Archives for November 23, 2021

Third Street Promenade Celebrates Hanukkah, Nov. 28th – Dec. 6th

The official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall holiday tree welcomes guests to the Third Street Promenade. Photo provided by Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) brings the holidays to the Third Street Promenade with the return of Winterlit, transforming the downtown district into an immersive, festive experience. Tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland will deck the Third Street Promenade, 2nd and 4th Streets, illuminating convenient shopping and cozy outdoor dining experiences. Santa comes to the Promenade on Friday, November 19 at 6 p.m. for the annual lighting of the official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall holiday tree. 

Nightly menorah lightings will celebrate the Festival of Lights during the Hanukkah season from Sunday, November 28 through Monday, December 6. The lighting of the menorah will begin at sundown and take place on the 1400 block of Third Street Promenade (located between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway).

For a one-stop holiday shopping destination, the Conscious Night Market will be on the Promenade, Saturday, December 4 from 4 – 9 p.m. hosted by Fit Girl LA. The pop-up artisan market features unique goods from over 40 local vendors, elevated and sustainable brands in addition to live music and free kombucha. The SoCal Etsy Guild comes to downtown for two dates: Saturday, November 20 and Saturday, December 18 from 2 – 9 p.m., featuring local Southern California-based artists, crafters and designers. Shoppers can support local businesses while finding something for everyone on their gift list. 

Steps from the Promenade, Santa Monica Place will offer an array of festive activities for the whole family to enjoy this holiday season. Santa Clause will be in town and available for photos  November 19 through December 24. Visitors and shoppers can also catch special performances by the dancing sensation, Santa Monica Beach Belles, and the 14-foot larger-than-life Snow Globe. Bring your furry friend to a special pet night and “sit” for a photo with Santa on December 15 and 16. Visit for more information.

DTSM remains committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community, visitors, and staff. Face coverings are recommended when visiting the Third Street Promenade and all guests are encouraged to practice physical distancing. For more information and a full list of events, visit or follow @DTSantaMonica on Instagram and Twitter or DowntownSantaMonica on Facebook.

Credit: Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

Nina, Thanksgiving Day Pet of the Week

Nina looks as if she’s saying, “Thanksgiving weekend is no time for a kitten to be in a shelter kennel!” Nina’s looking for love, empathy and a loving, forever family, and she won’t say no to a plateful of healthy leftovers (no fruitcake, please, she emphasizes). Nina is under a year old and has been at Long Beach Animal Care Services since June. She’s one of the shelter’s adoptables who don’t fit the cuddly and friendly blueprint. She isn’t hostile—she’ll approach people gladly, but she’s afraid to be touched. She needs an adopter who’s willing to accept her for who she is now and work with her to attain her happy housecat state of mind. Do you have a forever place for this beauty? If so, adoptions and fosters are conducted through appointment, so contact to meet Nina. Ask for ID#A658641.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Make This Year’s Hanukkah The Best Ever With PJ Library!

This year, Hanukkah, the holiday of lights, runs from November 28 through December 6. PJ Library, long a leader in providing engaging ways for families to connect with Jewish life, offers a wealth of free resources including kid-friendly Hanukkah stories, printable recipes, and activity ideas, book lists, as well as two new story-based podcasts that help kids learn more about the traditions behind the festival of lights.

PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation which delivers more than 680,000 free Jewish storybooks to kids around the world each month. Jewish families of all backgrounds, including interfaith households, and at all levels of Jewish knowledge and observance may sign up every child in their home for a free subscription to receive a new, age-specific book each month. What could be a better Hanukkah gift than to receive a delightful, beautifully illustrated book arriving in the mailbox each month? PJ Library’s team of experts and educators curate the book list to provide the very best children’s stories that celebrate Jewish values, traditions, and culture to engage all Jewish families.

Beyond the books, PJ Library’s experts have updated their Hanukkah Hub, which offers child-friendly versions of the Hanukkah story along with myriad craft ideas, delicious holiday recipes, and printables. For example, check out these 10 Easy (and Kid-Approved) Hanukkah RecipesThe Ultimate List of Books about Hanukkah or The Easy Hanukkah Guide: Recipes, Gifts and Activities For Each Night

New for 2021 are the two new PJ Library Presents podcasts for kids: “Afternoons with Mimi” and “Beyond the Bookcase.” The November episodes will be perfect Hanukkah listening (on your favorite podcast platform): Grandma Mimi prepares a delicious plate of sufganiyot and tells her grandchild the story of Judah Maccabee. Then, on “Beyond the Bookcase,” follow Miri and Micah as they are transported back to Mashal to help Jack Be Nimble find the courage to jump over a hanukkiyah full of candles. When they launched, the two new story-based audio series climbed to the top 10 of Apple’s podcasts for kids.

Long a valuable resource for interfaith families, PJ Library also offers guidance this year, including their list of Hanukkah Books for Interfaith Families. They are co-presenting two webinars with 18Doors, an organization dedicated to empowering interfaith families and individuals to engage in Jewish life and make educated Jewish choices. For those balancing both big end-of-year holidays, these webinars will be engaging and informative: What to Do in December: A Live Q&A for Grandparents Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas and What to Do in December: A Live Q&A for Parents Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas.

For more Hanukkah gift ideas, PJ Library has set up shop at where families can find colorful aprons for cooking and crafting and books from the PJ Library imprint, PJ Publishing, including recent additions Havdalah Sky and Laila Tov, Moon.

Credit: PJ Library.