The Holiday season kicks off Saturday, November 28, 2020 and runs through January 2021.

Downtown San Luis Obispo has been the region’s destination for making holiday memories for more than 40 years. This year, treasured family traditions will look a little bit brighter as Downtown SLO, the City of San Luis Obispo and other community partners re-imagine the season to keep everyone safe, while still staying festive.  

All activities are outdoors and visitors are expected to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. Wear a mask, do not gather in large groups, and maintain distance from others while enjoying the sights of the holidays in Downtown San Luis Obispo. If you or others in your group feel unwell, we ask that you please stay home.

’Tis the season to share joy – and show love for our favorite small businesses. It’s a great day for holiday shopping. Shop Small with your favorite places – today and all season long.

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Santa’s House will fly in from the North Pole to its usual spot in Mission Plaza for photo opportunities with a life-size photo of Santa outside.


Bring the kids by Santa’s House to drop off their letters to Santa, and this year, children will receive a letter back! Santa’s House is sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Collection.


Create lasting memories and snap a few selfies within the five interactive themed Memory Moment Pods in Mission Plaza. Explore during the day and at night!


Enjoy the holiday spirit in the heart of Mission Plaza with this beautifully-decorated, 20-foot tall, fully-lit live Holiday Tree! The tree is sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Collection.


Grab a free activity book, available at shops around downtown and online (beginning Nov 28), and participate in a scavenger hunt with eight clues for kids and families to find together as they stroll downtown. Each activity book features the opportunity to win a prize! The Search for Santa’s Mouse Scavenger Hunt is brought to you in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum in support of a safe holiday celebration activity. 


The businesses of downtown will celebrate the holidays with inspired window displays and lighted windows. Scan the QR code on your favorite shop window and vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice.

Voting will also be available online.

Check back here for the list of participating storefronts & buildings!

Voting will be open November 28 through December 18.


The socially-distanced candle lighting ceremony, coordinated by the JCC-Federation, happens outside the steps of the Mission in San Luis Obispo each night of Hanukkah at 5 pm, December 10 – 17, 2020.


Wander through the lighted tree forest in Mission Plaza.


Look up and learn about holidays on the colorful banners hung on the street lights. Brought to you by the City of San Luis Obispo Promotional Coordinating Committee.


Enjoy the sites and sounds at one of our public seating areas in the Downtown Dine Out Area in Mission Plaza. Open daily (unless there is inclement weather) from 11AM to 8PM.

The City of SLO’s downtown parking garages will be FREE for daytime use ***every Sunday in December*** and on the following holidays:

• Thurs., Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
• Fri., Nov. 27 (Black Friday)
• Sat., Nov. 28 (Small Business Saturday)
• Sun., Dec. 6
• Sun., Dec. 13
• Sun., Dec. 20
• Thurs., Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve Day)
• Fri., Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)
• Sat., Dec. 26
• Sun., Dec. 27
• Thurs., Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve Day)
• Fri., Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day)


Press Release: Celebrate the holidays safely in San Luis Obispo with Light Up Downtown


#LightUpDowntownSLO #SLOBright #DowntownSLO #SLOHolidays


Thank you to our sponsors and partners:

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