15 Festive Holiday Happenings in Napa Valley in 2018

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  • on NOVEMBER 28, 2018
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Courtesy of Facebook: Rutherford Hill Winery
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Napa Valley is the place to be when it comes to world-class wine and food, but this beloved wine region shines even brighter during the holidays, offering festive events for adults, holiday fun for the kids, and plenty of reasons for the whole family to get into the holiday spirit.

Wine and Dine

Courtesy of Facebook: The Restaurant at Meadowood

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Restaurant at Meadowood

December 7 – 22, 2018, times vary
Cost: $350

Sure to please gourmands this season is the return of the esteemed Twelve Days of Christmas dinner series at the Restaurant at Meadowood. Now in its tenth year, this delicious celebration invites influential chefs from around the world to collaborate in the kitchen for twelve nights of unique dinners inspired by the region. The dinners benefit the local non-profit, Saint Helena Preschool for All, Inc., so you can feel good about splurging for a cause.

900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-1205

Holiday on the Hill

Rutherford Hill Winery

December 9, 2018, 11:00 – 2:00 PM
Cost: $40, $20 for club members

Rutherford Hill Winery’s annual open house offers something for every wine lover, including limited edition wine and selections normally only available to club members. Enjoy a wine tasting and nibble festive bites as you mingle with fellow oenophiles, explore the cave, and wander around the property to admire the holiday décor.

200 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 963-1871

12th Annual Judd’s Hill Annual Hanukkah Hootenanny

Judd’s Hill Winery

December 9, 2018, 12:00 – 2:30 PM
Cost: $55

Pairing current and library vintages with tasty holiday fare (think beef brisket sliders and an extravagant latke bar), this lively celebration at Judd’s Hill Winery benefits the Community Health Initiative of Napa County. In the spirit of giving, if you bring an unwrapped new toy and/or canned non perishable food items, Judd’s Hill will bring donations to local Napa charities. Free for wine club members, this annual event tends to sell out quickly, so be sure to snag a ticket and be one of the lucky few to savor some of those traditional jelly donuts.

2332 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 255-2332

Christmas Day Dinner at FARM Carneros

Farm at Carneros

December 25, 2018, 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Cost: $105 for adults, $42 for children 12 and under

No need to cook a holiday feast when you can have FARM at Carneros make it for you. On Christmas Day, enjoy a six-course tasting menu featuring a special selection of both family-style and plated courses showcasing classic Christmas favorites with Wine Country twists. Think squash ravioli with roasted chestnuts and candied ginger, diver scallops with truffled potato, and organic California goose served three ways. After dinner, if you’re staying on-site, retreat to your cottage to savor fireside hot chocolate and s’mores for a memorable way to close out the meal.

4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 299-4880

Artisan Crafts & Classes

Courtesy of CIA at Copia

Santa’s Helpers and Holiday Gift Faire

Napa Valley Exposition

December 8 – 9, 2018, 10:00 – 5:00 PM on Saturday, 11:00 – 4:00 PM on Sunday
Cost: Free

Sip hot cider as you peruse 90 artisan booths during this holiday shopping tradition, where you’re sure to find gifts for everyone on your list, including holiday-themed goods, art, crafts, home décor, and jewelry. Santa will be making an appearance, of course, but be sure to keep an eye out for his elves, as they may have a little treat in store for you. Before you shop until you drop, head over to Santa’s Helpers Café for delectable ways to fuel you up, including the banana cream pie that may just make it onto your wish list to Santa next year.

573 3rd Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 253-4900

Pies & Tarts for the Holidays Cooking Class

CIA at Copia

December 14, 2018, 1:30 – 2:30 PM
Cost: $30

Get inspired in the kitchen this season at one of the many interactive and demonstration cooking classes put on by CIA at Copa, including this useful pie and tart baking class. CIA’s experts will share their dough-making secrets and tried-and-true techniques for creating classic favorites and innovative creations, so you can master the art of this beloved holiday staple. Don’t be surprised if you soon become everyone’s new favorite dinner party guest this season.

500 1st Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 967-2500

On Stage

Courtesy of Napa Valley Performing Arts Center

The Nutcracker

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center

December 15 – 16, 2018, 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Cost: $35 – $45

The timeless holiday classic is back for its 18th season, bringing magnificent ballet performances and larger-than-life scenery paired with the iconic sounds of Tchaikovsky. Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on an enchanted journey through the Snow Flake Forest to The Land of Sweets at this beloved ballet which promises to be a feast for the senses.

100 California Drive, Yountville, CA 94599, (707) 944-9900

ABBA-solutely Christmas Show

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center

December 22, 2018, 7:30 PM
Cost: $35 – $65

Get ABBA-solutely into the Christmas spirit as all your favorite ABBA songs get mixed with holiday ‘tunes for a fun-filled live performance by international touring ABBA tribute band, The ABBA Show. This feel-good musical event will have you on your feet dancing to “Dancing Queen” in no time.

