Holiday Lights on Pier

We are marching into the winter season, which makes California one of the most enviable destinations in the country. Throughout the month of December, the city of Santa Monica will come to life with holiday festivities. 

From special shopping opportunities, to interactive public events, and productions you’ll never forget, here are some of our favorite examples of how Santa Monica celebrates the holidays. 

Unique Markets Holiday Pop-Up

December 14th & 15th 

Unique Markets is a shopping and dining experience that pops up throughout the year in places like Washington, DC, Minneapolis, and right here in Santa Monica. Kick off the holiday season right on your next trip to The Ambrose Hotel, and swing by the Unique Markets Holiday Pop-Up on the Santa Monica Pier. 

The two-day event will feature over 100 sellers with locally-produced gifts to browse for your friends and family. This year’s Unique Markets Holiday Pop-Up will also feature a free gift wrap station, photography booths, complimentary drinks and snacks, food trucks, and live music from acclaimed local DJs. 

Unique Holiday Markets Pop-Up. Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica, CA 

Holiday Fun Half-Marathon

December 15th

The holiday season always includes an overabundance of sugary cookies, sweet candies, and hearty feasts. You can get ahead of the game, and keep in the joyous spirit of the season by taking part in the Holiday Fun Half Marathon in Santa Monica this December. If the thought of an entire half marathon is too much to consider, not to worry, there will also be 15k, 10k, and 5k races on the day. 

There are a lot of reasons to consider this challenging and rewarding Holiday Fun Half-Marathon this season. The looped courses will take you along beach paths providing gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring towns of Venice and Malibu. Additionally, every participant will receive a finisher’s medal and goodie bags. 

Holiday Fun Half Marathon. Santa Monica, CA 

The Venice Christmas Show

December 14th 

Shopping and running aren’t the only ways to get into the holiday spirit this December in Santa Monica. Every year, the band Venice puts on a Christmas show at the Santa Monica Woman’s Club that transports audiences to a winter wonderland. The music-centric show takes classic songs recorded and produced by the band Venice and mashes them up with Christmas tunes. 

Venice is a local group started in 1977 right next to Santa Monica in Venice Beach. The group was founded by local brothers Kipp and Mark Lennon, and they’ve put out a number of hit albums including Brunch Buffet and What Summer Brings. Be sure to check out tickets to The Venice Christmas Show soon, as they’re likely to sell out. 

The Venice Christmas Show. 1210 4th St. Santa Monica, CA 

David Sedaris’ “The SantaLand Diaries” 

November 30th-December 20th

For another production that promises to stick in your memory for a while, check out The SantaLand Diaries at The Santa Monica Playhouse this December. Originally a segment on the hit National Public Radio program This American Life, The SantaLand Diaries earned a singular response from audiences around the world. 

The story came from iconic writer David Sedaris, and his experience working as an elf at Macy’s Department Store during the holiday season in NYC. After its success on the airwaves, actor Timothy Olyphant brought the play to off-broadway, and now it’s taking life again under the guidance of Patrick Censoplano. 

The Santa Monica Playhouse. Santa Monica, CA 

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