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 1st, 2013-January 20th, 2014
ICE at Santa Monica Outdoor Rink, 1324 5th St
Once a year, Downtown Santa Monica brings a little skate to the surf and transforms the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue into ICE at Santa Monica, a premier outdoor ice skating rink. Having operated for five seasons, the 8,000 square ft. rink by the beach offers residents and visitors a little taste of winter without the bite. A great locationfor 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:
  • Chanukah Menorah Lighting - November 27th-December 5th
  • Free Kids' Crafts: Chanukah Crafts - November 30th, 12pm-3pm
  • City of Santa Monica's Official Tree Lighting Ceremony - December 12th, 7pm
  • Free Kids' Crafts: Holiday Puzzle Decorating - December 21st, 12pm-3pm
  • Santa's Little Savers - December 21st-24th


Santa Monica Place Holiday Events:


3rd Annual Pico Holiday Art Hop

Saturday, November 30th, 2013 3pm-9pm
In Santa Monica the last six blocks at the East End of Pico Boulevard are a dense collection of creative and artistic enterprises. Merchants, restaurants and other creative businesses will open their doors to new exhibitions, old favorites, musical performances and Santa Claus. 15 + businesses will participate by offering promotions and special discounts, hosting singers, and serving holiday treats. A barbershop quartet will stroll the boulevard singing holiday carols and Santa Claus will be available to have his picture taken with good little boys and girls. This event is sponsored by The Pico Improvement Organization and Buy Local Santa Monica.

Montana Avenue Holiday Walk

Friday, December 6th, 2013 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!

Main Street Holiday Party

Saturday, December 7th, 2013 6pm-9pm
Take part in the Main Street Holiday Party. 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.

36th Annual Santa Monica - Venice Christmas Run
Saturday, December 7th, 2013
The Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run is Los Angeles' largest holiday running event and a great fundraiser. There is 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.

5th Annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl
Saturday, December 14th, 2013
The 5th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl will take place on Saturday, December 14, 2013, at 5PM 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.

Santa Monica Nativity Scene Opening Ceremony
December 15th, 3pm
Palisades Park
Celebrate the 60th anniversary year of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes! Although the scenes will be displayed at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, the opening ceremony for this year’s event will be at Palisades Park. The ceremony will feature Christmas carols from community choirs, recital of the Christmas Story, and unfurling of a new 24-foot-long scriptural banner, “The Christmas Story.”

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Additional Holiday Events


Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories Holiday Cooking Classes
Dates Vary
The Market, 395 Santa Monica Place
Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories has a wide variety of classes every day that are perfect to get in the Holiday spirit from Hanukkah Sweets & Treats to Holiday menu classes, gingerbread house making, and more!

Happy Holiday with kate spade new york and People Style Watch
December 12th, 6pm-8pm
Kate Spade, 395 Santa Monica Place
kate spade new york and People Style Watch invite you for an evening of sips, snacks and holiday shopping (and special surprises!). Plus, enjoy 25% off* your entire purchase.

Butter Aerobics Holiday Jam
December 14th, 10:30am-3pm
Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier
Join PopSoda's Jimmy Fusil and Mike Wait for a delicious holiday workout and come ready to sweat. Here's how it works: Learn the physics and chemistry of turning cream into butter. Shake and sweat with a 60 minute 150 calorie workshop to DJ spun fitness jams. Strain, shape, and wrap the butter. Give it as a gift or enjoy it yourself! Fresh bread courtesy of MOMO.

Bergamot Station Arts Center Holiday Open House
December 14th, 12pm-5pm
Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave
Celebrate the holidays at Bergamot Station Arts Center, home to the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and over 30 art galleries and creative spaces. Enjoy festive fare and drinks, entertainment, unique gifts, and fun for the whole family.

Holiday Happy Hour
December 14th, 6pm-9pm
Jeanie Madsen Gallery, 1431 Ocean Ave
Local artists and designers come together for this one festive evening offering unique Holiday gift items. There will be complimentary wine, DJ, discounts, sales and raffle prizes valued up to $200.

A Holiday Gift to Last
December 19th, 7pm-9pm

Naam Yoga LA, 1231 4th Street
With all of the stresses of the holiday season, Naam Yoga LA is hosting an event to help participants relax and rebalance. The event is set during the Winter Solstice, a powerful/auspicious time to let go of the old and set new intentions for the New Year. Naam Yoga founder Dr. Joseph Michael Levry will lead participants in an evening of yoga, music, meditation, candlelight, and community - a holiday gift that will last!

Holiday Movies at Aero Theater
December 19th-23rd
Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave
Enjoy some classic holiday movies on the big screen at Aero Theater. They will be screening It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas and Elf on various days. Check website for showtimes.

Deck the Hall with Ugly Sweaters
December 20th, 6pm-9pm
Del Frisco's Grille, 1551 Ocean Ave

Join the team at Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica for a celebration of ugly sweaters and the holiday season that brings them out! Come in with your ugliest, sparkliest, jingliest sweaters for complimentary apps, cocktails, contests and more. Festivities include Complimentary passed apps, Half priced appetizers, Candycane Cocktails for $6, Christmas carolers, Classic Christmas movie trivia and Best sweater contests.

Enchanted Fairytale Interactive Holiday Theatre
December 21st, 10:30am-12pm
Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street
Interactive story-telling, sing-a-longs, crafts, face-painting, enactment of a fairytale, theatre games, refreshments and special surprise gifts make this delightful Santa Monica Playhouse special event a wonderful holiday event for kids ages 4 to 10 and the family! Hosted by the gaily costumed Enchanted Fairytale Players, these events only take place a few times during the year, so make your reservations right away. With complimentary refreshments and a special gift for each participant, it’s the perfect event for the whole family to enjoy.

December 21st, 7pm
The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St
Celebrate the season with some music! Back by popular demand, the impeccable National Children's Chorus returns for its 5th year residence. Experience the city's most pristine voices as these young talents sing festive holiday selections accompanied by harp in Jubilate, music of the Americas in The New World and old folk renditions in Sweet Chariot, three remarkably unique programs of vibrant sonic exploration.

Snowy Plover Beach Ecology Walk with the Santa Monica & LA Audubon Societies
Sunday, December 29, 8:30-10am
Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Hwy

Looking for a new holiday tradition? Connect with your inner naturalist and explore the habitat and life cycles of the federally threatened snowy plover, a small white bird that makes Santa Monica and surrounding beach cities its home this time of year. Binoculars will be provided, or bring your own! Comfortable clothing and sun protection are recommended. Event is free, reservations requested. Afterwards, join us for a Family Field Trip Beach Walk with the LA & Santa Monica Bay Audubon Societies 10:30am-11:30am.

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