The Pier will be getting festive for the holidays.

For the first time in more than a decade, holiday Pier programming returns to the Santa Monica landmark with Wonderland by the Water, a seven-week-long event featuring art, food, a craft/gift market and even puppets.

“I think we as people look forward to holidays for the specialness,” Negin Singh, Executive Director of the Pier said. “It allows us to reflect and believe in the magic of the world. We wanted the Pier, which is magical, to give that experience to our guests. Whether they’ve been here before or are new, we want them to come down and see something unique.”

For the Pier’s return to programming, Singh says she wanted the Pier to house all of the unique parts of LA during the holidays in an accessible, free-to-low-cost one-stop spot.

To do that, she’s brought in Bob Baker’s Marionette puppet show, Smorgasburg LA (over 70 food vendors), shopping with Unique LA (a pop-up retail experience with hundreds of designers and vendors), story time and photo ops with mermaids and King Triton all appearing the backdrop of a seadragon art installation in the Pier’s historic Merry-Go-Round.

Koreatown-based artist Myriad Stilts was the eyes and hands behind the art installation, something she says is a sight to behold.

Iridescent vinyl, plaster, wood, resin, clay, real sea shells, fake seashells, paint, paper and “an endless list” of other items were used to make the handmade, handpainted installation.

“Its really something you have to look at with your eyes,” Stilts said. There are so many colors and textures going on, it makes the eye giggle and taking a picture doesn’t do some of the colors and materials justice.”

Singh says the Winter return of the Pier the first of hopefully many large, weekslong events the Pier will have, hoping to begin a series in Spring.

Regardless of the time of year, Singh says the most important aspect of the Pier is bringing people together.

“No matter where you come from, how old you are, or what religion you ascribe to, the holidays at their best are a time of togetherness, kindness, and magic.

Wonderland by the Water takes place November 19 – January 6 at the Santa Monica Pier. For more information including dates and times of events, visit

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1 Comment

  1. would be nice to check out if i werent afraid of having a knife pulled on me again or yelled at by a homeless person and i live just down the street on 5th. instead of paying for decor why not have more cops on foot walking our neighborhoods? or do something about the parks?

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