Through December 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Candy Cane Train
Come ride this special version of the “Polar Express” each day throughout the holiday season. It may not travel through the Arctic, but this festive miniature train has been a fun ride for kids and parents for the past 23 years. While you’re there check out the museum’s holiday display, Toy Trains and Teddy Bears!
Through December 31, Exhibition: The Audacity of Process
The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission presents, The Audacity of Process: An Exploration in Diverse Practices, an exhibition of regional artists curated by John Hood. A number of local artists converge to make this exhibition vary greatly in style and subject matter. Open from November 21 through February 10, 2012 at the Betteravia Government Center in Santa Maria. The opening reception is on Friday, December 9 from 4–6 p.m.
Contemporary Arts Forum Lounge presents a free performance by Liz Casebolt and Joel Smith, who initiated their collaboration in 2006 to explore and implode conventional ideas about gender, relationships and dance-making, creating what some have called “perhaps the most entertaining, engaging (and explicative) dance theater currently on stage.”
December 1, 5-8 p.m. The Travelbooks- A Photographic Journey
Brazilian-born photographer and filmmaker, Ciro Coelho, presents the first in a series of outdoor, wall-size projections with stills, video and a compelling soundtrack at Casa de la Guerra. Enjoy a glass of wine with Coelho as you view the exhibit. The series features a different world capital every three months during 1st Thursdays, with this premiere event starting with his hometown of São Paulo.
December 1, 5:30 p.m. Paris: The Luminous Years: Towards the Making of the Modern
Directed by Perry Miller Adato, this free film helps to provide visual and historical context for the work in Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Picasso and Braque exhibition, evoking the generation’s colorful personalities and the thriving popular culture that inspired the Cubist revolution.
December 1, 7:30 p.m. Aviv Quartet
This award-winning quartet was founded in Israel in 1997 and, since then, has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize at the Melbourne Chamber Music Competition. Come see them perform at the Mary Craig Auditorium!
December 1–January 1 Echoes of Japan: The Prints of Henri Rivière, 1864–1951
This exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art traces the career of Parisian avant-garde artist Henri Rivière from his early days as a designer of shadow plays for Cabaret du Chat Noir to the albums of Parisian cityscapes and Breton landscapes with which he made his name.
December 1–January 1 View from Here: Santa Barbara Artists in the Permanent Collection
While Santa Barbara is known for its extraordinary landscape, climate, history and culture, the dynamic pulse of the community comes from the artists who call it home. Artists on view at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art include Hilary Brace, Irma Cavat, Anne Diener, Michael Dvortcsak, Dane Goodman, Mary Heebner, Hank Pitcher, Keith Puccinelli, Harry Reese, William Rohrbach, Marie Schoeff, Ilene Segalove, Joan Tanner and more.
December 1–January 1 Lofty Vistas: The Aerial Photography of Al Weber
Al Weber’s passion for aerial photography had its unlikely beginning during the Korean Conflict when, as an aerial observer for the Marine Corps, the photographer witnessed the breathtaking Korean landscape from a low-flying plane. It altered his perspective and influenced the course of his 50-year photographic career. See his work on display at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
December 1–January 8 Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910–1912
Featuring paintings and prints by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso during one of the most prolific and intensely experimental exchanges in the history of art, this presentation at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art focuses on how they helped invent the art form now known as Analytic Cubism.
December 1–January 8 Island Encounters: The Art and Conservation of the Channel Islands
The Wildling Art Museum has collaborated with Channel Islands National Park, Ventura County Museum of Art, Santa Cruz Island Foundation, Catalina Island Conservancy and many more groups and individuals to bring the long and rich history of the islands to life through the talents of artists, both historical and contemporary. The exhibition features artists Carl Oscar Borg, Lockwood de Forest, Merv Corning, Bud Bottoms, David Gallup, Marcia Burtt, Bill Dewey and many more.
December 1–January 15 Anish Kapoor: Turning the World Inside Out and Selected Abstraction, 1940s–90s
Beginning with offshoots of Lyrical Abstraction in Europe, moving through various New York styles and ending up in Southern California, this exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art treads an eclectic course through the legacy of Abstraction. Artists include Helen Frankenthaler, Clinton Hill, Hans Hofmann, John Millei, Ed Moses, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Kenzo Okada, Richards Ruben, John Seery, Mark Tobey, Jack Tworkov and Ulfert Wilke.
