The Christmas Revels
‘Tis the Season: A Guide to Winter’s Festivities
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Ho, ho, ho! Cold weather has finally arrived in Santa Barbara, bringing with it a plethora of events that celebrate the holiday season. To make sure your calendar is filled with wintery wonders, Devon Claire Flannery, Independent listings editor, and Debbi Shibuya, talented calendar section intern, have compiled a comprehensive guide to ‘most all the festive December goings-on in our area. Whether it’s ocean-side sleigh rides, boutique shopping, meetings with Santa Claus, and even playing in the snow, the following pages give everyone—from enthusiastic holiday revelers to those feeling a tad grinchy—fresh ways to bring light into the short days of winter. Happy holidays!
Art From Scrap Holiday Open House and Party
Enjoy mulled wine and appetizers while you make an ornament with local assemblage artist Mary Price.
Fri., Dec. 10, 5-7pm. Art From Scrap, 302 E. Cota St. Call 884-0459.
Candy Cane Train
Take a ride on the Railroad Museum’s festive miniature train, a tradition now in its 18th year, then check out the Toy Trains and Teddy Bears children’s exhibit. Miniature train riders must meet the 34-inch minimum height requirement.
Daily through Fri., Dec. 24, 1-4pm. South Coast Railroad Museum, 300 N. Los Carneros Rd., Goleta. $3.50-$4.50. Call 964-3540.
Goleta Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Meet Santa, eat Christmas cookies, and sing carols as you watch the lighting of a large holiday tree.
Fri., Dec. 3, 5:30-7:30pm. Goleta Valley Community Ctr., 5679 Hollister Ave. Call 967-1237.
Goleta Valley Historical Society’s Holiday at the Ranch
A holiday open house with Santa Claus and his “rein-goats,” plus live music, tours, story time, and more.
Sat.-Sun, Dec. 11-12, 11am-4pm. Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Rd., Goleta. Call 681-7216.
Holiday Gingerbread House
Bring the whole family to Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery to see the impressive 8- by 11- by 10-foot-tall gingerbread house created from scratch annually by fourth-generation Danish baker Bent Olsen. Every year, Olsen uses 250 pounds of gingerbread dough, 150 pounds of powdered sugar, and three gallons of egg whites to bake and construct the massive and tasty holiday creation.
Open for viewing daily through Fri., Dec. 31, 7am-6pm. 1529 Mission Dr., Solvang. Free. Call 688-6314.
Holiday Nature Craft Family Workshop
Sip cider as the garden’s education staff instructs you and your family how to make wreaths, wrapping paper, and ornaments by hand to celebrate the winter season in S.B.
Sat., Dec. 11, 10am. S.B. Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Rd. $50/family of four; $10/additional person thereafter. Call 682-4726 or visit sbbg.org.
Light Up a Life Celebration
Three special nights to remember those we love by lighting a star on the Hospice Tree. Hundreds of lights and stars will illuminate the memorial tree, with more stars available at each ceremony for those who wish to hang their own personalized tribute. All donations benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
Sat., Dec. 4, 5:30pm: Camino Real Marketplace, 7004 Marketplace Dr., Goleta; Sun., Dec. 5, 5:30pm: Lobero Theater lawn, 33 E. Canon Perdido St.; and Sat., Dec. 11, 5:30pm: Linden House, 789 Linden Ave., Carpinteria. Suggested donation for a star is $10; attendance is free. Call 563-8820.
Miracle on State Street Downtown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Santa Barbara’s Downtown Organization invites all to join the Holiday Prince and Fairy for the city’s official tree-lighting ceremony, which kicks off the 58th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade. More than 50,000 will gather to watch giant helium balloons float down State Street, along with marching bands, holiday floats, festively clad performers, and a horse-drawn carriage carrying the Holiday Prince and Fairy, accompanied by the parade’s Grand Marshal and Old Saint Nick.
Fri., Dec. 3. 6:30pm. Tree lighting at State and Victoria sts. Parade then travels down State St., from Sola to Cota sts. Free. Call 962-2098 x23.
Rachel S. Thurston
Panzumo Winter Solstice Party
Panzumo Winter Solstice Party
Fourth annual holiday performances by rhythmic song and dance three-piece Panzumo and special guest performance by Dramane Kone and area students to benefit “Rhythm, Song, and Dance” programs at S.B. and La Cuesta high schools. Guests will enjoy a marketplace featuring local artisans’ works, and delicious and healthy refreshments.
Fri., Dec. 17, 7-10pm. Unitarian Society, 1535 Santa Barbara St. $10-$20. Call 966-4604.
S.B. Harbor Parade of Lights
The city pier will transform into Santa’s Village this year, complete with 10 tons of snow, kids’ activities, and holiday music during the day. After the sun sets, spectators will enjoy the 25th Annual Parade of Lights from boats decorated to the theme “Silver Bells and Winter Swells,” followed by a spectacular fireworks finish.
Sun., Dec. 12, 3pm. S.B. Harbor to Stearns Wharf. Call 564-5530.
Sledding at the Zoo and Snow Leopard Festival
A fun winter celebration of the endangered snow leopard, two of which live in naturalistic habitatsat S.B.’s wild animal park. Sledding and playtime in 75 tons of snow will delight kids ages 4-12, and a play area with the same fresh powder will be available for tots. Adults and older children can watch as snow and frozen treats are fed to snow leopards, elephants, gorillas, lions, and other zoo animals.
