Fireworks explode in the night sky above boats in a marina, with colorful lights strung along masts and rigging in the foreground.

It’s beginning to look a lot like a true SEAside holiday with a spectacular lineup of holiday celebrations in December.

It’s time to exchange snow for sand and winter boots for flip flops and hula your way to Ventura Harbor. On tap are the destination’s dazzling Ventura Harbor’s Annual Parade of Lights & Fireworks,, the “Must SEA” Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace, Santa Paddle, and festive Holiday Boat Cruises.  Festive folks from near and far engage in all things merry and bright amid the sun and sparkle of ocean-inspired decorations in a color palette of twinkling blue, aqua, and green beachy hues. Decked to the halls with a coastal vibe, now though the New Year, are spiraling sea pearls, a scenic “SEAsons Greetings” photo op, whimsical holiday trees, vibrant wreaths, and other festive décor that reflects off the glistening marina waters. Enjoy the spectacular lights and stop in for delicious cuisine on a cozy covered patio – a perfect way to entertain and spend time with loved ones. Following a relaxing meal, explore Ventura Harbor Village’s shops with unique gifts. Ventura’s locally-owned boutiques and art galleries have everything for those on your holiday gift list, from handmade treasures to fun stocking stuffers. 

Here’s a stellar line-up of activities that are certain to spread a little holiday cheer all season long: 

Santa Paddle 2023:

HO! HO! HO!On Saturday, December 9, 2023, head to Ventura Harbor for the Santa Paddle. Santa himself will ditch his reindeer and hop on a paddleboard, and visitors can partake in the adventure by renting a kayak, SUP, or character pedal boat from Ventura Boat Rentals. Participants are encouraged to get into the holiday spirit by dressing up as Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, reindeer, or any other holiday character! Bright reds and green colors are encouraged. Santa is scheduled to make his appearance around 11:30 AM, so arrive early to secure your rentals from Ventura Boat Rentals, which you can find on C Dock in Ventura Harbor Village, down on the dock below Brophy Bros. and On the Alley restaurants. After a group photo on the water, Santa will lead a festive procession from Ventura Boat Rentals through the marina to the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center and back. After the Santa Paddle, visitors can continue your holiday festivities by enjoying music, waterfront dining, and holiday shopping at Ventura Harbor Village. It’s a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping while supporting local businesses.

Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace 2023:

Seas the day at Ventura Harbor Village’s Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace 2023 on Saturday, December 16, 2023 from Noon to 4PM. Say hello and take a photo with Santa & Mrs. Claus and get up close to two of their reindeer! Witness the magic of the season with roaming carolers and holiday characters. Catch a live band, play in the faux snowfall, and make a complimentary holiday craft

Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights & Fireworks 2023:

It’s a magical moment when spectators get their first glimpse of the magnificent boats amid festive décor at the Annual Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights & Fireworks on Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16,2023 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Vivid and bright, the procession of colorfully decorated boats is a spectacle to behold. This year’s theme of “Hula Holiday” will showcase a Hawaiian Tropical vibe. Here’s peek at what’s planned: 

4:00pm & beyond – Kids carnival rides on the Harbor Village main lawn
5:00 pm – Faux Snowfall, Grinchmas, LED Performers, Hawaiian performers along the Harbor Village Promenade
6:30pm – “Hula Holiday” Boat Parade Begins (two laps throughout Ventura Harbor)
8:00pm – Fireworks (weather pending) – look northwest for best viewing

The celebration spotlights more than two dozen power & sail boats per night as they cruise around the entire Harbor – plus rides, sweet treats, warm drinks, and waterfront dining throughout Ventura Harbor Village. To cap off the evening, a fireworks display lights up the night sky and sea on both Friday & Saturday at approximately 8:00pm (weather permitting). Event admission and parking are complimentary. See web site to enter your boat in the Parade – Free to enter

Jump Aboard A Boat With Ventura Boat Rentals for Holidays:

A menagerie of charter boats (ducks, dragons, flamingos and swans) offered by Ventura Boat Rentals get visitors in the holiday spirit with both public daytime and nighttime rentals when the boats are lit with colorful lights for Ventura Harbor’s Parade of Lights on Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16 – reservations required. In addition, Ventura Boat Rentals is also offering private holiday boat charters to experience California Sleigh Rides throughout December and to view the Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights & Fireworks.  For advance reservations call 805-642-7753 or visit

Island Packers Public Holiday Cruises:

Island Packers Holiday Harbor Cruises: Cruise in style to view holiday lights with friends/family during a one-hour Island Packers Holiday Lights Cruise on select dates from December 7- 23, 2023. Cost: $20 per adult, $18 per senior (55+), and $14 per child. For advance reservations call 805-642-1393.

Island Packers Parade of Lights Cruises: For those who wish to see the colorfully-lit boats up close, look no further than Island Packers Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights Cruises on December 15 or 16, 2023. Cruises depart at 5:45 PM, 6:00 PM, & 6:15 PM. Fare is $38 for adults, $35 for seniors and $28 for children under 12. Group rates are available. .

Admission & Parking for Events:

Admission for Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace, Parade of Lights, and Santa Paddle are complimentary. Complimentary event parking is available in Ventura Harbor Village Parking Lots, designated spots along Spinnaker Drive, Surfer’s Knoll Beach, Harbor Cove Beach, and Safe Harbor Ventura Isle (Dolphin Parking Section only).Arrive early for best parking. Consider taking Uber and Lyft to the events this year. Dinner reservations are recommended or arrive early to dine in venues throughout Ventura Harbor. Parade and fireworks are weather pending. For best views of the parade, reserve a Parade of Lights cruise. 

For a complete schedule of holiday events and entertainment and additional visitor information, contact Ventura Harbor Village at 805-477-0470, or visit  Ventura Harbor Village is located at 1583 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura, CA 93001. Post, share, and like @VenturaHarbor