When we think “Christmas”, images of a gorgeous, sunny beachfront destination aren’t exactly at the forefront of most people’s minds. But the holidays don’t have to be cold, snowy, and miserable. Get all the magic of the holidays without freezing your toes off. We’re talking about Christmas at Venice Beach of course! Here are some of the best activities and events to celebrate the holidays at Venice Beach and the surrounding area:
Annual Holiday Block Party and Snow Day on Abbot Kinney Blvd
This is the bread and butter of Christmas in Venice Beach — the holiday block party! This three-day extravaganza has everything you’ve ever wanted to complete your perfect holiday experience, including:
- Sledding on real snow
- Santa (photo op!)
- Carolers singing Holiday favorites
- Holiday activities for the kids
- Dozens of the most sought-after mobile eateries
- Stores offering holiday cheer and special promos
- Great shopping and many amazing restaurants and bars
The weekend kicks off with a holiday-themed First Friday, with arts, crafts, activities, and food galore. On Saturday, catch the best holiday deals and steals from local Abbot Kinney businesses and stock up on your holiday gifts for the season. Sunday boasts a legendary snow-filled Snow Day, complete with REAL snow! (Who says you can’t enjoy snow on the beach?!) Kids can go sledding, do crafts, get their face painted, and see Santa! The best part? It all happens in The Brig lot. Come hang with us for this fun-filled holiday block party, we can’t wait to see you there!
Venice Holiday Sign Lighting
Hosted by the Venice Chamber of Commerce, the Annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting is actually a big deal, and they make a grand event out of it every year! Join special guests and the Venice Beach community for the beloved tradition of changing the lights from white to red & green for the holiday season! They close out the entirety of Windward Avenue east of Pacific Avenue for the occasion. There will be live music, a poster contest, and activities that you and your entire family can enjoy. Don’t miss out on this special tradition!
Artist & Fleas Holiday Shopping
Held every Saturday, Artists & Fleas features 50+ merchants, offering handmade wonders, art, vintage, and everything in between! There’s also plenty of delicious food from Food Truck vendors, keeping you full and happy while you shop around for that perfect holiday gift for your loved one. Artists & Fleas is located on the corner of Abbot Kinney and Westminster Avenue in the outdoor lot of Westminster Avenue Elementary School.
Venice Canals Christmas Lights & Boat Parades
Arguably the best part of Venice Beach is its wondrous network of impressive canals and waterways. And of course, they are decked out in lights for the holidays! You can stroll along the walkways along the canal and sip hot cocoa as you marvel at the beauty of the twinkling light displays. And, on the first Saturday of the month of December, you can catch the Annual Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade! This fun tradition started way back in 1983 and continues to be a wildly popular way to enjoy the Christmas lights along the canal. Watch the brightly decorated boats sail below from one of the bridges — or if you have a boat of your own, throw some lights and festive decorations on and join the parade!
Chanukah Soirée and Menorah Lighting
Hosted by Shul on the Beach, the Jewish synagogue in Venice, the Chanukah Soirée and Menorah Lighting is something you can’t miss! Following the menorah lighting ceremony, there will be Chanukah “caroling” on the boardwalk and a light Chanukah dinner of latkes and sufganiyot (a round jelly doughnut topped with powdered sugar, commonly eaten in Israel during Chanukah). Enjoy live music, entertainment, and good company in celebrating the traditions of Chanukah in the Jewish faith.
Santa Monica – Venice Beach Christmas Run
A great way to work off all those Christmas cookies is to partake in the Annual Santa Monica to Venice Beach Christmas Run! The event started in 1977 and has made a name for itself as one of the most popular running events in L.A. Runners can choose between a 5k or 10k route that winds through the picturesque streets of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Happy Holidays from Us to You!
There’s so much more to explore on Venice Beach and the surrounding area this season. Check out Facebook and Google for more events we didn’t already mention. Luckily, the charm of the season is very present everywhere you go, and even a simple stroll down the boardwalk is sure to fill your heart with holiday cheer.