News & Features » Features

Time of the Season

Our selective guide to the North Bay arts, from Thanksgiving to Christmas



Swans a-Swimming: Events

Jewish Film Festival

The Jewish Community Center presents a season to remember in this 17th annual festival. Films include Hava Nagila, Reuniting the Rubins and A.K.A. Doc Pomus. Runs though Dec. 4 at Rialto Cinemas. 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol. $10–$15. 707.528.4222.

Outdoor Skating

Dig out your ice skates for the opening of Napa's full-scale outdoor skating rink. Open through Jan. 13. Second and Coombs streets, Napa. $12. 707.227.7141.

Napa Wine Train Thanksgiving

Take in the beauty of Napa Valley on a real-live train while enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving feast just like the one grandma made. Nov. 22, 4–8:30pm. 1275 McKinstry St., Napa. $119–$149. 800.427.4124.

Festival of Lights

Yountville is gloriously illuminated for this 23rd annual fest, featuring gourmet food and wine, a visit from Santa and carriage rides for an afternoon of holiday fun. Nov. 23, 2–6pm. Downtown Yountville, Washington Street. Free. 707.944.0904.

Heart of Sonoma Valley Open House

The 29th annual open house this year showcases 27 Sonoma Valley wineries, including Valley of the Moon Winery, Ledson and Imagery Estate, among many others. Friday–Saturday, Nov. 23–24, 11am–4pm. $45 per person both days; $10 designated driver tickets.

Napa Christmas Parade

Bundle up and enjoy evening parade of lighted holiday floats, then follow Santa to Oxbow Public Market for free hot chocolate and cookies. Nov. 24 at 5pm. First Street at Franklin Street, downtown Napa. Free. 707.257.0322.

Festival of Lights

Winetasting celebration with carols, wreaths, pizza by Rosso, movies, Santa and more. Nov. 24 at Trentadue Winery, 19170 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville. 2–7pm. $15–$20. 707.433.3294.

Book Sale

River Friends of the Library is holding its annual holiday book sale and bake sale. Nov. 28–Dec. 1. Wednesday, 5–7:30pm; Thursday–Friday, 10am–4pm; Saturday, 10am–3pm. Special $3 per bag of books on Saturday. Guerneville Regional Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. Free. 707.869.9004.

Winter in the Wineries

A "passport" to some of the best wineries in the Napa Valley gives carte blanche for up to 15 tastings and discounts at participating vendors in Calistoga. Nov. 30–Feb. 10. $50. 866.306.5588.

Napa B&B Tour & Taste Event

The bed and breakfasts of Napa invite you inside to savor select wines and tasty treats. Transportation and entertainment included. Dec. 1, 3–7pm. $65 per person. For a list of participating inns, see

The Blessing of the Olives

Many an olive will be blessed at Historic Sonoma Square. This laid-back event includes music and refreshments. Dec. 1 at 11am. East Spain Street and First Street East, Sonoma. Free. 707.996.1090.

Lighted Tractor Parade

This small-town event features a lineup of vintage tractors, trucks and other fun vehicles all sparkled up for the holidays. Santa makes an appearance. Dec. 1, 7–8pm. Downtown Calistoga. Free. 707.942.6333.

Luther Burbank Open House

Step into Luther Burbank's former home and extraordinary gardens with a two-day open house. Cookies and spiced tea are served in the greenhouse by those in period costume. Kids can enjoy holiday crafts, free trolley rides and the crackling wit of the inimitable Dan Flock. Dec. 1–2, 10am–4pm. Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues, Santa Rosa. $2. Ages 12 and older. 707.524.5445.

ICB Artists Winter Open Studios

The ICB Artists Association presents works of over 80 artists in the 44th annual Winter Open Studios, "Walk in an Artist's Shoes." Painting, fiber arts, sculpture, digital arts, photography, printmaking, fashion, jewelry and more are on display in the huge, iconic barrel-roofed structure on the Sausalito waterfront. Dec. 1–2, 11am–6pm. 480 Gate Five Road, Sausalito. 415.331.2222.

Hanukkah Hootenanny

Judd's Hill Winery presents the seventh annual Hanukkah Hootenanny, featuring an "extravagant latke bar" and traditional jelly doughnuts. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Children's Health Initiative Napa County. Dec. 4, noon–3pm. 2332 Silverado Trail, Napa. $40. 707.255.2332.

Windsor Holiday Celebration

Downtown Windsor buzzes with holiday cheer as folks enjoy train rides ($1), carriage rides ($1) and photos with Santa ($10), who is joined by Mrs. Claus when the tree is lit and the snow machines fire up on the town green. Dec. 6, 5–8pm. Town Green, Windsor. Free. 707.838.1260.

Light Up a Life

St. Joseph's hospices honor lives lost with annual candle- and tree-lighting ceremonies. Petaluma's takes place on Dec. 7 at Center Park (the strip of trees outside the Mystic Theatre on Petaluma Boulevard South); Santa Rosa tree-lighting events are on Dec. 8 in Railroad Square; Oakmont's is on Dec. 9 at Star of the Valley Church. A light can be dedicated to a loved one with a $10 donation. Events are free. 707.778.6242.

