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Things to Do in Manhattan Beach for the Holidays

Nov 29, 2020 11:56AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Holiday decor from Tabula Rasa in Downtown Manhattan Beach - also on display at the Sandpipers' Holiday Homes Tour.

What is there to do in Manhattan Beach during the holiday season? This year may look different from years past, but there's still plenty of ways to enjoy all that Manhattan Beach has to offer.

Shop and Order from Your Favorite Manhattan Beach Shops and Restaurants: This is a tough year and an especially tough season for your favorite Manhattan Beach shops and restaurants. So if you need a gift, a meal, or if you just want to treat yourself to something special, shop Manhattan Beach first. 

See the Lights in Manhattan Beach: All around town, we're seeing some incredible lighting displays coming together. Do you think your lighting is the best in town? Enter the Roundhouse Aquarium's Holiday Decorating Contest. Do you know of a street where the lighting is spectacular? Let us know! 

Tour Local Homes on the Sandpipers' Holiday Homes Tour: Yes, this year's Sandpipers tour will be a virtual one, but this new format enabled the organizers to offer many more extras. Your ticket gives you virtual access to five homes in the South Bay that have been transformed for the holidays by local artisans and florists. The virtual experience (offered from December 1-24) will offer a professionally narrated video tour showcasing interactive walk-throughs of each home with decor vendor and holiday boutique “hot-spots” for your shopping needs. The tour will also offer a series of mini master classes, which will include special guests sharing tips on organizing your pantry, wardrobe styling, cooking tutorials, and holiday decorating. This year there's also the option to buy a Holiday Dining Discount Card with discounts from local food purveyors, including a 15% discount on charcuterie boards from GROW. Tickets and ticket packages range from $30-$50 and can be purchased here.

Visit Santa: Yes, Santa's still coming to town. Manhattan Village Mall is offering a contactless in-person Santa experience with enhanced safety protocols such as using a reservation system to avoid overcrowding, requiring guests and staff to wear a face covering, and daily temperature checks and health screenings for all staff. While guests will not be able to sit on Santa’s lap or be allowed to hug Santa this year, he will still be in the photos and he will still be able to chat with the kiddos and hear their wishes while social distancing. Each child who visits with Santa will receive a HO HO HO or Make It Merry mask while supplies last. Make your reservations here.

Make Your Mark at Metlox: If you haven't seen the "Home For the Holidays" artwork installation at Metlox yet, make sure to make it part of your holiday checklist. You can marvel at the intricate decorations and then leave a little note about what being home for the holidays in Manhattan Beach means to you.

Check Out the Holiday Window Displays: While you're making your way around town doing your shopping and take-out, check out the holiday window displays at Manhattan Beach storefronts. Of special note: The Neptunian Woman's Club's award-winning holiday window display honoring the 100th birthday of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Do a Santa Stroll with Mychal's: Mychal's Learning Center has "reimagined" its Santa Stroll. While last year's Stroll packed more than 700 "Santas" on the beach in Hermosa, this year the Stroll is going to be a run-your-own 5K. From November 30 to December 12, participate in the Santa Stroll at your own pace. Entry fees range from $25 to $45, and come with your own Santa hat. All funds raised benefit Mychal's Learning Center. 

Last but not least, don't forget the red bagged parking meters! These red meters (Manhattan Beach-owned) will give you free parking for up to two hours in Manhattan Beach from now through December 25.

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