“With a wonderful Winterfest window of 30 days and nights between November 29 and December 29, VisitTemecula.org is happy to share 55 Fun and Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country,” announced Kimberly Adams, Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO. “Sunday-through-Thursday-night stays make for especially appealing experiences of Temecula Valley holiday spirit; Temecula hotels and resorts offer special, better-than-weekend nightly room rates.”
THERE’S SNOW IN TEMECULA!
*1-Catch the Magic Snow flurry at Promenade Temecula. [FRI and SAT nights, Nov. 29 and 30, and Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28, at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and SUN nights, December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.]
*2-Watch the new Snow Bell Rockin’ Nights show at the California mission-revival style Temecula Civic Center in Old Town Temecula. [Debuts FRI night Nov. 29, 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.; thenTHU, FRI, and SAT nights, Nov. 30, and December 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.]
*3-Play in tons of snow at Winter Wonderland by Pennypickle’s Workshop in Old Town Temecula. [FRI night, Dec. 13, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.]
HOLIDAY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS TO EXPERIENCE TOGETHER
*4-The Nutcracker Ballet with music by Tchaikovsky; Old Town Temecula Community Theater. [FRI Nov. 29, 7 p.m.; SAT Nov. 30, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; SUN Dec. 1, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.; WED Dec 18, 7 p.m.; THU Dec. 19, 7 p.m.; FRI Dec. 20, 7 p.m.; and SAT Dec. 21, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.]
*5-Christmas Carol: the Musical with the heartwarming story of Scrooge’s transformation; Old Town Temecula Community Theater. [THU Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.; SAT Dec. 7, 2 p.m.; SUN Dec. 8, 6 p.m.; WED/THU/FRI/SAT Dec. 11, 12, 13, and 14, 7:30 p.m.; and SUN Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.]
*6-The Game’s Afoot with a Sherlock Holmes-style whodunit on a glittering December 1936 holiday weekend; Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery. [THU/FRI/SAT/SUN Dec. 5, 6, 7, and 8; and THU/FRI/SAT Dec. 12, 13, and 14.]
CLASSIC HOLIDAY SPIRIT
*7-Lorimar Vineyard & Winery’s Tree Lighting Celebration: the holiday season begins at the Tuscan-style wine estate known for its fusion of wine, art, and music. [SUN night Dec. 1, 6 p.m.]
*8-South Coast Winery’s Tree Lighting Celebration: Christmas carolers, a Nutcracker ballet performance, holiday movies, and tractor rides through the vineyards decked out with holiday lights. [SUN night Dec. 1, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.]
*9-Christmas Carolers in vintage attire singing and strolling; South Coast Winery and Vineyard Rose restaurant. [Begins SUN night Dec. 1, 6 to 9 p.m.; then FRI, SAT, and SUN nights, Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.]
*10-Christmas in the Air: women’s chorus sings baroque to gospel and sacred to secular; Old Town Temecula Community Theater. [SAT night Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; and SUN night Dec. 8, 2 p.m.]
*11-Bel Vino Winery Jingle Mingle: holiday cheer including hors d’oeuvres, wine, and live entertainment. [SAT night Dec. 21, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.]
OLD-SCHOOL AND A LITTLE ECLECTIC
*12- Europa Village Winery Vivi Bene: antidote to Black Friday with strolling carolers, old-world bread pudding. [FRI evening Nov. 29, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.]
*13-Holiday Advent Calendars exhibit; Temecula Valley Museum, Old Town Temecula. [TUES-SAT, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; SUN, 1 to 4 p.m.]
NEW-SCHOOL AND ECLECTIC
*14-Monte de Oro Winery Black Friday: hot air balloon glow and entertainment. [FRI evening Nov. 29, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.]
*15-Callaway Vineyard & Winery’s Barrel Tree Lighting: unique stacked-barrel lighting celebration; wine tasting for adults, Santa, and hot cocoa for children. [SUN afternoon and evening, Dec. 1, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.]
