Santa Monica Events, Music & Nightlife

Santa Monica events, music, and nightlife offer something for just about everyone under the sun. From weekly farmers markets and holiday performances to live music and stand-up comedy,  there's always something going on in Santa Monica. 

Whether you're local, new in town, or just cruising through, see below for upcoming weekly and monthly events happening during your visit or stay.

December Events

NOW - DECEMBER 24
SANTA CLAUS HAS COME TO TOWN

From now until December 24th bring the whole family to visit Santa’s winter wonderland at Santa Monica Place.  The jolly ole elf arrived November 19 and is located in Center Plaza. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase.  Make your reservation today. 395 Santa Monica Place.


NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 6
MENORAH LIGHTINGS ON THE THIRD STREET PROMENADE

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) brings the holidays to the Third Street Promenade with the return of Winterlit, transforming the downtown district into an immersive, festive experience. Tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland will deck the Third Street Promenade, 2nd and 4th Streets, illuminating convenient shopping and cozy outdoor dining experiences.

Nightly menorah lightings will celebrate the Festival of Lights during the Hanukkah season from Sunday, November 28 through Monday, December 6. The lighting of the menorah will begin at sundown and take place on the 1400 block of Third Street Promenade (located between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway). Get more details here

DECEMBER 4 @ 1 & 5PM
WESTSIDE BALLET'S THE NUTCRACKER 2021

From the moment the lights dim, you’ll be transported to a magical world of Christmas fantasy. The merriment and joy of the season is celebrated in the Victorian-style party scene, menacing mice battle with toy soldiers, and a dashing Prince travels with Clara through the Land of Snow where swirling flurries are conjured by the sparkling Snow Queen. 

Two showings: at 1pm and 5pm.;  Watch the trailer here. Tickets are $50; get tickets here.


DECEMBER 4
MONTANA AVENUE HOLIDAY WALK

Montana Avenue Holiday Walk - 10 am - 6 pm. Find wonderful gifts, have your photos taken with Santa, listen to live music, indulge in great food and drinks. Along Montana Ave.


DECEMBER 5 @ 1PM
WESTSIDE BALLET'S THE NUTCRACKER 2021

From the moment the lights dim, you’ll be transported to a magical world of Christmas fantasy. The merriment and joy of the season is celebrated in the Victorian-style party scene, menacing mice battle with toy soldiers, and a dashing Prince travels with Clara through the Land of Snow where swirling flurries are conjured by the sparkling Snow Queen. 

One showing December 5 at 1pm; Watch the trailer here. Tickets are $50; get tickets here.


DECEMBER 10
SANTA MONICA MYSTERY QUEST

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., in partnership with Santa Monica Mystery Quest, has launched a free scavenger hunt series on the Third Street Promenade. Lovers of mystery and adventure will enjoy this real-world, immersive experience to solve the case of the missing Promenade dinosaur. Participants will follow clues, collaborate with teammates, collect points and win prizes.

Each participating team is encouraged to create a fun name for their squad and sport a team color or costume. To participate in a quest is free, but registration is required. Once registered, participants will receive additional details by email on the day of their quest. WHEN: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Winners to be announced after each session); WHERE:  1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica.


DECEMBER 11
MIRACLE ON MAIN STREET TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION

Kids activities starting at 1pm, followed by Santa and the tree lighting at 4pm at the Heritage Museum lawn.

World famous Shopping Cart Tree (2415 Main Street) The holidays are all about tradition, which is why the 40-foot tall Shopping Cart Tree inside the Frank Gehry designed Edgemar building, will be lit up for the 27th year in a row. 84 shopping carts will be staged in the shape of a Christmas tree and lit up with 1,500 lightbulbs, held together with 4,000 zip ties.

California Heritage Museum Tree (2612 Main Street) The beloved 13 foot tall Noble fir will stand tall over Main Street, decorated with colorful lights, taking center stage on the Heritage Museum lawn. Both trees will be on display starting December 6.

SANTA CLAUS! After taking a break from toy-making, Santa will hop in his sleigh and travelled all the way down from the North Pole to say hello to good little boys and girls this holiday season he meets on Main Street.  Get details.


DECEMBER 11:  5:55 PM
MARINA DEL REY HOLIDAY BOAT PARADE

Watch a trail of lighted boats cruise through the main channel. Arrive early to grab a spot on the lawn at Burton Chace Park or a good photo spot at Fisherman’s Village, two of the most popular viewing places. Narration on a PA system is available at both locations.

The 2021 parade themed “Joy on the Water” is celebrating its 59th year. A brief fireworks show at 5:55 p.m. announces the parade's start, which lasts until about 8 p.m. Free admission.


 DECEMBER 18
SANTA MONICA PUB CRAWL TO BENEFIT THE WESTSIDE FOOD BANK

Dust off those antlers and Santa hats, shine up those menorahs and get ready for the 12th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl on Saturday, December 18! Dozens of the city's best bars and restaurants are coming together to raise funds for the Westside Food Bank while celebrating the holiday season together!

