With Thanksgiving just a week away, the holidays have officially begun. Kick off your seasonal fun with a trip to Napa’s only outdoor ice skating rink, which opens this weekend. Next week, Napa hosts its annual tree lighting on Wednesday, and its Christmas parade on Saturday. Also, now is the time to book your tickets for holiday family performances from ‘Twas the Night before Christmas at Lucky Penny Community Arts Center to the Napa Regional Dance Company’s 16th annual production Nutcracker Ballet at Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. The holiday season also brings horse-drawn carriage rides, the new and improved Santa Train, ornament making, visits with Santa, and even…snow.

Napa on Ice (Ongoing)
November 19, 2016-January 8, 2017
Napa Valley Expo, Napa
Napa Valley’s only outdoor ice skating rink is open daily (including holidays) starting at noon, November 19 through January 8, 2017. The outdoor ice rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice. Skaters will be able to skate in the sunshine during the day, and under the stars at night. Open to all ages, Napa on Ice offers daily recreational ice skating, including free skate rental. Napa on Ice also offers parties, private ice time and special events. NOTE: Rink schedule subject to change due to weather and special events.

Santa Train (Ongoing)
November 19-December 29
Napa Valley Wine Train, Napa
Celebrate the return of the Santa Train. Guests will embark on an all new musical and interactive journey to Santa’s Workshop accompanied by some of Santa’s best friends. Magical wristbands will transform the experience, while guests enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and other holiday treats. Santa Train will run 7 days a week, November 19-December 29 (except November 24 and December 24-25). NOTE: Napa Valley residents special pricing Monday-Thursday ) 

Christmas Tree Lighting
Wednesday, November 23, 6-8 pm
Veterans’ Park, Napa
Join your neighbors the night before Thanksgiving in Veterans Park, at the north east corner of Main and Third Streets, when Mayor Jill Techel lights the 29-foot tall Christmas tree. It’s become a Napa tradition, and for good reason. Hot chocolate and cupcakes, courtesy of Downtown Joe’s and Kara’s Cupcakes, are the perfect accompaniment to enjoy children singing and dancing.

Yountville Festival of Lights
Friday, November 25, 3-6 pm
Yountville Community Center
The entire town will be twinkling with merriment to rival any Dickens fantasy – a welcome diversion from Black Friday madness. This feel-good family event features food and wine tasting, Santa and his elves (who will arrive via fire truck), the town and tree lighting by Santa and Yountville Mayor John Dunbar, and carriage rides down Washington Street (businesses stay open late with special holiday shopping offers).

Tree Lighting-Mansion Circle
Friday, November 25, 6-7 pm
Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa
This tree lighting ceremony features caroling by Vintage Choir, a visit from Santa, and hot chocolate, hot toddies and cookies. Guests are invited to bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots toy drive.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, November 26, 8 -10 am  
The Grill at Silverado, Napa
Enjoy a festive pre-holiday brunch in The Grill and Santa will be on hand for annual Christmas photos and taking wish lists.

Napa’s Christmas Parade
Saturday, November 26, 5-7 pm
Downtown Napa
The theme of 54th annual Christmas parade is “Bright Lights, Christmas Delights,”which lends itself to all kinds of creative interpretations. Napans build floats, decorate cars, animals and children, and march down the street in full Holiday spirit. Three $500 prizes, one each for Best Theme, Best Use of Lights and Best Music entries. This year’s parade Grand Marshal is the Staff at Napa Printing, Design Studio & Mail Center. Following the parade, Santa Claus will be in the Big Chair at the breezeway of the Napa Riverfront Building on Main Street. NOTE: the Christmas parade follows a new route this year, from School to Main on Second, right on Main, right on Third, then back to school (same route as the 4th of July parade.) 

Gingerbread Decorating
Sunday, November 27, 10 am-noon
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena
Get into the holiday spirit and join us for apple cider, hot cocoa and festive cookie decorating. Cookies and cider too! Complimentary but pre-registration is required. NOTE: this event is sold out!

Christmas Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 1, 6-8 pm  
Harvest Inn, St. Helena
The Harvest Inn hosts a holiday tree lighting with festive bites, hot cocoa and mulled wine. Get into the holiday spirit with the St. Helena Catholic School choir and help support St. Vincent de Paul’s Ministry of St. Helena Catholic Church with the Sharing Christmas in St. Helena program.

