Your Guide to the Holiday Season in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara often called the American Riviera, is famous for its year-round sunshine and mild temperatures. That certainly remains true throughout the holiday season. For travelers headed this way in December, we have a number of recommendations. From local events worth checking out, places to eat throughout the holidays, and of course where you can stay. Here’s a brief guide to enjoying the holiday season in Santa Barbara. 

A Magical Cirque Christmas | November 28

Don’t miss this presentation by the American Theatre Guild of A Magical Cirque Christmas, which will be held at The Granada Theatre.  

This production will feature your classic, daring gymnastics, dance, and acrobatic cirque performers. It will also showcase magic from hostess Lucy Darling, and live performances of holiday music. Sure to be a dazzling display of arts and winter cheer, this production will be a great time for travelers coming to Santa Barbara earlier in the holiday season. 

The Sound of Christmas Sing-Along | December 4

Get the holiday season started the right way with The Sound of Christmas Sing Along at the historic Lobero Theater

The evening will be led by Emmy-nominated singer, Charles Fernandez. The Sound of Christmas Chamber Players, and narrator Sheelagh Cullen will join Fernandez for a night of holiday cheer. The audience will follow the musicians through harmonious renditions of holiday classics such as “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.” 

Santa Barbara Harbor Parade of Lights | December 11

This year marks the 26th annual Santa Barbara Harbor Parade of Lights. This free event runs from noon to 9 pm, beginning with an open Winter Wonderland experience at the pier. 

Festival organizers are bringing in 10 tons of snow for kids and parents to play in. The rest of the day will feature a large kayak-stand-up paddle around Stearns Wharf. Paddle participants will be dressed in holiday attire. A tree-lighting ceremony will follow the paddle and finally comes the parade. 30 watercrafts lit up in Christmas lights will travel from Ledbetter Beach to the Cabrillo Arts Pavillion, creating quite the spectacle in the process. 

Restaurants Open on Christmas

Travelers spending the holidays in town can take comfort in the fact that a large number of Santa Barbara restaurants stay open for Christmas. For reference, you can check this list from A large number of the city’s best restaurants have stayed open for Christmas in the past, such as Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Santa Barbara Craft Ramen, and The Lark SB

Be sure to check restaurant websites for up-to-date information on whether or not they will be open this Christmas. For more guidance and help, guests of Hotel Milo can lean on our hotel staff. 

Staying with Hotel Milo 

Located across the water on Cabrillo Boulevard and around the corner from the heart of the city on State Street, Hotel Milo is a great place to stay year-round. If you’re looking to get ahead of the game and make your holiday reservations, you can find a wide range of savings as an early gift to yourself with our selection of Santa Barbara Hotel Deals & Packages.

Leave a Reply