From festive dining, corporate and family celebrations; holiday music, concerts, theater, ballet; Santa Claus, the Electric Light Parade, real-snow-to-play-in; holiday shopping and twinkling holiday lights throughout the valley. To the great Winterfest outdoors; Temecula on Ice-skating rink; a jubilant New Year's Eve; January's California Restaurant Month; and then February's 28 days of Valentine Romance. Welcoming more than 2 million visitors each year, the casual, picturesque Temecula Valley's quality experiences include Downtown Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Wine Country Golf Trail.
TEMECULA VALLEY Southern California Wine Country, September 5, 2013 - "Beginning in November the Winterfest season's inspiration for sharing holiday gifts and experiences together arrives in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. The Winterfest 2013-2014 Top 10 reveals much of the season's magic. From festive dining, corporate and family celebrations; holiday music, concerts, theater, ballet; Santa Claus, the Electric Light Parade, real-snow-to-play-in; holiday shopping and twinkling holiday lights throughout the valley. To the great Winterfest outdoors; Temecula on Ice-skating rink; a jubilant New Year's Eve; January's California Restaurant Month; and then February's 28 days of Valentine Romance," announced Kimberly Adams, Visit Temecula Valley president and CEO. Welcoming more than 2 million visitors each year and located 1-hour from San Diego, Orange County, and Palm Springs; and 1½ hours from Los Angeles and Hollywood, the casual, picturesque Temecula Valley's quality experiences include Downtown Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Wine Country Golf Trail.
1-Temecula Valley Winterfest Dining, Corporate, and Family Celebrations
From gala events with dinner, dancing and entertainment to more intimate occasions like a brunch, luncheon, or supper - businesses, corporations, and associations as well as families, friends, and co-workers discover that Temecula Valley's group venues and restaurant dining are ideal for holiday celebrations. From Old Town Temecula and Temecula Valley Wine Country; to Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Creek Inn, holiday dining on special days like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, also makes Temecula Valley a favored get-away and stay.
In Old Town Temecula, holiday group venues include Baily's, Above The Bank of Mexican Food, The Welty Room at Temecula Olive Oil Company, and The MERC, a club-style space with tall, historic 1891 brick walls and excellent acoustics. Reservations for smaller occasions are welcome at Old Town restaurants including Baily's, Front Street Bar & Grill, Palumbo's Ristorante, Sweet Lumpy's BBQ, and The Gambling Cowboy.
Temecula Valley Wine Country holiday group venues with authentic wine-country settings like wine cellars and barrel rooms make for memorable holiday celebrations. Wineries welcoming group events include Bel Vino, Callaway, Europa Village, Falkner, Keyways, Leoness, Lorimar, Maurice Car'rie, Monte de Oro, Mount Palomar, Ponte, South Coast, Wiens, and Wilson Creek. With more winery restaurants than any other California wine region, Temecula Valley wine country dining includes Carol's at Baily Winery, Café Champagne at Thornton, Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek, Meritage at Callaway, Shorty's Bistro at Mount Palomar, The Pinnacle at Falkner, The Restaurant at Ponte, and Vineyard Rose at South Coast.
Two canyon and valley resorts also provide distinctive group venues, restaurant dining, gracious, and attentive service, and the convenience of fine overnight accommodations. Pechanga Resort & Casino's venues include options like Eagle's View Ballroom, the Grand Ballroom, and the contemporary Journey's End at the Journey Clubhouse adjoining the Pechanga golf course. Fine dining restaurants at Pechanga - Great Oak Steakhouse and Paisano's Italian - are also excellent choices for holiday occasions. Temecula Creek Inn venues include options like the 150-year old Stone House and the Yula Ballroom. The inn's Farm House Kitchen restaurant is noted for innovative wine country cuisine and selection of Temecula Valley Wines.
Many busy and modern families and friends choose to connect at the holidays and stay-over in Temecula Valley. For Thanksgiving dining, Baily's in Old Town Temecula; Café Champagne at Thornton Winery and the Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery; the Farm House Kitchen restaurant at Temecula Creek Inn; and Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga Resort welcome reservations.
For December 24 and Christmas Eve dining, delicious Temecula Valley options include Old Town Temecula's Baily's, Palumbo's Ristorante, Sweet Lumpy's BBQ, and The Gambling Cowboy. In Wine Country, restaurants include Café Champagne at Thornton Winery, Carols' at Baily, Meritage at Callaway, The Pinnacle at Falkner, The Restaurant at Ponte, Shorty's Bistro at Mount Palomar, and the Vineyard Rose at South Coast. Additional options for December 24 and Christmas Eve include Temecula Creek Inn's Farm House Kitchen; and Pechanga's Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano's Italian, Bamboo, Journey's End and the Pechanga Buffet.
