Everybody loves a holiday weekend away from home and a much-deserved vacation.
If you’re looking to make a holiday extra special this year, take a trip down to Napa Valley for some fine dining, wine tasting, and an infinite number of wonderful and unforgettable activities. Also, there’s no need to worry about your favorite wineries being closed – majority of them stay open during the holiday weekends. Whether you’re traveling alone, with a significant other, or the family – you can bet that there’s going to be an event that will be enjoyed by everyone. Therefore, you have no choice but to come back to Napa Valley each year to celebrate a different holiday!
In this list, we’ve narrowed down the best of the best places to spend a holiday in Napa Valley. Get your bucket list ready and write these events down!
New Year’s Eve: Blue Note Napa (New Year’s Live Performances)
Here’s to another year full of exciting adventures, refreshing experiences, and unexpectedly fantastic moments! Toast to the upcoming new year at midnight with live musical performances at Blue Note Napa, located right inside the Napa Valley Opera House. This music venue is a jazz club and gourmet restaurant all in one, complete with a full bar ready to serve you all the finest liquor and cocktails. Most importantly, Blue Note Napa transports you to a Greenwich Village-esque atmosphere complete with the intimacy of a band performing inches from your table; an authentic musical experience like no other. Fun fact, Blue Note has multiple venues in the world, the most popular being in New York. There, the most notable names in jazz made their marks. Just to name a few, Etta James, Dave Brubeck, and Cab Calloway have graced the stages.
Valentine’s Day: NVA Loft Hot Air Balloons + a stroll through V Marketplace
If you happen to be a pair lovebirds venturing down to Napa on Valentine’s Day, expect to be literally swept off your feet. Take your sweetheart to new heights by treating them to a hot air balloon ride from Napa Valley Aloft. Established in 1978, Napa Valley Aloft has been the most beloved source for hot air balloon adventures in the sky. You can take a trip at either sunrise or sunset, when the winds are perfectly calm and sight-see the panoramic valley and historical V-Marketplace where the hot air balloons take off. The V-Marketplace below features art galleries, clothing and jewelry shops, a chocolate shop, and of course, wine. It’s famous for guests that you “come for the shopping, but stay for the wine”! Last but not least, it’s imperative to bring a camera to capture not just your darling’s face, but the breath-taking views and window shopping scenery once you land. To top it all off, you’re able to toast champagne during your flight to signify another year of love. What more could you ask for?
Fourth of July: Napa Lights the Valley Fourth of July
Fireworks, picnics, and live music? Oh my! Napa Lights the Valley is one of the most anticipated events of the year in downtown wine country. The outdoor celebration comes full-force with a dazzling fireworks, free and live musical performances, kid-friendly activities, alcohol stands for the adults, food trucks, and even splashing activities down by the Napa River. Groups of all ages can look forward to something fun and engaging at Napa Lights the Valley! This Fourth of July event ends with a classic fireworks display that will be an unforgettable and bright moment for the books. Since Napa Lights the Valley was a major hit last year with both tourists and locals alike, it can only get more popular! The location changes by year, but usually you can expect to find it in large parks with open spaces and a beautiful sky.
Halloween: Napa Farmer’s Market Tour and Cooking Class
While trick-or-treating is a classic activity during Halloween for kids, adults can take part in their own relaxed activity during this spooky holiday by intimately exploring the Napa Farmer’s Market with Napa’s wonderful “Cooking with Julie” host, Julie, to stock up on fresh ingredients, peruse the produce from local farmers, and take part in the kitchen to create a delicious feast! Don’t feel intimidated by the idea of cooking your own meal. Under the guidance of Julie, you will be able to learn new culinary techniques and recipes that will inspire you to be as creative and spontaneous in your kitchen back home. Think of it this way: every future meal you prepare for friends and family can include that special Napa Valley touch. The cooking class can either be one-on-one with Julie or with a group. We recommend the group because cooking is a lot more fun when everyone is learning and laughing together!
Thanksgiving: Pope Valley Winery
Spending Thanksgiving in Napa Valley is a refreshing twist from your classic sit-down family dinner with turkey and potatoes. Drive down Highway 29 to roll into one of the most beloved and oldest wineries in Napa: Pope Valley Winery. Established in 1897, this family-run winery has devoted itself to treating visitors with the utmost warmth and hospitality – as well as impress you with its 100-year old hand-made cave. Furthermore, for all you animal lovers out there – the winery dog, Gus, hangs out in the vineyard ready for anyone willing to play fetch and bocce! Now, during Thanksgiving, the folks at Pope Valley host a harvest party for adults, complete with special wine tastings, food, and a tour around the stunning vineyard. Without doubt, we guarantee you will love them just as much as their wine and adorable dog.
Christmas: Napa Illuminations Festival (Downtown Napa)
Last but certainly not least, the most wonderful and magical time of the year: Christmas! Napa is decorated with rows of Christmas trees, colorful ornaments, and twinkling lights for miles. Forewarning: be prepared to sing along to Christmas songs in almost every store and tap your foot to jazz renditions of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” in the fine restaurants during the late night. In Downtown Napa, through the Oxbow District, take a stroll through the Napa Illuminations Festival. Here, you’ll find art that celebrates the medium of light and its imaginative expression. Be sure to dress warmly in your coats and sip on some mulled wine as you enjoy this outside showcase. The festival features between 10-15 handpicked innovative pieces to the public, all of which seek to inspire and uplift the viewer who interacts with them. Regardless if you’re an art buff or not, anyone can appreciate the dedicated souls that have put their time and efforts into this exhibition. The Napa Valley Art Scene will never disappoint!
We hope that your following year will be filled to the brimmed with activities and memories in wine country. Napa Valley isn’t just great for wine tastings and strolls through vineyards, it’s place that can be a home away from home for the holidays! No matter the time of year you visit, Napa will always welcome you with open arms and of course – a glass of wine. See you soon!