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Things to Do in Monterey During the Holiday

Things to Do in Monterey During the Holiday

WhatsUpMonterey Holiday Season Events Roundup has us feeling grateful as it's full of ways to get the most out of life in Monterey County throughout the holiday. Checkout our picks for the top events taking place each day. 2024 Dates are tentative and will be updated in Fall 2024.

Friday, November 22

Kickoff the holiday season at Cannery Row Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony for wonderful holiday spirit and family festivities.


Monday, November 25

You can also attend the Pacific Grove Christmas Tree Lighting celebration at Jewell Park from 5:30pm to 8pm. Festivities include live entertainment by school bands and choruses, holiday refreshments, a dance show, and visiting Santa at the Jewell Park gazebo.

Thursday, November 28

The Holiday Parade of Lights on Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove will feature marching bands, holiday floats, dance teams, equestrian groups, and of course, Santa Claus. After the parade, stores will remain open for holiday shopping, photos with Santa, and carolers. The event begins at 6 pm Rain or Shine!

Friday, December 1

Monterey's traditional Community Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration takes place on the lawn in front of historic Colton Hall from 5pm to 6pm, featuring carols, candles, cookies, cider, music and good cheer. FREE! Sponsored by the City of Monterey, First Night Monterey, and the Old Monterey Business Association.


Christmas on the Wharf kicks off today until December 23. Weekend festivities at Old Fisherman’s Wharf feature holiday entertainment, a dazzling array of beautiful holiday lights and decorations, a 23-foot Christmas tree, complimentary sweet treats, free Santa “meet and greet” visits, photo ops with Santa and lovely holiday princesses, and much more!


Carmel-by-the-Sea will also celebrate the Holiday Season at its annual City Holiday Tree Lighting. The City Holiday Tree Lighting is held at Devendorf Park on Ocean Avenue between Junipero and Mission, where the Monterey Fire Department will deliver Santa Claus. Events start at Sunset Center at 3 pm until 5 pm, with a short music program and pictures by the Holiday tree. Santa will arrive at Devendorf Park and greet the children at 3pm. At 4:30pm, the music program begins and ends at 6 pm when Santa Claus makes an appearance for the countdown to light the tree, downtown median, and park lights - all of which light up simultaneously!

Head to Carmel Plaza Holiday Open House from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm to enjoy more holiday festivities, including live music, a visit with Santa, delectable treats, children's activities and more. Special promotions are also available at select stores!


Saturday, December 2

Stillwell's Fun in the Park will take place at Caledonia Park in downtown Pacific Grove behind the Post Office and will be the site of a huge holiday party. Lots of wintry fun for all! Santa will arrive at noon, joining the Snowman and Snow Queen. This event features complimentary rides, bounce houses, a petting zoo, and entertainment.

Sunday, December 3

Monterey Yacht Club's lighted boat parade, "Brighten the Harbor" is not to be missed! Watch decorated boats cruise along Monterey Bay's coastline from 5:30pm-8pm.


Friday and Saturday, December 8/9

Christmas in the Adobes will make you return to the days of Alta California and see Monterey’s historic adobes splendidly decorated for the season with welcoming, candle-lit luminarias at each entrance! Enjoy festive music, living history portrayers, and the warm spirit of this year’s celebration that has become a family favorite during the holidays. Over a dozen historic buildings located throughout Monterey’s historic downtown open their doors for the festivities from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Sunday, December 31

As a community celebration of the arts on New Year's Eve, First Night in Monterey is an exciting, imaginative and uplifting cultural event. FNM is an affordable, alcohol-free family celebration from 3 pm to midnight. Performances range from Classical to Hip-Hop, Jazz to Reggae, dance ensembles and artwork created at our year-round outreach programs. Kids' Night Out features music, art & activities for the little ones, culminating with the Twilight Procession at 5:30 pm.


Have a wonderful holiday! If you’re looking for non-holiday events, check out the upcoming events calendar.