Christmas in Santa Barbara: Experience the Holiday Magic

While Kris Kringle is busy checking his list twice, Santa Barbara is busy going all-out in celebration of Christmas! The town dons itself with decorations and plans plenty of festive activities. You’ll be swept away by the holiday magic when you spend Christmas in Santa Barbara.

What activities are there during the holiday season?

Let it Snow at Paso Nuevo

From November 29 – December 31, shop under the “snow” at Paso Nuevo. Twice nightly (at 6pm and 7pm), “snow” will fall from the Santa Barbara skies and bring holiday cheer to all the shoppers. Families can even meet Santa in his workshop!

Solvang Julefest

Visit Solvang Julefest in the Danish village of Solvang through January 3 for a Christmassy treat! Solvang has ranked in the top 10 most Christmassy towns in America thanks to Julefest. This month-long celebration features plenty of holiday activities, including a Christmas Drone Show on December 21! Those visiting with children will love seeing “Santa’s Lade,” which translates to Santa’s Barn, and is a children’s winter wonderland where they can see snow and meet live animals.

Rockstar Trolley of Lights Tour

Celebrate Christmas in Santa Barbara with this family-friendly trolley tour. Ride around Santa Barbara and see all of the incredible holiday decorations and beautifully lit neighborhoods. You’ll also be able to enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and candy canes. The trolley pickup is at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Christmas in Santa Barbara food events

Snow Globe Bar

At Finch & Fork, until Dec. 28, you can enjoy this winter wonderland pop-up bar! The Snow Globe Bar features drinks and treats–of course, including holiday themed beverages! Treat yourself to a “Snow Globe” or a flight of “Reindeer Games” while you enjoy the atmosphere.

Holiday Tea

Enjoy an afternoon of tea and treats at Bella Vista. Relax in the glow of the fireplace and sip on a selection of delicious teas. You can also enjoy treats such as finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, tea cakes, and more! If you want to add another element to this experience, add a glass of bubbly or Champagne. The holiday tea runs through December 21.

Muni Mega Mall

On December 19, you can visit the Municipal Winemakers tasting room in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone to experience the Muni Mega Mall. Drink wine and shop at the pop-up shop booths promoting local artisans. Find jewelry, ceramics, clothing, artwork, and more! Listen to live music and enjoy food at the Muni Mega Mall from 4-7 pm.

Where should I stay?

When you visit Santa Barbara for Christmas, stay at Marina Beach Motel! Join us for a relaxing stay in our welcoming rooms, and even enjoy complimentary cookies every afternoon! You can learn more about our amenities, including free bicycle rentals to explore Santa Barbara here.