*16-Jingle and Mingle after-hours singles mixers; South Coast Winery’s new Wine Press Tasting Room. [THU nights, Dec. 5, 12, 19, and 26, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.]
*17-Santa’s Electric Light Parade: illuminated floats, equestrians, and bands; Old Town Temecula. [FRI night December 6, 7 p.m.]
*18-Doffo Winery Holiday Polenta Party: wear your ugliest holiday sweater. [SAT afternoons December 7 and 14, 1 p.m.; reservations required]
*19-Terra Madre: holiday farm-to-plate celebration with heritage dishes of Spain, France, Italy; Europa Village Winery. [THU evening December 12, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.]
*20-Christmas with Elvis and Friends: musical tribute to Elvis’ favorite time of year; Europa Village Winery. [THU night Dec. 19, 7 p.m.; SAT night Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; SUN evening Dec. 22, 5:30 p.m.; tickets: Old Town Temecula Community Theater box office]
*21-Christmas Movie in the Vines: Christmas Vacation; Lorimar Vineyards & Winery. [MON Dec. 23, film starts at sunset]
VISITS WITH SANTA CLAUS
*22-At Promenade Temecula. [FRI/SAT Nov. 29 and 30, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; SUN Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; MON/TUE/WED/THU, Dec. 2, 3, 4, and 5, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; FRI Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; then daily Dec. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.]
*23-On Main Street, Old Town Temecula. [FRI Nov. 29, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sat/Sun, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 7, and 8, 1 to 5 p.m.; FRI Dec. 13, 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Sat/Sun Dec. 14, 15, and Sun Dec. 21, 1 to 5 p.m.]
HOLIDAY EQUESTRIAN EXPERIENCES
*24-Horse-drawn trolley rides simulate sleigh rides through vineyards adorned with twinkling lights; Temecula Carriage Company. (Nightly; reservations required.)
*25-Horses dressed as reindeer (including Rudolph): trail rides and arena rides; Saddle Up Ranch. (Daily, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; reservations required.)
NEW TRADITION: THE BUCKET LIST HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE TO SHARE
*26-An ultimately memorable flight together in a hot air balloon over Temecula Valley Wine County; A Grape Escape can accommodate up to 14 people all in the same basket.
HOLIDAY SPA INDULGENCES
*27-GrapeSeed Spa at South Coast Winery: seasonal specials like La Dolce Vita: lush, anti-oxidant rich, aromatic chocolate massage.
*28-Spa Pechanga at Pechanga Resort & Casino: seasonal specials like Liquid Gold Facial, 24-Karat Gold Masque.
NIGHTTIME SITES TO SEE: HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND DÉCOR
*29-Old Town Temecula: along Old Town Front Street from the northern gateway arch to the southern gateway arch, more than 30,000 twinkling lights.
*30-Temecula Valley Wine Country: vineyards and wineries decked out for the holidays; Thornton, Europa Village, Lorimar, Ponte, and South Coast along Rancho California Road; Keyways on the De Portola Wine Trail.
*31-Pechanga Resort & Casino: remarkable holiday magic from the luminous hotel tower to the festive, porte-cochere.
SWIRL AND SAVOR: TEMECULA VALLEY WINE COUNTRY
*32-Wilson Creek Winery: limited Holiday Edition proprietary red blend of estate-grown Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc; available only in 1.5 liter magnums, autographed by The Wilsons, and ideal for entertaining; only available at the winery; wine tasting upon request.
*33-Ponte Family Estate winery: Temecula Valley estate, 2010 Holiday Reserve Zinfandel.
*34-Holiday Dinner at Meritage at Callaway Vineyard & Winery: festive five-course wine-paired dinner. [THU evening Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m., reservations required.]
SWIRL AND TASTE: OLD TOWN TEMECULA
*35-Fazeli Cellars: Yalda, heralding the shortest day and longest night traditionally celebrated as the Winter Solstice; Yalda is a propriety blend of Temecula Valley estate-grown Grenache, Shiraz, and Movedre.
