Special Events in Santa Monica

Front Porch Cinema
During the late summer and early autumn months, visitors and residents alike can enjoy a fun movie under the stars. Each Friday after sunset, the pier will come alive with thousands of individuals who can buy snacks from the various vendors, enjoy live music before the start of the film, and then watch a newly-released movie on a giant outdoor screen. While all the films are suitable for most older children, parents may want to check to see what the current movie is before arrival.

PICO Festival
This annual festival takes place in October and is a large gathering of local businesses, merchants, artisans, chefs, and farmers. The purpose of the festival is to show visitors to the area what Santa Monica has to offer. The PICO festival boasts live music over the course of the day, and many chefs and vendors will provide guests with free food and drink samples. There are also great performances and activities geared towards children.

Dias de los Muertos
This annual celebration is often called the Mexican alternative to Halloween, but it is also a cultural and historical celebration of Mexican heritage. The event takes place during the day, and the focus in less on scary characters and costumes and more on understanding the traditions of the Nahuatl people. Visitors can make traditional flower crowns, sample authentic Mexican street food and enjoy live music throughout the day. Many of the surrounding businesses and restaurants offer traditional Mexican chocolates to children for the rest of the day.

ICE at Santa Monica
Although Santa Monica is not a traditional winter destination, and will never get snow or even ice naturally, once a year the impossible happens. For just a few days every December, a street in downtown Santa Monica transforms into an outdoor skating rink. With Christmas decorations, fun activities and live music, visitors can enjoy a winter wonderland without the cold temperatures. Ice skates are available for rent at the rink.

Good Food Festival and Conference
Many local residents in Santa Monica are passionate about the quality and nutrition of the food they eat, and the annual Good Food Festival allows local farmers to showcase their best ingredients. Anyone interested in trying delicious local produce or even sampling the best dishes created by local chefs will want to attend this event. Children will be entertained thanks to free arts and crafts stations throughout the festival.