People wearing santa hats and drinking wine at holiday party

There are few places as lovely and temperate to celebrate the holiday season as Southern California. Santa Barbara in particular comes to life with a number of beautiful Christmas light installations, lively concerts, holiday parties, and some beautiful local religious services every year. If you’re traveling here in the month of December, you might appreciate checking out some of the local festivities. 

For some specific examples, check out this guide to how Hotel Milo celebrates the holidays. 

Santa Claus Run Santa Barbara 2019

December 14th

Work off those hearty holiday feasts early, and sign up for the fun and challenging Santa Claus Run Santa Barbara. The popular event is accessible to all ranges of athlete, with nothing too crazy in just a 5K run, and a one-mile run. Participants all get their own t-shirt, Santa hat, and gloves, so you can run through the beautiful city of Santa Barbara in full on holiday spirit. 

Travelers heading to town can join the fun for an affordable price, paying $20 for the 5K after December 1st, and $20 for the one-mile run. Youth runners are all welcome to join the fun. The races will start early in the morning at La Cumbre Plaza in front of Lure Fish House. 

La Cumbre Plaza. Santa Barbara, CA 

The Red & White Christmas Bash

December 14th

Take advantage of the local climate and its beautiful bounty this holiday season at the annual Red and White Christmas Bash. The party will take place at Carr Winery, and in addition to serving up the finest red and white varietals from their local vineyard, the party will also encourage guests to adorn their best clothes of the same colors. Think Santa costumes, ugly sweaters, and vibrant dresses. 

For those who want to add some good doing to their holiday festivities, you can bring a toy donation, or a $25 for Toys For Tots to the gathering. Otherwise, admission is totally free for those who are of legal drinking age. We promise, this is one of the more joyous and tasteful holiday bashes in town. 

Carr Winery. Santa Barbara, CA 

Santa Barbara Jazz Society Holiday Jam!

December 15th

The holiday season, Christmas spirit, and jazz music have blended together famously for as long as jazz has been alive. For that reason alone, you can count on having a stellar time at this year’s Santa Barbara Jazz Society Holiday Jam. This will be an afternoon concert on a Sunday, and it will take place in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara at the critically acclaimed Soho Restaurant & Music Club. 

The Soho has brought reputable live jazz music to Santa Barbara for over a quarter century. In addition to the beloved annual holiday jam, the venue hosts the best touring artists coming through town throughout the given year. Be sure to check it out this December, or in the future beyond. 

Soho Restaurant & Music Club. Santa Barbara, CA 

Chanukah in the Mall

December 22nd

Chanukah lovers, and Jewish travelers spending the holiday in Santa Barbara are highly encouraged to check out this fun and exciting event. The family-friendly gathering known as Chanukah in the Mall will feature live glass blowing demonstrations, and every child attending will get a free glass dreidel! There will also be painting, donuts, latkes, music, and plenty more exciting activities. 

La Cumbre Plaza. Santa Barbara, CA 

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

December 24th

Those staying with Hotel Milo over the Christmas holiday can find some religious activities at the nearby Apostles Church. We find the special candlelight Christmas Eve worship service to be a generally beautiful, and well-produced event. You can head there to enjoy biblical recollections of Christ’s birth, Christmas hymn sing-alongs, candlelight prayers, and a short family service. 

Apostles Church. Santa Barbara, CA 

Discover more of Santa Barbara

Planning a visit to the American Riviera? Explore Santa Barbara like a local and discover insider recommendations on the Hotel Milo Santa Barbara blog!