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Things to do in Santa Barbara: December 2016

Happy Holidays

Can you believe it is already the holiday season? There are several holiday events happening in December this year – the Parade of Lights and the State Street Parade. If you are looking for an event to kick off the holiday season catch the holiday parade downtown tonight. This is a fun way to spend time to with the family. While you are out shopping, don’t forget that we offer gift certificates for almost all of our adventures, as well as SBACo hats and shirts. If you want to give an incredible day of excitement, you can always purchase a certificate at the SBACo Online Gift Store. As the year comes to a close, we would like to wish all of our friends and guests a happy and healthy holiday season. Cheers!

Santa Barbara Parade

Downtown Holiday Parade – December 2, 6:30pm
More than 50,000 spectators are expected to line downtown Santa Barbara to cheer on a colossal contingent of high-stepping marching bands, fabulous holiday floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and of course, the most anticipated appearance of the evening…the annual arrival of Santa Claus, dispensing holiday cheer from atop his festive sleigh.

Parade of Lights and Santa Village on the Pier – December 11th, 5:30pm at the Santa Barbara Waterfront
Festivities begin with a Santa’s Village event on the City Pier featuring a visit from Santa, ten tons of snow and holiday music. Deep Sea Wine Tasting will host the Judging Party on Stearns Wharf while distinguished judges, along with thousands of spectators, cheer on the boats decorated to the theme of “Wild WestHolidays.” A short fireworks display will follow the boat parade.

Santa Barbara Wine Tasting

Tour the Santa Ynez Wine Country, Tour departing most weekends, call for availability.
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy some fine wine and beautiful scenery. Tour are departing most days at 10am with shuttle pickup and drop off. Votes “Santa Barbara’s Best Wine Tour” 2 years consecutively, come and see what makes a tour with Santa Barbara Adventure Company so special! Group discounts are available.

Cork Painting Snowflakes and Wreaths, Santa Barbara Zoo – Christmas Day, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Stop by the Explore Store for an easy craft that’s fun for all ages! In the spirit of the holidays, you can use a cork as your “paintbrush” to create beautiful snowflakes and wreaths.

The Christmas Revels, Lobero Theatre December 16, 17, 18.
A favorite Santa Barbara seasonal tradition, this year’s show transports audiences to the Scottish Highlands in the mid-1700’s to experience and enjoy the haunting strains of the pipes, the lively highland dances, the competition between clans, the stories and seasonal rituals of that time and place.

Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show, Every Sunday
Approximately 300 Santa Barbara County resident artists come to display their own works in an informal atmosphere under the palms of seaside Chase Palm Park. All items are original art, created by the artists you meet. The show is held every fair weather Sunday and Special Holidays. Time: 10 a.m. ’til Dusk

First Thursday — Art, Music & Theater
On the first Thursday of each month, downtown galleries keep their doors open late allowing the public to enjoy local art in a fun and social atmosphere. Additional attractions such as music, artist openings, demonstrations, and refreshments are featured at participating venues. Downtown Santa Barbara
Time: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market, Every Saturday and Tuesday
Come down and buy local fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, small plants and specialty items. Street musicians, music and downtown shops and restaurants. Year round, rain or shine. Corner of Santa Barbara and Cota Streets on Sunday and on State Street (500-600 bocks) on Tuesday.
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m/4:00pm – 7:30.

Please add events and activities that we may have missed in the comment section below.


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