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Santa Barbara Events

Santa Barbara Events & Festivals

Whatever time of year you visit Santa Barbara, you might want to make your to-do lists in pencil rather than pen. Year-round sunshine, ocean views and laid-back luxury set the stage for an abundance of festivals, concerts and special events.

Starting with the star-studded Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January/February), the calendar of The American Riviera® overflows with culture, color, food and fun. Signature events include Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Summer Solstice Parade, Harbor & Seafood Festival, Vintners' Festival, epicure.sb: a month to savor santa barbara, Earth Day Festival and more.

And those are just the special events (though Santa Barbara does have a way of making almost any event special). Live music fills the air above the Santa Barbara Bowl from spring to fall. Local artisans share their work at arts and crafts shows every Sunday and 1st Thursday celebrations every month. Farmers markets, writing conferences, art exhibits, theater performances, lectures - whatever your passion, you'll find something wonderful during your stay. In fact, many somethings. So do bring you planner - just remember that pencil.


Featured Partner

JELLIES & friends at the Sea Center
Enter the mesmerizing world of JELLIES & friends and experience the beauty and wonder of our local soft-bodied marine life. (Photo: Pamela Link)



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Showing 1-15
of 155 events

Sunday Dec 21, 2014


Backroad Santa Ynez Wine Tour aboard an open air Hummer
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: Daily: 10:30AM returning at 5:30PM
  • Address: We pick you up from any Santa Barbara hotel., , CA
  • Phone: 805-705-0562
  • Venue: Adventure Hummer and Backroads Wine Tours

Join our award winning wine tour to see and experience the wine country on Santa Barbara backroads. Follow the old stagecoach route to world renowned vineyards with our expert guide. Your epicurean experience is a VIP event that includes about 25 wine tastings and a delicious lunch prepared for you.

Contemporary/Modern: Selections from the Permanent Collection
  • December 21, 2014 - January 04, 2015
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: Tues-Sun: 11AM-5PM; Thurs: 11AM-8PM; closed on Mon
  • Address: 1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-884-6474
  • Venue: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

 Works in the exhibition date from 1958 to 2014, and together highlight the persistent influence of modernism. The most recent works inventively reference and reinterpret the past-including both popular and obscure forms of painting, architecture, and design.

Granada Theatre Presents: The Nutcraker
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: Sat 2PM & 7:30PM; Sun 2PM
  • Address: 1214 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-899-2222
  • Venue: Granada Theatre

This holiday family favorite is based on the classic story by E.T.A. Hoffman, and set to the unforgettable music of Tchaikovsk.  The ballet tells the story of young Clara, who receives a beautiful toy Nutcracker on Christmas Eve.

La Pastorela (A Sheperd's Play)
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: 12/20 @ 7PM, 12/21 @ 2 & 7PM
  • Location: Presidio Chapel
  • Address: 123 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-965-0093
  • Venue: El Presidio de Santa Barbara

La Pastorela is a historic Santa Barbara Christmas tradition. Dramatizing the epic battle between good and evil, the play invokes elements of spectacle, comedy and fantasy. This version was transcribed in the mid-nineteenth century by Pablo de la Guerra and will be conducted in Spanish.

Ladies Tasting
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring monthly on the 21st
  • Times: 4:30-6:30PM
  • Address: 417 Santa Barbara St #A-6, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-568-1961
  • Venue: Renegade Wines

The last Monday of every month is Ladies Night at Renegade Wines! Taste small boutique wines from around the world in a casual atmosphere. Enjoy cheese from C'est Cheese and small appetizers. 

Live Music: Ruben Lee Dalton Band CD Release & Winter Solstice Celebration
  • December 21, 2014
  • Times: 7PM
  • Address: 1221 State Street, Ste 205, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-962-7776
  • Venue: SOhO Restaurant and Music Club

Celebrate the winter solstice with this acoustic rock band's new CD release: Like This. Rusty has been making music with family and friends since he was a young boy. The blues of the Mississippi Delta is the first music he can remember pickin' on his guitar. Since then, he has added soulful guitar work to countless bands (including Remains of the Day), but it was not until he began writing his own songs did he find his love of storytelling.