December 1–21 Solvang’s Julefest: 1911–2011, “Lighting Up 100 Years”
Presented by the City of Solvang, Solvang Conference and Visitors Bureau and other sponsors, events include the Julefest Tree Lighting Ceremony, Julefest Parade, Nativity Pageant, Solvang’s Holiday Wine About, and more! Don’t miss these charming holiday celebrations!
December 1–18 The Lion in Winter
Ensemble Theatre presents this witty costume drama set in the year 1183, when King Henry II was planning to choose his successor. Packed with humor, mind games and clever plot twists, this hit play about the ultimate dysfunctional family was nominated for two Tony Awards and turned into an Academy Award-winning film. Stephanie Zimbalist stars as Eleanor of Aquitaine.
December 1 4:30 p.m. Westmont Celebrates the Christmas Season
Kick off the Christmas season with Santa Claus, warm cider and Westmont Gospel choir singing “Oh, Pickle Tree” as they highlight the 10th annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. Hundreds of students, alumni, and neighbors typically don mittens and scarves to add to the festive atmosphere.
December 1–31 100 Trees for 100 Years
A kaleidoscope of decorated foliage at 100 sponsoring businesses and sites throughout the Solvang in celebration of Solvang’s Centennial. Live fir trees ranging from 5-9 feet tall in festive containers are being delivered and maintained by My Living Christmas Tree of Solvang. Tree sponsors will have the opportunity to decorate their evergreen and will be eligible for prizes in the decorating contest!
December 2, 3–8 p.m. The Enlightened Heart: A Tribal Trust Collective
Adesso is participating in an event to support The Tribal Trust Foundation! The mission of The Tribal Trust Foundation is to fund sustainable grassroots projects that help support the living arts and cultures of indigenous people around the world. There will be gourmet food, good music, and handcrafted goods and accessories. Hosted at the beautiful, newly renovated adobe of Barbara Savage, the founder of Tribal Trust.
December 2, 8 p.m. Leo Kottke
When solo acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke picks up a steel-stringed guitar, his fingers race across the strings with uncommon speed, developing a deep, churning groove that can at times sound like several people playing at once. Now 65 years young, Kottke has recorded more than 30 albums that showcase his barnstorming fretwork and quirky songwriting. Come see his amazing skills live at Lobero Theater!
December 2–4, “SOME THING TO DO” in Solvang
Actor’s Corner Center presents an adventure that’s both fun and enlightening in “SOME THING TO DO.” Enjoy the magical stories of Solvang and get to know our friend Andrew, the Jelling Stone Seeker. Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.
December 2, 6:30 p.m. Holiday Dreams 59th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade
The much anticipated Holiday Parade once again will amuse more than 50,000 spectators as giant helium balloons float down State Street amid magnificent marching bands, fabulous floats and spectacular performance groups in elaborate colorful costumes to charm the audience as they await and cheer on the Grand Marshal, the Holiday Prince & Fairy and the arrival of Santa Claus. The parade runs down State Street, beginning on Sola Street and concluding at Cota Street.
December 2, 6 p.m. Brad Nack‘s Annual Reindeer Show
A Santa Barbara holiday tradition, this annual show features dozens of small abstract oil paintings of reindeer.
December 2, 8 p.m. Tallis Scholars
Dubbed “the rock stars of Renaissance vocal music,” this renowned group performs holiday masterpieces from around the globe. Come see this amazing group perform live at Our Lady of Sorrows Church!
December 2–4 Folk and Tribal Arts Marketplace at SBMNH
Partake on an international shopping frenzy! This marketplace takes you on a cultural adventure with food, dance, and fascinating items from 50 different countries around the world. Friday from 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
December 3, 3 p.m. Wildling Art Museum Holiday Public Open House
Enjoy cookies and hot drinks as part of the Los Olivos Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration. Los Olivos will be illuminated with twinkling lights, musical performances, fresh popcorn and roasted walnuts. At 6 p.m., don’t miss the famous “lighting of the tree” in the center of town.
