Napa County Locals’ Must Dos December 2017
With the holidays upon us, it is the MOST wonderful time of the year! At the end of the year I like to look forward, but also look back and reflect. In the Napa Valley we have collectively shared some highs and low, some tragedies. It was quite an eventful year. Now is the time to come together as a community, support one another, be kind, be joyful, and be peaceful. Give what you can, and receive gratefully.
As the holidays are the season of celebration, there are lots of free events and affordable activities, as well as family-friendly functions for multi-generational groups. Some of my must dos for this month include festive and illuminated events, art, a movie, ice skating, live music and ballet. Many events benefit a cause or an entire community.
May you and yours have a very warm, peace-filled and happy Holiday Season! Get out there hug each other, listen, take it all in, sing and enjoy. As you are likely a Napa Valley local, I encourage you to be a supporter, participant, spectator or volunteer. Here are my top “only in Napa Valley” opportunities for December!
Calistoga Holiday Village, Christmas Faire and Tractor Parade
Friday, Dec. 1 – Saturday, Dec. 2
This year Calistoga kicks off the holidays with a full weekend affair, beginning with downtown holiday shopping on Friday, December 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. as well as the opportunity to find gifts at the Calistoga Holiday Village, experience the lighting of the community tree, meet-up with Santa for pics at Mount View Hotel and taste Calistoga appellation Cabernets. The next day, on Saturday, December 2, the Calistoga Christmas Faire at the Napa County Fairgrounds will feature food, festivities, crafts and fun before the annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade on Lincoln Avenue beginning at 7:00 p.m. VisitCalistoga.com
American Canyon Reindeer Run
Saturday, Dec. 2
Take off on foot early on Saturday, December 2 and walk or run the Wetlands Edge View Area Trail Head in American Canyon, in this 8:00 a.m. family-friendly event that will benefit KHOPE International, a local non-profit supporting children living in poverty locally and beyond. Registered participants will receive a t-shirt (while supplies last). For more visit KHopeInternational.org/ReindeerRun.
Jessel Gallery Holiday Extravaganza
FREE Saturday Artist Demonstrations
Saturday, Dec. 2 – Saturday, Dec. 23
An up-close and intimate method of enjoying the annual Holiday Extravaganza art show at Jessel Gallery is to visit each Saturday in December through Christmas when various artists will be conducting FREE live demonstrations. Painters, potters, weavers, sculptors, glass artists and basket makers are just some of the creative professionals who will share their process, talent and knowledge with visitors to the gallery. Jessel Miller herself will serve complimentary homemade, gluten-free oatmeal chocolate-chip pecan cookies and hot cider throughout the holiday season. Check the website for the schedule of visiting artist demonstrations and times. JesselGallery.com
Holiday Movie Series at Lincoln Theater
Friday, Dec. 8
The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, along with the Yountville Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Yountville, will present the finale of the Holiday Movie Series debut on Friday, December 8. Elf is the beloved and very funny, family-friendly film starring Will Ferrell as the larger-than-life elf himself. Tickets are just $5 per person (discounted family packs are available), and children younger than two years of age will be admitted for FREE. Hot cocoa, warm apple cider, cookies, and popcorn by the Yountville Little League Team will be available for purchase. LincolnTheater.com
Napa Lighted Art Festival
Saturday, Dec. 9 – Sunday, Dec. 17
New to Downtown Napa this year is an artful display of light in the first Napa Lighted Art Festival. Viewers can follow the path of interesting light displays which will be projected onto buildings and structures throughout Downtown Napa and the Oxbow District nightly from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. Several original works of light art that use the latest in illuminated technology will be installed for the nine-day event. For a list and map of festival sites visit NapaRec.com/NapaLight.
Free Ice Skating at Napa on Ice
Wednesday, Dec. 13
Located on the grounds of the Napa Valley Expo, the seasonal ice skating rink Napa On Ice will be open through January 7. The outdoor ice rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice so that skaters can whirl around the rink beneath winter rays of sun, as well as sparkling nighttime stars. For one day in December, due to the generosity of Western Health Advantage, the skate rental and ice skating will be free (first come, first serve for specified one-hour time slots from 2p.m. to 9p.m.). NapaOnIce.com
Wreath Across America – Remembering Veterans
Saturday, Dec. 16
Volunteer to honor and remember veterans by participating in the 12p.m. ceremony at the California State Veterans Home in Yountville on December 16. Participants can assist by placing a wreath on a service member’s grave. There are close to 6,000 veteran graves in the Veterans Memorial Grove Cemetery on the Veterans Home campus. Ceremonies around the world are set to take place simultaneously on this date and time. The mission of the program is to remember, honor and teach. All people and ages are welcome. For more information contact Wayne Soltys at 707.718.2532.
The Nutcracker – Ballet and Live Orchestra
Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17
Napa Regional Dance Company will present their 17th Annual production of the Nutcracker at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater in Yountville. The magic, movement and music of this classic ballet which features more than 30 dancers, 50 musicians and 12 actors, tells the story of Clara and The Nutcracker. Now a treasured Napa Valley holiday tradition for all ages, this year Lincoln Theater has partnered with Napa Regional Dance Company and guest Conductor Steven Thompson, to accompany the ballet with live music by Symphony Napa Valley. Three performances are set for the weekend, tickets are available online now. LincolnTheater.org