*36-Lorimar Loft: 2008 Dolce Vita, a limited production, Temecula Valley port-style dessert wine.
SAVOR THE OLD TOWN TASTING TRAIL
*37-Temecula Olive Oil Company: fresh, 100% California, 100% extra-virgin, hand-blended, artisanal Temecula olive oil and balsamic vinegars at the complimentary-daily tasting bar; holiday favorites, fresh basil olive oil, pomegranate vinegar.
*38-Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants: vendor of herbs, spices, salts, blends, and loose teas; also sells hot and iced tea-to-go like Figgie Pudding, Snow Berry, Cinnamon Spice, and Winter Wonderland.
*39-Old Town Sweet Shop: purveyor of fresh chocolates, fudge, nut clusters, chocolate barks, chocolate-covered bacon; hand-scooped ice cream in flavors like peppermint.
*40-Holiday Taste of Old Town Temecula: restaurant samples, wine tasting discounts, goodie bags; tickets will be at Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants and The Bank Mexican Restaurant.[WED afternoon and evening Dec. 11, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.]
CULINARY CLASSES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
*41-Cookies and Hot Cocoa: epicurean cooking demo and wine pairing; Lorimar Vineyards & Winery. [WED afternoon Dec. 4, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.]
*42-Holiday Entertaining: with Café Champagne’s executive chef and sous chef; homemade eggnog, quick and easy appetizers, Christmas cupcakes; Thornton Winery. [SAT afternoon Dec. 7, 2:30 p.m.]
TAKE A SPIN: OUTDOOR ICE SKATING
*43-Temecula on Ice: state-of-the-art ice rink, colorful lights, rental skates that are contemporary and comfortable; coolest place in Old Town Temecula! [Daily and nightly, December 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29.]
HOLIDAY TRADITION: NEW MOVIE PREMIERES
*44-Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson tells the story of how Disney’s classic, Mary Poppins, made it to the movie screen; film opens FRI Dec. 13, Promenade Temecula Theater.
*45-In The Hobbit: The Desolution of Smaug,Bilbo Baggins and Gandolf continue their Middle Earth journey and discover the deadly dragon Smaug; film opens FRI Dec. 13, Promenade Temecula Theater.
HOLIDAY DINING IN TEMECULA VALLEY
*46-Christmas Eve dining: Palumbo’s Ristorante, Old Town Temecula; authentic Italian cuisine with modern twists. [TUE Dec. 24, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., reservations suggested.]
*47-Christmas Eve dining: Farm House Kitchen, Temecula Creek Inn; special 3-course Christmas Eve prix-fixe menu. [TUE Dec. 24, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., reservations required.]
*48-Christmas Eve dining: The Gambling Cowboy, Old Town Temecula; contemporary steaks, chops, seafood. [TUE Dec. 24, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., reservations suggested.]
*49-Christmas Eve dining: Baily’s fine dining, Old Town Temecula; seasonal-December menu. [TUE Dec. 24, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., reservations suggested.]
*50-Christmas Eve dining: Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino; AAA Four Diamond dining, amazing wine list. [TUE Dec. 24, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., reservations suggested.]
*51-Christmas Eve dining: Vineyard Rose restaurant, South Coast Winery; special holiday menu. [TUE Dec. 24, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., reservations required.]
*52-Christmas dining: Café Champagne, Thornton Winery; special holiday menu. [WED Dec. 25, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., reservations required.]
*53-Christmas dining: Farm House Kitchen, Temecula Creek Inn; special 3-course Christmas prix-fixe menu. [WED Dec. 25, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., reservations required.]
*54-Christmas dining: Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino; AAA Four Diamond dining, amazing wine list. [WED Dec. 25, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., reservations suggested.]
*55-Christmas dining: Vineyard Rose restaurant, South Coast Winery; special holiday menu. [WED Dec. 25, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., reservations required.]
*Information is believed accurate but may be subject to change. The Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, the region’s official tourism marketing organization and resource for visitors, is online including complete daily Events Calendar at VistTemecula.org.