Christmas Day dining reservations are welcomed at Café Champagne at Thornton Winery and the Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery. In addition, welcoming reservations are Farm House Kitchen at Temecula Creek Inn, and at Pechanga Resort & Casino - Great Oak Steakhouse and Journey's End.
2-Temecula Valley Winterfest Holiday Music, Concerts, Theater, and Dance
In Temecula Valley as throughout the world, the most cherished, shared experiences with family and friends often include the magic of holiday music, concerts, theater, or dance. A host of such offerings contributes to the spirit of the Winterfest season in Temecula Valley.
November's events include the "Paris by Night" Vietnamese-language musical variety show at the Pechanga Theater. The Lorimar Menorah Lighting Ceremony and Celebration is at Lorimar Winery November-27. South Coast Winery hosts strolling carolers in vintage attire beginning with the South Coast Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration, November-29, and on Fridays and Saturday evenings through December-21. The Nutcracker Ballet graces the stage of the Old Town Temecula Theater, November-29-30, and December 1. The beloved holiday tradition with music by Tchaikovsky also takes to the Theater's stage December 16-through-23.
The Lorimar Tree Lighting Ceremony and Celebration is at Lorimar Winery December-1. The uplifting tale of Scrooge's transformation and goodwill is made magical in A Christmas Carol: The Musical, December 5-7-8, and 11-through-15, at the Old Town Temecula Theater. Meanwhile, on Saturdays, in December, the sound of sleigh bells accompanies the horse-drawn carriage rides at Keyways Vineyards & Winery. Also in December, "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas" is at the Pechanga Theater; and on December-23, "Christmas Movie in the Vines" with "Christmas Vacation" is at Lorimar Winery.
Music events are ongoing throughout Temecula Valley in November and December, and throughout January and February. In Old Town Temecula, The MERC has live Jazz acts (Thursdays); Classical musicians in chamber performances (Sundays); live Country music Opry-style (first and third Saturdays); and live, Broadway-style Cabaret (last Sunday of each month).
Signature wine-and-live-music-events at Temecula Valley Wine Country's unique winery venues make the valley popular with those who enjoy the sounds of instrumentalists, vocalists, and bands of many genres. Live music and quality award-winning wines can be found at wineries like Bel Vino, Briar Rose, Meritage at Callaway, Danza del Sol, Cougar, Europa Village, Falkner, Keyways, Leoness, Lorimar, Miramonte, Mount Palomar, Oak Mountain, Ponte, and Wilson Creek.
3-Old Town Temecula Winterfest:
Santa Claus, Electric Light Parade, and Real-Snow-To-Play-In
With carolers singing, a variety of holiday entertainment, and activities for kids weekends from November-29 through December-22, the beauty of twinkling lights, and stores and restaurants full of holiday cheer, the Old Town Temecula shopping-dining-entertainment district is happy with holiday hustle for the Winterfest season.
Santa Claus arrives along Old Town Front Street by horse-drawn carriage November 29, much to the delight of onlookers of all ages. Visits with the jolly elf at his Old Town Temecula Workshop are weekends throughout the holiday season.
"A Snowman Spectacular" is Santa's Electric Light Parade, December 6. Illuminated floats, equestrians, bands, and more travel amidst the 20,000+ twinkling lights of Old Town in the festive, annual parade.
Real-snow-to-play-in is the star attraction for Winter Wonderland at Pennypickle's Workshop Temecula Children's Museum the evening of December 13. Carnival-style games, face painting, homemade s-mores, and hot chocolate are also part of the fun.
All three events provide opportunities to shop in Old Town Temecula's specialty stores and dine in the historic district's bistros, restaurants, and cafés. Insider tip: Arrive early in the day; do the self-guided Old Town Temecula Historic Walking Tour (brochure/map is free at Temecula Valley Visitors Center in Old Town); shop the boutiques and artisan food stores; and dine before evening festivities begin.
4-Temecula Valley Winterfest Holiday Shopping
Temecula Valley is home to a trio of uniquely celebrated Southern California holiday shopping destinations for corporate and personal gifts- Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Wine Country, and Promenade Temecula . A midweek, overnight, multi-day, Temecula Valley stay-over is an excellent acquire-great-things-for-everyone-on-the-list shopping get-away. Less-busy weekdays make for chance conversations with talented winemakers, wine-making family members, local artisans, and merchants. Temecula hotels-and-resorts offer midweek Sunday-through-Thursday (better-than-weekend) nightly room rates; the savings can become additional resources for purchases of Temecula Valley goodness and greatness.
5-Temecula Valley Winterfest Holiday Lights and Décor
More beautiful each year, the holiday lights and décor that decorate Temecula Valley - from Old Town Temecula and Temecula Valley Wine Country to Pechanga Resort & Casino - set the nights' stage for the Winterfest holiday season.