December 3, 6:30 p.m. 21st Annual Charity Fashion Show Hosted by First Street Leather
This year will celebrate Solvang’s 100 years with a “Cirque de Solvang”
theme and a recreation of the circuses of 1911. First Street Leather’s fine collection of leather apparel, accessories and goods from around the world, will be shown by more than a dozen locals, including John Mathews, Lee Ann McKinney, Polly Firestone Walker, Robert Byrnes and Deb Davis. Food and drink prepared by The Hitching Post II will be served and a cash bar will be on hand. Live musical entertainment featuring Peter Feldmann & The Very Lonesome Boys and live circus performances will round out the event.
Sample fabulous pomegranate recipes, taste award-winning wines and take care of your holiday shopping at the fun and relaxed atmosphere of Buttonwood Farm’s Pomegranate Festival and Holiday Open House.
December 3, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Rudolph
Rudolph is a children’s ballet performed by the students of Gustafson Dance and featuring additional dancers from the State Street Ballet Young Dancers, the apprentice company to State Street Ballet. This rendition of the classic Christmas tale about the lovable red-nosed reindeer is one you and your family don’t want to miss!
December 3–4, 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., and December 4, 2 p.m. Rodelinda
Music Academy of the West is hosting a special “Met: Live in HD” screening with Renée Fleming in one of her greatest portrayals, the virtuosic title role. Also starring Stephanie Blythe and Andreas Scholl. Screenings will be held on December 3 at 9:30 a.m. with an encore screening at 6 p.m. and on December 4 at 2 p.m.
December 4, 6-11 p.m. Solstice Winter White Ball
Plan on a fairy-tale evening at the Solstice Winter White Ball this year. A live band will be performing for the guests to dance to, as well as DJ Steven J. A light buffet with Santa Barbara’s favorite foods will be served and a no host bar. A silent auction will also be held at the magical event, giving you the opportunity to purchase some holiday gifts. The magical evening will be held at the Butler Event Center, 3744 State St. Don’t forget to dress in white! For information call 805/965-3396.
December 4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Snow Leopard Festival and Sledding at the Zoo
It’s a winter wonderland beneath palm trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Zoo’s annual Snow Leopard Festival. More than 75 tons of snow fashions sledding runs, creates a children’s play area and is placed in exhibits for snow leopards, elephants, otters and other animals. For more information call 805/962-5339.
December 4, 2:30 p.m. Clarence Barlow
Professor Clarence Barlow frames a discussion of the historic and contemporary link between music, math and the visual arts as a parallel form of avant-garde expression to the early Cubist experiment. At the Mary Craig Auditorium, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St. Call 805/963-4364 for more information.
December 4-February 12, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Simms Taback: Making Pictures for Children
Simms Taback’s exhibition delights the child in al of us and looks into the world of children’s book illustrations. The artwork is brightly colored and exquisitely designed. Her books are known for their humorous asides, often portrayed in her artwork as well. This exhibit runs at the Museum of Venture County.
December 6, 8 p.m. Keb’ Mo’ the Spirit of the Holiday
Three-time grammy award winning Keb’ Mo’ and his band celebrate the holiday season by performing holiday classics as well as Keb’ Mo’ originals. The blues musician adds touches of pop, rock and jazz to his music and embraces a new form of artistic expression. He will be performing at the Lobero Theatre for only one night, so do not miss your opportunity to see the wonderful musician in action.
December 7, 8 p.m. Warren Miller’s Like There’s No Tomorrow
This winter, Warren Miller Entertainment brings you its 62nd winter sports film, Like There’s No Tomorrow. Hosted by skiing icon Jonny Moseley and shot on location in India, New Zealand, Chile, Alaska, British Columbia, and beyond! Click here for details.
December 7, 8 p.m. Jazz Concert
8 p.m. Deane Chapel, Westmont, 955 La Paz Rd., Montecito. 805/565-6040.
December 7, 5:30 p.m. Opera Santa Barbara
An evening of song with special guests mezzo-soprano Diana Tash and pianist Armen Guzelimian. At the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De La Guerra St. Call 805/898-3890 for more information.
December 7, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Cheese and Sparkling Wine
December is holiday party season! Which is why C’est Cheese is hosting its Cheese & Sparkling Wine tasting for the 6th straight year. Six cheeses, three sparkling wines, and a whole lotta of fun!
December 7, 5:50–7:30 p.m. “A BRAND New Year”
The local chapter of the Association for Women in Communications (AWC-SB) will get a head start on “A BRAND New Year” at its annual holiday party at the Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara. The night will honor Member of the Year, Cindy Faith Swain as well as Non-Profit of the Year, Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County.
