Holiday Events in Santa Barbara

Winter in Santa Barbara is the season for festive merriment, tasty culinary delights and extra time with loved ones. As the season changes and stars sparkle through the night sky, come explore all of the events and other holiday happenings in Santa Barbara. We hope you use this events guide to make lasting memories in Santa Barbara this holiday season.

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Holiday Events & Activities

Consider your holiday calendar booked, Santa Barbara has endless holiday events and activities that are guaranteed to fill you with glee. With new events added daily, be sure to check back so you don’t miss a single jovial moment.

Seasonal Spa Treatments at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Now through Dec. 31, 2022
Delightful holiday-inspired treatments will be offered now through December at Sense, A Rosewood Spa at Rosewood Miramar Beach. Treatments range from the OSEA Mint & Rosemary Holiday Facial, designed to refresh and reinvigorate the skin, to the Cranberry Woods Manicure & Pedicure, whose festive aromas and nourishing nail care bring forth a holiday celebration.
Cost: Varies depending on treatment.

ZooLights at Santa Barbara Zoo, Now through Jan. 15, 2023 from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
To ring in the holidays, Santa Barbara Zoo debuts its brand-new walk-through light show, ZooLights. Here, guests will experience a glowing display of handcrafted, silk-adorned animal- and nature-themed lanterns with interactive zones, photo opportunities with Santa Claus (select dates) and festive libations and snacks for purchase.
Cost: $22/adult, $20/child ages 2-12 (ticket prices vary by day).

Kids Holiday Activities Hosted by Miracle
Miracle in The Funk Zone is excited to present kids cookie-decorating (Nov. 20 and Dec. 18), stocking-making (Dec. 11) and ornament-making (Nov. 27) classes at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. These hands-on classes will include a demonstration, decorating materials, a glass of sparkling wine (for the adults!), a letter to be written to Santa, an exclusive walk-through of Miracle at Pearl Social and a surprise special guest.
Cost: $40/child, $20 per additional sibling.

Lane Farms Christmas Patch, Nov. 25-Dec. 20, 2022 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Get into the holiday spirit and shop for the perfect or perfectly imperfect Christmas tree at Lane Farms Christmas Patch. Browse through their vast inventory and select from fresh Noble Fir, Nordman or Douglas Fir trees. While there, test your puzzle skills by going through the challenging corn maze, made for adults and kids of any age. In need of a holiday snapshot? Don your best seasonal attire or ugly sweater for a photo-op. On your way out, grab fresh fruits at the produce stand to make a yummy holiday pie. Note that there are no pets, large groups, party goods or picnics allowed.
Cost: No entrance fee. Prices vary by product.

Ongoing Holiday Events at Paseo Nuevo, Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2022
Santa Claus is back and ready to receive your wish lists! Visit Old St. Nick in Center Court at Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center, and your kiddos will delight in receiving a gift from Santa and a festive photo op. Bring the whole family down to enjoy the holiday spirit—furry friends are welcome, too. December 6, 13 and 20 from 5 p.m. to closing are designated Pet Photo times, where you can snap a pic of Fido and Santa for the holidays. Live music and carolers will also be roaming the outdoor shopping center each weekend. Follow along by singing, “Fa la la la la!” and enjoy the costumed carolers, holiday horns and colossal choirs. To top off the holiday festivities, every night at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., Paseo Nuevo will experience a nightly snowfall to bring the magic to our seaside town.
Cost: Admission is free; no reservation required.

Silent Night, Silent Disco, Dec. 1, 2022 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Head over to Center Court at Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center for a family-friendly silent disco holiday dance party. Wear an ugly sweater and prepare to dance and sing to your favorite holiday tunes through your headphones. During the silent disco, two special snowfall shows will occur at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free.

