Holiday Events

Join in on the many holiday events taking place in Santa Monica including ice skating in Downtown Santa Monica, enjoying the Shopping Cart Tree on Main Street or Caroling on Montana Avenue. There is something for the everyone this holiday season.

Photo by Santa Monica Place

Holiday Events in Santa Monica

Santa Monica plays host to a number of annual holiday events and festive activities during the winter season. For more Santa Monica activities, visit the Santa Monica Events Calendar.

Annual Holiday Events


ICE at Santa Monica

November 1, 2014-January 19, 2015
ICE at Santa Monica Outdoor Rink, 1324 5th St
Every holiday season, Downtown Santa Monica brings a little ice skating to the beachside community and transforms the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue into ICE at Santa Monica, a premier outdoor ice skating rink. The 8,000 square foot rink by the beach offers residents and visitors a little taste of winter without the bite. A great location for holiday play, ICE at Santa Monica is the perfect place to hang out with friends, family, and loved ones, throw a party in a private event cabana, enjoy a first date, or sign up for skate lessons. Join the fun and visit Downtown Santa Monica this season to experience ICE.

Downtown Santa Monica & Third Street Promenade Holiday Events

Downtown Santa Monica & Third Street Promenade
Make the holiday season a special one for the whole family. Come to Downtown Santa Monica and enjoy Winterlit.

2014 Schedule:

  • Downtown Santa Monica Community Tree Lighting & Santa Parade: Nov. 20th on Third Street Promenade at Wilshire
  • Let it Snow: Nov. 27th 6pm on Third Street Promenade at Wilshire
  • Christmas Karaoke & Kids Crafts: Dec. 4th 6pm on Third Street Promenade at Wilshire
  • Holiday Story Time & Letters to Santa: Dec. 11th 6pm on Third Street Promenade at Wilshire
  • Menorah Lightings: Dec. 16th - Dec. 23rd at Sundown on Third Street Promenade, Between Arizona Ave & Santa Monica Blvd
  • Holiday Movie Night (“Elf”) with Hot Chocolate:Dec. 18th 6pm on Third Street Promenade at Wilshire
  • PAL Best Gift Ever Toy Drive: Nov. 6th — Dec. 12th. Donate a new unwrapped gift or gift card! Drop-off locations: Santa Monica PAL, 1401 Olympic Blvd

Santa Monica Place Holiday Events

Santa Monica Place
Enjoy our annual tree lighting, Santa Claus appearances, and more!

2014 Schedule:

  • Tree Lighting and Santa Arrival - November 20th, 6:30pm
  • Photos with Santa - November 21st-December 24th
  • Pet Photos with Santa Claus - December 1st-15th
  • Story Time with Mrs. Claus - December 3rd, 11am
  • Breakfast with Santa - December 6th

The Holiday Shop at GRACIE

November 15th-December 23rd, Tues-Sat 11am-6pm
Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Ave

Each year, the GRACIE gift shop expands for the holidays, filling to the brim with artful, one-of-a-kind gifts hand-selected by the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s retail curator. Opening day shoppers will enjoy cider, cookies, lots of good cheer, and unique gifts and items to delight the entire family. They will find unique gifts and items to delight the entire family in SMMoA’s holiday wonderland, including art objects, toys, and jewelry. All proceeds support SMMoA’s exhibitions and programs. GIVE A GIFT–GET A GIFT: This year, GRACIE is thanking our loyal patrons with a gift from us to you. In addition to enjoying our Yuletide cheer, the first 50 visitors to purchase from our exciting holiday collection will receive a goody bag filled with items we have chosen for you (limit one per customer).

Montana Avenue Holiday Walk

Friday, December 5th, 5pm-9pm
Our annual night to celebrate our wonderful neighbors! Come celebrate with friends and family! Montana Avenue from 6th – 17th streets find wonderful gifts, have your photos taken with Santa, listen to live music, indulge in great food and drinks! A fun night for all!

Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run

December 6th, 7am-12pm
2600 Barnard Way

The Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run is Los Angeles' largest holiday running event and a great fundraiser. In fact, the race is one of the most popular running events in Los Angeles, regardless the time of year. The Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run has a 5k and a 10k run that winds through the beautiful streets of Santa Monica and Venice, California, including a long stretch along the famous Venice Beach boardwalk.

Pico Holiday Hop

December 6th, 12-6pm
Pico Boulevard

Spread some holiday cheer at Holiday Hop Along Pico held on Saturday, December 6th. Join us for refreshments, entertainment, art displays, shopping specials, Santa and much more! We will also be accepting donations of canned goods for Westside Food Bank.

Main Street Holiday Event & Holiday Parties

Saturday, December 6th, 6pm-9pm
Sidewalk Sales November 29th-December 14th, 11am-7pm
Take part in the Main Street Holiday Parties. Enjoy holiday parties at numerous Main Street businesses. There will be music and more! Santa will be there so bring a camera! Following the tree-lighting at the Museum, take part in a Candle Light Walk to the famous Shopping Cart Tree at Edgemar Courtyard.

Santa Monica Symphony Holiday Concert

December 7th, 7pm
Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, 601 Pico Blvd

Celebrate the holiday season with the Santa Monica Symphony. An evening of inspiring music begins with Brahms’ masterful and fun Academic Festival Overture and concludes with the glorious and epic Ninth Symphony of Ludwig von Beethoven. Sunday, December 7, 2014, 7pm Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra Guido Lamell, Music Director and Conductor Elissa Johnston, Soprano; Tracy Van Fleet, Mezzo soprano Ashley Faatoalia, Tenor; Cedric Berry, Baritone Brahms: Academic Festival Overture Brahms: Nänie Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor. All Santa Monica Symphony Concerts are free. Open seating.

6th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl

December 13th, 5pm
The 6th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl will take place on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at 5PM in Santa Monica, CA at the city’s best bars and restaurants to raise money for those in need during the holidays through a partnership with Westside Food Bank. With your official SMPC wristband you will receive drink and food specials at the participating locations. All SMPC participants are asked to dress in Santa/Holiday attire, either individually or in teams, so that the streets of Santa Monica will be filled with merry cheer, such as: Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Reindeer, Carolers and Santa’s Helpers. The Pub Crawl will feature multiple routes with bars on Wilshire, The Pier, 4th St., Third Street Promenade and Main Street.

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Additional Holiday Events


Retro Holiday Show

November 30th-December 21st
The Miles Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd

When Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, Heat Miser, Snow Miser, Jack Frost and a host of other holiday characters come together in one big holiday extravaganza the entire family is in for a good time! Flash back with all of your favorite holiday special characters and watch your children light up with this fun show that has all your favorite songs and characters. A Creating Arts Company Original Show that is a one hour interactive-cinematic-theatrical-musical experience that is fun for the entire family, children ages three and up! Free Parking.

Tinsel & Tunes

December 4th & 18th
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave

Kick back and sip a festive cocktail while enjoying seasonal musical performances by the Westside Children’s Chorus on the 8th and the Westside Youth Orchestra: Suzuki String on the 18th. Festive drinks include gingerbread martini, pumpkin and apple cider cocktail and a mistletoe mojito.

Holiday Spirit on the Big Screen

December 19th-21st
Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave

Join us for some classic holiday movies on the big screen! We’ll be screening It’s a Wonderful Life on December 19th and 21st and ELF on December 20th.

Deck the Halls with Ugly Sweaters 2014

December 20th, 6pm
Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica, 1551 Ocean Ave

Deck the Halls with Ugly Sweaters! Join the team at Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica for a celebration of ugly sweaters and the holiday season that brings them out! Festivities include: Complimentary passed apps $7 White Chocolate Candy Cane Martini Best sweater contests (All Around Ugliest, Most Original) - to win prize from Del Frisco's Grille! Help those in need and bring a toy for Toys for Tots. Whether your Christmas tree cardigan is thrift store-bought or a family heirloom, we're excited to see who brings in the flashiest and tackiest sweater to Del Frisco's Grille on Ocean Ave.

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