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.

Ongoing Holiday Events at Paseo Nuevo, Now through Dec. 24
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. 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.

Seasonal Spa Treatments at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Now through Dec. 31
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).

Holiday Exhibition at Marcia Burtt Gallery, Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Jan. 29, 2023
Celebrate the holidays with paintings and photographs by artists at Marcia Burtt Gallery. Each artist falls in love with nature in a different way, helping us reimagine the landscape as we shift from one vision to another.
Cost: Admission is free.

Christmas Eve Kayaking at Channel Islands National Park, Dec. 24
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).

Christmas Eve Yoga on the Beach,  Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Kick off your holiday with intentionality, grounded energy and strength. Santa Barbara Beach Yoga will be hosting an all-levels beach flow offers peaceful yet invigorating balancing & wrist-friendly sequences, to get your body and breath moving. Expect a fun and light-hearted yoga sequence followed by relaxing restorative poses and a blissful savasana. Listen to music and let voice instruction guide you through the provided wireless headsets in a peaceful beach setting.
Cost: $25/person

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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

Kerry Irish Productions Presents: An Irish Christmas, Dec. 23 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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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
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 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.

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Food & Wine Events

Miracle Cocktail Pop-Up Bar, Nov. 11-Dec. 30
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
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 in Bed at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, Dec. 24 and 25
Celebrate the holiday from the comfort of your hotel room with a specially curated menu delivered straight to your door at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. The menu features traditional Christmas classics, as well as chocolate covered strawberries, champagne and a caviar pairing.
Cost: Varies by menu item.

Christmas Eve Dinner at the Revere Room, Dec. 24 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 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 Eve Brunch, Dec. 24 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Holiday cheer begins with Brunch at La Paloma Cafe! This year’s brunch will feature a delicious spread of breakfast and lunch items including the famous Burnt Ends Bowl, Chilaquiles, French Toast and more. A special holiday cocktail menu available for those who want to add a little cheer to their meal.
Cost: Varies by menu item.

Christmas Eve Brunch, Dec. 24 from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Head chef at the Lark Chef Jason Paluska is cooking up a festive and delicious meal for you and your loved ones. Dishes range from $14 – $34 and include guests’ favorites like the Cast Iron Baked Shakshuka, Farmer’s Market Frittata and Southern Fried Chicken & Sourdough Waffle. A selection of craft-made cocktails, classic Bloody Marysand Mimosas will be available for purchase for diners over the age of 21.
Cost: Varies by menu item.

Christmas Eve Dinner, Dec. 24 from 5-9 p.m.
Join La Paloma Cafe for a festive Christmas Eve dinner. They will be serving a special a la carte Smoked Boneless Prime Rib with oyster cornbread stuffing, horseradish sauce, and green beans with bacon and shallots. From the bar, they will also have traditional Las Posadas-inspired alcoholic cocktails like Ponche Navideño, Champurrado, Café de Olla and more!
Cost: Varies by menu item.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinner at Angel Oak, Dec. 24 and 25 from 5-10 p.m.  
Celebrate with family and friends at Angel Oak at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. Chef Josh Kellim has created extraordinary holiday culinary offerings to be enjoyed on both Christmas Eve and Day.
Cost: Varies by menu item. Reservations recommended.

Christmas Brunch at the Revere Room, Dec. 25 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 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).

Christmas Buffet at The Bistro, Dec. 25 from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Gather with friends and family at The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara for a holiday buffet feast and enjoy all the traditional holiday favorites while live music plays in the background.
Cost: $95/person. Advance reservations are required.

Christmas Dinner at CAYA Restaurant, Dec. 25 from 4-8 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays with a special curated prix fixe dinner at CAYA Restaurant located in The Leta Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Choose from a selection of starters, entrees and desserts such as poached pear salad, lamb porterhouse, roasted ham, Bailey’s crème brûlée, chocolate pot de crème and red velvet layered cake. Each dinner includes a complimentary beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverage of choice.
Cost: $125/person, $40/child.

Prixe Fix Christmas Dinner, Dec. 25 from 3-9 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays at costa Kitchen & Bar located in the iconic Mar Monte Hotel. Wrap yourself within the award winning beauty of costa, tame your hunger with a feast fit for royalty and fill your heart with oceanfront dreams and family memories. This is a prefix menu includes selections for a three course meal that is destine to please. Children 12 and under enjoy a simpler menus. A wine pairing option with local wines and international favorites is available for purchase for guests ages 21+.
Cost: $98/person, $30/child

Christmas Dinner, Dec. 25 from 12-7 p.m.
Gather your nearest and dearest for a merry four-course Christmas Dinner this year at the cozy hillside hideaway, El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel. Savor a delectable four-course meal from their pre-fixe menu. Each dish is crafted from the finest, locally-sourced ingredients.
Cost: $125/person, $60/child. Children under five years old are free.

Christmas Dinner, Dec. 25 from 3-9 p.m.
This Christmas, costa kitchen & bar will be serving up a menu focus on sustainably sourced ingredients inspired by fresh seafood sourced from Santa Barbara Seafood Market and produce from local farms and farmer’s markets. For guests over the age of 21, a wine pairing add-on is available for those looking to enhance their meal.
Cost: $98/person. Reservations recommended.

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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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