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December 2016 Events Calendar

A "Dreamer" vessel at bay, part of the California Sleigh Rides event in Ventura Harbor, CA

Hot Holiday Happenings in December

Seasonal Tip:
It's black truffle month, and time to celebrate the holidays with CHAMPAGNE

November 27-December 24
Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

Celebrate an evening at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt; photograph by Steffen Oliver Riese

Enjoy the sights and smells of the holiday season at the annual Christkindlesmarkt, or "Christmas Market," in the heart of Nuremberg's central square. As one of Germany's oldest traditions, this event boasts more than 180 decorated stalls inviting guests to browse Christmas ornaments, yuletide decorations and toys. Hop on a stagecoach tour for a horse-drawn ride or sample local culinary treats like roasted almonds, mulled wine, gingerbread and Nuremberg bratwurst. Attend the Nuremberg Christkind, a choral performance and recital that officially kicks off the market for the holiday season. The opening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the gallery of the Church of Our Lady. Daily market hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until December 24, when closing time is 2 p.m. For additional information, visit the Christkindlesmarkt official website

December 1-31
Ventura, CA

California Sleigh Rides

Event-goers wave from one of the "Dreamer" vessels at the California Sleigh Rides event in Ventura Harbor, CA

Hop onboard a "Dreamer" vessel for a Southern California-style sleigh ride through the Ventura Keys and Ventura Harbor. During December, three hour-long cruises are offered nightly with departing times of 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Enjoy free hot chocolate and holiday cookies as well as crafted drinks such as "reindeer milk" at the full bar available on each cruise. Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for children. For party groups, one-hour private charters can be arranged, with prices ranging from $495 to $595. Reservations are required, credit cards not accepted. Find out more at the California Sleigh Rides official website

December 2-5
Los Cabos, Mexico

Sabor a Cabo

Attend the 10th anniversary of Sabor a Cabo, an international food festival in Los Cabos, Mexico

This international festival of food and wine celebrates its 10-year anniversary promoting the gastronomic wonders of the Los Cabos culinary scene. Scheduled events sponsored by the Los Cabos Tourism Board include a beer fest, an art walk and wine tasting in the city's downtown area, as well as an evening under the stars at Chileno Bay, featuring gourmet selections from nearly 40 restaurants and a live concert performance by singer-songwriter Lila Downs. With the abundance of spas, golf championships, sport fishing and other attractions in the Baja Peninsula, guests can have more than their fill of fun. Presale ticket prices for the event begin at $120 per person. Find out more at the Sabor a Cabo official website

December 4-6
Pomona, CA

43rd Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

Patrons browse crafts at the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show in Pomona, CA

Visit the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show as it celebrates 43 years of artisans and their handmade wares. Enjoy three full days of shopping, food and entertainment with the whole family. Children can enjoy the Kidzone activity center while the adults roam hundreds of booths featuring more than 24,000 handcrafted ceramics, jewelry, original art, food products and clothing. Adult admission is $9. Youth (13-17 years) is $4, and children 12 years and younger get in for free. For more information, call 415-447-3205 or visit the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show official website

December 5-6
Franschhoek, South Africa

The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival "The Magic of Bubbles"

Chilled Champagne at The Magic of Bubbles event in Franschhoek, South Africa

If a new year begins with bubbles, why not end with them, too? Experience the magic of sparkling wine at this two-day festival presented by MasterCard in the village of Franschhoek, South Africa. Sip on some of South Africa's finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) and the best Champagnes from France while savoring gourmet treats provided by local restaurants. Along with well-known Cap Classique returnees, such as Pierre Jourdan, Villiera and Simonsig, first-timers will include MCC producers Maison Estate, Grande Provence and Le Lude. Piper-Heidsieck, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot will be representing French Champagnes. The theme of this year's festivities is black and white; each day, the best-dressed couple will have the chance to win a MasterCard gift card. Learn more about the event at the Franschhoek official website

December 7-11
Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series

Wine Social at The Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series in Riviera Maya, Mexico

The award-winning Karisma hotel group is once again hosting the Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series, taking place at the stunning El Dorado Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Guests of the hotel can enjoy a variety of epicurean events for the first full week of every month, such as tastings, wine-pairing and cooking classes, and decadent meals by visiting chefs, including an exclusive Guest Chef and Winemaster's Dinner. In December, Cristian Rebolledo, executive chef of Blue Haven and Beach House Turks & Caicos restaurants, and Steve Heimoff, Director of Wine Communications and Education at Jackson Family Wines, will head the events. Select from offerings starting at $35 per event, or enjoy them all for an additional $300 to the cost of your stay. For more information and scheduling details, visit the Karisma Hotels & Resorts official website

December 11-15
Soufrière, St. Lucia

Spices of the Caribbean

Jade Mountain cuisine in Soufriere, St. Lucia

Join James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser and his Jade Mountain culinary team for an exciting five days exploring how different cuisines use herbs, spices and flavorings to create their own distinctive tastes. Guests will gain insight into the culture and history of seasonings by experiencing spice garden tours, cooking classes, workshops, dining opportunities and more. Opening day festivities end with a complimentary cocktail party featuring a handmade spiced rum mixed drink with nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and cloves served alongside local, seasonal and sustainable finger food. For more information and ticket prices, visit the Jade Mountain official website

December 13-25
Yosemite National Park, CA

The Bracebridge Dinner

The Bracebridge Dinner performers at The Ahwahnee grand dining room in Yosemite National Park, CA

Celebrate the Christmas holiday by stepping back in time to the English Renaissance. For nearly 90 years, The Ahwahnee's grand dining room at Yosemite Park has been transformed into a Tudor-period hall, where guests can enjoy a holiday performance along with their meal. Dinner performances will be held on December 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 25. Each session comes with overnight accommodations at The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls or Wawona Hotel, free shuttle service to your lodging, the seven-course dinner and a photograph of your party. Find more information at The Bracebridge Dinner official website

December 28-January 3
Hobart, Tasmania

The Taste of Tasmania

A look inside one of Australia's most popular food festival, The Taste of Tasmania

Discover Tasmania's culinary scene at one of Australia's most popular food festivals. An island state, Tasmania more than makes up for its small size with the variety of its produce and unique gastronomic offerings. Between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. (New Year's Eve celebrations extend past midnight to 1 a.m., New Year's Day), Taste of Tasmania offers a bounty of choices. Past selections have included slow-cooked wallaby burritos, Bruny Island possum cooked with duck fat, garlic and Tasmanian pepperberries, and seafood items such as ocean trout, Thai mussels poached in cider and salmon sausages. For drinks, indulge in Tasmanian whisky, craft beers and cider; for dessert savor a cannoli stuffed with cherries, toasted coconut, milk chocolate or hazelnut ricotta. Taste It Tours are available for guests craving a more in-depth festival experience. Children can enjoy Kids in the Park activities, while the whole family can catch a flick at the festival's Twilight Cinema. To get in on the fun, visit The Taste of Tasmania official website

Annual Calendar


There's always more to learn about wine. Take part in a class, a wine and cheese pairing or a fancy prix-fixe meal at these events across the country.

Eat, drink and celebrate at these festivals, special dinners, happy hours, cooking classes and more from Los Angeles to New York to London.