Santa Monica Events & Festivals

Browse some of Santa Monica’s major events and festivals taking place throughout the year. They're among the best events found in Southern California and the Los Angeles area. For an up-to-date daily event guide, visit the Santa Monica events calendar.


LA Marathon Finish Line
March 19, 2017
Gather along beachfront Ocean Avenue to cheer on LA Marathon participants as they cross the finish line.

Earth Day at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
April 22
Celebrate Earth Day with a family-friendly exploration of more than 100 amazing species of marine animals and plants, all found in the Santa Monica Bay.

Mother's Day Brunch
May 8, 2016
Toast mom with a sunny array of local brunch options, from classic bacon and eggs to lobster and Champagne.

May to Sept
This slate of outdoor movies kicks off in May (and runs through Sept), taking place around L.A., including at Santa Monica High School, and is accompanied by some of the best food trucks in SoCal. Bonus: Leashed pets are welcome!


Main Street Summer Soulstice
Live music takes over Main Street, with multiple stages and acts performing throughout the day.

Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race
June 11, 2016
Cheer on elite paddlers as they vie for $15,000 in prize money during this history-steeped race just south of the iconic Pier.

4th of July Parade
July 4
A true slice of local life, this beloved patriotic annual community celebration draws thousands of spectators along Main Street.

Cinema on the Street
July to August
Friday nights feature free outdoor movie screenings on Third Street Promenade.

Sunset Swims
July to September
Enjoy summer evenings at Annenberg Community Beach House's sunset swims. These adult-only pool sessions happen on select dates so be sure to check their website for details.

Twilight Concert Series
July to September
Keep the beat all summer with a diverse mix of mainstream headliners and up-and-coming indie bands.

Jazz on the Lawn
The 11th anniversary of this free, family-friendly sampling of jazz happens Sunday evenings in Gandara Park.

Farmers Markets
Santa Monica’s four farmers markets run year-round, but summer is high season, with great people watching, not to mention an array of sweet seasonal fruits and delicious berries.


Off-Season Beach Escapes
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy Santa Monica’s sandy beaches and stunning sunsets with typically smaller crowds and sunny, warm weather into November. In October, don’t miss Front Porch Cinema, outdoor movies hosted by Santa Monica Pier.

Fall Flavor
Get holiday ready with autumn-inspired cooking/baking classes at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories.

Farmers Markets Halloween
Get your pumpkin and carve it, too—every year, the downtown farmers market hosts an “all-you-can-carry” pumpkin patch, in which you get to keep as many pumpkins as you can hold, all for one price. Don’t miss the kid-favorite no-carve pumpkin decorating event at the Main Street and Pico markets.

Skip the cooking and savor Santa Monica’s culinary scene with family and friends—many local restaurants and hotels host special Thanksgiving meals.


Montana Avenue Holiday Walk
December 2, 2016
Find the perfect presents at this family-friendly celebration complete with live music, Santa Claus, and can’t-miss sales.

Main Street Holiday Event & Holiday Parties
December 3, 2016
Celebrate the season with a tree lighting at the California Heritage Museum, candlelit walks to the famous Shopping Cart Tree, and festive bashes hosted by Main Street stores.

Pico Holiday Hop
Pico Boulevard’s Yuletide festivities include refreshments, art, entertainment, and shopping specials.

Downtown Santa Monica and Santa Monica Place Holiday Events
November to January
Downtown Santa Monica transforms into a winter wonderland complete with ice skating, tree lighting, Santa visits, and much more.

Holiday Shopping
Santa Monica’s holiday shopping scene boasts sunny outdoor shopping areas like Main Street, Montana Avenue, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place.

Santa Monica Restaurant Week
January 9-15, 2017
The city’s most celebrated chefs create healthy, New Year’s resolution–friendly cuisine.

Valentine's Day
February 14
Couples can share a romantic dinner, sip cocktails at sunset, and soak in spectacular ocean views at one of many esteemed dining destinations.

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