Celebrating the Holidays in Santa Monica

by Dale Pauly

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday November 19, 2022
Originally published on November 11, 2022

Being sunny and beachy doesn't mean Santa Monica can't also be the perfect holiday destination — in fact, the gorgeous Southern California weather only amps up the local cheer. With a uniquely festive lineup of holiday events and activities, wonderfully mild temperatures, and the gorgeous Pacific coastline as its backdrop, there's no place better to celebrate the season than Santa Monica.

Care-Free Feasting

Eating is of course a huge part of the holidays, and Santa Monica offers an abundance of ways to avoid the post-feast cleanup by heading to one of its many restaurants and hotels offering delicious prix-fixe Thanksgiving & Christmas menus — at some locations, take-out is even available too. Dining out in Santa Monica also a great way to easily find meals accommodating any food allergies and palates, since many venues cater to a wide variety of personal food preferences (like Sugar Palm at Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel, with its three-course vegan Thanksgiving option). Other great Santa Monica dining destinations for Thanksgiving include Lunetta and Hotel Casa Del Mar.

Santa Monica Holiday Events

Throughout the holidays, Santa Monica comes alive with the sights, sounds, and scents of the season.
On Thanksgiving morning, the Turkey Trot returns to Crescent Bay Park, where you can work up your appetite by running a 5k, 10k, 15k, or Half Marathon along Santa Monica's beautiful beach path. In the
evening, celebrate Thanksgiving with Charlie X and Damian's eggnog at the oldest live music venue on
the West Coast, Harvelle's Santa Monica.

A Santa Monica winter favorite returns this year after a two-year hiatus, as Ice at Santa Monica will once again transform the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue into a holiday skating wonderland.
Running November 16 to January 16, Ice at Santa Monica will be open daily from noon to 10pm, with
skate rental and all-day admission at just $20 per person.

Another iconic event, Winterlit, will also return to brighten up the Santa Monica season as the Third
Street Promenade becomes an immersive one-stop holiday experience. Tens of thousands of colorful lights and decorations will deck not just the Promenade itself but 2nd and 4th Streets too, illuminating the city's convenient shopping options and cozy outdoor dining experiences. Santa himself will stop by the Promenade in mid-November for the annual lighting of the city's official 24-foot-tall holiday tree, which will be accompanied by holiday performances by local youth ensembles. Nightly menorah lightings will also help celebrate the Festival of Lights during the Hanukkah season.

On December 17, musical superstar Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall from the legendary Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 will take to Santa Monica's Broad Stage to heat up the holidays with A Christmas Wish, an evening of Christmas classics, Brazilian jazz, American standards, and a few classic Tijuana Brass songs.

As they do every year, Santa Monica's top hotels like the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and shopping destinations like Santa Monica Place will also be getting in on the holiday action with a vivid variety of decorations, events, and special offers.

Santa Monica as a SoCal Holiday Home Base

Another huge perk of holidaying in Santa Monica is that it puts you within simple reach of other seasonal events happening in Southern California. With a stay at a Santa Monica hotel for the holidays, you can have it all — not only will you feel at home, be close to the numerous holiday events happening city-wide, and enjoy beautiful weather and a holiday getaway without having to travel halfway around the world, you'll also be able to use Santa Monica's easy transportation options to venture to nearby exciting events like the Hollywood Christmas Parade or LA Zoo Lights. Skip the traffic and access downtown Los Angeles from one of three Metro stops in Santa Monica, or via the city's own Big Blue Bus.

For a wealth of additional great information on Santa Monica hotels, shopping, hotspots, and everything you might need to help plan your perfect trip, check out Santa Monica's official website.