December 8, 8 p.m. Boston Symphony Orchestra
CAMA’s International Series presents Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by French conductor Ludovic Morlot, Music Director Designate of Seattle Symphony, and joined by American pianist Richard Goode, whose emotional power, depth and expressiveness can be heard in recitals and chamber and orchestral collaborations around the world. 8 p.m. At the Granada, 1214 State St. Call 805/899-2222 for more information.
December 8, 3–5:30 p.m. Open House & Family Caregiver Holiday Party
Friendship Center Goleta is hosting an open house as a tribute to their families and caregivers! Join them for wine, hors d’oeuvres, and live music as they celebrate the everyday heroes of Friendship Center!
December 9, 7–8 p.m. Ines Roberts
Join photographer Ines Roberts for a presentation of “Fata Morgana and Songs of the Sea,” island-related photography paired with music. At the Wildling Art Museum, 2928 San Marcos Ave., Los Olivos. Call 805/688-1082 for more information.
December 9 Michael Kate Winter Art Exhibit and Craft Sale
Featuring the work of 25 regional artists and crafters. At MichaelKate Interiors and Gallery, 132 Santa Barbara St.
December 9–10, 8p.m. Westmont College Fall Dance Concert
Directed and choreographed by Susan Alexander and Christina Sanchez. At Porter Theatre, Westmont College, 955 La Paz Rd., Montecito. Call 805/565-7140 for more information.
December 10, 6 p.m.–10 p.m. The Artizan’s Ball, “A Night in Gay Paris”
Walk down the Champs-Elysées and into a night you will never forget, filled with everything from can-can, crepes, and discotheque dancing to Tango and Toulouse-Lautrec. Stroll over to the Eiffel Tower and watch as artists render nostalgic Parisian scenes while jugglers, magicians, and unicyclists stun you with their talents.
December 10, 8 p.m. Sings Like Hell: Teddy Thompson + Elizabeth Cook
British singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson’s songs are often characterized by their personal and observational style and common use of black humor. He’s joined by American country music singer Elizabeth Cook, who was described by New York Times as having “a high, agile, Dolly Partonish voice, and in her ballads she chuckles where others might sob.” At the Lobero Theater, 33 East Canon Perdido St. Call 805/963-0761 for more information.
December 10 Faust
Debuting sopranos Marina Rebeka and Mojca Erdmann. Jonas Kaufmann, Marina Poplavskaya and René Pape take on the demanding leading roles of Faust in this “Met: Live in HD” screening conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Live simulcast Dec. 10 at 9:55 a.m., encore screenings Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. At Hahn Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. Call 805/969-4726 for more information.
December 10–11, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Holiday at the Ranch
Tour the beautifully decorated historic Stow House and enjoy photo opportunities with Santa Claus, along with crafts, cookie baking and live holiday music by Holiday Horns, Tony Ybarra and more. At the Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Rd., Goleta. Call 805/681-7216 for more information.
December 10, 10 a.m., Holiday Spirit Parade
The Hospice Tree Lighting is to be held the same day at 5:30 p.m. Both are located on Linden Ave. There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to come out to enjoy both the parade and the gorgeous tree lighting.
December 10, Una Noche de Las Posadas
Las Posadas is the time-honored reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter in Bethlehem as it was once celebrated in early California and is still observed throughout Mexico and South America. Join in this rich cultural tradition to experience the way Santa Barbara’s earliest Spanish and Mexican residents celebrated Christmas with song and food.
December 11 Animation Celebration
The shadow play became a popular entertainment in Paris during the 18th and 19th centuries, especially at Le Chat Noir where artist Henri Rivière was the designer. Filmmakers were also inspired by this technique, as illustrated by the films The Adventures of Prince Achmed and Princes and Princesses, both of which are suitable for all ages. 2:30 p.m. at the Mary Craig Auditorium of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 1130 State St. Call 805/963-4364 for more information.
December 11 Parade of Lights
The 26th Annual Parade of Lights’ festivities begin with a Santa’s Village event on the pier, featuring a visit from Santa, ten tons of snow and holiday music. Distinguished judges, along with thousands of spectators, cheer on 30 to 50 boats parading along the Santa Barbara coastline. A short fireworks display follows the boat parade. Santa’s Village from 3 p.m., parade begins at 5:30 p.m. Santa Barbara Harbor on Cabrillo Blvd. Call 805/897-1962 for more information.
