It’s Christmas Time in the Napa Valley! The Holiday season is a great time to visit Yountville and the Napa Valley, especially as a family. The valley is bursting with fun family activities to celebrate the season, such as tree lightings, carriage rides, holiday arts and crafts and most importantly The Santa Train by Napa Valley Wine Train. The Santa Train is a two hour round trip journey to the North Pole complete with hot chocolate, cookies, carols, elves and special appearances by Santa. Being huge Christmas fans, my co-workers and I decided to let our inner Christmas kid out and ride the Santa Train.

The Santa Train starts at the Napa Valley Wine Train depot located in downtown Napa. We got there early to pick up our tickets and to check out all the great Christmas and Holiday gifts and goodies available in the special Christmas Store. The station is decked out with Christmas trees, lights, and scenes from Christmas movies playing all around the station. A stage was set up in the middle, a promise of something exciting to come.

Since we were adults just enjoying the kid atmosphere we decided to indulge in some holiday spirit with a bottle of JCB N0. 69. Armed with our bubbles, we settled into one of the comfy couches and waited for the show to start. Guests can choose from other wines from local Napa wineries and Yountville wineries. Promptly at 5:00 p.m. our conductor came on the screen and gave the rundown of the rules, “Children, please keep your adults in order”. And with that our magical experience began!

Our conductor, along with his Christmas fairy and elf friends, led all the kids, both old and young, in some Christmas carols, and Christmas dancing, before the main event – Jolly the Bear! Jolly has a desire to transform from a regular bear to a conductor bear and it is up to us to get him to the North Pole and help him become the bear he was meant to be! Once charged with our “mission”, our Christmas friends danced their way out and it was time to board the Santa Train.

On board we were seated at the front of the train car and offered more beverages, both adult and kid, or a snack box to munch on. Once everyone was on board we were on our way to the North Pole! During our journey we each wrote a letter to Santa to give to the Christmas Fairy. Our journey to the North Pole was filled with Christmas jokes from the elves, a visit from Santa and lots of Christmas spirit. As we neared the North Pole, a hush fell over all the kids as they took in the lights and magic of the North Pole. We passed beautiful Napa wineries and Yountville wineries and enjoyed the views.

Once through the North Pole, we had a quick turnaround back to Napa. As we headed down the valley, Jolly made another appearance, now complete with conductor hat, along with Santa. We all sang a rousing rendition of 12 Days of Christmas and enjoyed our hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookie. Too soon we were back to the station and saying goodbye to Santa and all of his Christmas friends.

The Santa Train is not to be missed if you are a Christmas lover, it truly is for the young and young at heart