For Angelenos who want to get away for the holidays, but no too far from home, Ventura Harbor Village is just the ticket to festivity. You can load the family in the car, even the grandparents, and drive there in a couple of hours. Once you arrive you’ll find a town decked out with lights, surf, sand and Santa. This year the area is hosting the 39th Annual Holiday Parade of Lights celebrating 150 years of Ventura, and its holiday market place starring none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus. The children will love the live reindeer, faux snow flurries , and the Dickenson carolers clad in traditional costumes.
A few events that you might enjoy include:
- Wine and dine on Christmas Day at such notable spots as Alexander’s at Four Points by Sheraton; Rhumb Line, known as the “sunset restaurant” for it’s fabulous sunsets or The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood. Grab ice cream at Coastal Cone or a soda at the Parlor.
- Take an Island Packers California Caroling Cruise on Dec. 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, and 23 2015 from- 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. you can cruise in style to see colorful holiday lights and sing Christmas carols along the way. Island Packers Caroling Cruises are offered on select weekday evenings. Advance reservations recommended and do bring a scarf, call for Tickets 805-642-1393.
- Ride the Harbor Trolley—from Wednesday through Sunday in December you can hop on the Downtown Harbor Trolley for free from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to shops, restaurants and events. Every 150th rider will win a free gift valued at $20 courtesy of Downtown Ventura or Ventura Harbor businesses.
- Giving back with Toys for Tots from Dec. 1 – 17, 2015 you can bring holiday happiness to children by dropping off a new toy or book at the Silhouettes by the Beach–a full service salon.
- The Holiday Meet & Greet on Dec. 4, 11, 18, 2015 – 2-4 p.m. provides quality time for the whole family with traditional fun in front of the Village Carousel & Arcade where you can stop for a warm coffee drink and a snack, shop for gifts, and indulge the kids with fun and games.
- Enjoy an aquatic sleigh ride from Dec. 5-31 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can celebrate a holiday tradition with Ventura Boat Rental’s California Sleigh Ride cruise along The decked out Dreamer through Ventura Harbor. Each hour-long cruise features holiday music, complimentary hot cocoa and Yuletide cookies. Adults can also enjoy Ventura Boat Rentals famous specialty “Reindeer Milk” from the on board bar. Reservations are required. Call: 805-642-7753. Ventura Boat Rentals
- Take a Holly Trolley ride with Ole Saint Nick on Dec. 12 and 13, 2015 – 11 .m. – 2 p.m. for shopping and dining in Ventura Harbor Village. Call 805-827-4444 or click on Holly Trolley.
Located on California’s scenic coastal Highway 101, vibrant Ventura Harbor Village is 30 minutes South of Santa Barbara and one hour north of Los Angeles. The Village offers year around fun scuba diving, surfing summer snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, sea cave exploration, camping and wildlife viewing. If you don’t go there for the holidays you really should put in our list of things to do in 2016.