The new Santa Monica Place shopping center will celebrate its first holiday season with a musical tree-lighting event called “Santa Monica Shines” from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20.

The mall’s contemporary, 50-foot-tall sculptural holiday tree will be illuminated to a custom-created soundtrack from KCRW DJs, enveloping the entire main level plaza in a wash of color, light and seasonal music, said officials at Macerich, the Santa Monica-based company that owns Santa Monica Place.

This free event is open to the public and features KCRW music director Jason Bentley and the vocal group, The Living Sisters. The event also showcases local performers including groups from Santa Monica High School and the Brentwood Academy of Dance, plus a special appearance by Santa Claus.

After the Santa Monica Shines event, guests can enjoy holiday tree performances every evening from Nov. 20 to Friday, Dec. 31. Nightly performances are scheduled to take place every 30 minutes after dark. Four different soundtracks will run throughout the holiday season, according to Adrienne DeVore, senior manager of marketing for Santa Monica Place.

The day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 26, marks the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season and the introduction of “Get Gifted” at Santa Monica Place. The holiday program includes:

Random giveaways of free gift cards (100 or more every Friday throughout the season);

Santa Monica Place-specific weekly savings guides; Santa Monica Place Gift Guru – a professional, L.A.-based stylist – who will offer advice for shoppers on fashion, gift-giving and more every Friday from noon to 2 p.m. in the Get Gifted Lounge next to concierge on the main level; and

“Inspire Your Style” invites Santa Monica Place shoppers to enter to win a $10,000 shopping spree.

Santa Monica Place is partnering with the Santa Monica Synagogue for a Menorah lighting event at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, near the olive tree on the dining deck. The public is invited.

Santa will be part of the holiday festivities, including:

Breakfast with Santa at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Food Court – complete with entertainment, photos and a visit with Santa. Space is limited for this free event – please RSVP at:;

Cocoa and Cookies with Santa at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 at the fireplace on the dining deck. No RSVP is needed for this event; and

Santa Monica Place’s strolling Santa and a photographer will be available to visit with shoppers beginning the day after Thanksgiving and every weekend through Sunday, Dec. 12, and then every day from Friday, Dec. 17 through Friday, Dec. 24. Please see concierge area for exact times and locations.

The performance calendar for the holiday season includes live music and dance performances throughout the season. Details are online at: