10+ Thrilling Things to do at Christmas in Santa Monica

Venice and Santa Monica are bustling with unique holiday events and activities that you must do if you’re in the area. While this part of LA doesn’t offer snow-covered trees and freezing temperatures, you can still get into the winter spirit with these fun events.

This list of fun and incredible things to do in Venice and Santa Monica is perfect for any family holiday fun; the hard part is picking where you want to go first.

Christmas in Santa Monica
credit Kristina Sado

Christmas in Santa Monica

Miracle on Main Street

  • Address: California Heritage Museum, 2612 Main St, Santa Monica CA
  •  Dates: December 10th, 3 pm to 7 pm 
  •  Website

On December 10, meet on the lawn of the California Heritage Museum for a fun and festive event. There will be face painting, Santa Claus, and a candlelight walk to the Edgemar Shopping Cart Tree. The street will also be lined with numerous holiday parties you will not want to miss. Check their website for a timeline of all the events.

Brunch with Santa Paws

  • Address: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica CA
  •  Dates: December 3 from 11 am to 1 pm
  •  Website

Christmas is for the entire family, so it’s time for your pups to meet Santa. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is having a special brunch with Santa Paws where your furry pal can snap a photo with Santa, and you both can enter a best-dressed contest. The hotel will have reindeer headbands to wear just to help you get in the festive mood. Brunch is $50 per person, and 20% of your ticket will go to Love Leo Rescue.

Breakfast with SantaSt. Judes Children’s Research Hospital. A $5 is required for any child over one, and you can RSVP online.

Montana Avenue’s Annual Holiday Walk

  • Address: 1120 Montana Ave, Santa Monica CA
  •  Date: December 3 from 10 am to 6 pm 
  •  Website

Montana Avenue will be filled with holiday cheer. Stroll the street while enjoying carolers, live music, and fun shopping experiences. The holiday party is 11 blocks and a great time to shop for gifts and enjoy time with your family.


  • Address: Third Street Promenade and Downtown Santa Monica
  •  Date: Mid-November thru January
  •  Website

Downtown Santa Monica is turned into a winter wonderland. Colorful lights, garland, decor, and more will line the streets and shopping center for all to enjoy. While there, take a photo with Santa, enjoy the ice rink, and grab a bite to eat.

Holiday Cheer on the Pier

  • Address: Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica CA
  •  Date: December 15 from 3 pm to 6 pm
  •  Website

Friends and family can to head to Santa Monica Pier for a fun night with entertainment, live music, local art installations, and discounts! It’s the perfect place to unwind with friends during the holiday season and enjoy the scenery.

Lunetta Holiday Party

  • Address: 2424 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica CA
  •  Date: December 9 from 5 pm to 8 pm
  •  Website

Lunetta will have with annual holiday party, which features a toy drive. Bring an unwrapped gift, and in exchange, you can enjoy a cocktail or an item from their “golden hour” menu on the house. Make reservations online to secure your spot.

Seaside Cinema

  • Address: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica CA
  •  Date: Mid-November thru January 
  •  Website 

Head into Seaside Cinema, where you can enjoy timeless holiday classics and munchies to help put you in the holiday spirit. There will be movies, including Elf, Polar Express, and Mickey’s Magical Christmas, throughout the month, and you can check their website for the schedule.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do; your family will have an incredible time at these festive events throughout Venice and Santa Monica.

Christmas in Santa Monica
credit Kristina Sado

Christmas at Santa Monica Place

Holiday Performances

  • Address: Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica CA
  •  Date: The month of December 
  •  Website

Throughout December, the Santa Monica Beach Belles will be dancing to fun holiday music for all to enjoy. With the dancers, you can enjoy live DJ performances on the weekends, where everyone can dance. Check their website for all dates and hours the dancers will be out.

Breakfast with Santa Benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  • Address: Level 3, Food Court at Santa Monica Place
  • Date: First Saturday in December
  • Website

Enjoy kid-friendly activities including crafts, face-painting, special musical performances, and snacks while you wait for the much anticipated appearance by Santa Claus. Families are asked to donate a minimum of $5 per person, which will all go to St. Jude’s.

Santa Paws in santa monica CA

Pet Night with Santa

  • Address: Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica CA
  •  Date: Wednesday, December 14 
  •  Website

Dress your pup up and get ready for a stunning photo with Santa. Santa Monica Place will hold a special pet night for photos with Santa, and you can donate to the Humane Society of the United States. Dogs and cats are the only animals allowed at the event, and you must pre-book your reservation on their website.

Christmas in Venice CA

Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run

  • Address: 1501 Main St #205, Venice CA
  • Date: Second week of December 
  • Website

This year is the 39th annual Santa Monica-Venice Christmas run. This is LA’s largest holiday running event, and all proceeds go to a fantastic fundraiser. The run will have a 5k and 10k option, allowing you to walk or run the course down the iconic Venice Boardwalk and finish at the Venice Pavilion. There will also be a kid’s 1k fun run that starts and ends at the Venice Pavilion.

Annual Holiday Lighting of the Venice Sign

  • Address: Pacific Ave and Windward Ave, 1501 Main St #205 Venice CA
  •  Date: Saturday, December 3 6:15 pm to 9 pm
  •  Website 

Gather the family for this festive holiday lighting of the Venice Sign. This beloved tradition continues in Venice with special guests, as everyone witnesses the Venice Sign change into cheerful holiday colors. The lighting event begins at 6:15 pm and goes until 9 pm.

Venice Canals Christmas Lights and Holiday Boat Parade

  • Address: Eastern and Carroll Canals, Venice CA
  •  Date: December 3 at 3:30 pm

The Venice Canals is a lovely neighborhood in Venice that is filled with beautiful Christmas lights during the season and a wooden bridge that is perfect for strolling along. For the entire month of December, your family can stroll through the area and get in the festive mood. You can also attend the Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade, a tradition since 1983. The parade begins at 3:30 pm, where you can watch beautifully decorated boats float along the canal.

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