Get into the holiday spirit at Temecula Valley Wine Country

At Gershon Bachus Vintners. www.HulsePhoto.com photo

With everything from wine tastings to sleigh rides and ice skating, Temecula Valley Wine Country has just the right activity to put the “ho, ho, ho” in the holidays this year.

Looking for that perfect gift for the hard to shop for person on the gift list? Why not check out Europa Village’s annual Christmas Market? Open through Dec. 6, visitors can sip while they shop for holiday gifts and decorations showcasing European fine craftmanship. Nutcrackers, ornaments, decor, imported kitchen items and wine-inspired gifts are all readily available at this one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Europa Village is proud to support the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and is collecting new, unwrapped toys now through Dec. 10. Support a good cause and donate a toy to children in need.

Come to the winery Friday, Nov. 24, for an additional 20 percent discount off wine and retail goods and enjoy music by Annette Wiles, the Christmas harpist, and special treats by Europa Village’s Chef Dean Thomas. On the menu are bread pudding, winter squash cider bisque and a selection of preserves.

For more information, visit www.europavillage.com. Europa Village is located at 33475 La Serena Way in Temecula Valley Wine Country.

While on the way to Wine Country, don’t forget to stop by Vail Ranch Headquarters Saturday, Nov. 25, for the annual Small Business Holiday Bazaar. The holiday gift market, which runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., supports local small businesses. Come on out to this free event featuring fun for the whole family and unique items for everyone on the holiday shopping list.

Be sure to visit the gift wrapping station presented by Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services and the Kid’s Swap, a swap meet, by kids, for kids. Have a photo taken with Santa while enjoying the live music and food and drinks at this free event.

Vail Ranch Headquarters is located at 32115 Temecula Parkway, in Temecula. Visit www.vailhq.com for more information on this event cosponsored by the Temecula and Murrieta Momtreprenuers.

Now through Jan. 7, don’t miss Christmas on the Ranch at Galway Downs. Conveniently located at 38801 Los Corralitos Road in Temecula, Galway Downs’ Christmas on the Ranch features plenty of holiday joy with one of California’s largest real ice skating rinks, local festive flavors and shopping at the Christmas Village.

Special events, local talent and popular characters all will appear on the community stage. Take a hay ride or a sleigh ride and explore the glittery Christmas lights throughout Galway Downs, one of our of Temecula’s most spectacular gems. This first-time event is not to be missed and is sure to become part of family holiday traditions for years to come.

Looking for some great live music to start the holidays off right? Then head on over to Mount Palomar Winery, Friday, Dec. 1, for A Rockabilly Holiday Live, featuring Gino and the Lone Gunmen performing live in the barrel room and playing classics by Elvis, The Stray Cats, Buddy Holly and swingin’ holiday hits such as “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Blue Christmas,” and many more. Early bird discounts are available now, but they won’t last long. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.mountpalomarwinery.com. Mount Palomar Winery is located at 33820 Rancho California Road in Temecula Valley Wine Country and can be reached by calling (951) 676-5047.

For those looking to experience a true winter snowfall, be sure to check out South Coast Winery’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Snow Festival, Sunday, Dec. 3, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bring holiday cheer and snow gear to South Coast Winery, located at 34843 Rancho California Road in Temecula, for this free event, featuring a real snow play area, live entertainment, photos with Santa, cookie decorating, sleigh rides, food and family activities for all ages.

South Coast Winery is proud to be an official Toys for Tots drop-off location. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate at the festival. For more information, call (951) 566-4622 or visit www.southcoastwinery.com.

For those looking to experience Temecula Valley Wine Country in a unique way, Jingle Bell Sleigh Rides offers just the thing. Running through more than 100,000 twinkle lights and holiday decor, these rides through wine country are sure to be a hit with everyone who attends. Jingle Bell Sleigh Rides takes to the streets, Dec. 3 through Dec. 30. Don’t forget to bring a warm blanket to snuggle with family, friends or significant others while listening to the jingle bells and clip clops of the horses’ hooves on this 25 minute ride through wine country. Hours are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., and at only $55 a person, this event is a real bargain. Reservations are necessary and subject to availability. These rides sell out quickly every year, so visit www.temeculacarriageco.com to make a reservation.

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