Celebrate the Holidays Downtown Napa Style

Winter in the Napa Valley might look a little different than you’re used to, but what we lack in snow, we make up for in enthusiasm. In Downtown Napa, the holiday season is in full swing. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find holiday decorations glittering in the wine country sunshine. Even the rainy days have a kind of festive charm, as Downtown’s lights provide a soft glow to the air and shops all along the street beckon visitors in for a warm drink, a cozy shopping experience, a bite to eat or all of the above. The holidays in Napa are a bustling time of year, and with this guide, you can be sure you won’t miss any of the exciting events or exclusive shopping experiences happening all month long.

Downtown Napa’s Holiday Events Roundup

Downtown Napa takes seasonal celebrations very seriously. All through December and into January, we have a wide range of holiday events, from themed photo opportunities to late-night New Year’s Eve dance parties.

For families wanting to create some treasured holiday memories, the Napa Wine Train offers Jolly Journeys all through December. While the Wine Train is normally an adults-exclusive experience, these yuletide train rides offer kids tickets, so the whole family is able to enjoy warm cider, Christmas caroling, pictures with Santa, kid-friendly gourmet dining menus, Christmas cookies and more. Or, for a completely free festive ride right through Downtown, ride the Wine Trolley’s Hop On Hop Off Holiday Loop. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3-6 pm, you can hop on or hop off at any of the trolley’s four regular stops — Oxbow Public Market, Historic Napa Mill, First & School Streets and Main & Pearl Streets — and enjoy holiday tunes as you cruise through Downtown. Families with kids, pets or both are also invited to stop by the Archer Hotels’ rooftop bar, Sky & Vine, for their winter wonderland, Up on the Rooftop at Archer Hotel. This rooftop hangout is decked out in stunning holiday decor throughout the holiday season, combining with the panoramic valley views to create a photo opportunity you won’t find anywhere else. Enjoy seasonally-inspired cocktails — featuring names such as “Sleigh Ryed” and “Santa, Don’t Fernet About Me” as well as their “Giving Drink” which donates $2 of every drink purchase to No Kid Hungry — and light bites as well as cozy firepits from now until December 29th.

There’s nothing like a little live music to spice up a winter weekend! You have multiple chances to catch the reggae-inspired sound of Anuhea, a multitalented singer-songwriter from Maui, at Blue Note Napa. Anuhea is performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday on New Year’s Eve weekend, so get your ticket now and head to Blue Note for an evening of great food, libations and music that will take you to paradise. In keeping with the Hawaiian theme, you can also head to JaM Cellars to enjoy a wine tasting paired with music courtesy of Jake Shimabukuro, a ukulele maestro who is known for pushing the boundaries of his genre. Also on New Year’s Eve at the Uptown Theatre is a performance by Dogstar, a premier alternative rock band from the early 2000s.

Close out 2023 in true wine country style and dance the night away at the NYE JaMParty hosted by JaM Cellars. Groove on the dancefloor under this tasting room’s iconic disco ball, with a soundtrack courtesy of DJ MikeAwesome. Snag your ticket today and welcome in 2024 with light bites, wines by the bottle, wine jello shots and more. You can also spend your New Year’s Eve at The Fink, a stylish, retro-inspired bar located in the Napa River Inn. For no cover charge, you can enjoy a champagne-focused cocktail menu and count down to midnight while enjoying gourmet plates and unbeatable service. BeBubbly has also planned an epic NYE celebration. Join them for their inaugural Billecart Ball, a two-part champagne and music event featuring both a live band and a live DJ. Show up in your best sparkly pink and gold outfit and let the Billecart Rosé flow all night long!

Napa’s Exclusive Experiences

As much as Mom loves the cardigans you keep buying her every year, why not pivot your holiday shopping to include some Napa-exclusive experiences your friends and family will never forget? (Forewarning: you’ll be raising the bar with these gifts, so be prepared for the family to expect big things from you in years to come!)

