What to do for Christmas in Napa Valley 2023

Squeeze in one more vacation before the year ends and spend Christmas in Napa Valley. What better way to celebrate the holidays than frolicking around wine country with your loved one? Winter in Napa Valley is breathtaking, plus there are plenty of Holiday events in Napa Valley for visitors and locals to enjoy — the perfect magical holiday you deserve. 

Hop on Santa’s Train and go on a merry train ride to the North Pole. Tick off items on your Christmas shopping list at artisan fairs. Enjoy a glass of Cabernet while getting cozy in front of a fireplace. Or go on a holiday wine tasting and test award-winning wines from local wineries paired with sumptuous bites from amazing local chefs. There are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in Napa Valley this season, so go on and book that trip! 

Here’s a rundown of the holiday events you can check out to celebrate Christmas in Napa Valley:


Napa Santa Train Jolly Journeys


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How to get here – 7 min from the Candlelight Inn

When: Every weekend in December until the 23rd

Take a ride with Santa Claus and the elves to North Pole aboard the Napa Santa Train. Enjoy your favorite Christmas treats, a Christmas movie medley on multiple televisions, and plenty of photo ops around the well-decorated train. 

You can choose between four jolly train journeys to embark on (1) Santa’s Cookie Car, where you jingle and mingle with Santa (2) the Gourmet Holiday Express, (3) Jingle on the Rails, where you can enjoy a three-course festive holiday menu with your loved one, and (4) the Very Merry Vista Dome, where you’re served a fine dining holiday menu on a luxurious observation-style dining car.

Tickets range from $95 to $195 and include a freshly baked cookie and cocoa, and digital and printed photo with Santa. Train journeys are scheduled every weekend in December until the 23rd. They get sold out really fast, so hurry! If you get the tickets, arrive at least an hour early to catch the live show that the conductor and train staff will participate in. There will be lots of dancing and singing to get everyone in a festive mood! 


Experience the Magic at Merry Meritage Holiday Ice Rink!

How to get here – 15 minutes from Candlelight Inn

Glide over the ice, cozy up by our VIP fire pits with some smores, get plenty of photos with twinkling lights and festive decors, enjoy a special visit from Santa, and get ready for snow(!) at the Merry Meritage Holiday Ice Rink. Open from November 17, 2023, to January 7, 2024, from 4:00pm to 10:00pm daily, it’s a delightful way to celebrate Christmas in Napa. 

Enhance your visit with Napa’s famous wines available rink-side, or book a VIP Igloo for an exclusive experience. Tickets are $25 per person, covering skate rental and 90 minutes of ice time.


Napa Valley Wine Trolley’s Holiday Lights Tour

See Napa in its holiday best on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley’s Holiday Lights Tour.  Starting December 8, couples and friends can enjoy a 90-minute journey through Napa’s beautifully lit streets every weekend. It’s a perfect holiday date night or a festive outing with friends. 


See St. Helena’s Beringer Wine Barrel Tree

Visit St. Helena from November 22nd to January 2nd for a unique holiday spectacle – the Beringer Wine Barrel Tree. Crafted from repurposed Beringer Vineyards barrels, this 36-foot tree celebrates Napa Valley’s rich wine heritage. A collaboration between Beringer Vineyards, St. Helena Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses, it’s a must-see creative representation of Napa’s art, culture, and community spirit. Perfect for a family photo and to soak in wine country’s holiday vibe.


Napa Regional Dance Company’s “The Nutcracker”

How to get here – 10 minutes from Candlelight Inn

Step into the holiday season with the Napa Regional Dance Company’s performance of “The Nutcracker.” From December 15-17, 2023, this timeless classic comes to life at the Performing Arts Center at Napa Valley College. Perfect for families or a festive outing with friends, witness the enchanting tale of Clara’s journey, complete with dancing dolls, mischievous mice, and a valiant Nutcracker, all set to a live symphony orchestra. Tickets available now for a magical evening of holiday cheer.


Napa Valley Christmas Parade

How to get here – 6 minutes away from the Candlelight Inn

When: December 9 from 5pm to 8pm

Of all the holiday events in Napa Valley, the Napa Christmas Parade is the most favorite, beloved, and anticipated. Look forward to decorated floats, marching bands, dancers, vintage cars, with special participation of community groups and of course, Santa! After the parade, go see the festive Napa Christmas light displays at the Riverfront and Archer’s Hotel. Dress warm and cozy and get yourself a cup of warm wine, hot cocoa, s’mores, and wood oven pizza. 