 More than 30 locations across the city of Santa Monica will offer $5-$8 food and drink specials to those with the official pub crawl wristband. In addition to the specials, the ticket includes priority entry, 1 free drink, free cover charges, DJs and live entertainment and entry into the official after party. Tickets on sale now HERE.

LOCATION: 1240 Third Street Promenade Santa Monica, CA 90401. Contact: smpubcrawl@gmail.com


WEEKLY EVENTS

SUNDAY

  • Sunday Main Street Farmers Market Celebrated Sunday market boasts farm-fresh produce, meats & dairy, plus flowers & artisanal goods. 
  • 8:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • 2640 Main Street (In the Victorian parking lot)
  • Complimentary parking is available from 8:30am - 2pm in the John Muir / SMASH elementary parking lots at 2526 6th Street
  • Metered parking is available along Main Street and in adjacent City lots.
  • HOLIDAY CLOSURE: December 26
  • Yacht Rock Sundays at Jameson's Pub 70s & 80s rock classics live featuring Driftwood Mac


MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

  • Wednesday Downtown Santa Monica Market The largest grower-only Certified Farmers Market in Southern California and a favorite for local chefs! Considered to be among the best on the west coast and featuring field-fresh produce, hundreds of kinds of vegetables, brilliant cut flowers, breads, cheeses, delicious foods and more.
  • 8 am - 1pm
  • Arizona Avenue (between 2nd & 4th)
  • Adjacent City parking Structures 1, 2, and 4 provide 90 minutes of free parking.


  • Live Band Karaoke Wednesdays 
  • 9:30 - 11:59 pm
  • Jameson’s Pub, 2702 Main St, Santa Monica
  • Events Details


  • Trivia Night at The Bungalow Santa Monica Bring your friends for a fun night of trivia at The Bungalow Santa Monica. Free to enter. Win prizes. 
  • 7pm - 10pm Wednesdays
  • 101 Wilshire Blvd 
  • Contact info:  310.899.8530


THURSDAY

  • Live DJ Deep House Yoga with Doug Duchon and Casey Austin 
  • 7:30 pm - 9pm Thursdays
  • 1235 4th St., Santa Monica CA 90401
  • 310.310.2306

FRIDAY

  • The Friday Show: Stand-Up Comedy Weekly at 8 pm:  Start your weekend right with The Friday Show, featuring national headliners, comics from TV and Film, and some of the Westside's favorite locals. Tickets must be purchased in advance at westsidecomedy.com.
  • 8pm - 10 pm
  • 1323-A 3rd St Promenade (A stands for Alley) Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • 310.451.0850


SATURDAY

  • Saturday Downtown Farmers Market The largest grower-only Certified Farmers Market in Southern California and a favorite for local chefs! Considered to be among the best on the west coast and featuring field-fresh produce, hundreds of kinds of vegetables, brilliant cut flowers, breads, cheeses, delicious foods, and more.
  • Arizona Avenue (between 2nd & 4th)
  • 8:00am - 1:00pm
  • Adjacent City parking Structures 1, 2, and 4 provide 90 minutes of free parking.
  • HOLIDAY CLOSURES: November 27; December 25


  • Saturday Pico Farmers Market In Virginia Ave. Park in the heart of the neighborhood.
  • Pico Blvd. & Cloverfield Blvd.
  • 8:00am - 1:00pm
  • HOLIDAY CLOSURE: December 25


  • Downtown Walking Tour:  Discover downtown Santa Monica’s architecture, history and culture with Santa Monica Conservancy Docents. See where Jim Morrison played his first show and visit the lavish Art Deco hotel that housed a speakeasy during Prohibition. The walking tour covers about six blocks in two hours.


  • The Late Night Saturday Show You won't want to miss The Late Night Saturday Show! Featuring national headliners, comics from TV and film, and some of The Westside's favorite locals. Shows starts at 10PM. Tickets must be purchased in advanced at westsidecomedy.com.
  • 10pm - 11:30pm
  • 1323-A 3rd St Promenade (A stands for Alley) Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • 310.451.0850


MONTHLY

  • Westside Laugh Party Stand-Up Comedy Westside's Laugh Party is a monthly standup show produced by Dennis Gubbins featuring the best comics from around the country with surprise drop-ins by the likes of Tig Notaro, Zach Galifianakis, Ali Wong, Demetri Martin, Damons Wayans and many others! The proceeds for each show are donated to a local charity... so there is that too! Come on out and laugh! Who knows who will show up this month.... party!
  • 8:00 am – 9:30 pm; Every Third Thursday (next dates: December 16; January 20, 2022 and onward)
  • 1323-A 3rd St Promenade (A stands for Alley) Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • Purchase tickets at westsidecomedy.com.
  • 310.451.0850


Wrapping Up on Santa Monica Events

If you have other favorite Santa Monica events, activities, or things to do that occur regularly during the week, or know of a Santa Monica establishment with daily, recurring music, events, or menu specials, use the form below to share it for inclusion on this page.


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