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Santa Monica Pier Holiday Events 2020

Published on November 23, 2020

Sweet treats, nightly light programs, and holiday window displays from the Bob Baker Marionette Company all make the Santa Monica Pier a fun, festive destination this holiday season.

As the days get shorter and the breeze coming in off the waves of the Pacific can be called “brisk”, the shops and attractions at the Santa Monica Pier begin their plans for the holiday season in Santa Monica. If you are planning to celebrate your holidays at home this year, consider planning a trip down to the Pier; you will find that fine fall festivities and feasts await!

Bob Baker Marionettes on Display

The Bob Baker Marionette Company has been delighting children in Los Angeles for nearly 60 years with their menagerie of magical marionettes. For the third year running, Bob Baker will grace the boardwalk of the Santa Monica through the holiday season. As shows that might gather large groups are still closed, the marionettes will instead be on display in the windows of the historic merry-go-round building. “Windows of Wonderment!” harken back to the seasonal holiday displays that graced the store fronts along Manhattan’s busy shopping avenues. See Bob Baker’s marionettes up-close November 25th – January 7th.

Frosty, Rudolf, and Santa Light up the Night Sky Over Santa Monica State Beach

During the last couple weeks of December you can see Pacific Park’s annual holiday light program on the world-famous Pacific Wheel. This year’s dazzling light program features a dozen different designs including a running reindeer, twinkling tree, and smiling Santa Claus. The nightly program starts at dusk each evening from December 18th – 30th. If you prefer to stay inside for your holiday celebrations, you can always stream the light program from Pacific Park’s webcams at

Taste a Seasonal Sip at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

You can all rally around a warm cup on the Pier at Coffee Bean. Winter Dream Tea® Latte is perfect for snuggling up by the fire. Peppermint and chocolate add a refreshing twist to our Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte. Red Velvet Hot Cocoa has a decadent blend of cream and chocolate. The Cookie Butter Ice Blended® and Cookie Butter Latte are full of delicious brown sugar cookie and spice. You can try these limited offerings daily through early January.

Make a day out of your Pier visit; check out these Holiday Happenings around Santa Monica

Free Parking in Downtown Santa Monica

Downtown Santa Monica and the City of Santa Monica are offering free parking starting Friday, December 11th through Christmas (December 25th) to help alleviate the stress of parking payments during the holidays, as well as for guests who are simply stopping by to pick up a food or retail order in the area. Free parking will be in City Parking Structures 1-6, located in the blocks on Second and Fourth streets, between Broadway and Wilshire. Many local restaurants and retailers are offering deals and promotions throughout the holidays; check out the list of offers here.

WinterLit Light Installation at the Third Street Promenade

Downtown Santa Monica will be lit for the holidays as the world-renowned shopping and dining destination is transformed into an immersive holiday experience. Tens of thousands of lights will illuminate the Promenade’s festive outdoor retail and dining, storefronts will shine with holiday art installations, and a new interactive holiday-themed augmented reality mobile app will allow guests to experience the open-air entertainment district in a whole new light beginning Friday, November 27 through Sunday, January 3. The official City of Santa Monica holiday tree will rise 24 feet over the shoppers visiting The Promenade and festive garland will deck the halls from 2nd to 4th Streets. Nightly lighting of the menorah will celebrate the Festival of Lights this Hanukkah season from Thursday, December 10 to Friday, December 18.

Support Police Activities League’s Best Gift Ever Drive

The Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) is continuing with its Best Gift Ever Drive to provide gifts to our community’s most vulnerable youth. This year’s toy drive will be virtual this year. Instead of donating a new, unwrapped gift, PAL is asking for gift cards of $30 to be given out to children and families in need. Those interested can adopt a youth online, or donate directly via their website at

Featured photo by @tps_johntobin