Holiday Trolley  (Ongoing)
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, December 2-24, 3-6 pm
Downtown Napa
Thanks in part to Beau Tours, who helped make the Holiday Wine Trolley available, everyone will be able to enjoy a free trolley ride in downtown Napa.  The Christmas-decorated trolley will be playing the music of the season as it travels between four regular stops – Oxbow Public Market, Historic Napa Mill, First & School Streets near the Andaz Hotel, and Main & Pearl Streets. Signage will show you exactly where to get off and on. Enjoy the whole loop or get on and off as you wish.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, December 2, 6:30 pm
Shenandoah Park, American Canyon
Bring your family and meet your friends for a magical parade, with a special chance to take photos with your favorite holiday characters, and Santa! Refreshments provided by the Lions Club. This is a free event, open to all! NOTE: Shenandoah Park is the new location for this annual event.

Calistoga’s Christmas Faire
Saturday, December 3, 9 am-4 pm
Napa County Fairgrounds, Calistoga
Eat, drink, shop, and join in the festivities! Enter your holiday baking or homemade decorations, participate in the Cake Walk, take home two dozen of the community’s best cookies (and their recipes) in the Community Cookie Swap, and get your wish list in early to Santa himself.

Holiday Open House & Santa Meet and Greet
Saturday, December 3, 10 am-2 pm
Central Valley, St. Helena
Santa Meet & Greet | 10:30 am – 12:30 pm (bring your camera!)
Children’s Holiday Crafts | 10:00 – 2:00 pm
Carolers | 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Cookies & Cocoa Served | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Wine Tasting | 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Holiday Performance by St. Helena High School Choir | 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Meet Santa Claus/Toy Drive
Saturday, December 3, 11 am-3 pm
Veterans Park, Napa
Meet and take a picture with Santa Claus when you donate a new unwrapped toy to Tour for Tots. Sponsored by the Napa Marine Corps Leage 870, there will be no professional photographer on site, but feel free to use your phone/camera for photos with Santa.

Take Your Photo with Santa
Saturday, December 3, 1:30-3 pm
Saturday, December 10, 9-11:30 am
Saturday, December 17, 9-11:30 am
Triple AAA, Napa
Bring your children to the local AAA Napa branch for an opportunity to take their photo with Santa. AAA members and non-members welcome!

Artspark Family Workshop: Holiday Ornaments
Saturday, December 3, 1:30-3:30 pm
Di Rosa, Napa
It’s a holiday ornament making party! Metal sculptor Josanna Borelli-Zavala and glass artist Patti Wessman will lead families in creating customized ornaments using a variety of materials. Bring your playful side for an afternoon of holiday family fun!

Snow Day
Saturday, December 3, Noon-5 pm
Shenandoah Park, American Canyon
Are you ready for snow, carriage rides and entertainment? Families will have the opportunity to enjoy carriage rides, holiday themed snow villages, entertainment and more. Free shuttle service provided from ACHS. This free event is open to the public, and will be held rain or shine! Food truck vendors will be onsite for food available for purchase.

Annual Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 3, 3-5 pm
Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville
Robert Mondavi Winery hosts its 6th annual holiday tree lighting and celebration, which includes horse and buggy rides through the To Kalon vineyard, wine tasting, hot apple cider, carols with the Vintage High School Chamber Singers, Italian cookies, cheese and charcuterie appetizers.

Napa Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, December 3, 5:30-8:30 pm
Napa River, Napa
Members of the Napa Valley Yacht Club decorate their vessels with lights and “parade” their way from the Yacht Club to the Third Street bridge. It all begins at the Napa Valley Yacht Club at 5:30 pm and will continue north to the 3rd Street Bridge. Festive holiday entertainment will be offered along Napa’s Riverfront promenade, the best spot to view the flotilla.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas  (Ongoing)
Saturdays and Sundays, December 3-18
Lucky Penny Community Arts Center, Napa
Here’s a fun and family-friendly play for you! It’s a story of a mouse whose house Santa skipped – and he wants to make sure he has cookies out so he won’t be missed again! But before you can say “Merry Christmas!,” you are taken off on the wild adventures of this mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl filled with schemes, confrontations, hip-hop music, mistaken identities, bravery, and all things naughty and nice!

21st Annual Lighted Tractor Parade
Saturday, December 3, 7-8 pm  
Downtown Calistoga
Calistoga’s Lighted Tractor Parade is the ultimate small-town holiday celebration. Celebrating our agricultural heritage, vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks, and construction equipment bedecked with dazzling lights parade down Calistoga’s charming main street to celebrate the Christmas season. Santa himself makes a special appearance during the parade, rain or (moon) shine. This popular Napa Valley event, which gets bigger and better each year, is fun for the whole family.

