Santa Monica Annual Events & Festivals

Browse some of the best Southern California events and festivals taking place in Santa Monica throughout the year. For an up-to-date daily event guide, visit the Santa Monica events calendar.

Spring Events/ March-May

Earth Day at Heal The Bay 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 | 2nd Sunday in May
Toast mom with a sunny array of local brunch options, from classic bacon and eggs to lobster and Champagne.

MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street | Late May
MAINopoly is a fun, interactive community event that mirrors the classic board game and gives participants a culinary walking tour of Main Street’s finest restaurants, juiceries, ice cream stores, coffee shops and more.

southern california events
southern california festivals

Summer Events/ June-August

SaMo Pride | June
A month-long celebration focused on family-friendly displays and activities that safely celebrate our city’s inclusive and diverse spirit.

Main Street Summer SOULstice | June
Live music takes over Main Street with multiple stages and acts performing throughout the day.

Pier 360 Beach Sports Summer Festival | End of June
Santa Monica Pier 360 offers epic competition through a variety of disciplines on sand and sea while also providing a memorable day of family-friendly entertainment. On the Pier Deck and beach, participants and spectators will enjoy the Beach Festival featuring live music, Polynesian dancing, food, a Rum & Beer Garden and a one of-a-kind surf & skate history museum.

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.

Sunset Swims | July to October
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.

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

Fall Events/ September-November

Americana in the Park
Throughout the month of September, enjoy a showcase of a diverse group of Southern California artists and Americana styles from its roots to modern forms.

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

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.

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

southern california food events

Winter Events/ December-February

ICE at Santa Monica | November – January
Enjoy a winter wonderland with family and friends in Downtown Santa Monica with a 8,000-square-foot ice-skating rink.

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

Main Street Holiday Festivities | Early December
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 | Early December
Pico Boulevard’s Yuletide festivities include refreshments, art, entertainment and shopping specials.

 

santa monica winter events
winter events

Enjoy the Holidays in Santa Monica | November to January
Downtown Santa Monica transforms into a winter wonderland complete with a 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.

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.

winter events in santa monica
southern california holiday events
southern california festivals

Southern California Festivals

Southern California has some of the best festivals in the world, from multi-day festivals that attract people from all over to single-day festivals that create an experience you will never forget.

Pier 360 Beach Sports Summer Festival offers epic competition through a variety of disciplines on sand and sea while also providing a memorable day of family-friendly entertainment. On the Pier Deck and beach, participants and spectators will enjoy the Beach Festival featuring live music, Polynesian dancing, food, a Rum & Beer Garden, a one-of-a-kind surf & skate history museum and more.

Santa Monica Film Festival is an annual film festival typically held in January. This event is a celebration of independent storytelling with both in person and online screenings for film connoisseurs to enjoy. 

You will also find a range of other festivals throughout the year including the Santa Monica Fringe Festival, a free theater festival running October-November, and the Art & Literacy Festival, an April outdoor event featuring art, science and music performances and booths.            

Whether you are in Santa Monica for a festival or nearby, end your day with one of our many lodging options to get a restful night before waking up and doing it all again. 

Blogs

Discover Santa Monica

Explore itineraries, local tips, hot spots and curated adventures to make sure you get the most out of your Santa Monica experience.

View All Blogs