Fun Things to Do in Napa Valley in December


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

Mumm Art Gallery
Visit the Mumm Gallery – then taste sparkling wine

Fun Things to Do in the Napa Valley Now!

Updated as of December 1, 2022

December and January are the slowest months for tourism in the Napa Valley. That is why it is a good time to travel to the Napa Valley. There are many beautiful days in December. The vines always look lovely when bare and dormant for the winter. Here are seven fun things to do in the Napa Valley in December. Plan your trip and make your reservations for lodging and dining.

1. Visit wineries and tasting room with art galleries and exhibits

There several wineries in the Napa Valley that have art galleries and art exhibits. These wineries are usually bustling with visitors during the high season but not in December. Two favorites or ours are Mumm Napa and Hess Collection. but there are more to visit. Stay comfy and warm in the art galleries. Check out the Art and Winery Wine Trail.

2. Calistoga Winter in the Wineries Passport

fun in december in the napa valley
Castello di Amorosa is on the Passport list

Each winter season, 16 wineries in the Calistoga AVA provide what they call a Passport Season. For $75 travelers can purchase a Passport that provides free tasting fees at each of the wineries. In addition, the passport provides free corkage at participating Calistoga restaurants and discounts for lodging. The Passport begins on December 3, 2022 and runs through February 5, 2023..

With the tasting fees at Napa Valley wineries averaging $50, the price tag of $75 is a fantastic deal. Check it out here.

3. Paupers Feast at the Calistoga Inn

The Pauper’s Feast is held every December in the restaurant at the Calistoga Inn. The date for 2022 wiil be set soon. There is a set menu at a very reasonable price and a local group that sings Holiday cheer. The Pauper’s Feast is such a fun event. It is mostly locals, and everyone is bursting with joy. The evening is memorable. 

Reservations are recommended at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant. If you cannot make the Pauper’s Feast, you can substitute a walk up and down the streets of Calistoga. Calistoga is much more laid back than the rest of the Napa Valley. There are plenty of tasting rooms, boutique shops, quaint restaurants, and even a museum. Calistoga rocks!

fun things december napa
Calistoga Inn on Lincoln Avenue in Calistoga

4. Wild Mustard Scene

Towards the end of December, wild mustard will begin to grow in between the rows of vines. Wild Mustard is one of the most beautiful scenes to witness. The beauty is remarkable and it will cheer the soul. Take a drive up some of the mountain routes to catch Mustard on the hillsides. The Atmospheric River rains of October should make for a remarkable Mustard season this year.

5. Yountville Stroll

Mustard growing in vineyards next to Whitehall Lane Winery in St. Helena
Look for the French Laundry Restaurant’s vegetable garden

Yountville has many quaint shops, art studios, and tasting rooms. We like to stroll Yountville from the landmark V Market Place (1870) north to the trendy R & D Kitchen restaurant. It is about a mile, and there is so much to see. If you have some extra time for a walk or run, take Yount Mill Road. Look for the Bardesanno Hotel and start your trek there. More on Yountville.

6. Take a wine tour

Wine tours are better in December. You will get more attention. There are fewer crowds; therefore, more time to spend with you. We like the tour at Hendry Ranch; it is the best. We also like Beringer Vineyards and Schramsberg. Book ahead for these tours.

in december have fun in napa valley
Tour at Beringer Vineyards is tops

7. Cocktails and Appetizers at the Acacia House

It is always a great time to cozy up in a friendly, warm lounge with a fireplace. One of our favorite spots is the Acacia House. It is also an excellent place for dinner. The Acacia House is an enjoyable spot for a glass of wine or a cocktail along with some nibbles. Relax and enjoy this serene spot. Lounge opens at 3 pm.

december in napa valley fun things to do
Appetizers and wine at the Acacia House in St. Helena

8 Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Paradennual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade

Parities and wine tasting galore. The Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade is the highlight event of the year in Calistoga. The locals and tourists love this event. This year the event takes place on December 3, 7-8 PM. Bring your chairs and setup early to participate is this terrific festive event.

Additional Napa Valley resources

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.