Mariachi Los Camperos
Saturday, December 3, 7 pm
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Yountville
This lively concert features traditional Mexican and American carols such as “Feliz Navidad,” “Noche de Paz” (Silent Night), “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” and much more. Add in spirited dancing, authentic Mexican costumes, and a joyful sing-along, and you’ve got a rollicking holiday celebration for the whole family.

Santa’s Workshop
Sunday, December 4, 9-11 am  
Yountville Community Center
The young and the young at heart are invited to attend this festive workshop where you can enjoy a donut, hot chocolate, coffee or cider while you write a letter to Santa and make an ornament or other festive crafts. Santa will arrive at 9 am and will have plenty of time to visit with each child.

Tuba Christmas
Sunday, December 4, performances at 2 and 4 pm 
Veterans Park, Napa
Tuba Christmas is a music concert held in cities worldwide that celebrates those who play, teach, and compose music for instruments in the tuba family and it’s coming to Napa. Acceptable instruments include the tuba, sousaphone, baritone, and euphonium, though some participants bring rarer members of the family such as the helicon, ophicleide, serpent and double bell euphonium. Christmas standards and some new arrangements will be led by conductor Alan Parks.

USAF Band of the Golden West Holiday Concert
Monday, December 5, 7-9 pm
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Yountville
Celebrate the sounds of the season with The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West Concert Band. Led by Commander and Conductor Captain Rafael Toro-Quiñones, this acclaimed 50-piece ensemble from Travis AFB will deck the hall with familiar and classic melodies guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit. NOTE: Tickets are free but pre-registration is required, and there were just a few seats left at time of print. 

Holiday Sing-Along
Tuesday, December 6, 6-9 pm
Lucky Penny Community Arts Center, Napa
The Holiday Sing-Along started by Andrew Moore has become an annual Napa tradition. Enjoy complimentary cookies and holiday treats while you sign up to be a song leader, or take photos with Santa. Then the Sing-Along starts at 7 pm all the favorite songs that make the season bright are sung. NOTE: This year, the holiday sing-a-long is taking place at Lucky Penny Community Arts Center. Admission is free, but seating is limited to the first 100 attendees so go early.

Annual Tree Lighting
Wednesday, December 7, 4:30-7 pm
Queen of the Valley, Napa
Join Queen of the Valley Medical Center at is annual tree lighting ceremony featuring the story of the first Christmas, Christmas carols with the Napa High School Chamber Choir, and a visit from Santa.

Horse Carriage Rides (Ongoing)
Thursdays, December 8, 15, 22, 4:30-7:30 pm
Downtown Napa
Enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Napa. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the holiday lights on all the buildings, check out the Christmas windows, and just snuggle with the family. Carriages depart every fifteen minutes from the Napa River Inn at the Hatt Building on Main Street.

Annual Town Tree Lighting & Chamber Mixer
Thursday, December 8, 5:30-7:30 pm
Yountville Community Center
Yountville Mayor John Dunbar and Santa will light the Town Tree and then everyone will move inside for food, drink and entertainment. There will be a holiday performance by students from Yountville Elementary School as well as the opening the new art show in the Gallery @ Community Center featuring kids art! You will also have the chance to talk with Santa and visit the elves’ workshop.

Napa Firefighters Sleigh Ride
Friday, December 9, 5 pm
Imola Neighborhood, Napa
Napa State Hospital firefighters help Santa, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Santa’s elves steer their sleigh among the streets of Napa’s Imola neighborhood. The ride begins near the corner of Imola Avenue and Parrish Street, then heads west on Imola. Along the route, Santa’s sleigh will stop and children will be invited to climb on board,share their wishes with Santa and receive a treat. Event will be postponed to the weekend if it rains.

Santa is Coming to Town
Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11, noon-4 pm
Heritage Eats in Bel Aire Plaza., Napa
Bring the kids for free photos with Santa!

Pioneer Christmas
Saturday, December 10, 10 am-4 pm
Bale Grist Mill, Calistoga
Every Christmas season, Bale Grist Mill hosts a 19th century Christmas celebration, pioneer style. Enjoy making a clove pomander or wreath of rosemary for your home, or string popcorn and cranberries for the tree. Write a letter to Santa in calligraphy and seal with red wax. Children especially enjoy decorating gingerbread cookies, cutting paper snowflakes and making “leavings dolls” out of scraps of fabric. There are demonstrations throughout the day: lace making, wool spinning, waxed egg decorating and milling demonstrations.

