As November and December roll around, Downtown Santa Cruz starts to feel festive! You'll have a lot of opportunities to bring the whole family Downtown for a flurry of fun.

Winter Window Walk: November 29 - December 25

The windows of twenty Downtown Santa Cruz stores will come to life with a dazzling display of winter-inspired art! Visitors can obtain a map showing all the locations and create their own festive walking tour to see the work of local Santa Cruz artists, who will make magic with just a window and chalk pen.

Reindeer Roundup: November 29 - December 21

Oh no! Santa's reindeer couldn't resist visiting all the businesses Downtown, and now they're nowhere to be found! Kids can help by getting a passport at the Downtown Information Kiosk

Downtown Holiday Parade

This popular Santa Cruz tradition brings thousands of people downtown to celebrate and kick off the season! The Downtown Holiday Parade runs along Pacific Avenue, from Laurel Street to Water Street. Make time for this rain-or-shine extravaganza on Saturday, December 7 at 10:00 AM.

Participation for the Downtown Holiday Parade is CLOSED. To volunteer, please click here

Sundays in the Square - December 8th, 15th, and 22nd

There's something for everyone at Sundays in the Square! Come to Abbott Square for live music performances, beautiful decorations, holiday crafts, and more. It's the perfect mid-day break to rest and recharge on your Downtown shopping excursion.

Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides - December 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22nd

This year, we're bringing a horse-drawn wagon to Downtown! This twelve-seater beauty will be giving rides every 20 minutes from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, for those who want to see Downtown Santa Cruz in style. Bring your family and friends to the Downtown Information Kiosk to buy your tickets on the day you want to ride - it's a first-come, first-served ride.

Downtown Santa Cruise - Dec 14th

It’s a little bit naughty, a little bit nice, and it’s a tradition that could only come from Santa Cruz. Back by popular demand, this one of a kind text-based scavenger hunt / pub crawl has grown in popularity every year. 

Free Family Movie- December 14th

Together with the folks at the Del Mar Theater, we offer a free family movie and all proceeds benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Families are encouraged to bring a donation of food or money. 

Visits with Santa - Three Weekends in December

We can’t help saying it: in Downtown Santa Cruz, Santa Is our middle name! Families flock to see the jolly old man every weekend and to take a picture with this seasonal celeb. He's got a new home this year - stay tuned to find out where!


Our Holiday Sponsors:

We are grateful to the following sponsors for their generous support of our Holiday programming!

Artisans & agency

Pacific Cookie Company

Woodstocks Pizza

99 Bottles