Reindeer Run

How to get here – 17 minutes from the Candlelight Inn

Keep up with your exercises during the holidays while immersing in Napa’s local culture and join the Napa Valley community at the Reindeer Run on December 2nd! The Run offers a 5k, 10k, and a half marathon. If you pre-register, you’ll get a t-shirt, your time digitally recorded, and a goodie bag. The event starts at 8am at Wetlands Edge View Area Trailhead in American Canyon. Enjoy Napa Valley in December with a fantastic run, jog, or walk to break sweat and keep you warm. Tickets are $65 for the 5K/10k event. Click here to signup.


The Calistoga Christmas Faire and Lighted Tractor Parade

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How to get here – 33 minutes away from the Candlelight Inn

When:  Faire/Bazaar – December 1, 2023, from 4pm to 8pm and December 2, 2022 from 10am to 4pm

Lighted Tractor Parade – December 2 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Head to the quaint town of Calistoga and visit the 52nd Annual Calistoga Christmas Faire at Pioneer Park from December 1st to 2nd. Come for live performances, Santa meet and greet, activities for kids and adults, local artisan vendors, tree lighting, good food, local wines, and carolers to keep you entertained. 

Fill in your holiday schedule and come back to watch the Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade the next day, December 2nd. A celebration of the town’s agricultural heritage, marvel at brightly lit vintage tractors, antique trucks, modern vehicles, and construction equipment. For more information about the event, click here.


Holiday Tea at the Ackerman Heritage House

How to get here – 5 minutes from Candlelight Inn

When: December 4, 2022 and December 10, 2022 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Spend an afternoon and enjoy a delightful festive tea ceremony in Napa’s beautiful Victorian home, The Ackerman Heritage House! Plenty of photo ops and holiday cheers at only $15. 


Holiday Open House and Wine Tasting

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You can’t leave Napa valley without going wine tasting. Napa Valley in December is Cabernet season, too, so you’re in for a great treat if you love your reds full-bodied. There will be plenty of wineries open in December, and reservations will be easier than usual because there are usually fewer crowds. Enjoy your favorite wines in the following wineries: 

  • Bright Nights Tasting at Cuvaison Estate Wines – every Saturday and Sunday from November 24 until December 23, 2023 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm | Enjoy three estate-grown wines paired with cheese accompaniments
  • Jolly Jingle, Mix & Mingle at Priest Ranch Wines – December 1, 2023 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm | Wine available for purchase by glass
  • Wreath Making and Wine Experience at Merryvale Vineyards – December 1, 2023 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm | Price: $75 per person | Create your own wreath while sippin on the complimentary wine
  • Holiday at the Estate by Foley Johnson Wines – December 2-3, 2023 from 10am to 4:00pm | $45 per person | Small bites, live entertainment, and estate wines
  • Elizabeth Spencer Winery Holiday Open House – December 2 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm | $35 per person | Savor festive music, tasty bites, exclusive wines, and special promotions. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and get an extra 10% off your purchases.
  • Holiday Open House at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – December 2 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm |  $100 General Tickets | Find the perfect gifts for your loved ones while enjoying gourmet small bites and wines. There’s also a silent auction with exclusive items, with all proceeds benefiting Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry. 
  • Robert Mondavi Winery Holiday Party – December 2 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm | $125 General Tickets | A seasonal celebration featuring Chef Jeff Mosher’s holiday bites and a selection of fine wines. Explore their store for unique gifts and a wide range of wines ideal for the holidays. The evening features a tree lighting with hot cocoa, coffee, pastries, and small bites. 
  • Holiday Open House at Raymond Vineyards – December 3 10:00am to 4:00pm | $50 per person | See santa, enjoy food from their food stations, sample and buy wines, take pictures at their photobooth. They’re also taking donations for Toys for Tots so bring an unwrapped toy and get 10% discount from your purchases. 
  • Holiday Sip & Shop at Kerr Cellars – December 5 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm |  $50 per person | Shop, eat, drink, and be merry! Bring unexpired, unopened, non-perishable food donations for the Napa Food Bank Program and get 15% off your Kerr Cellars purchases. 
  • It’s a Wine-derful Movie Night at Priest Ranch Wines – December 8 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm | Free for all ages | Purchase wine by the glass and savor tasty artisan treats while watching the movie 
  • Holiday Mixer at Rutherford Ranch Winery – December 9 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm |  $65 per person | Wear your favorite ugly sweater, meet new friends, and buy wine for gifts!
  • Wine and Cheese: Party On! At Mia Carta Napa – December 6th, 2023 at 6pm | $90 per person | Heavenly cheese and artisan wines. Can’t say more. 