Photos with Santa 
Saturday, December 10, 11 am-2 pm  
Yountville Community Center
The Yountville Community Center will host  Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch – for pet or people photos with Santa. Stop by the Community Center to have a photo taken with the big guy himself. A suggested donation assists Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in continuing to provide transitional and permanent shelter, adoption and rescue services for animals here in the Napa Valley.

Voices of The Season…on Broadway
Saturday, December 10, 4-7 pm
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Yountville
VOENA brings to the stage “Voices of The Season…on Broadway” with original arrangements of famous Broadway holiday songs, as well as unique cultural songs. Experience The Phantom of the Opera celebrating its 30th Anniversary, The Sound of Music, and The Lion King, as well as fresh renditions of White Christmas, The Phantom of the Opera, He Lives in You, Mary Did You Know, and other enchanting favorites.

Holiday Cookie Workshop for Kids with Chef Frances
Sunday, December 11, 11 am-2 pm
Silverado Cooking School, Napa
Learn the secrets of making delicious cookies with a holiday twist! Chef Frances will teach your junior baker to make great tasting cookies that can be easily made ahead. The kids will take home a set of the recipes so that they may recreate their experience with family and friends. Each student will also take home a box of hand-made goodies from the class along with a logo apron.

Teddy Bear Tea
Sunday, December 11, 1:30pm-3:30pm
Silverado Resort and Spa
This holiday tea features tea, scones, petit fours and sparkling wine (for adults), plus a holiday puppet show. Each child takes home a teddy bear stuffed toy.

Holidays in Vienna
Sunday, December 11, 3-5 pm
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Yountville
Symphony Napa Valley lights up with a special holiday program that will transport you to the glorious sounds of Vienna and Old Europe, with seasonal works by Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Handel and others. The program will include music from the Nutcracker, Messiah, Blue Danube, as well as traditional carols to fill you with holiday cheer. So don your festive attire and come join Maestro Guttman, Symphony Napa Valley and choir in a sing-along of the Hallelujah Chorus!

Holidays in Harmony Holiday Singalong
Tuesday, December 13, 6-7 pm
Napa School of Music, Napa
Let’s bring in the holidays with good music and cheer at this free community singalong.

Holiday Decorating Contest & Tour
December 13-15, 6:30 pm
Senior Center, American Canyon
Show your holiday spirit by decorating your house or business, and registering for American Canyon’s holiday decorating contest! Or simply take a tour of the decorated homes and business. You may take a self-gu9ided tour or pre-register for a bus tour. At the end of the tour, vote for your favorite!

Annual Holiday Open House
Wednesday, December 14, 5-7 pm
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
Join us in spreading the holiday cheer at our Annual Holiday Open House! Come and decorate cookies, hear Christmas carols, enjoy festive food and drinks, watch classic holiday movies, and more! Santa will also be making a special appearance, so you won’t want to miss out. Be sure to bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots to be entered in a raffle! Parking will be directed offsite at the Beringer Production lot on Pratt Avenue. We’ll see you there!

The Nutcracker
Saturday, December 17, 2 and 7 pm Sunday, December 18, 2 pm
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Yountville
The Napa Regional Dance Company’s presents its 16th annual production of the Nutcracker. Don’t miss this beloved holiday tradition  for all ages.

Farm Holiday Celebration
Sunday, December 18, 10 am-noon
Connolly Ranch, Napa
Come celebrate the winter holidays at Connolly Ranch. Enjoy the festive farm atmosphere with family, warm drinks and freshly baked cookies. Make a beautiful bay leaf wreath, handmade holiday cards and a winter wand. Spend time with our barnyard animals and a take advantage of a free photo session by Classic Photography.

Holiday Talent Showcase
Sunday, December 18, 3-4 pm
Redwood Retirement Home, Napa
Napa Valley Music Associates presents a holiday talent showcase featuring students of Napa Valley Music Associates year-round music program including voice and instrumental students. Refreshments following the performance.

I Spy a Candycane
December 20-22, 6:30 pm
Senior Center, American Canyon
Gather a team of your friends and family to search for I Spy items at decorated homes all around American Canyon. All you need is a team name, transportation and a keen eye for a chance to win a holiday gift basket! This event is free, but pre-registration is required.

We do our best to share accurate information, but things change, events sell out…so please double check with the presenting organization. We don’t want any disappointed children — or adults!

Photo courtesy of Chick Harrity/Lighted Tractor Parade/Visit Calistoga