By TONYA STRICKLAND

FOR THE PASO ROBLES PRESS

I’ve written about Paso Robles’ Victorian Teddy Bear Tea so many times, I could recite all its details in my sleep. But I had never taken my children to it until 2017. And what a treat it is seeing it through their eyes.

This year, Wyatt stayed home. Boys are certainly welcome, but he was sick this year. So Clara put on her best Christmas coat (who am I kidding, she only has one Christmas coat. And I just bought it last month. At the Cracker Barrel). Anyway, she put on the coat, grabbed her teddy bear and geared up for one heck of a Christmas party. 

Organized by the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association, the Teddy Bear Tea is an annual, ticketed event where guests are treated to cookies, juice and holiday activities at assigned table seating in the lovely Park Ballroom. 

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When we went, this historic building was decked out in whimsical garland, twinkling lights and balloon centerpieces. Petite porcelain teacups marked our place-settings as a take-home gift. Elf characters with jingle bells and pointy shoes served free gingerbread cookies on platters. There’s no other food there (hence the to 2 to 4 p.m. timeslot), so make sure to fill up on lunch before heading over. 

Face painting is one of the most popular activities at the Paso Robles Victorian Teddy Bear Tea. Photos by Tonya Strickland

First thing, Clara and I hopped in the face painting line since that’s the most popular stop. Otherwise, you seriously risk standing in line for it during the entire two-hour event. There are also shorter lines to meet with the fairy-tale-like Snow Queen and King and sit with jolly ‘ol Santa and Mrs. Claus.

On stage, you’ll find Mainstreet matriarch Norma Moye running the show. She opens segments for live music, children’s dance performances and a sweet little raffle for toys and teddy bears. Make sure you have cash on hand to buy raffle tickets at the beginning of the event.

Overall, Clara said her favorite thing was getting her face painted like a reindeer. She ate two gingerbread cookies and opted to take two more cookies home to decorate with her brother, which I thought was sweet. She even handed him the one that didn’t break on the drive home. The Teddy Bear Tea … instilling a lasting Christmas spirit in everyone. Even a 6-year-old.

A packed house enjoyed refreshments, entertainment, a toy raffle and more at the Park Ballroom Saturday.

Top 5 Reasons To Go To Paso’s Victorian Teddy Bear Tea

• Frills and tulle and glitter: I get to dress up Clara ridiculously cute and all the adorable little grandmas fawn all over her. 

• Tiny hands holding gingerbread cookies, cuddly teddy bears from home, and dainty porcelain teacups = all the pretty pictures but none of the cleanup.

• Pinterest-worthy face paint: Christmas style. We’re talkin’ pink peppermint candies wrapped in wisps of silver glitter on your baby’s cherub cheeks and red-button Rudolph noses with special lipstick to match.

• One little, two little, three little angels … four little, five little, six little angels … you won’t mind leaving with the tune of “Ten Little Angels” stuck in your head because all attendees get a chance to go on stage to perform it.

• History. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Paso Robles Park Ballroom at 1232 Park St. — it’s worth the trip. The building is gorgeous and it’s from 1912.