12+ Exciting Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Monterey County

Grab the hot cocoa and cozy jackets, Christmas time is here, and that means a ton of fun events around Monterey County for all to enjoy. Hanging out in Monterey County and the beach will ensure a great time during the holidays and some fun events. If you decided traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway during the holidays was your version of fun, we’re there with you, especially with all these incredible events.

Check out everything to do during the holidays in Monterey County that you will not want to miss.

Christmas in Monterey County

Christmas in Monterey

Ice Skating by the Bay

  • Address: Custom House Plaza, Monterey 

Nothing screams Christmas like a fun ice skating session. Try it out along the coastline to take your skate session up a notch. Ice Skating by the Bay’s seasonal ice rink will open on November 25 and remain open through January 1. Located in Custom House Plaza behind the Portola Hotel and Spa, your entire family will have the best time skating around the ocean and enjoying the holiday season.

A season pass costs $225, or you can choose individual sessions, which are $15 for adults and $13 for kids under 12, plus skate rentals are $5. Their hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm and Sunday, 12 pm to 8 pm.

Christmas in Monterey CA

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Cannery Row

  • Address: Cannery Row’s Steinbeck Plaza, Monterey CA

Cannery Row will kick off the holiday session with its annual tree-lighting event. The event will have family-friendly entertainment for children of all ages and even the arrival of Santa. Check out the event on Friday, November 25, with a free Red Engine Ride around Cannery Row kicking off at noon. The tree lighting will commence at 5:45 pm, with Santa arriving at 6 pm.

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at the Del Monte Shopping Center

  • Address: 1410 Del Monte Ctr, Monterey CA

Take the kids to see Mr and Mrs Claus at the Del Monte Shopping Center annual tree lighting. While there, you can sip on complimentary hot coco and nibble on cookies, plus there is live music and a chance to win gift cards. The center will also hold a canned food drive for the Food Bank of Monterey County. The event is free, so be sure to check it out.

Annual Christmas on the Wharf

  • Address: Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey CA 

Walk along the Wharf in Monterey and enjoy the stunning surrounding decorations. The Wharf will also host various free weekend live events, and Santa will be sitting in his house waiting for visitors. Christmas on the Wharf starts on December 2 and goes through the 18th. You can visit their website to see the complete list of events throughout the week.

Historic Downtown Monterey’s Tree Lighting on Colton Hall Lawn

  • Address: 580 Pacific St, Monterey CA 

On Friday, December 2, at 5 pm, head down to Colton Hall Lawn to celebrate the holidays and enjoy a tree lighting ceremony. The celebration will have carols, music, and more for everyone to enjoy and participate in the annual tradition.

Christmas in the Adobes

Christmas in the Adobes is a nighttime event that allows you to visit 15 adobes on foot beginning on December 9. Staff will be dressed in period attire to greet visitors with music and entertainment for all to see. The event will help the Monterey State Historic Park educational history programs; tickets run for $25 per night.

Brighten the Harbor

Monterey will hold its annual Brighten the Harbor boat show. The Monterey Yacht Club will parade decorated boats along the bay from 5:30pm to 8 pm on December 4, something you will not want to miss.

Holiday Poinsettias for Sale Christmas in Seaside CA

Christmas in Seaside

Holiday Poinsettias for Sale

  • Address: 1349 Canyon Del Rey Blvd, Seaside CA

If you’re looking to help some charities, grab a Poinsettia for $12 this holiday season. All proceeds will go to families in need during the holidays, plus the Community Holiday Dinner at the Monterey County Fairgrounds and the Salvation Army. The Monterey Ski and Social Club will begin selling poinsettias on December 1. If you buy more than 10, you’re 11th will be free.

Christmas in Pacific Grove CA

Christmas Pacific Grove

Christmas at the Inns

Address: 584 Central Ave, Pacific Grove CA

Grab your camera and head out to Christmas at the Inns. The halls are decked, and doors are open for holiday cheer. Each location has live music and tasty holiday goodies for everyone.

Pacific Grove Holiday Tree Lighting

  • Address: Jewell Park, Pacific Grove CA

Head over to Jewell Park for live music starting at 5:30 pm. From there, you can enjoy caroling and refreshments while waiting for the tree-lighting event. The tree lighting will occur at 6 pm, and a visit by Santa will shortly follow.

Holiday Parade of Lights

  • Address: Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove Ca

On December 1, head out to Lighthouse Ave to make camp for their Holiday Parade of Lights. The parade will feature a marching band, holiday floats, dance teams, and more. The event begins at 6 pm, and after, the stores remain open late for holiday shopping and photos with Santa.

Stillwell’s Fun in the Park

  • Address: Caledonia Park, Pacific Grove CA

Celebrate the holidays in Caledonia Park with winter fun for everyone. Santa will arrive via fire truck to greet everyone, as well as Frosty the Snowman and the Snow Queen. There will be rides for the kids, bounce houses, and a petting zoo. All the fun happens on December 3 from 11 am to 3 pm.

Christmas in Carmel

City Holiday Tree Lighting

  • Address: Devendorf Park, Carmel-by-the-Sea CA

Devendorf Park will hold a slew of fun events to welcome the holidays, starting with music in the park and photos with the holiday trees. Around 4:30 pm, Santa will make his appearance, and a countdown will begin to light the tree, the downtown median, and the park lights in a spectacular event. This kicks off on December 2 and is an event you don’t want to miss.

Carmel Plaza Holiday Open House

  • Address: Ocean Ave and Mission St, Caramel-by-the-sea 

Carmel Plaza will offer a holiday open house on December 2 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Have fun with the live music, Santa visit, delicious treats, and activities for the kids. Special promotions will also be happening at the nearby stores.

The holidays are the best time to spend with the family. Heading out to one of these events throughout Monterey County will bring everyone a little closer during the holidays.

More Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Carmel

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