Downtown Santa Monica to Shine With Holiday Cheer

Winterlit, the city's festive end-of-the-year happening, will look different this year, with art and augmented reality adding something new.

Downtown Santa Monica

What to Know

  • Nov. 27, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021
  • Face coverings are required and social distancing should be practiced
  • Look for 11 art installations around Third Street Promenade

The concept of "wonder" is at the heart of many Christmas stories, the tales that weave in magical moments, wonder-packed plots, and enchanting endings.

But "wonder" is taking on a different meaning as we approach the end of 2020.

For sure, the magical element of the holidays is timeless, but we're also wondering how they'll look, what traditions will remain and what happenings will be postponed, and if decorations will return to some of our favorite outdoor places.

Downtown Santa Monica can answer that last question in a single word: yes.

For while the city's annual Winterlit celebration will look quite different this year — the ice skating that usually takes place at Arizona and 5th isn't happening — the city will still hang the the baubles and bows along Third Street Promenade, beginning on Nov. 27.

"Holiday-inspired art installations will come to life at eleven stops throughout Third Street Promenade featuring window displays in storefronts and murals created by local artists who were asked to interpret what the holiday season means to them during an unprecedented year that has been anything but normal," the DTSM team shared.

Look for both a 24-foot-tall tree covered in lights at the outdoor expanse, as well as a menorah marking the festive nights of Hanukkah.

And there'll be a mailbox so kids can drop a note to Santa. Just make sure to include a return address, so Kris Kringle can write back.

Adding to the self-guided, enjoy-on-your-own element of the decorations?

There's a "... new holiday augmented reality experience that will allow guests to transform physical structures, spaces, and trees along the Promenade into holiday elements and decor," another fresh addition.

Face coverings? Please wear yours, and do observe social distancing if you stop by to see the lights.

You can find more safety guidelines on the Downtown Santa Monica site.

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