Here for the Holidays? December in Santa Barbara
Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 3:29PM
By Stephanie Griffin - GradDiv Funding Peer in Around Town, historical, holidays, santa barbara local events

Santa Barbara typically seems a little less crowded over the winter holiday break, with so many students from UCSB and other local schools leaving town for their families’ home and to enjoy a change of scenery. If you’re not part of the crowd who’s leaving town, congratulations! You’ll get to enjoy a relaxing time in “The American Riviera” without the pressures of classes, research, thesis writing, or TAing. In between sleeping in, getting fresh air, and cooking delicious food, check out the following local holiday events: Snow angels are unlikely in Santa Barbara, but these activities will still put you in a holiday mood. Credit: collegecandy.comSnow angels are unlikely in Santa Barbara, but these activities will still put you in a holiday mood. Credit:

Experience one of Santa Barbara’s oldest holiday traditions during “Una Noche de Las Posadas,” presented by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. The evening begins with a performance of holiday songs in the candlelit Presidio Chapel, followed by a procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph’s nine-day journey to Bethlehem in search of lodging. Stroll to historic Casa de la Guerra, where festivities continue with more singing, traditional refreshments, and piñatas. FREE. Click here for more information.

There’s nothing like enjoying Casa del Herrero (the “house of the blacksmith”), a historic 11-acre estate in Montecito, when it’s decked out in finery for the holidays. During a special tour, get a glimpse of what Christmas in 1930s Montecito might have looked like. Visitors are invited to enjoy a cup of hot spiced cider while touring the splendid gardens and rooms. A limited number of holiday tours in December are available by advance registration. Click here for more information.

Santa Barbara Revels presents “The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice.” Subtitled “The Treasures of Spain,” this year’s engaging performance transports audiences to the crossroads of Andalusia in southern Spain, where indigenous Iberian, Moorish and Sephardic traditions converge. The costumed company performs lively dances and glorious music from more than four centuries of Spanish culture, accompanied by a brass ensemble and a troupe of traditional string and wind instruments. Tickets start at $15. Click here for more information.

Ice in Paradise, the brand new 46,500-square-foot recreational ice rink that opened in October, presents its inaugural holiday ice show. The seasonal spectacular features ice skating champions from around the U.S. and the world, including Olympian Brendan Kerry, plus members of the rink’s Figure Skating Club. A VIP Dessert Party follows at the Bacara Resort & Spa. Tickets start at $15. Click here for more information.

Santa Barbara Festival Ballet’s production includes a cast of more than 100, including guest artist Russell Janzen of the New York City Ballet (as Cavalier), and live music by the Santa Barbara Symphony. State Street Ballet’s performance features Gustafson Dance students with live accompaniment by Opera San Luis Obispo Orchestra. Ticket prices vary.
Click here for more information on Santa Barbara Festival Ballet.
Click here for more information State Street Ballet.

Take a walking tour of downtown Santa Barbara focusing on the holiday splendor of State Street, starting at La Arcada Plaza, and learn to take successful photos at night with your cellphone or camera. Night photography can be challenging, but Eye See Santa Barbara will teach you to use flash, proper exposure and already illuminated subjects in a scene to reduce blurry images, as well as other techniques you can use year-round. Capture festive portraits while learning about iconic Santa Barbara landmarks, including theaters in the Historic Theatre District. $55. Click here for more information.

Offering 90-minute, fully-narrated tours, Santa Barbara Trolley is a fun and affordable excursion that packs in a lot of local color. Tour guides share their knowledge about popular landmarks, like the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. Click here for ticket information.

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