Holiday Happenings in the Napa Valley
November 8, 2018
The holidays are a magical time of year in the Napa Valley and coincide with the height of Cabernet Season (November through April), the perfect season to enjoy Napa Valley’s famous red wines with seasonal hearty fare. The valley's towns, resorts, restaurants, and wineries are open for business and offer many festive events throughout the holiday season. Check out some of our favorite holiday happenings around the valley, and come celebrate the season wine-country style.
The City of American Canyon hosts an annual Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting and Marketplace Nov. 30, 2018 at Shenandoah Park, located at 100 Sonoma Creek Way. The festivities include a parade, tree lighting, a special appearance by Santa, and a crafts table for kids. The Marketplace is hosted by the American Canyon Chamber of Commerce.
The City of Napa marks the start of the season with its annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Veterans Park on Main Street in downtown Napa, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 at 6 p.m. Join the mayor of Napa in this traditional community event and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, cookies and entertainment as local youth groups perform and the 20-foot-tall Christmas tree is illuminated.
Napa’s 55th Annual Christmas Parade, is Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 at 5 p.m. in downtown Napa. The parade begins and ends at Second and School streets. Since becoming an evening parade, locals have creatively decorated parade entries, including cars, horses and even children, with bright, festive lights. Following the parade, Santa Claus will be in the “Big Chair on the Riverfront” to hear Christmas wishes.
The Napa Valley Wine Train announces the return of its Santa Train, an interactive musical adventure for the entire family. The Santa Train runs Nov. 19 through Dec. 28, 2018 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. and 7:15 – 9:15 p.m. (trains do not run on Dec. 24 or 25, 2018). Guests will experience games, sing-alongs, and a fun cast of holiday-inspired characters, all while enjoying hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies. For the third consecutive year, the Napa Valley Wine Train has partnered with the Ticket to Dream Foundation to invite hundreds of Northern California foster children aboard the Santa Train free of charge.
Vista Collina Resort’s inaugural Tree Lighting Ceremony is Nov. 30, 2018 from 4 - 6 p.m. Both locals and visitors are invited to enjoy complimentary holiday cookies and hot cider, sing along with professional carolers and enjoy local children’s performances throughout the evening as they light the resort’s 40-foot Christmas tree. The resort will also operate a holiday-themed artisan market, where guests may purchase farm-to-table treats and ingredients to enhance any holiday meal.
Napa Valley Wine Trolley’s Holiday Light Tours returns to Downtown Napa for three weekends in December 2018. The tours are Friday through Sunday, Dec. 7, 8, and 9; Dec 14, 15, and 16; as well as Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21 and 22, 2018 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The vintage cable car departs from Oxbow Public Market and takes guests through historic Downtown Napa and its Victorian neighborhoods.
The Town of Yountville presents Holidays in Yountville Nov. 18, 2018 through Jan. 1, 2019. During the six weeks of holiday-related events, activities and performances, visitors and locals may take in the thousands of twinkling holiday lights while exploring Yountville’s many shops, tasting rooms, restaurants and hotels.
Join the City of St. Helena and the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce for the inaugural Jingle All the Way, Dec. 1 – 28, 2018 at Lyman Park in St. Helena, featuring an ice-skating rink, food trucks, music, wine, holiday parties, an appearance by Santa, and more.
The start of the holidays in Calistoga is marked by the Annual Lighted Tractor Parade on Dec. 1, 2018 from 7 to 8 p.m. This parade is the ultimate small-town holiday celebration in celebration of the region’s agricultural heritage. Vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks, and construction equipment bedecked with dazzling lights parade down Calistoga’s charming main street to kick off the holiday season.
This holiday season marks the tenth anniversary of The Twelve Days of Christmas at The Restaurant at Meadowood. Hosted by Chef Christopher Kostow and Director Nathaniel Dorn, the twelve-day charitable celebration Dec. 7 through Dec. 22, 2018 invites influential chefs from around the world to collaborate with Chef Kostow and the culinary team, sourcing and utilizing products from in and around the Napa Valley. This year’s dinner series will benefit the Saint Helena Preschool for All, Inc., a local non-profit that provides scholarships to children. The Restaurant at Meadowood will donate $2,000 in honor of each participating guest chef, plus ten percent of every dinner ticket sold.