Nathan Turner’s Holiday Workshop, Alisal Ranch, Solvang, CA
What: Interior designer and author Nathan Turner hosts a Western-inspired holiday soiree at Alisal Ranch, complete with a packed itinerary that includes a luncheon, wreath-making demonstration, two cocktail receptions, yoga and wellness session, dinner with Turner himself, and complimentary wine tastings.
When: November 30–December 2
Cost: Starting at $1,576/night, with all-inclusive access.
Stay: Spanning 10,500 acres of rolling hills in the Santa Ynez Valley, Alisal Ranch offers 73 private guest cottages and suites, more than 50 miles of horseback-riding trails, two 18-hole championship golf courses, a 6,500-square-foot spa and fitness center, six tennis courts, and a 100-acre spring-fed lake for fly-fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Christmas at the Princess, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ
What: This desert oasis becomes the most festive place this side of the North Pole during its annual six-week festival. Activities include an outdoor ice rink, sledding down the 120-foot Snow Mountain, s’mores making, and a ride on the Princess Express Train during which passengers can enjoy more than 6 million dazzling lights among the resort’s lagoons.
When: November 20–December 31
Cost: $80, includes self-parking and admission for 4; VIP tickets included with overnight stay.
Stay: Situated on 65 acres in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess features 750 spacious guest rooms, six heated swimming pools, 44,000-square-foot Well & Being Spa, championship golf at the adjacent TPC of Scottsdale, and the Trailblazers Kids Club.
Oceanfront Traditions, Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
What: Younger guests can decorate an edible gingerbread house, listen to a fireside rendition of ’Twas the Night before Christmas, and enjoy a holiday-themed, ocean-view putting course. Adults can melt the season’s stress away with an energy-boosting guided nature hike along Terranea’s native plants trails or unwind with a Silent Night meditation practice and Holiday Retreat wellness package with all the (jingle) bells and whistles.
When: December 1–31
Cost: Gingerbread decorating kits $75; Winter Solstice Hike $75; Holiday wellness experiences start at $180.
Stay: For additional space and privacy opt for one of the property’s 50 three-bedroom, ocean-view casitas or 32 villas. Resort amenities include a full-service spa and fitness center, award-winning golf course, four swimming pools, and kids’ club.
Christmas Boat Parade, Newport Beach, CA
What: The annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights features a fleet of decorated yachts, boats, kayaks, and canoes that move through the harbor, ending at Lido Isle. Balboa Bay Resort offers the best parade view in town and gets fully decked out for the holidays with a stately Christmas tree display at the front entrance, lights throughout the resort exterior, and coastal, holiday-inspired décor. Pro tip: Secure your view by making a patio reservation at A+O Restaurant | Bar, the resort’s flagship restaurant, for a truly memorable evening.
When: December 14–18, 2022
Cost: Free (excludes dining charges).
Stay: Balboa Bay Resort’s 159 guestrooms and suites offer easy access to pristine beaches and wellness amenities including the year-round, heated outdoor swimming pool, full-service 10,000-square-foot spa, and onsite Drybar salon.
Website: christmasparadeboats.com, balboabayresort.com
Holidays in Yountville, Yountville, CA
What: Known as the “Brightest Town in Napa Valley,” the city of Yountville hosts six weeks of holiday-themed events, activities, and performances. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through Yountville, taking in the thousands of twinkling holiday lights while exploring its many tasting rooms, restaurants, and shops. Get cozy at Holiday Movie Night, decorate cookies with Bouchon Bakery, or watch Bardessono Executive Chef Jim Leiken and local chefs compete in the Latke Throw Down.
When: November 20–January 1.
Cost: Varies per event
Stay: Situated among its own vineyard, Bardessono Hotel and Spa’s 62 guest rooms and suites offer an in-room personal spa sanctuary with discreet massage tables, steam showers, soaking tubs, and REN bath products.
Website: yountville.com, bardessono.com
Holiday Nights in Lights, The Wigwam, Litchfield Park, AZ
What: The Wigwam’s holiday festivities include evening strolls among the lights with libations, breakfast with Santa, holiday-themed cooking classes, and cocktail tastings. Larger families can rent all five guest rooms surrounding The Wigwam’s Trellis Garden and host a private holiday celebration with a chef-driven feast, dedicated bartender, and reserved space at Trellis Garden for family fun all weekend long.
When: December 2–24.
Cost: VIP Family Affair Celebration Package starts at $150/per person (excludes nightly rate).
Stay: The Wigwam’s 331 spacious casitas include 70 suites and two presidential suites. The property is Arizona’s only resort with 54 holes of championship golf, including two Robert Trent Jones Sr. courses.