Along Old Town Front Street from the Old Town Northern Gateway Arch to the Old Town Southern Gateway Arch, more than 20,000 twinkling lights shine brightly. In Temecula Valley Wine Country, the wineries and vineyards "decked out for the holidays" (proceeding east on Rancho California Road then south along the De Portola Wine Trail) include Thornton, Europa Village, Lorimar, Ponte, South Coast, and Keyways. In southwestern Temecula Valley, the holiday magic of Pechanga Resort & Casino is a remarkable sight: from the luminous hotel tower to the festive, porte-cochere.
Insider tip: make advance arrangements with one of the professional, local Temecula Valley transportation companies. Many welcome the opportunity for visitors to "leave the driving and navigating to us" so that everyone in your group gets to see the triad of Temecula Valley holiday light spectaculars. Prime December nights for viewing are Sundays through Thursdays when streets and roadways may be less busy.
6-The Great Temecula Valley Winterfest Outdoors
From hot air balloon flights over Temecula Valley Wine Country and the Temecula Wine Country Golf Trail, to the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, one of Winterfest's great charms in the great Temecula Valley outdoors is that the season is less-busy especially Mondays through Thursdays when the sky, the courses, and the trails may be visitors' own. Temecula Valley climate is welcoming year-round and even in winter when 68o F/20o C is the average-high December-January-February daytime temperature.
Hot air balloon flights over Temecula Valley Wine Country are one of the most memorable experiences for families and friends to share. Nothing quite compares to floating serenely over open-country in the basket of a hot air balloon with panoramic views of rolling hills and vineyards. A Grape Escape, California Dreamin', D&D Ballooning, and Magical Adventures launch at sunrise, year-round (weather permitting) including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and Valentine's Day.
The Temecula Wine Country Golf Trail invites golfers to celebrate the sport on 7 excellently designed courses. Most feature expansive views and dramatic elevation changes, and many are embraced by nature. Journey at Pechanga is ranked as one of California's greatest courses by publications including Golf Magazine and Golf Week; the signature par-four, hole 6 includes the largest elevation drop (175 feet/53 meters) on a California course. On the Stonehouse 9 at Temecula Creek Inn with its dramatic elevation changes, golfers face Temecula Valley's most challenging course - requiring precise shots and distance control. Cross Creek Golf Club is paramount for its scenery and quiet solitude; its signature hole 17 is a downhill, par-three that crosses a creek to an elevated green. Rated 7th best among California public courses, RedHawk Golf Course is described as "tricky and beautiful," and a "must play." The Legends Golf Club course appeals to golfers of all skill-levels for its rolling topography, five lakes, numerous doglegs, and challenging greens. The Golf Club at Rancho California features elevated tees, wide fairways, strategic bunkering, and large landing areas. With its scenic hillsides and rolling fairways, the California ranch-style Pala Mesa golf course is meticulously maintained, and highly rated by Golf Digest and PGA professionals.
The nearly 9,000-acre/3,642-hectare Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve harbors some of California's rarest landscapes. Small songbirds winter over in the Engelmann oak woodlands - having migrated from the higher latitudes of Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and from higher elevations including the San Jacinto, San Bernardino, and Sierra Nevada mountains. December and January are months that may yield the Plateau's vernal pools, potentially home to amazing fairy shrimp. These seasonal pools also welcome Canadian geese and least sandpipers. Visitors can explore the Plateau's 40 miles/64 kilometers of trails with access daily sunrise to sunset. Insider tip: The Santa Rosa Plateau is an ideal destination for a Southern California Winterfest picnic. Before the Plateau, get an alfresco feast to-go at Campini's Italian Delicatessen (south of Downtown Old Town Temecula) or at E.A.T. - Extraordinary Artisan Table (in Uptown Temecula adjacent Temecula Hotel Row).
7-Temecula on Ice: Skating Rink at Old Town Temecula Town Square
From December 13 through January 5, the coolest place in Old Town Temecula is gliding on the Ice Skating Rink at Temecula Town Square. The ice rink is state-of-the-art; the lighting is colorful; and the rental ice skates are contemporary and comfortable. Families and friends can lace-up to take a spin and make loops around the rink. Before or after, dine at nearby Sweet Lumpy's BBQ, The Bank of Mexican Food, or Rosa's Cantina. Insider tip: Large groups (50 to 100 people) can book special Temecula on Ice skating sessions in advance.
8-Temecula Valley New Year's Eve
December 31 and New Year's Eve in Temecula Valley offer a unique variety of dining, gourmet feasts, entertainment, jubilant countdowns, and celebrations. The festivities span from Old Town Temecula and Temecula Valley Wine Country to Pechanga Resort & Casino. Insider tip: make advance arrangements with one of the professional, local Temecula Valley transportation companies. Many welcome the opportunity for holiday revelers to "leave the driving to us."
