‘Tis the season for festive merriment, tasty culinary delights, and extra time with loved ones. As winter days turn brisk and stars sparkle through the night sky, explore all Santa Barbara has to offer, whether that be from the comfort of home or at a safe social distance from others. We hope you use this guide to make lasting memories this holiday season, in signature Santa Barbara style.
Additional safe and socially distanced activities will be added as details become available. Due to COVID-19 and changing health orders, please confirm all events in advance.
Virtual Viewing: An Irish Christmas at the Lobero Theatre, Now through December 30,
An Irish Christmas takes audiences on an international journey with superb dancing, singing, and traditional Irish music, all from the comfort of your couch. The cast features award-winning Irish dancers Caterina Coyne (Principal dancer, Riverdance), Tyler Schwartz (world champion dancer), Connor Reider (Principal dancer Celtic Fyre, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, The Chieftains) as well as members from the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. Celebrate the holiday season Irish-style and share your support for the Lobero Theatre. Learn More
Cost: $15 per device
Virtual Viewing: State Street Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at The Granada, December 19 to 31, 2020
The holiday season isn’t complete without the magic of The Nutcracker. Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra and Gustafson Dance’s talented students have teamed up with State Street Ballet to bring Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to life. Audiences can enjoy this exclusive virtual viewing of State Street Ballet’s 2019 performance of the holiday classic at The Granada Theatre. Fantastic musical scores, pristine choreography, and gorgeous costumes are just the beginning. Cuddle up with family and watch your favorite dancers from the comfort of home. Learn More
Cost: Donations Accepted
Ensemble Theatre Company Presents, A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas, December 24, 2020, at 5 p.m. through Monday, December 28, 2020, at noon
This Christmas, gather your family to hear Charles Dickens’ words come to life with the cast of last season’s ETC production of It’s a Wonderful Life, playing all the many beloved characters. Available for at-home streaming, this performance will feature live original music by Santa Barbara’s Doug Clegg as well as live foley sound effects. Learn More
Cost: Free, but reservations are required.
HOLIDAY Events & Activities
Let it Snow at Paseo Nuevo, November 27 to December 31, 2020, 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Santa Barbara’s night sky fills with “snow” bringing the magic of winter to shoppers and families at Paseo Nuevo. Meander to Center Court where “snow” will safely fall four times each evening to allow for attendees to keep socially distanced before greeting Santa at his workshop. Learn More
Cost: Admission is free. Please note that there will be no shows on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020.
SEASONAL Food & WINE
Holiday Provisions from Helena Avenue Bakery, November 6 through December 28, 2020
Relish in a well-deserved break this holiday season and let Helena Avenue Bakery take care of the details. This take-out menu is guaranteed to upgrade any holiday meal and chock full of savory sides and sweet treats. Choices include Helena Avenue’s signature Parker House Rolls; Thanksgiving Stuffing Kit made from Helena Avenue Bakery artisan sourdough breads with a blend of spices and herbs; Friday Night Challah and freshly baked apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies. These must-have treats will provide you with ample quality time with friends and family and fewer hours in the kitchen for the festive season. Learn More
Cost: $11 to $25 per menu item. Pies and Parker House Rolls require a 48 hour pre-order. Challah is available every Friday, and Isaac’s Stuffing Mix is sold at the counter as supply lasts.
Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned at Eureka!, December 2, 2020, through January 5, 2021
It’s the ultimate whiskey wonderland at Eureka! Just in time for the holiday season, take the time to try this perfectly crafted Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned, a renowned holiday cocktail featuring Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, house-made Gingerbread Syrup, Douglas Fir Liqueur, chocolate bitters, herbal bitters, and garnished with candied ginger. The classic and traditional Old Fashioned cocktail provides a fun and delicious twist just in time to make spirits bright. Learn More
New Year’s Eve Events
Pop, fizz, and clink in Santa Barbara this New Year’s Eve. Ring in 2021 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.