Tree lights, night markets, free fitness classes, and more on the boardwalk

As the Christmas season approaches, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is stepping up activity on the boardwalk, including the popular tree-lighting ceremony.

Tens of thousands of lights will flicker on November 19th at 6 p.m. and mark the start of the annual Winterlit celebrations, which will put the city center in a festive mood. Santa will also roll into town to oversee the lights on the city of Santa Monica’s official 24-foot Christmas tree.

Designed to bring the community together, the event features performances by the Samohi Madrigals, Lincoln Middle School Madrigals, the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Mariachi Perla del Oeste, and the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Chamber Ensemble.

“It’s a hyper-local, very community-friendly event to watch your friends and families perform, see the tree light up, and then hang out with Santa,” said Mackenzie Carter, Director of Marketing and Communications at DTSM, adding that Santa will be available for socially distant photos that evening.

Menorah illuminations will also take place across Hannukah from November 28th to December 6th. Illumination begins each evening at sunset on the 1400 block of Third Street Promenade, which is between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway. Each light ceremony is hosted by various Santa Monica and Westside Jewish organizations.

Those looking to fend off a less popular vacation tradition, weight gain, will enjoy the range of health-conscious programs that also run on the boardwalk.

This includes free fitness classes held every Saturday morning on the boardwalk in partnership with the Fit Girl Club LA. Upcoming offers include a HIIT course at 10:00 am with Basecamp Fitness and a bread roll and boxing course at 11:00 am with Femme Fighter on November 20; and a Krav Maga Self-Defense Level 1 class at 10:00 a.m. with Arthur Li and a Detox Yoga Flow class at 11:00 a.m. with Cara Chandler on November 27th.

Various local artisans are featured at each Saturday training session that sells handmade wellness products and handicrafts.

“We wanted to have a regular exercise session on the boardwalk on the weekends that would allow people to come and exercise, but also then to have lunch, go to the farmers market, or shop,” Carter said. “We call it self-care Saturday, when you spend the morning on the promenade in beautiful sunshine and enjoy everything that the city center has to offer.”

For those who are fit and want to take a nap on Saturdays, the Conscious Night Market, also held in collaboration with Fit Girl Club LA, offers a fun evening wellness option.

The next market will take place on December 4th from 4 to 9 p.m. and offers a selection of sustainable and wellness brands, healthy food trucks, handicrafts, a kombucha garden and live music.

“We wanted to bring our community retail opportunities that they might not otherwise have in Santa Monica, so we decided to create a range of markets,” says Carter, explaining how the night market is part of DTSM’s drive to be more small and minority owned businesses downtown.

In keeping with this mission, the SoCal Etsy Guild will host pop-up markets on the boardwalk on November 20 and December 18. Both markets run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and feature a range of local artists, artisans, and designers.

For more information on all of the boardwalk programs, please visit https://www.d Bäumensm.com/events-calendar.

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