Saintly and Spirited: Art Made of Tin
  • December 21, 2014 - January 24, 2015
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: Tues - Sat 12-4PM
  • Address: 1023 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-963-1032
  • Venue: Casa Dolores

Casa Dolores is pleased to present the new exhibition, Saintly and Spirited: Art Made of Tin. The story of tin traverses continents and mining trails, centuries and cultures. Once meant for utilitarian purposes, it grows to become an important material that crosses the creative spectrum in Mexico: from painting the divine on retablos and symbolic offerings for milagros, to domestic ornament, the carnivalesque and recycled product for design. Mexican tin art is both private in devotion and publi... Details

Sea Cave Kayaking
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: 7AM or 8AM
  • Address: 32 E Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
  • Phone: 805-884-9283
  • Venue: Adventure Company of Santa Barbara

If this is your first time kayaking Channel Islands National Park, then this is where you want to go. No other area of the park offers as many sea cave kayaking opportunities. Some of the most beautiful sea caves in the world can be found at Scorpion Anchorage.

Sunday Winyl
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Sunday
  • Times: 5-8PM
  • Location: Patio
  • Address: 22 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Phone: 805-931-6864
  • Venue: Municipal Winemakers

Sunday Winyl, in addition to extended hours, we are also starting up our mello DJ patio sessions. Coast through the end if your summer weekends with our WINYL series.

The Best Brothers

A bittersweet comedy about family, furry friends, and the unforeseen, unplanned moments in our lives -- The Best Brothers is sure to resonate with anyone who has had a spat with a sibling, felt an inseparable bond with a pet, or argued over the undeniable importance of chocolate cake.

Under the Umbrella: Lutah Maria Riggs & Her Santa Barbara Style
  • December 21, 2014 - March 20, 2015
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM; Sun 12-5PM
  • Address: 136 E. De La Guerra Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Explore the life and work of architect and draftswoman Lutah Maria Riggs and her contribution to what has become "Santa Barbara Style". The special exhibition celebrates the iconic architectural elements that define America's Riviera. 

Wine Country Bike Tour
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Times: 10AM-5PM
  • Address: 32 E Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
  • Phone: 805-884-9283
  • Venue: Adventure Company of Santa Barbara

This trip takes us into the heart of the Santa Barbara’s wine country, home to several very popular California vintners. We depart by van in the morning and head to the Foxen Canyon Trail or Santa Rita Hills, perfect for cycling through scenic vineyards and ranch lands.

Wine Tasting with the Winter Pass
  • December 21, 2014 - January 31, 2015
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Times: 11AM-5PM
  • Location: Various Wine Tasting Rooms Solvang, Los Olivos, Buellton, Santa Ynez
  • Phone: 805-886-7152

One Pass--One Price--15 Wineries! For just $40, tasters receive one wine tasting at 15 of the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association tasting rooms. Valid every day from 10/15/14 through 1/31/15. Reservations are not required and there are no blackout dates.

Cachuma Lake Eagle Cruises

Santa Barbara County Park Naturalists lead 2-hour cruises that focus on bald eagles, local birds and migratory birds, local wildlife, flora, geology, and Native American and settler history.

Cachuma Lake Wildlife Cruise
  • December 21, 2014
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Sunday, Friday, Saturday
  • Times: Fridays 3-5PM, Saturday 10AM-12PM, 3-5PM and Sunday 10AM-12PM
  • Location: Cachuma Lake Recreation Area
  • Address: Hwy 154, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Phone: 805-568-2460

Naturalist-guided cruise on Cachuma Lake focuses on wildlife, flora, cultural history, and geology.  

Showing 1-15
of 155 events

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Island Tours

Kayak, Snorkel and Explore the National Park. Book Now!

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Bacara Resort

Enjoy $150 credit at Santa Barbara’s only oceanfront resort

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Endless Summer

Come Rejuvenate Beachside at the Fess Parker Resort

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Lemon Tree Inn

Let Lemon Tree in Santa Barbara be a highlight of your trip!


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