Calendar of Events

We’re like the rest of the country, but with fewer layers and more beach days. This is how we winter in Santa Barbara.

Can't Miss Events


Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash

Animal lovers are encouraged to get the kids out of the house this Thanksgiving and come to the Zoo for a smashin’ good time! Watch as the elephants, gorillas, and other Zoo animals play and interact with pumpkins for their Thanksgiving feast.

65th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade

More than 65,000 spectators line State Street each year in anticipation of Santa Barbara’s only nighttime parade. Officially kicking off the holiday season, this signature Downtown Santa Barbara event brings a colossal contingent of high-stepping marching bands, fabulous holiday-themed floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and more.

32nd Annual Holiday Parade of Lights

Fun for the entire family, this event is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Watch along the Santa Barbara Waterfront as a parade of 30 boats light up the coastline to the theme of Hollywood Holidays. During the festivities, make a visit to Santa’s Village, where the kids play in 10 tons of snow and take photos with Santa.

The Christmas Revels

For our 10th anniversary season, Revels’ original show highlights Richard Henry Danas’ visit to Santa Barbara in 1836, when he attended a wedding of the De La Guerra family and wrote about it in Two Years Before the Mast. This year’s performance celebrates the traditions of the Rancho period in Central California.

The Nutcracker

State Street Ballet brings together its professional dancers, students of Gustafson Dance, and Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra to perform the holiday classic in Santa Barbara style. Complete with opulent sets, a gigantic Christmas tree, and The Granada Theatre’s period-perfect architecture, this production is a family-favorite.

Additional Experiences


NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS SIGNATURE EVENT ITINERARY IDEAS

Festivals to Plan For

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