Sun., Dec. 5, 10am-3pm. S.B. Zoo, 500 Niños Dr. Admission: $12/adults, $10/children and seniors; $3/snow sledding access. Call 962-5339 or visit sbzoo.org.
“Sleigh” Rides at the Beach
Sip apple cider and hot chocolate while dashing from Butterfly Beach to Montecito’s lower village on a horse-drawn “sleigh.”
Fri.-Sat, Dec. 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 4-9pm. (Rides last 30 minutes.) Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, 1260 Channel Dr. $150 for up to four adults; please RSVP. Call 565-8291
Solvang Julefest Tree Lighting Ceremony and Julefest Parade
Amidst a decked-out Danish holiday evening, watch the lighting of a giant Christmas tree, partake in caroling, then enjoy a special appearance by Santa Claus. The next day, the Julefest Parade will feature a procession of Danish dancers, musical groups, vintage vehicles, horses, carriages, and more in the city’s downtown area.
Lighting Ceremony: Fri., Dec. 3, 5pm. Solvang Park, Mission Dr. and First St., Solvang. Parade: Sat., Dec. 4, 11am, travels from Old Mission Santa Inés (1760 Mission Dr.) to Alisal Rd. post office. Free. Call 688-6144.
Trolley of Lights
See all the sights and Christmas lights on a 90-minute trolley tour around downtown S.B. Reservations are required for this local favorite, now in its 11th year.
Dec. 10-23, 6:30pm. Tours depart from Wheel Fun Rentals, 22 State St. $13-$22. Call 965-0353 or visit sbtrolley.com.
Sun-drenched Santa Barbarans can enjoy cold-weather holiday fun this season at the FUNderland fest! Highlights at this popular annual event include a magical gingerbread village to explore, a chance to snuggle up for storytelling in a “hibernation den,” shopping for holiday gifts, photo ops with Santa, and the virtual night-sky journey “Santa’s Starry Ride,” an enchanting winter planetarium show.
Sat., Dec. 18, 10am-4pm. S.B. Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol Rd. Free with paid admission ($6-$10). Call 682-4711.
By David Bazemore
State Street Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Granada
Dance and Theater
The Christmas Revels: A Bavarian Celebration of the Winter Solstice
Santa Barbara Revels’ annual performance celebrating the Winter Solstice is both engaging and family-friendly, featuring more than 60 singers, actors, dancers, and instrumentalists. The Christmas Revels transports audiences to early 19th century Bavaria, to enjoy the colorful costumes, lively dancing, glorious choral and instrumental music, and engaging storytelling of that time and place.
Sat., Dec. 18, 3 and 8pm; Sun., Dec. 19, 3pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $12-$35. Call 963-0761.
A Gem of a Nutcracker
West Coast Ballet, with artistic director Ellen Schipper, presents its 20th annual full-length production of this classic holiday ballet.
Fri.-Sat, Dec. 17-18, 7:30pm, and Sun., Dec. 19, 2:30pm. Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo, 963-0408.
It Had to Be You
Proceeds from ticket sales to this stage production of a classic Christmas-time romantic comedy, presented by Acting Up Productions, will benefit S.B. County dog rescue group K9 Pals.
Thu.-Sat., Dec.2-4 and Dec. 9-11, 8pm; Sun., Dec. 5 and 12, 2 and 7pm. Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Upper Arts Terrace). $20-$25. Call 963-0408.
Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical
The timeless, uplifting story about the spirit of Christmas is reimagined on stage as a live musical production.
Sat., Dec. 11, 2 and 7:30pm, and Sun., Dec. 12, 3pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. $12-$55. Call 899-2222 or visit granadasb.com.
The Night Before Christmas and Les Patineurs
An annual Montecito School of Ballet holiday production for 19 years, with a special 2010 guest appearance by performers from S.B. Dance Theatre.
Fri., Dec. 10, 7:30pm, and Sun, Dec. 12, 2pm. Lobero Theater, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $16-$24. Call 963-0761.
The Nutcracker at the Arlington
The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet’s annual dance performance of the classic tale of Clara and her prince celebrates its 36th year in S.B.
Sat., Dec. 11, 2:30 and 7pm, and Sun., Dec. 12, 2:30pm. Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St. $25.50-$47.50. Call 963-4408.
A children’s holiday ballet by performers from Gustafson Dance, featuring enchanting Christmas characters like Santa and his elves, a delightfully “abominable” snowman, and the red-nosed member of St. Nick’s reindeer team.
Sat., Dec. 4, 2 and 6pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $8.50-$17. Call 963-0761.
Solvang Annual Nativity Pageant
Choir groups, actors and dancers in elaborate costumes, as well as live animals make this popular biblical story come to life.
Sat., Dec. 11, 5 and 7pm. Solvang Festival Theater (outdoors), 420 Second St. Free. Call (800) 468-6765.
State Street Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Based on the book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann, featuring opulent Moscow sets and guest dancers from Gustafson Dance.
Sat., Dec 18, 2 and 7pm, and Sun., Dec. 19, 2pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. $17-$53. Call 899-2222.
We’ll Be Home for Christmas