December 11, 1:30–4:30 p.m. Studio Sundays on the Front Steps
Visitors of all ages are welcome to participate in this hands-on workshop with Santa Barbara Museum of Art teaching artists on the museum’s front steps. Each month, explore a different medium. Also on Jan. 8 and Feb 12. At Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St. Call 805/963-4364 for more information.
December 11, 7:30 p.m. Christmas with the Santa Barbara Noel Carolers
A benefit for music education in the schools and the SB Vocal Jazz Foundation at the Free Methodist Church with special guest, Debbie Denke on piano! Help support the cause!
December 12, 6 p.m. Caviar & Champagne
C’est Cheese is back with a second tasting event for December and this time it’s caviar! Join them in tasting five different types of caviar back-to-back, which is the best way to compare and contrast the nuances between them so that you can figure out what styles you like. Also enjoy warm blinis, hard-boiled egg, and two glasses of bubbly, bien sur.
December 13, 7:30 p.m. FREE S.B. Chamber Orchestra Concert Tickets
Santa Barbara! Come hear what will surely be the bench mark performance of this work! Bax is praised for creating a ravishing listening experience with his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations and dazzling facility.
December 13 and 14, Baking Bread and a Bread Baking Class
Pascale & Montecito Country Kitchen is hosting bread baking classes that will teach attendants to make a regular organic wheat Boule and an Olive, Pistachio, Herb Boule. Each person will take home some of the bread that’s baked. In addition, class participants will receive a Lodge cast-iron duel-purpose baker in which to bake future loaves at home, a fresh starter for your next batch, and a copy of The Tartine Bread Book that contains all the recipes from the class. The class is NOT posted on the Country Kitchen website so call 805/965-5112 for more information and reservations. Delicious!
December 13–17, 8 p.m. CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: YOU CAN’T STOP THE CHRISTMAS BEAT!
Presented by Santa Barbara Silver Follies.
December 13, 7:30 p.m. Bizet, Beethoven, and Bax
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra presents vibrant pianist Alessio Bax who will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (The Emperor). Maestro Ohyama has also programmed Georges Bizet’s brilliant First Symphony in C Major. Mr. Bax delighted audiences last May with his performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 at the Lobero. Of Bax’s work, the Spanish publication El Tiempo said, “[he is] a complete artist, powerful and subtle, a master in all fields” and Gramophone Editor’s Choice said, “his playing quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity.” Click the link above for more info.
December 17–18 The Christmas Revels
Get ready for revelry! Take a journey with Santa Barbara Revels to explore the roots of modern Christmas with songs, dances, and stories that originate in the Nordic/German traditions and come flavored with the spices of Europe. Sankt Nikolaus, his helper Knecht Ruprecht, and The Christmas Revels cast of 70 actors, singers, dancers, and instrumentalists invite you to laugh and enjoy as we welcome the Winter Solstice! December 17 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 18 at 1p.m. and 5 p.m.
December 17–18 The Nutcracker
The story of Clara and her nutcracker prince is a holiday classic brought to life by State Street Ballet performers. This holiday favorite remains true to the classic ballet while bringing forth new inspiration and sophistication. Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Granada, 1214 State St. Call 805/899-2222 for more information.
December 17-18, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Solvang Julefest Wine Walk
Twelve wine tasting rooms will feature premium wines over the 2-day wine tour through the village of Solvang. Ticket includes a 2-day passport along with a a souvenir wine glass. This holiday festival will put you in the Christmas spirit as there 100 colorful Christmas trees throughout the village.
December 31, 8:30–10:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve Pops Concert
A musical party with Santa Barbara Symphony and guest conductor Robert Bernhardt, who is in his 29th season as Principal Pops Director of Louisville Orchestra and as conductor of Chattanooga Symphony. At the Granada, 1214 State St. Call 805/899-2222 for more information.
December 18, 2:30 p.m. Free Christmas Concert with Adam Phillips
St. Mark’s Church presents this free performance as part of a year-round community concert series. Adam Phillips will perform along with local favorites Blaine Sprouse and David West in a night of traditional Christmas music in a fresh, acoustic format. This concert features classics such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, O Holy Night, The First Noel, as well as music from Adam Phillips’ recently released album “Songs of Old: A Christmas Album.” A reception after the concert will include an opportunity to meet the musicians!