Seaside Santa Monica shines bright with festive lights, joyful activities and lively events for the holiday season
The city is alive with several holiday lighting ceremonies, pub-crawls,
performances, shopping events and appearances by Santa throughout the community
SANTA MONICA, Calif., (November 17, 2021) – Seaside Santa Monica is set to shine this holiday season with good tidings and festive activities that run now through the new year. The fun begins Nov. 19 with the lighting of the official Santa Monica holiday tree.
“The holiday season is magical in Santa Monica. We are a special seaside location to share festivities with family and friends,” said Misti Kerns, President and CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism. “I encourage everyone to shop, dine and play during the holidays in the city’s great neighborhoods from Montana Avenue and Pico Boulevard to Main Street and Third Street Promenade. Each area has something unique to offer throughout the season.”
Buying local for the holiday season matters. For every $10 spent at a Santa Monica business, as much as $7 stays in the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Spending locally during the holidays ensures that sales taxes are reinvested in Santa Monica.
So, enjoy all the sparkling lights, fun activities and special events being held in Santa Monica to include these great times:
- Winterlit – Third Street Promenade returns with Winterlit, transforming the downtown district into an immersive, festive experience. Tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland will deck the Promenade, 2nd and 4th Streets, illuminating an abundance of shopping and cozy outdoor dining experiences, beginning Friday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
- Holiday Tree Lighting – Join Santa and the community for the annual lighting of the official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall holiday tree on the Promenade on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
- Turkey Time – Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier is celebrating Thanksgiving in a big way with a fun, festive light program on the Pacific Wheel that features a 90-foot-tall Thanksgiving turkey along with orange and yellow colors, dancing turkeys and fun harvest themes beginning at sunset on Monday, Nov. 22 through Thanksgiving Day.
- Here Comes Santa Claus – Santa is coming to town Nov. 19 through Dec. 24. Santa will be available for photos at Santa Monica Place under the Christmas tree in Center Plaza on Nov. 19, 20, and 28 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Nov. 21 from 12 – 6 p.m., Nov. 22 and 23 from 2 – 7 p.m., Nov. 24, 26, 27, 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Throughout December on Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- The SoCal Etsy Guild – Shoppers can support local Southern California artists, crafters and designers while finding something for everyone on their gift list when The SoCal Etsy Guild come to the Promenade on Nov. 20 from 2 – 9 p.m., and Dec. 18 from 2 – 9 p.m.
- Small Business Saturday – Celebrated Nov. 27, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Shop Small is a movement encouraging people to shop at small businesses that millions of individuals, businesses, and communities have embraced nationwide and has become a permanent fixture on the holiday shopping calendar. Join in and shop small in Santa Monica and find the perfect holiday gifts, support your local businesses and enjoy the festivities.
- Orange Balloon Sale Montana Avenue – Join in the orange balloon sale featuring specials, deals, and sales you do not want to miss at stores from 6th Street to 17th Street. Look for the orange balloons at participating businesses. Come support the local community this holiday season on Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Menorah Lightings – Nightly menorah lightings will celebrate the Festival of Lights during the Hanukkah season from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. The lighting of the menorah will begin at sundown and take place on the 1400 block of Third Street Promenade, located between Santa Monica Blvd. and Broadway.
- Conscious Night Market – Hosted by Fit Girl LA, the pop-up artisan market features unique goods from over 40 local vendors, elevated and sustainable brands in addition to live music and free kombucha on the Promenade, Dec. 4 from 4 – 9 p.m.
- Beach Belles and Snow Globe Ballerina Performances – Catch special performances by the dancing sensation Santa Monica Beach Belles featuring ballerina performances inside the 14-foot larger-than-life snow globe at Santa Monica Place on Dec. 1-12 from 3-7:30 p.m., and Dec. 17-24 from 3-7:30 p.m.
- Santa’s Pet Nights – Bring your furry friend to special pet nights and “sit” for a photo with Santa on Dec. 15 and 16 from 5-8 p.m. at Santa Monica Place.
- DJ Holiday Sets – Enjoy holiday shopping while being serenaded with live DJ holiday sets on Saturdays and Sundays in Nov. and Dec. from 3-7 p.m., and Black Friday weekend from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Santa Monica Place.
- The Nutcracker – Join the Westside Ballet’s lavish production that is the longest running Nutcracker in Santa Monica and has been a Los Angeles tradition since 1973. From the moment the lights dim, you’ll be transported to a magical world of Christmas fantasy. Performances are Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Nov. 28 at 1 p.m., Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Dec. 5 at 1 p.m.
- Holiday Walk Montana Avenue – Find wonderful gifts, have your photos taken with Santa, listen to live music, and indulge in great food and drinks. Montana Avenue sits at the city’s northern edge and is home to a stretch of more than 150 restaurants and retailers. This is a fun time for all on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Miracle On Main Street – The holidays will be in full force on Main Street, so come enjoy the festive tidings all season long with the whole family. Enjoy two iconic holiday trees including the 40-foot-tall “Shopping Cart Tree” inside the Frank Gehry designed Edgemar building, that features 84 shopping carts staged in the shape of a Christmas tree and lit up with 1,500 light bulbs and held together with 4,000 zip ties. The “California Heritage Museum Tree” is a beloved 13-foot-tall Noble fir that stands tall over Main Street, decorated with colorful lights and takes center stage on the California Heritage Museum lawn on Dec. 11 with kids activities starting at 1 p.m., followed by Santa Claus and the tree lighting at 4 p.m.
- The Original ‘Santa’ Monica Pub Crawl – Get ready for the 12th Annual “Santa” Monica Pub Crawl on Dec. 18 to raise funds for the Westside Food Bank while celebrating the holiday season. More than 30 locations from across the city will offer $5-$8 food and drink specials to those with the official pub-crawl wristband. In addition, the $20 ticket includes priority entry, one free drink, free cover charges, DJs and live entertainment and entry into the official after party.
- NYE 2022 West Coast Countdown – This New Year’s Eve watch the West Coast’s countdown to 2022 in person, online or streaming from Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, one of the most iconic sites in Los Angeles. The countdown on the Pacific Wheel streams live on Dec. 31, beginning at 11:30 p.m., and features fun designs, colorful displays, and a 60-second countdown in huge animated numbers followed by announcing the new year in 16 different languages including Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, German, French, and Japanese. Revelers can livestream the presentation from the Pacific Wheel’s live cam or pick a platform on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.
Santa Monica residents also have the chance to enjoy a staycation or find space for family and friends at local hotels through the “Santa Monica Extra Bedroom” program running through February 6, 2022. Twenty-five participating hotels are offering discounted stays. Learn more about the program.
Stay up to date on holiday events, the Extra Bedroom Program and all that Santa Monica has to offer during this special time of year by visiting santamonica.com.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism encourages locals and visitors to travel responsibly by following current health orders, taking advantage of public transportation and bringing patience and holiday spirit when visiting local businesses.
About Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) works to strengthen our local economy by enhancing and promoting our communities as a distinctive, compelling and welcoming travel destination. For more information visit santamonica.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow SMTT on Instagram (@SeeSantaMonica), Twitter (@GoSantaMonica) or Facebook (@VisitSantaMonica).