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Lights, Sights, and Family Fun in Downtown SLO this Holiday Season

December 14, 2021

FROM: Rachel Lackmann, Marketing & Communications Coordinator



Explore the lights and sights and shop local this December!

San Luis Obispo, CA — Downtown San Luis Obispo is sparkling with holiday cheer this December! With its festive backdrops, walkable environment, and unique shopping and dining experiences, Downtown San Luis Obispo has been the region’s destination for making holiday memories for more than 40 years. Celebrate the season with this year’s holiday theme: California Dreamin’!

After a magical Holiday Parade, Downtown SLO, in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, wants to remind visitors that the fun festivities continue into the New Year!

The Holiday Plaza presented by the San Luis Obispo Collection
Through January 2, 2022

The Holiday Plaza is the centerpiece of Downtown holiday happenings. Admire dazzling displays, pose with California-inspired photo backdrops, explore a magical lighted forest, and much more in Mission Plaza! Don’t forget your camera!

Special entertainers and events will take place in the Holiday Plaza throughout the month! Check out our full events calendar to find out more.

Visits with Santa at Santa’s House presented by Tenet Health Central Coast
Through December 24, 2021

Santa’s House is back in Mission Plaza! Visits and photos are taking place on Santa’s front lawn this year. Each child will be able to visit Santa and receive a free small toy and activitiy book. For photo pricing and hours, visit

Additionally, Downtown SLO is looking for volunteer photo elves to help out at Santa’s House. Give back to your community and have fun at Santa’s House. Sign Up at

Letters to/from Santa sponsored by Lola & Ivy
Last day to drop off letters: December 18, 2021

Stop by Santa’s House to drop off letters for Santa — include your child’s return address and keep your eyes out for a response from the North Pole in your mailbox!

Decorated Window Showcase presented by Downtown businesses
Last day to vote: December 19, 2021

The businesses of Downtown are celebrating the holidays with inspired window displays and lighted windows. Use the Decorated Window Map to stroll around and admire the beautiful creations by Downtown businesses! Scan the QR code on your favorite shop window or visit and vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice.

The Search for Santa’s Mouse Family Scavenger Hunt in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum
Through the New Year

Start at Santa’s House in the Holiday Plaza and follow the clues all around Downtown. The booklet, available at Santa’s House, other Downtown businesses, and online features a charming story and 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 an annual membership to the Children’s Museum! Visit to learn more.

Buy Local Bonus presented by the City of SLO and the SLO Chamber of Commerce

Get rewarded for shopping local! Spend $100 at any local retail, restaurant, fitness, or personal service business in the City of SLO and receive a $25 gift card to another local business. That’s right. You can get money just by spending your dollars locally in the City of San Luis Obispo this holiday season. Just save your receipts and submit them to receive $25.

For a list of small businesses in Downtown SLO, visit

Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market Every Thursday starting at 6 PM
Open December 23, 2021, and December 30, 2021

There’s no better place to celebrate local than the Farmers’ Market every Thursday night! With so many arts, crafts, and makers, it is the perfect spot to get unique holiday gifts, as well as pick up some fresh, locally-grown produce for your holiday table. For a full list of upcoming vendors and entertainment, visit

The Market operates year-round every Thursday night starting at 6 PM on Higuera Street. For more information, contact, or visit

For more information about all these exciting Holiday Happenings in Downtown San Luis Obispo, please visit A full press kit, which will be updated with current photo assets once the programs are underway, is available on our website.

Downtown SLO is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) membership organization working to foster an economically vibrant Downtown. The Friends of Downtown SLO is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable foundation supporting a clean, safe, and beautiful downtown.