Downtown Holidays Events

Holiday Traditions and Magical Moments happen in Downtown Santa Cruz 

The Holidays are a magical time of year, and nowhere is that magic more apparent than in Downtown Santa Cruz. Throughout the season there are so many reasons to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. One of the things that makes this time of year so special is our traditions. The Victorian Carriage Rides, Visits with Santa at Marini’s, Just strolling through the neighborhood and checking off your gift list. Whatever your favorite Downtown holiday traditions, we wish you and yours all the best and we invite you to come join us and celebrate our fun holiday event


Saturday, Dec 16 – Free Family Movie

Home Alone – 10 am at the Del Mar Theatre

The Free Family Movie at the Del Mar is a special tradition and a wonderful way to support Second Harvest Food Bank as their holiday food drives help so many people in our community have healthy food, every day of the year.

Bring a food or cash donation and enjoy a great holiday classic on the Big Screen.

This is a fun, Saturday morning event for the whole family.

Victorian Carriage Rides

Reserve the traditional horse-drawn Victorian Carriage for a magical ride around downtown. Experience the lights and festive holiday environment in style. A fun outing for friends and family or part of a perfect date with that special someone.
$60 reserves the carriage for a ride around Downtown. Two facing benches, seats 4-6 people comfortably, depending on size. The ride lasts about 15-20 minutes.

Limited Rides December 22nd and 23rd only- Reserve your spot today

Visits with Santa at Marini’s Candies

No matter how old you are, if you were a kid In Santa Cruz, you probably visited the Jolly Fellow himself at Marini’s Candies on Pacific Avenue.

Well, it turns out, enough of us must have been nice this year, because he’s coming back. Stop in for a relaxed, not rushed visit and photo with your own camera. Ho, ho, ho!

Marini’s Candies will be hosting Santa from 1-5pm, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 20-23.

Santa’s Reindeer Round-up


Nov 25 – Dec 18
Santa Needs your help!!!

It seems the whole team of reindeer is hidden in stores throughout Downtown Santa Cruz.

Help him find them before his big night! Pick up a map, have fun with this scavenger hunt and you could win Downtown Dollars and other great downtown prizes!

Parking for Hope

From December 18-Dec 24 revenue from Downtown Parking meters supports the great work of HOPE Services. Last year the Downtown meters raised over $30,000 for the HOPE services litter abatement crew.



Sponsored in part by

Kaiser Permanente
City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department

UC Santa Cruz

Pacific Cookie Company
Sockshop and Shoe Company
Artisans Gallery
Palace Art and Office Supply
Marini’s Candies
Litmus Box
Landmark Theaters
KPIG Radio
Santa Cruz Waves
Good Times Santa Cruz
Maverick Mailing
NextSpace Santa Cruz

Sign up for Weekly Updates