There is no better place to take a wine enjoyer than Downtown Napa — aka, the Wine Tasting Room Capital of the World. Offer to cover — or better yet, accompany them on — a wine tasting during the holiday season, so you can knock out your Christmas gift list before the holiday is even over. If you head to tasting rooms such as Wine Girl before the month is over, you’ll also be able to take advantage of their totally Instagrammable, totally stylish Christmas decorations. Even if you hit this tasting room post-holiday, there’s sure to be a fun themed event happening. (Recently, they even celebrated pop superstar Taylor Swift’s birthday with a cocktail menu inspired by her music and lots of friendship bracelet trading.) Or, for a wine tasting experience that is truly out of this world, send your loved one to Outer Space Wines, a wine shop and tasting room that offers carefully curated varietals from both Northern California and across the globe. With over 55 tasting rooms to choose from, you can’t go wrong. Explore the full list of Downtown tasting rooms here.

For a hands-on experience, consider giving the gift of a cooking class at the CIA at Copia. It’s a great way to learn a new skill, try some fabulous food and of course, pair it all with chef-selected wines. No matter your tastes or level of expertise in the kitchen, the culinary artists at this world-renowned school will provide you with an approachable, interactive food experience. Copia also often hosts exclusive events, a ticket to which would make a great surprise for under the tree. Food enthusiasts might recognize the name M.F.K. Fisher, a talented food journalist and founder of the Napa Valley Wine Library. On January 20th, head to Copia for a screening of The Art of Eating: The Life of M.F.K. Fisher, a fascinating film exploring the life of this talented writer. Along with the film screening, you can purchase admission to the food and wine reception, prepared by Copia’s talented culinary team, and you will have the opportunity to chat with the film’s creative team following the movie. Get your tickets here and send your foodie loved ones to this exceptional event.

It might be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays do come with their fair share of stress. For anyone in your life who might be feeling the strain of hosting or are simply overwhelmed by a busy social calendar, give them the gift of a relaxing getaway to Downtown Napa. A stay at the Meritage Resort and a trip to their in-house spa, Spa Terra, is sure to soothe any residual post-holiday stress. Or, book them a weekend at the Napa River Inn, where guests can enjoy world-class service and unmatched luxury in the form of soul-nourishing spa treatments.

‘Tis the Season to Shop Til You Drop

Aside from numerous exclusive Napa experiences available to you, Downtown Napa is the premier shopping destination for knocking out the rest of your holiday shopping. For more inspiration beyond what we’ve outlined here, check out our insider’s guide to shopping in Downtown Napa.

Take the taste of wine country right to your loved ones with curated and beautifully wrapped gift bundles, such as these offered by Levendi Wine. If you’re buying for someone who prefers something a little stronger, California Brandy House has you covered. Pick up a cocktail kit for anyone looking to supplement their home bar setup, or personalize your brandy gift by adding an engraving, which they can do onsite at the time of purchase. If you are looking to purchase gifts for your team at work this is also a great place to consider, as they offer special discounts on volume orders during the holidays.

Make an event out of your holiday shopping and head to the First Street Holiday Market on December 16th. Starting at Copperfield’s Books, you’ll be able to stroll through holiday pop-up shops all along First Street. Explore handmade goods, exclusive holiday deals from your favorite stores, holiday treats and live entertainment, all in one festive afternoon. While you’re there, plan to make a trip over to Oxbow Public Market, as well, and round out your holiday shopping with the addition of goodies from Anette’s Chocolates, artisan olive oil from the Olive Press and so much more.

To shop handmade gifts and support your local artists, check out Jessel Gallery’s Home-Spun Holiday Extravaganza, where you can enjoy refreshments and hot cider while you shop — and they’ll even gift wrap your items for free. Even more heartfelt than a handmade gift is one that’s handmade by you, and Azur Wine Lounge offers you the chance to do just that with a glass of wine in hand. On December 17th, join them for a holiday-exclusive paint and sip event, where you can enjoy Azur Rose while painting your own stunning Christmas cards.

It’s the Most Wonderful Wine of the Year

It’s not too late to book your Downtown Napa getaway to catch all of these holiday events. No matter what time of year you decide to visit, Napa offers laid-back luxury, world-class dining, wine for every palate and so much more. Whether it’s for the holidays or into the new year, you’re always meant to be here.