ICE: The popular Downtown ice skating rink opened on Dec. 16. ICE will remain open for the next two months. Grace Inez Adams

Santa Monica’s official Holiday Tree Lighting will be held Dec. 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. on the Third Street Promenade at Santa Monica Boulevard

Santa comes to the Promenade for the annual lighting of the official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall holiday tree. Join organizers for performances by local school groups, free photos with Santa, and a snowy surprise.  

The tree lighting is part of Winterlit (, Santa Monica’s holiday celebration, that transforms Third Street Promenade and Downtown Santa Monica into an immersive experience for the whole family. Tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland will deck the Third Street Promenade, 2nd and 4th Streets, illuminating convenient shopping and festive outdoor dining experiences.

The adjacent Santa Monica Place will also transform into a winter wonderland and offer an array of festive activities for the whole family to enjoy this holiday season.

Santa’s is taking residence in the mall’s brand-new Santa House in Center Plaza through December 24. Visitors will have the chance to take photos with Santa and shoppers can bring their four-legged friends to meet Santa during Pet Nights on Dec. 14 and 15. Pre-booking reservations are now open.

Throughout December, visitors and shoppers will catch special holiday entertainment by the dancing sensation, Santa Monica Beach Belles, a cappella performances by the Oceanaires, as well as DJ holiday sets, all set around the 50-foot iconic Christmas tree and festive décor in Center Plaza.

Other special holiday events include Breakfast with Santa where families will enjoy crafts, snacks, and kid-friendly musical performances along with an appearance by Santa. The event will take place Dec. 3 from 9-10 a.m. in the Food Court. In lieu of ticket sales, Santa Monica Place is asking for donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. A minimum $5 donation per child will be required to attend.

Nightly menorah lightings will take place December 18 – 26 to celebrate the Festival of Lights during the Hanukkah season.

Visit for more information and to register for events.

SMDP Staff