Just when it seemed that San Francisco had a lock on the market for urban skating, tiny but tony Yountville rolls out the ice.
The foodie mecca this weekend freezes a rink into its illuminated “WinterScape” of twinkling lights. And as part of the expected Wine Country amenities, the snack bar will be sweet. In addition to coffee drinks and cocoa, skaters can order a glass of the valley’s signature beverage along with small plates prepared by some of the town’s renowned eateries.
The Chamber of Commerce assures that wine will be poured only during adult skate in the evening.
“Obviously, the hosts would not serve or probably even permit somebody who is impaired to get on the ice,” Cindy Saucerman says. “Although I’m sure it would be a blast.”
When the sun sets the Hot Toddy & Holiday cocktail menu comes out. Expect Clink & Drink events on weekends featuring select Yountville appellation wines poured by a resident Santa sommelier. Will Santa also be taking Christmas orders? It can’t hurt to come prepared with a list just in case.
The 240-square-foot patch of ice will be enclosed in a clear-topped tent at Marketplace V on Washington Street. Dubbed “Twirl & Swirl” the new Winter Pavilion will be set in a wintry scene of live greenery, Christmas trees, snow and poinsettias.
The winter rink will be up through Jan. 2. It’s just one of a flurry of wintry attractions in Yountville that might persuade you to skip a party or play hookie from shopping and head across the ridge.
You can hop aboard a romantic and free horse-drawn carriage. Clip clop up and down the glittery avenue — Washington is festooned with at least half a million little lights — or take it to the end of the line at Domaine Chandon’s Etoile.
It’s also the season when you can let down your cool and embrace cute. While you’re in town check out the “Dreams of Toyland” at the Napa Valley Museum (napavalleymuseum.org). Dolph Gotelli’s collection of miniature vignettes will shrink you down to snowy forests, cozy kitchens and tiny drawing rooms. Admission is $10, free for kids and it’s up through Jan 23.
The Lincoln Theater is playing host to the Napa Regional Dance Co., production of The Nutcracker Dec. 18 and 19. Or welcome 2011 with the mouthy Bill Maher on Jan. 1.
Many hotels are offering special packages to persuade you to make it more than a day trip.
Among the best are the Winter Wonderland packages at the sister B&Bs, Maison Fleurie and Lavender. Starting at $98 you can get a room for two with breakfast and ice skating tickets and access to a two-wheeler.
For something a bit different Napa Valley Railway Inn’s Winterscape Package is an affordable deal. It includes a night in a century old railcar set along the original Napa Valley Railroad tracks, a wine tasting pass for two at seven local wineries and a cup of French press at the Yountville Coffee Caboose ($125.)
Further up the glamor chain, the Villagio Inn will pamper with a Stay Dine & Skate package that includes a room, champagne breakfast buffet, ice skating tickets for two and a three-course dinner at your choice of Bottega Restaurant, Bistro Jeanty or Hurley’s. Deals starts at $350.
For $169 The Napa Valley Lodge has a Winterscape Package that includes room, ice skating tickets, a champagne breakfast buffet, two wine tasting passes, hot toddies and cookies, starting at $169.
A lot of Washington Street tasting rooms are offering special tastings, food pairings and discounts during December.
Sneak away now or buy a breakaway for after Christmas and tuck it into a stocking. The attractions and deals last through Jan. 2. 944-0904 or yountville.com.