Petaluma Lighted Boat Parade

A dazzling parade of sparkling boats shine on the Petaluma River to ring in the season. Dec. 8 at 6:30pm. Petaluma River Turning Basin, Petaluma. Free. 707.769.0429.

Napa Holiday Candlelight Tour

This year's tour will showcase buildings designed by "Napa's architect" Luther Turton, opening both residences and businesses to attendees in order to show the wide range of architectural styles. Dec. 8, 3–7pm. 1219 First St., Napa. $35–$40. 707.255.1836.

Partridge in a Pear Tree: Shopping

Holiday Make-In

Looking to give the gift with a personal touch? Make it yourself at this DIY event. Multiple art-making stations are hosted by local artists, featuring a wide range of favorite handmade holiday projects to involve the whole family. Nov. 17, 11am–4pm. $15. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, 551 Broadway, Sonoma. 707.939.7862.

Healdsburg Holiday Party

Healdsburg's downtown merchants open their shops and welcome everyone to indulge in food and wine while shopping for the perfect holiday gift. Nov. 23, 4–9pm. Healdsburg Plaza, Healdsburg. Free. 707.433.6935.

Rohnert Park Holiday Arts & Crafts Faire

The recreation department celebrates its 33rd year of hand-made holiday arts and crafts. Nov. 23–24, 10am–4pm. Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. Free. 707.588.3456.

Dance Palace Holiday Crafts Fair

Find unique, quality gifts at 41st incarnation of this shopping extravaganza. Talented artists provide jewelry, pottery, clothing and more for a fun day of seasonal shopping. Nov. 30, 4pm; Dec. 1, 10am–6pm; Dec. 2, 10am–5pm. Dance Palace, Fifth and B streets, Pt. Reyes Station. Free. 415.663.1075.

Sonoma Valley Craft Fair

The Christmas Market includes more than 25 different vendors in addition to church-sponsored food, craft and gift-wrapping. Joining six jewelry makers will be crafters offering painted, quilted, woven, knitted, crocheted, sewn and embroidered home and fashion accessories. Dec. 1, 10am–4pm. Free. Faith Lutheran Church, 19355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. 707.996.7365.

Muir Beach Quilters Holiday Arts Fair

Proceeds benefit the Muir Beach Quilters, who donate funds to many organizations that help those in need. A perfect complement to a day at the beach; free shuttle from Muir Beach parking lot. Dec. 1–2. Saturday, 10am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. Muir Beach Community Center, 19 Seascape Drive, Muir Beach. Free. 415.383.6762.

A Dickens of a Holiday Crafts Faire

Over 70 booths of handcrafted treasures, jewelry, household goods, ceramics and plenty more. Dec. 1–2. Saturday, 9am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. Finley Community Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. $2; under 18, free. 707.543.3737.

Marin County Antique Christmas Show

Enjoy a unique shopping experience through a bygone era of over 80 booths with antique, vintage and retro items, including home furnishings, garden decor, prints, paintings, clothes, books and more. Dec. 8–9. Saturday, 10am–6pm; Sunday, 10am–5pm. $6. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415.499.6800.

Occidental Holiday Crafts Faire

Win special gift packages and taste delicious home-cooked food at this 27th annual fair showcasing the works of 35 talented local and regional artists. Dec. 8–9. Saturday, 10am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. Community Center. 3920 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental. Free. 707.874.9407.

Goddess Crafts Faire

Handmade gifts by local and regional women while live music and good grooves abound. Dec. 15–16, 11am–7pm. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $5–$13; kids free. 707.823.1511.

Maids a-Milking: For the Kids

Santa's Riverboat Arrival

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by boat on the Petaluma River to greet excited children with candy canes before a horse-drawn procession through downtown kicks off the holiday season. Nov. 24 at noon. Turning Basin, Golden Eagle Shopping Center, 2-80 E. Washington Blvd., Petaluma. Free. 707.769.0429.

Ringing in the Season

Bring your family and join in the spirit of the season making holiday ornaments and decorating cookies. Dec. 8 at 2pm. Napa Valley Museum, 55 Presidents Circle, Yountville. Free. 707.944.0500.

'Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail'

Join Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the rest of the gang in this magical holiday tale produced by local youths for young audiences. Dec. 15–16 and Dec. 22–23. 11am and 2pm. Raven Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg. $10. 707.433.6335.

VOENA: Drummer Boy

Angelic voices of this multicultural children's a cappella choir, beautiful Victorian costuming and magical musical arrangements all come together to create a lively holiday celebration. Audience participation encouraged. Dec. 22 at 7:30pm. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $35. 707.226.7372.

MISHUMAA SABA E.W. Wainwright leads a jazz celebration of Kwanzaa for kids on Dec. 26 at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
  • MISHUMAA SABA E.W. Wainwright leads a jazz celebration of Kwanzaa for kids on Dec. 26 at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Kwanzaa Celebration

Celebrate Kwanzaa with the African Roots of Jazz, featuring E. W. Wainwright and a room of dancing kids, on Dec. 26, 11am and 1pm. Free. Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. 415.339.3900.

Add a comment