Winter Wonderland Block Party and Christmas Tree Lighting, Dec. 2, 2022 from 5-8 p.m.
Celebrate the season of cheer with this year’s winter wonderland block party and Christmas tree lighting on State Street (Sola St. to Victoria St.) in front of the Arlington Theatre. Enjoy live entertainment with DJ Darla Bea and San Marcos High School Band, holiday festivities, photos with Santa Claus and an appearance by the joyous Holiday Prince and Fairy.
Cost: Admission is free.

Holiday Card, Gift Tag and Postcard-Making Workshop, Dec. 2, 2022 from 6-8 p.m.
Create handmade cards, gift tags and postcards during this fun workshop for adults at Art From Scrap with instructors Simon Keifer and Rebecca Zendejas. In this class, attendees will take an eco-conscious approach in learning how to collage found materials to make original designs and type holiday greetings using vintage typewriters.
Cost: $25/ticket

Olde Fashioned Christmas, Dec. 3, 2022 from 4-7 p.m.
An afternoon of holiday cheer has been planned to celebrate Christmas just outside of Santa Barbara. There will be treats, tree lighting and an abundance of Christmas shopping under the twinkling holiday lights in the quaint little town of Los Olivos.
Cost: Admission is free.

Goleta Holiday Parade, Dec. 3, 2022 from 6-9 p.m.
Gather in Old Town Goleta for the 5th Annual Goleta Holiday parade, featuring holiday-themed floats, local bands and dance groups to get in the spirit of the holiday season.
Cost: Free to attend.

23rd Annual Trolley of Lights Tour, Dec. 8-21, 2022
Santa Barbara Trolley Company invites those ready to get into the holiday spirit to its popular Christmas lights tour for the 2022 holiday season. Ring in the holidays and tour through Santa Barbara’s most festive neighborhoods. Christmas music and candy canes will be plentiful as you sing and celebrate with the whole family.
Cost: $32.50/adult, $19.50/child under 12. Children under two years old are free. Reservations required.

Winter Gift-Making Workshop, Dec. 10, 2022 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Children ages five to 12 are invited to gain inspiration from works of art in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s collection and draw, paint, print, collage and sculpt artful gifts to share with friends and family. Led by instructors Nicola Ghersen and Jason Summers, this hands-on activity is a must this holiday season.
Cost: $150/ticket for general public, $120/ticket for members.

Breakfast with Santa at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, Dec. 11 and 18, 2022 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Roundhouse is a comfortable and casual restaurant in the main lobby of the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, offering a delicious holiday breakfast buffet, pictures with Santa and so much more. Interesting fact to share over breakfast with Santa? The restaurant is named after the historic site of a locomotive roundhouse that served Southern Pacific steam trains in Santa Barbara.
Cost: $75/adult, $42/child ages 12 and under. Children under three years old are free.

36th Annual Parade of Lights, Dec. 11, 2022 from 5 p.m. to nightfall
Santa Barbara can’t let the holiday season pass without cheer, merriment and a festive boat parade along the waterfront. This annual event is by far one of the season’s standouts, drawing visitors and residents to watch over 20 brightly decorated boats parade around the Santa Barbara Harbor. During the festivities, marvel in the stunning holiday tree lighting ceremony and visit Santa’s Village, where kids can play in 10 tons of snow and take photos with Santa. Post-parade, stay for a firework display that will light up the night sky.
Cost: Free to attend.

Holiday Candle-Making Workshop, Dec. 14, 2022 from 6-8 p.m.
Spend the evening creating your own personalized candle at Stik N Stuck Creative Studio, hosted by Golden Arrow Goods. With dozens of holiday-inspired fragrance choices and multiple candle vessel selections to choose from, your candle will truly be unique to you. This two-hour workshop includes all candle-making materials, step-by-step instruction, wine, snacks and a box to take home your candle in.
Cost: $75/person.

