Santa Claus arrived at downtown San Luis Obispo's Mission Plaza on Friday.
The jolly old elf will be visiting with local children at Santa's House on Thursdays through Sundays from now through December 24.
Hours vary but Santa's House will be open most days from noon until 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until noon on Christmas Eve.
Each child who meets with Santa will receive a free small toy and activity book. Pictures with Santa vary in price from $8 to $19.
"I was really excited," 11-year-old Ava Mulligan said about Santa's arrival on Friday. "It was like magical because these times have been like really hard because all the mask stuff but it's actually kinda nice to get through and see Santa."
"Christmas is going to be the best ever," Santa told KSBY. "It's what we make of it of course."
This year, Mission Plaza has been transformed into a Holiday Plaza with thousands of lights, walk-through displays, and a 20-foot tall decorated tree.
The Classic Carousel is also back. It's open every day from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. through Christmas Eve. Rides are $3 per person.
Santa's arrival at the Holiday Plaza is the kickoff to a month of holiday celebrations in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Sunday, Nov. 28 marks the first night of Hanukkah. The menorah outside Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa will be lit at 5 p.m. and other festivities will include candy-making, dreidel spinning contests, music, and more. Menorah lighting will take place at 5 p.m. each night through December 5.
On Friday, Dec. 3, the 45th Annual Holiday Parade will make its way through downtown San Luis Obispo. The parade starts at 7 p.m. and will feature more than 80 decorated floats, marching bands, dancers, and more.
For more information on holiday-related events in San Luis Obispo, visit the Downtown SLO website.