Ryan Chartrand

Winter is upon us and holiday music and lights fill our surroundings. Vacations are being booked and time off is finally coming for some, but maybe some of you are still wondering what to do this season.

Several holiday productions are currently taking place around San Luis Obispo County, which are great ways to get into the Christmas spirit. At 6 p.m. Dec. 14 there will be a winter wonderland and street faire in downtown Atascadero’s Sunken Gardens.

Enjoy the tree lighting ceremony, holiday refreshments, gift booths, carriage rides, live music, a bounce house, games and tons of snow. Exciting features include a dramatic entrance by Santa himself, an ice sculpting show and possibly even a blizzard!

Streets are filling up at night as families drive around town to look at Christmas lights. Starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 on Vine Street in Paso Robles, 14 blocks of decorated Victorian homes will be on display for the holidays. The Grinch, Santa, Scrooge, storytellers, carolers and dancers will be present at this neighborhood celebration. Hot cider and cocoa will be available, and trolley rides and music round out the event.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy a tour of the historic Jack House in downtown San Luis Obispo from Dec. 7 to 9. This Victorian treasure is decorated for the holidays, and hot cider and cookies will be served following the tour.

The house is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Candlelit tours are offered Friday and Saturday as well.

Know any children who want to shop for mom and dad’s presents alone? From Dec. 1 to 24 is the Children’s Holiday Boutique at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, a special place within the gift shop at the zoo for children to do their own holiday shopping. No adults are allowed inside and it’s a wonderful place to buy that special gift for family or friends. The boutique is open 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers free gift wrapping.

Some upcoming shows include “The Forgotten Carols,” a Christmas story told through songs and narration by the legendary recording artist Glenn Yarbrough, who will be accompanied by the Central Coast Youth Choir. The narrative follows a nurse who feels emptiness in her life until she meets John, a patient who expands her understanding of Christmas. This performance is at 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande.

For some holiday laughs and good food join the California Cabaret as they present “Every Christmas Story Ever Told!” Yes, all of them in only 90 minutes, at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 11 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort in Avila Beach. This comedy makes all Christmas stories seem both ridiculous and absolutely essential.

These are just a few of the holiday events and celebrations going on around San Luis Obispo County this year, so keep a look out.

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