Winterlit: Holiday events begin this week in Downtown Santa Monica. Courtesy photos

With the holiday season approaching, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is ramping up activities on the Promenade including its much loved tree lighting ceremony.

Tens of thousands of lights are flickering on at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 marking the start of the annual Winterlit festivities set to suffuse the Downtown district with the festive spirit. Santa will also be rolling into town to oversee the lighting of the official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall holiday tree.

The event is intended to draw the community together and will feature performances by the Samohi Madrigals, Lincoln Middle School Madrigals, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Mariachi Perla del Oeste and Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Chamber Ensemble.

“It’s a hyper local, very community friendly event to come out watch your friends and families perform, watch the tree light up and then get a little face time with Santa Claus,” said DTSM Director of Marketing and Communications Mackenzie Carter, adding that Santa will be available for socially distanced photographs that evening.

Menorah lightings will also take place throughout Hannukah from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6. Lightings will begin nightly at sundown on the 1400 block of Third Street Promenade, which is between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway. Each lighting ceremony will be hosted by different Jewish organizations from around Santa Monica and the Westside.

Anyone interested in staving off a less beloved holiday tradition, that of holiday weight gain, will enjoy the range of health conscious programming also running on the Promenade.

This includes free fitness classes hosted every Saturday morning on the Promenade in partnership with Fit Girl Club LA. Upcoming offerings include a 10 a.m. HIIT class with Basecamp Fitness and an 11 a.m. buns and boxing class with Femme Fighter on Nov. 20; and a 10 a.m. Krav Maga Self-Defense Level 1 class with Arthur Li and an 11 a.m. detox yoga flow class with Cara Chandler on Nov. 27.

Different local artisans will be featured at each Saturday workout peddling handmade wellness products and crafts.

“We wanted to host a regular workout session on the Promenade on the weekends that would give people the opportunity to come and work out, but also then to go grab lunch, go to the farmers market or go shopping,” said Carter. “We’re calling it Self-Care Saturday where you spend the morning on the Promenade in the beautiful sunshine and enjoying doing everything that the Downtown has to offer.”

For those fit-minded individuals who like a little Saturday snooze, the Conscious Night Market, also hosted in partnership with Fit Girl Club LA, offers a fun evening wellness option.

The next market will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 4 and feature a range of sustainable and wellness brands, healthy food trucks, artisans, a kombucha garden and live music.

“We want to be able to offer our community retail opportunities that they might not otherwise have in Santa Monica and so we decided to set up a market series,” said Carter, explaining how the night market is part of DTSM’s efforts to bring more small and minority-owned businesses to Downtown.

In line with this mission, the SoCal Etsy Guild will be hosting pop-up markets on the Promenade on Nov. 20 and Dec. 18. Both markets will run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and include a range of local artists, crafters and designers.

More information on all of the Promenade programs can be found at