logo ×

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The holiday season is almost here and with it comes a variety of incredible events and activities right here in Santa Barbara. If you or your family are looking for the perfect holiday getaway look no further than Santa Barbara. Our coastal home is the ideal vacation destination year-round including around Christmas. You will find the holiday-themed activities and events will bring a joyous time for you and your family. Take a look at some of the best Santa Barbara Christmas activities and events we have here:

Holiday Shows at Granada Theatre

There is nothing more magical than seeing your favorite Christmas stage production live in person. Santa Barbara is home to Granada Theatre, the local theatre house that showcases a variety of live talent including live musical performances, live symphonies, stage-up comedians, and much more. This holiday season Granada Theatre will be hosting a variety of holiday-themed productions to celebrate Christmas. Families looking for a religious experience during their stay can join in on the Westmont Christmas Festival taking place on December 3rd and 4th. This festival features various choirs singing your favorite Christmas songs and hymns. Nothing is more classic to see in person at Christmas than The Nutcracker and Granada Theatre will be hosting State Street Ballet for their rendition. This incredible production will feature the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra and students of the State Street Ballet Academy. Expect to see an amazing performance that celebrates the holiday season with virtuosic dancing and lively comedic moments. The Nutcracker will have three performances between December 17th and December 18th. Last but certainly not least is a thrilling performance found at A Magical Cirque Christmas taking place on November 28th. Host Lucy Darling will host this dazzling event full of incredible cirque artists performing daring stunts. The love for the holiday season will be on full display for you and your family to enjoy. Don’t miss out on these Christmas-themed events taking place at Granada Theatre!

36th Annual Parade of Lights

The holiday season would not be complete without a light show displaying countless Christmas lights. You too can enjoy a lovely Christmas light display when you attend this year’s Parade of Lights found at Santa Barbara Harbor. This annual event will be in its 36th consecutive year as motor boats are decked out in thousands of Christmas lights for an incredible parade show. This year’s theme is ‘Deck the Hulls’ and instantly tells you about the kind of fun locals and visitors can expect to have. The event starts off at 3:00 PM where visitors can enjoy some time at the Winter Wonderland found at City Pier at the harbor. 10 tons of snow will be brought in for some light-hearted fun. Additional activities for early guests include interacting with holiday elves and holiday music; there is a rumor that Santa Claus himself will be on hand! At 4:00 PM the Human-Powered category for the parade show begins where kayakers and paddles paddle by with their best festival attire. At 5:00 PM guests can enjoy the tree lighting ceremony that is accompanied by live music from Dos Pueblos Jazz Choir. The parade itself will start at 5:30 PM where approximately 30 different watercrafts will light up the night sky as they head to Stearns Wharf from Ledbetter Beach. The event will conclude with a thrilling fireworks show over the wharf where the reflection of the lights over the water makes an event you will never forget. This year’s Parade of Lights will take place on December 11th and is always free to attend.

Ice Skating at Ice in Paradise

While Santa Barbara does not get any snow during the winter you can still enjoy some winter activities during your visit. This includes going ice skating at Ice in Paradise, a more recent addition to Santa Barbara. This ice skating rink will let you and the whole family take to the ice to practice this exciting winter activity. Ice in Paradise also hosts various hocking games and ice skating shows so check out their schedule to see if there is anything that interests you!

Visit Paseo Nuevo

Come experience the holiday magic at Paseo Nuevo, the outdoor shopping center here in Santa Barbara. The plaza will have its own giant Christmas tree and even “snowfall” that takes place each day at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM. Complete your holiday shopping or enjoy the holiday lights displays. A little retail therapy is always a welcome addition during the holidays!

Experience These Santa Barbara Christmas Activities

As you can see there are quite a few Santa Barbara Christmas activities and events to enjoy. Book one of our luxury vacation rentals today and find your favorite here in town.