the Christmas and holiday lights illuminate the way to holiday festivities in downtown Paso Roblesincluding live music, candlelight caroling, free cookies, and hot chocolate.

Holiday Harmony & Tree Lighting CeremonyPismo Beach
December 4 from 5:30pm8pm
Take the kids to the coast to enjoy fresh snow just steps from the ocean for the 15th Annual Holiday Harmony celebration, a free fun-filled family event at the Pismo Beach Pier, packed with fresh snow, bounce houses, crafts, music, cookie decorating and pictures with Santa.

Holiday Lighting CeremonyAtascadero
December 4 at 6pm
Get in the holiday spirit at the Holiday Lighting Ceremony at the Sunken Gardens Park on the Atascadero City Hall Steps, featuring music by the Atascadero High School Show & Concert Choirs and the Atascadero Community Band.

8th Annual Christmas In Cayucos
December 12 from 5pm8pm
A tree lighting event that includes free horse drawn carriage rides, children’s activities, strolling carolers, a visit from Santa and merchant open houses with special offers, giveaways, refreshments and entertainment.

Festivities, Performances and Gatherings to Warm the Heart and Hearth

Hearst Castle  “Holiday Twilight Tours” San Simeon
December 19 – January 2, 2016
Experience Hearst Castle dressed in holiday splendor with special tours that take visitors through the Hearst Castle property, glittering with holiday cheer.  This spectacular tour happens only one time of year, so advance tour reservations are strongly recommended and can be made at

Cambria Christmas Market
November 27-29, December 2-6, 9-13 and 16-23
A festive ongoing gathering in the style of Germany’s Christmas Markets with nightly entertainment, the market’s many unique offerings include tempting local food and drink, with brats, fresh baked goods and treats, and Glühwein, a traditional German hot-spiced wine.

Tall Ships in the Harbor Morro Bay
December 2-7
Explore the Tall Ships in Morro Bay where guests can peruse and tour at their own pace. Crewmembers in 18th century-style costumes will entertain the crowd with stories and fun facts about the boats and their lives aboard ship.

Winter WonderlandAtascadero
December 11 from 5pm9pm
All ages will enjoy this Holiday Event on the Central Coast. Play in over 50 tons of snow, plus sledding on a giant snow slide! Santa & Mrs. Claus will be present, along with live entertainment, bounce houses, Elks Little Train and food & craft vendors!

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