Santa Monica has always been one of our favorite cities; especially Downtown Santa Monica. It’s a beachy playground with dozens of powerhouse businesses changing the tech, fitness and lifestyle industries from their high rise offices above, and innovative dining, beachside bars, street performers and of course the iconic Santa Monica Pier, defining the best Los Angeles has to offer all on ground level-this city has got it all.

Whenever we feel like grabbing our girlfriends, sitting outside and enjoying LA’s incredible weather, and relaxing over a few drinks and bites (which is often!) Downtown Santa Monica is always one of our top picks. So when the city of Downtown Santa Monica invited us for a day of #DIY, we immediately said yes. Although we thought we had done it all, we were so excited to see what they had in store for us. And to our surprise, it was a day full of restaurants, cooking, the best food, and crafting, at new places and spaces around the city. We were so excited!

The day began with a tour of the Downtown Santa Monica Farmers Market, led by Chef Clemence Gossett, co-owner of The Gourmandise School. Her passion for food, and knowledge of the Farmers Market was really impressive, and it was so much fun learning the stories of each vendor. We learned that some of Santa Monica’s most renowned restaurants even have designated shoppers who visit the Farmers Market every Wednesday to purchase fresh ingredients for their chefs. It’s a special way Santa Monica is supporting it’s local farmers and ensuring their menus are infused with farm to table, fresh, seasonal ingredients. How cool is that?! Next time we’re dining in DT Santa Monica, we’ll be enjoying our food a little extra knowing our salad was made with fresh produce and organic vegetables grown by local farmers just miles away from the restaurant we’re sitting in! Another reason for us to grab our girlfriends and head to Downtown Santa Monica for lunch!

We shopped the Farmers Market for the ingredients needed for our cooking class at The Gourmandise School. We purchased fresh eggplant, cilantro, eggs, butter lettuce, thyme, pomegranates, and fresh feta cheese, for a Mediterranean inspired brunch! We then walked through 3rd street, vibrant and full of energy (even on a Wednesday morning!) and headed over to The Gourmandise School. We prepared a traditional Mediterranean dish called Shakshuka, made with oven-roasted eggplant, and poached eggs, and a seasonal salad. It was so much fun learning about the ingredients, having the opportunity to get our hands messy and make a delicious brunch. We even learned how to properly poach an egg-And it came out pretty great, if you ask us! Once everything was ready we sat around a table and enjoyed our homemade brunch family style. It was delicious!

Next, we walked over to Paper Source Santa Monica for another chance to get creative (and a little messy! There was a lot of glitter involved, and we were very excited to say the least…) Something we didn’t know, and have never done in Santa Monica, was a crafting class at Paper Source Santa Monica. They offer group crafting every day, and you can choose what you’d like to make! They planned a Halloween Card Making workshop for us, and we had so much fun playing around with the colors, prints and DIY glitter stamps. There’s something so relaxing about crafting, getting to express your creative side and having fun doing something different with friends. We hung out, enjoyed avocado toast and bites from The Gables Santa Monica, and made these adorable cards! How do you think we did?!

For the last stop, we walked over to The Gables Santa Monica for lunch. This new Santa Monica spot is perfect! From the beautiful decor to the incredible food, we loved it. We met the Chef and had a chance to try a little bit of everything from the menu. Our favorite? The Kale Caesar with shaved egg!

We loved exploring our city in new ways, and can’t wait to come back for more seasonal fun in Downtown Santa Monica all year round!