Christmas Eve Kayaking at Channel Islands National Park, Dec. 24, 2022
Ring in the holiday and surround yourself with abundant marine life, pristine kelp forests, rugged coastline and hidden sea caves at the Channel Islands, a world-class adventure destination. Join Santa Barbara Adventure Company on an incredible kayaking tour along a beautiful coastline, paddle through sea caves, spot wildlife and learn about Santa Cruz Island.
Cost: $169 per adult + ferry transportation ($63), $158 per child 12 and under + ferry transportation ($50).

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Holiday Performances

Holiday theater, musical acts and festive performances in Santa Barbara will surely get you into the joy and merriment of the season. From annual productions to one-of-a-kind shows, the stage is set for a bright winter season.

holiday dancers and singers on stage at the Granada Theatre for A Magical Cirque Christmas

A Magical Cirque Christmas, Nov. 28, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Some of the world’s greatest entertainers unite for a spell-binding and incredible holiday production of A Magical Cirque Christmas this season at Granada Theatre. Experience the enchantment of Christmas as hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by live performances of your favorite holiday music. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.
Cost: Starts at $49/ticket.

Ensemble Theatre Company Presents: A Christmas Carol, Recurring daily at 8 p.m. between Dec. 1-18, 2022
This Christmas, gather your family to hear Charles Dickens’ words come to life with just five total actors and live original music by Santa Barbara’s Doug Clegg as well as live foley sound effects.
Cost: $40-$78/ticket

Holiday “In,” Dec. 2, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Jazz at the Ballroom presents Holiday “In” at Lobero Theatre. Award-winning musicians from across the country take the stage for a show reminiscent of the old Christmas specials with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and other iconic voices. Enjoy this swinging holiday revue, hosted by comedian Dan Cronin, with bandleader Konrad Paszkduzki on piano.
Cost: $36-$81/ticket

State Street Ballet Academy Presents: Rudolph, Dec. 3, 2022 at 2 and 6 p.m.
The State Street Ballet Young Dancers group presents Rudolph, based on the story by Robert L. May. Come delight in the joyful dancing of students ages three and up as this winter classic kicks off the holiday performance season at Lobero Theatre.
Cost: $19-$31/ticket

The Sound of Christmas Sing-Along, Dec. 4, 2022 at 2:30 p.m.
Enjoy a festive sing-along with the orchestra and choir at Lobero Theatre, featuring Emmy-nominated conductor Charles Fernandez, The Sound of Christmas Chamber Players and Choir and narrator Sheelagh Cullen.
Cost: $31-$66/ticket

A Winter Music Showcase, Dec. 9, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Now in its fifth year, the Grace Fisher Winter Music Showcase celebrates music, dance and art from some of the best performers Santa Barbara has to offer at Granada Theatre. This year, a diverse mix of talent  will be showcased including the Santa Barbara Folk Orchestra, Jackson Gillies, Will Breman, State Street Ballet Professional Track Dancers, the Westmont Chamber Singers, the Bar-back Boys, the UCSB Maurice Faulkner Quintet and others.
Cost: $18-$60/ticket

Christmas Brass Show, Dec. 17, 2022 from 12-3 p.m.
Get excited and head over to Storke Placita for special live holiday performances by local music and dance groups. The Big Christmas Brass Show is set to impress, so be sure to pack chairs, blankets and snacks and get cozy for the show.
Cost: Admission is free.

Santa Barbara Revels Presents: The Christmas Revels, Dec. 17, 2022 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 18, 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Lobero Theatre will host The Christmas Revels for its 15th annual holiday performance, a thrilling and historical showcase that features more than 60 singers, actors, dancers and instrumentalists wearing gorgeous traditional costumes. Changing each year to present the music, dance and storytelling of different countries and centuries, this year’s production will explore a special time in Santa Barbara’s own history, portraying holiday festivities in the year 1743.
Cost: $16-$81 per ticket. Children under age 4 are free.

Ugly Holiday Sweater Party with The Molly Ringwald Project, Dec. 17, 2022 at 8 p.m.
‘Tis the season to slip into your ugliest holiday sweater and spend the night dancing away at the 15th Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club. The Molly Ringwald Project will play the soundtracks of the night, with their punk, R&B/soul, rap, reggae and rock tunes.
Cost: $25/person 

Kerry Irish Productions Presents: An Irish Christmas, Dec. 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
An Irish Christmas takes audiences on an international journey with superb dancing, singing, and traditional Irish music. The cast is led by World Champion Dancers and features singers from the Kerry Voice Squad and music from the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. Celebrate the holiday season Irish-style and share your support for the Lobero Theatre.
Cost: $25-70/person

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HOLIDAY SHOPPING & MARKETPLACES

Artisan pop-ups and seasonal marketplaces are in plentiful supply this holiday season. Show your support for local makers and shop local goods straight from the source! Another way to shop small is by visiting local independent retailers. This gift-buying guide will steer you to shops and products that can only be found on The American Riviera®, along with premier purveyors of Santa Barbara’s signature style and some delectable Central Coast goodies to boot. 

couple shopping on state street

State Street Promenade MarketEvery first Thursday of the month from 3-8 p.m.
Give the gift of signature Santa Barbara products and goods this holiday season by shopping at the State Street Promenade Market. Taking advantage of State Street being closed to vehicular traffic, the 1000 block of State Street between Carrillo Street and Figueroa Street will be transformed into a local marketplace every first Thursday of the month for shoppers to meet and shop the local makers of Downtown Santa Barbara. As you browse and buy, enjoy temporary art and light installations and sample eats and drinks from downtown purveyors.
Cost: Admission is free. 

The Yes Store, Nov. 3 to Dec. 24, 2022
Santa Barbara’s original artists’ pop-up gift gallery, The Yes Store returns to downtown Santa Barbara for its 55th year, continuing its tradition of highlighting the finest area artisans including woodworking, ceramics, fine jewelry, glasswork, fabric, leather and more.
Cost: Admission is free. 

Blissful Boutiques Holiday Store, Nov. 30-Dec. 24, 2022 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday
Created by local entrepreneur Lisa Green to showcase and support local artisans, this dedicated holiday pop-up store at 621 Paseo Nuevo takes place Wednesday through Sunday. Among the 30+ vendors, find quartz rocks hand-picked from U.S. mines, jewelry, clothing, gourmet foods, dolls, photography and much more.
Cost: Admission is free.

Ceramic Holiday Market, Dec. 2, 2022 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
As the holidays are approaching, a visit to this unique craft marketplace at Clay Studio in Goleta is a wonderful opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind ceramic creations from local artists. The market features a wide range of pottery, clay demonstrations, live music, raffles and activities for the whole family. Additionally, the studio and gallery will be open to walk around and check out the variety of different creations.
Cost: Admission is free.

Holiday Sip ‘N’ Stroll, Dec. 2, 2022 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
If you think Old Mission Santa Barbara is beautiful during the day, just wait until you see it at night, dressed in Christmas best, illuminated by candles and luminaries. At this festive event, sip local wine and beer as you stroll through the museum, mingle with the Franciscan Friars and bask in the peace and beauty of Old Mission Santa Barbara set aglow by candlelight. This year’s event will feature holiday music provided by The Santa Barbara Symphony Brass Quintet and products for sale by local artisans.
Cost: $50/person. This event is 21+ only. 

Folk & Tribal Arts Pop-Up, Dec. 2-4, Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18, 2022 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Join Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for feel-good holiday shopping on three weekends in December. Treat your loved ones to beautiful palm baskets, textiles and other delights from Zapotec artisans in the Oaxacan Valley of Southern Mexico (Anomaly Imports).
Cost: Admission is free.

