Look for red balloons.
Bring beach chairs and blankets to relax. Check out the pier (http://www.santamonicapier.org/) and maybe even ride some rides (http://www.pacpark.com/)! This is NOT a potluck like last year, please plan to bring your own food and drink or purchase from the Pier.
Parking: There is a large parking lot on the north side of the pier that usually costs about $8 dollars to park. The Santa Monica area has several large public parking lots/structures around the beaches and the 3rd Street Promenade area.
Beach Rules: Santa Monica Beach is a state beach; therefore it comes with more rules than a normal LA beach. Here they are, so no one gets in trouble… No smoking, No fires or fireworks, Dogs not permitted on the beach, Ball playing in designated areas only, Must obey lifeguards' direction, No tents or temporary enclosures, All trash must be placed in trash cans, No alcoholic beverages, No glass containers and Smoking is prohibited on Santa Monica beach, on the Santa Monica Pier, in waiting areas for public services (e.g., bus stops) and within 20 feet of an entrance to a public facility. (http://www01.smgov.net/osm/beachrules.htm)