For December 31 and New Year's Eve dining, Old Town Temecula restaurants include Baily's, Palumbo's Ristorante, Parea Old Town, Sweet Lumpy's BBQ, Texas Lil's Mesquite Grill, The Bank of Mexican Food, and The Gambling Cowboy. Temecula's First Night on New Year's Eve is at Old Town's Temecula Town Square. Live bands provide musical entertainment from 4:30 p.m. the afternoon of New Year's Eve, until 12:00 a.m. New Year's Day. In tribute to Southern California Wine Country, Old Town Temecula's Great Temecula Grape Drop makes two command performances: an East Coast countdown (at 9 p.m.) and West Coast countdown (at midnight). Joyful voices join together to count down to the graceful descent of the 7-foot/2-meter by 12-foot/4-meter, brightly illuminated grape bunch from Temecula Civic Center clock tower. Then glorious cheers and the sounds of noisemakers welcome the year 2014.
For December 31 and New Year's Eve dining in Temecula Valley Wine Country, winery restaurants include Café Champagne at Thornton, Carol's at Baily, Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek, Meritage at Callaway, The Pinnacle at Falkner, The Restaurant at Ponte, Shorty's Bistro at Mount Palomar, and the Vineyard Rose at South Coast. Among the wineries hosting gala, themed New Year's Eve celebrations with live entertainment are South Coast, Wiens, and Wilson Creek.
At Pechanga Resort & Casino, December 31 and New Year's Eve dining includes Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano's Italian, Bamboo, Journey's End, as well as the Pechanga Buffet. With multiple mega-celebrations that rival Las Vegas, many parties going on simultaneously is the norm for New Year's at Pechanga: concert in the 1,200-seat theater, parties in the rooftop Eagle's Nest nightclub and in the Grand Ballroom, live bands in the Cabaret, and a huge countdown to midnight on the casino floor. More than 75,000 people are expected at Pechanga for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
On New Year's Day, restaurant dining in Old Town Temecula includes Baily's, Front Street Bar & Grill, Sweet Lumpy's BBQ, Texas Lil's Mesquite Grill, and The Bank of Mexican Food. In Temecula Valley Wine Country on New Year's Day, many of the valley's wineries are open and welcome visitors. New Year's Day winery restaurant dining includes Café Champagne at Thornton, Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek, Meritage at Callaway, The Pinnacle at Falkner, Shorty's Bistro at Mount Palomar, and the Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery. Also on New Year's Day, dining options include the Farm House Kitchen at Temecula Creek Inn. Activities are in full swing at Pechanga Resort & Casino on New Year's Day with dining at the Great Oak Steakhouse, Bamboo, Journey's End, as well as the Pechanga Buffet.
9-January 2014: California Restaurant Month in Temecula Valley
California Restaurant Month is the unique opportunity-of-the-year to taste and savor at especially attractive prices the goodness and greatness that Temecula Valley chefs create. Foodies and aspiring foodies stay, experience, and celebrate with special prix fixe/fixed price lunch and dinner menus, and other promotions at participating restaurants daily through January 31. As a Temecula Valley chef encourages, "the food is fresh; the wine is handcrafted; and the locals are welcoming!"
10-February 2014: 28 Days of Valentine Romance in Temecula Valley
Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country invites visitors to stay, experience, and embrace Valentine romance throughout February 2014. Tempting hotel-resort accommodations, nightly room rates, and packages are companion to romantic dining, memorable hot air balloon flights, indulgent spa experiences, live music and entertainment, and activities like wine tasting in Temecula Valley Wine Country, exploring Old Town Temecula, and the adventure of Pechanga Resort & Casino.
*Information is believed accurate but may be subject to change.
ABOUT TEMECULA VALLEY AND VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY Visit Temecula Valley
With natural gifts of climate and geography, bolstered by Pu'eska Mountain, the Rainbow Gap, and the Santa Margarita Gap, Temecula Valley is widely recognized for its vineyards, quality wines, and gracious and friendly wineries as Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. The popular boutique destination received TripAdvisors' Travelers Choice "Best U.S. Wine Destination" Top 10 award, and is home to the 2013 California State Winery of the Year, South Coast Winery.
Visit Temecula Valley, the region's official tourism marketing organization and resource for visitors, is online including a complete, daily Events Calendar at VisitTemecula.org; "Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country" on Facebook; and @Visit_Temecula on Twitter. Temecula Valley Visitors Center in Downtown Old Town Temecula (Third Street and Mercedes adjacent the free Old Town Temecula Parking Garage) is open 7 days. For visitor information and assistance, call 888/363-2852 or 951/491-6085.
Kimberly Adams, President and CEO
Visit Temecula Valley
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Annette Brown, Marketing PR Manager
Visit Temecula Valley