If you just can’t get enough of Napa wines and want to try as many while in town, treat yourself this Christmas in Napa Valley with Calistoga’s Winter Wineries Passport. The passport allows you complimentary wine tastings at 19 participating wineries in Calistoga, Lake County, Pope Valley, and St. Helena, plus discounts at participating restaurants, lodgings, spas, and shops. The passport is valid from December 2, 2023, through February 4, 2024. You will still need advance reservations to visit the wineries. Let them know you’re a Winter in the Wineries Passport holder when making your reservation. 

Another option is the St. Helena’s Little Book of Big Experiences. For $95, The Little Book grants you VIP access to 12 different Napa Valley wineries. Delight in wine and food combinations, exclusive wine tastings, estate tours, and tastings of small, limited-edition wine batches. The Little Book is valid from November 1, 2023, to March 31, 2043. 


Holiday Dinners and Brunches in Napa Valley

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Spending Christmas in Napa Valley means not having to slave in the kitchen for Christmas Dinner! Plenty of amazing restaurants in Napa are holding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. Enjoy sumptuous meals in a beautiful holiday ambiance with live music or your favorite Christmas songs filling the air. 

Some vineyards hold holiday dinners too like Merryvale’s 40th Anniversary Holiday Gala on December 9, 2023 6:00pm to 10:00pm, which $325 per person. You can also check out Frank Family Vineyards Holiday Dinner on December 9 as well at 6:00pm. It’s $350 per guest. 

If you’re up for brunch visit the The Estate Yountville’s Holiday Brunch: Mimosas & Mistletoe on December 17. Enjoy a buffet-style brunch with your favorite holiday dishes plus mimosas and mistletoes. It starts at 10:00am and is $135 per guest. 


Holiday Markets and Faires in Napa Valley

Get into the holiday spirit and hit Napa Valley’s holiday faires. They’re a great opportunity to dress up in your favorite sweater, scarf, or even a Santa hat and enjoy the season! Get cozy with friends and family, and walk around in pure holiday joy. You can find tons of great deals on all kinds of things—from clothing to food to decorations—and there’s live music too! The atmosphere is so festive and friendly that you’ll feel right at home.

Some of our favorite places to stop by include: 

  • Santa’s Helpers Holiday 28th Annual Gift Faire – December 10, 2022 at 10:00am to 5 pm and on December 11, 3033 from 11am to 4pm at Napa Valley Expo, Chardonnay Hall | Shop from over 90 artisans while sipping hot cider or cocoa and seasonal food. 
  • Greystone Winter Faire – December 17, 2023 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone | Enjoy the festive vibes while shopping, eating, and drinking. And join activities for all ages.  
  • Holiday Bake Sale at Silverado Market and Bakery – From December  18, 2023 – December  25, 2023 from 6:30am – 8:00pm | Bring home your favorite traditional holiday treats for yourself or family and friends. 


Come home to a cozy and warm bed after a day of Napa Valley adventure at Candlelight Inn.  From its rustic charm to its famous hospitality, the inn is an oasis in the heart of wine country. You’re close to all the festive happenings and exciting events on Christmas in Napa Valley downtown, while being just far enough to avoid the hustle and bustle. 

The Candlelight Inn, a Traveler’s Choice 2022 property, is located halfway between the Sonoma and Napa wine regions, and lies at the gateway to the Los Carneros wine region. The property features 11 unique rooms with glorious amenities like fluffy bedding and plush bathrobes, and complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout each guest room. Each room also has its own fireplace, gas or electric powered, to keep you warm and cozy this season. Make your reservation now and call (707) 257-3717 or click on the link below too book directly on  our website. Our three-course gourmet breakfast is a must-try!