Haley Corridor Makers Market & Bar Hop, Dec. 3, 2022, 12-5 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays with the Haley Corridor, one of Santa Barbara’s most exciting emerging pocket neighborhoods, for an afternoon of shopping and sipping. In partnership with I Heart Indie Markets, browse and buy from 30 makers while enjoying libations from Carr Winery, Potek Winery and Third Window Brewing. Products for sale range from a wide variety of handmade goods, including jewelry, knit goods, home decor, art prints, soap, candles and more.
Cost: Free to attend. Drinks and goods sold separately.

Wilding Holiday Marketplace, Dec. 4, 2022 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Stock up on your favorite handcrafted ornaments and holiday goods at the 11th Annual Wilding Museum Marketplace, located at the Wilding Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang, where you’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind gifts. From jewelry to handmade goods, all sale items are by local artisans celebrating wildlife, nature and the great outdoors. If you’re unable to make it in person, shop for your holiday needs at the museum’s online store.
Cost: Admission is free.

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Food & Wine Events

Miracle Cocktail Pop-Up Bar, Nov. 11-Dec. 30, 2022
The Funk Zone‘s Pearl Social has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland, and now is your chance to enjoy holiday cheer inside the festive and incredibly decorated cocktail bar. Relish in over-the-top holiday décor, displays and a cocktail menu like you’ve never sipped before. With yuletide wishes aplenty, this scene is something everyone in Santa Barbara has to see to believe.
Cost: Varies per menu item. Reservations recommended.

Christmas Eve Wine Tour, Dec. 24, 2022
Eat, drink and be merry! This Christmas Eve, let Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours take care of the details while you bask in the beauty of the breathtaking sights and sip distinctive flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley at three local wineries. The tour guide will discuss local history and insights about the region and what makes its wine so unique.
Cost: Varies depending on the selected tour.

Christmas Eve Dinner at the Revere Room, Dec. 24, 2022 from 5-9 p.m.
Celebrate Christmas Eve at The Revere Room at Rosewood Miramar Beach and enjoy a festive dinner menu crafted from the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
Cost: $125/adult, $55/child (ages four to 12 years old, children under age four dine for free).

Christmas Eve at Caruso’s, Dec. 24, 2022 from 5-9 p.m.
Embrace la dolce vita of the American Riviera with ocean views, fine wine and dinner at Caruso’s at Rosewood Miramar Beach. For the occasion, the beachfront restaurant will offer Chef Massimo Falsini’s Feast of the Seven Fishes. Also known as La Vigilia or The Eve, this traditional Italian-American meal consists of exquisite fish and seafood dishes.
Cost: Prix fixe dinner menu is $225 per adult, $85 per child (ages four to 12 years old; children under four dine for free).

Christmas Brunch at the Revere Room, Dec. 25, 2022 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Share an unforgettable holiday repast drawn from the bounty of Southern California at Rosewood Miramar Beach. The Revere Room’s brunch buffet will pair regionally influenced Christmas classics with a cut-your-own-salad garden and an extraordinary assortment of seasonal dishes.
Cost: $145 per adult, $65 per child (ages four to 12 years old; children under four dine for free).

Christmas at Caruso’s, Dec. 25, 2022 from 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.
The holidays are synonymous with joyful moments and the flavors of the table. On Christmas Day at Rosewood Miramar Beach, Caruso’s offers two opportunities to savor a delectable meal, graciously served in a stunning oceanfront setting. In the early afternoon, celebrate early with a Christmas Day five-course prix fixe brunch, while in the evening, take in views of the Pacific Ocean as you toast to the season and enjoy selections from a sumptuous prix fixe menu with Christmas specials crafted for the occasion by Executive Chef Massimo Falsini.
Cost: $185 per adult, $75 per child (ages four to 12 years old; children under four dine for free).

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New Year’s Eve Events

Pop, fizz and clink in Santa Barbara this New Year’s Eve. Ring in 2023 with memorable dining experiences, seasonal performances, festive events and many more “only in Santa Barbara” moments. Click here to get the complete guide to New Year’s Eve Events in Santa Barbara.

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