100 California Drive, Yountville, CA 94599, (707) 944-9900

Family Friendly

Courtesy of Facebook: Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa on Ice

Napa Valley Exposition

November 16, 2018 – January 6, 2019, 12:00 – 10:00 PM though hours vary
Cost: $14 – $16

Now’s the time to lace up the skates and start burning off all those holiday treats at Napa’s first outdoor ice skating rink, where 6,300 square feet of ice awaits. This fun, affordable activity is something the whole family will enjoy. Ready to make a whole day of it? Opt for the VIP Admission at $2 more, which grants you all day skating access with in and out privileges.

575 3rd Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 253-1324

Holidays in Yountville


November 18, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Cost: Free – $50+ depending on event

Nowhere is a place more festive than Yountville during the holidays, when the entire town is aglow thanks to thousands of twinkling lights and holiday happenings. This six-week celebration features dozens of holiday events, activities, and performances that are sure to warm your heart with the spirit of Christmas. Enjoy carriage rides through town, holiday-themed movies, visits from Santa, Broadway holiday performances, ugly sweater parties, and more during this magical community event the whole family will adore.

6484 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599, (707) 944-0904

Santa Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

November 19 – December 28, 2018, 5:00 PM and 7:15 PM
Cost: $39+

Jump aboard the Santa Train, also known as the Napa Valley Wine Train, for an enchanting ride through Wine Country. The 1.25-hour journey to The North Pole, aka Yountville, will have kids of all ages singing, playing games, and enjoying the onboard entertainment featuring a cast of jolly characters, including Santa himself. Sip hot cocoa and savor freshly baked cookies during this interactive musical adventure — one that is sure to put smiles on all the kids’ faces.

1275 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559, (800) 427-4124

St. Helena Jingle All The Way

Lyman Park

December 1 – 28, 2018,4:00 – 8:00 PM (Thursdays and Fridays), 12:00 – 8:00 PM (Saturdays and Sundays)
Cost: $5 – $10

Join the city of St. Helena for this inaugural holiday event, which brings festive parties, ice skating, and plenty of holiday cheer to downtown’s Lyman Park. Don your skates and start practicing that triple axle during this skating-focused event, but if watching from the sidelines is more your style, there’s still plenty to keep you entertained. From food trucks and music to wine and holiday fun with Santa, St. Helena’s spirited event will get you in the Christmas spirit faster than you can say “Jingle Bells.”

1498 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574, (702) 418-4571

Napa Valley Wine Trolley Holiday Light Tours

Napa Valley Wine Trolley

December 7 – 23, 2018 (Fridays – Sundays), 6:30 PM
Cost: $30 for adults, $10 for children 10 and under

Hop aboard a vintage, open-air Cable Car for a fun-filled ride to view the spectacular holiday lights on display throughout the city of Napa, including downtown and its Victorian neighborhood. Expect classic holiday ‘tunes and candy canes during the 1.5-hour outing, which promises plenty of twinkling lights to admire along the way. The trolley departs from the Oxbow Public Market, so go early and grab dinner beforehand to warm you up for the evening tour.

1754 Second Street, Suite B1, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 252-6100

Ring in the New Year

Courtesy of Meritage Resort and Spa

New Year’s Eve Celebration Dinner & Jazz

The Meritage Resort And Spa

December 31, 2018, 6:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Cost: $175

Dancing, live music, and a champagne toast at midnight are some of the highlights of this dinner and jazz New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Meritage Resort and Spa. Enjoy a Wine Country-inspired buffet meal before hitting the dance floor at this adults-only event. After dinner, be sure to put on your dancing shoes, because your ticket includes access to the after-party in the ballroom, where a live band will keep the party going strong as you toast to a new year.

875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 251-1900

New Year’s Eve Casino Royale

Castello di Amorosa

December 31, 2018, 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Cost: $395, $345 for wine club members

Ring in a new year, James Bond style at Castello di Amorosa’s Casino Royale-themed New Year’s Eve party. This formal Black Tie affair pulls out all the stops, with a red-carpet welcome, card and dice games in the “casino,” a seated dinner in the cellar, and even a dessert bar featuring after-dinner wines. Expect plenty of action as the party continues until after the ball drops, thanks to two dance floors, a live band, and a DJ spinning all the party favorites.

4045 North St. Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 967-6272

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Hana-Lee Sedgwick

Hana-Lee Sedgwick is a writer and editor based in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Specializing in all things wine, food, and travel, her work regularly appears in publications such as Santa Barbara Magazine, The Tasting Panel, and Edible. Whether for work or play, she never tires of exploring California wine country. Follow her on Instagram at @wanderandwine or visit her blog, wanderandwine.com.


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