Christmas in Santa Barbara

Christmas in Santa Barbara

•Best Things to do in Santa Barbara during the Holidays•


The Santa Barbara Mission in its festive glory

Embrace the warmth of the holiday season in sunny Santa Barbara! While California may not be your typical Christmas destination, Santa Barbara has a unique charm that makes it an ideal place to celebrate without the extremes of freezing temperatures or sweltering heat. Our coastal haven is brimming with festive events, enchanting performances, and delightful shopping opportunities, adding a touch of sparkle to your Christmas celebrations. Picture yourself strolling through the seasonal magic, adorned in your coziest knit scarves and sweaters, as you revel in the holiday spirit. To kickstart your festive journey, I've curated a list of our favorite yuletide activities. Whether it's a merry market or a heartwarming performance, there's something for everyone. Join us in creating cherished holiday memories in Santa Barbara this Christmas Season!

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→ Read the article, or watch my Holiday video below

Paseo Nuevo Shopping Mall

 Paseo Nuevo Shopping Mall during the Holiday Season

Enjoy the festive set up strolling through Santa Barbara’s Downtown pedestrian shopping mall, "Paseo Nuevo". There are maker fairs with a variety of holiday-themed items made by local artists, a letter to Santa writing station, and photo sessions with Santa for the whole family, including your pets. During the evening you can even experience snow falling over the center court with its beautiful, prominent tree and sparkling lights. Check out Holidays at Paseo Nuevo here.

The Stow House

The Stow House - Historical Landmark in Goleta

Visit the picturesque grounds of La Patera Ranch and Stow House in Goleta for the holidays. Locals adore picture sessions with Santa and his rein-goats at this event. Families with little kids love riding the holiday train at the Goleta South Coast Railroad Museum. There also will be crafts, face painting, food, and music. Check out Holiday at the Ranch here.

Summerland Christmas Shopping

View over Summerland

Another fun way to get into the holiday spirit is visiting Summerland for eclectic home and garden decor shopping. The inviting stores along Lillie Ave offer unique gifts and furniture. From antiques and thrift stores to stylish accessories and garden designs - you can find a wide array of items to dress up your home in the quaint coastal town of Summerland. While you are there, you might also like to enjoy a casual lunch or walk down to the beautiful beach from Lookout Park. Or visit the Sacred Space for some South East Asian items to either purchase or some spiritual inspiration while relaxing in the Balinese Zen garden with a cup of tea.