The winter holidays bring to the Goleta Valley numerous festive entertainments and special events.

“Holiday at the Ranch,” a favorite for years, is an old-fashioned celebration of Christmas at historic Victorian Stow House on La Patera Ranch. Santa and his reingoats will be there to greet visitors, listen to their special requests, and pose for photographs; there is cookie baking for kids in the kitchen; story time in the cozy living room, and live holiday music from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, December 11 and 12. La Patera Ranch is at 300 North La Patera Road.

Martha Rairden Lannan

Another longstanding, unique tradition, Dos Pueblos High School’s Holiday Package, will be on stage at the school Monday through Thursday, December 13-16, at 7 p.m. This student production brings exceptional talent, creativity, and fun out into the community. (Last year’s all-male “ballet” number nearly brought the house down.) In addition, the high school’s Concert Choir and Jazz Choir and Combo will be performing in the Festival of Voices at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 11 in the campus Performing Arts Center.

Santa will also be dropping in by the big Christmas tree at the Camino Real Marketplace for photo-ops and visits from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, December 12, and again Saturday, December 19.

A Holiday Home Tour and Boutique, benefiting DPHS, will take place Saturday, December 11, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It will feature decorated homes in More Mesa Shores, Goleta Valley, Hope Ranch, and Santa Barbara. For additional information, call Sheryl Stratman at (805) 680-0941.

An all-time favorite for the younger crew and their families is the Candy Cane Train at the South Coast Railroad Museum, 300 North Los Carneros Road. The festively decorated miniature train will be running from 1-4 p.m. nearly every day through December 26. Holiday treats and the museum’s holiday display “Toy Trains and Teddy Bears!” are part of the package. For more details, go to

A sing-along with high-energy Dave Smith will take place at the Goleta Library on Tuesday, December 21 at 10:30 a.m., and on Wednesday, December 22, Arlene Satterlee’s children’s Dance Troupe will perform at 10:30 a.m.

Enjoy and learn about winter’s night sky during Telescope Tuesday at the Camino Real Marketplace on December 21. The Astronomical Unit, the local amateur astronomy club, will have telescopes set up for the public at 7 p.m. between the movie theater and the bookstore.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate and recognize the holidays; take some time off from the usual routine and take in some of Goleta’s varied entertainment options!


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