Take part in one of winters most loved sports without the freezing temps! Head on over to Custom House Plaza in downtown Monterey for some Ice Skating by the Bay. Monday-Saturday from 11am-10pm and Sunday from 12pm-8pm. 4 Custom House Plaza, Monterey. $12 for adults and $10 for children. Skate rentals are $3. Dust off that cowboy hat because it’s time for the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival. This 3-day hootenanny has a little something for everyone including poetry readings, storytelling, musical performances and a silent auction. Christmas shoppers can even check out the Marketplace for the latest and greatest in Western gear. 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. Various ticket prices. Get your Christmas shopping done while enjoying some live music at the Del Monte Center. The shopping center hosts several musical acts throughout the weekend including Carmel Strings, MPC Horns and Mark Russo. Friday from 6pm-8pm, Saturday from 1pm-3pm and 6pm-8pm and Sunday from 1pm-3pm. 1410 Del Monte Center, Monterey. Free event.
Prepare to be amazed by the Blind Boys of Alabama tonight at the Sunset Center in Carmel-by-the-Sea. This Grammy award-winning gospel group performs “Go Tell It on the Mountain” with a mix of their classic hits as well as a few holiday songs to get you in the cheerful spirit. 8pm, San Carlos at Ninth Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea. $49-$69. CANCELLED! Pair some vino with some groovy Latin music this Friday evening at Pierce Ranch Vineyards’ tasting room. The lively group that makes up The Kombucheros perform in this cozy venue. 8:30pm-10:30pm, 499 Wave Street, Monterey $5 cover for those 21 and older.
Take a hike with guides from the Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District this morning. Today they set out on an adventure through Kahn Ranch for epic valley and ridge top views. The 3.5 mile hike is expected to take 3-4 hours. Don’t forget to wear good hiking shoes and to bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks. 10am, Kahn Ranch Parking Lot , Carmel Valley. Free event. ‘Tis the season for Christmas wreaths and holiday cookies! Earthbound Farms hosts a wreath making workshop using grapevines from Heller Estate. Guests can also pick up tips for holiday cooking where Chef Sarah shares her favorite gingerbread recipe. 11am-2pm, 7250 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. $20 for the wreath making workshop. Celebrate the holiday season with Jollian Vineyards at their vineyard deep in Carmel Valley. Today they open up their fabulous winery for the 14th annual Wine and Wreaths Open House. Guests will sip on new wine releases, create wreaths out of grapevines and enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the gorgeous valley. 11am-4pm, 20300 Cachagua Road, Carmel Valley. $45. Chocolates and desserts…. need I say more? Bernardus Lodge brings in their pastry chef for a hands-on demonstration on tasty surgery desserts, just in time for the holidays! Guests will also munch on goodies from the chocolate buffet and sip on spiced hot chocolate. 1pm-3pm, 415 W. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. $95. Come one, come all to the 19th annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park in Pacific Grove today. This festive event will get the entire family ready for the holiday season. Kids will love special appearances from characters like Frosty the Snowman, the Snow Queen and Santa Claus who will arrive on a fire truck! Other activities include hay rides, a petting zoo and much more. 11am-4pm, Caledonia Park, Pacific Grove. Free event. Kids Create today at the Museum of Monterey. Not only will kiddos have the chance to make their own holiday card using watercolors and mixed-media but they will also tour the museum and enjoy tasty holiday treats. 12pm-2pm, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey. $15. Check out some of the latest ceramic pieces created by Annette Corcoran at the Monterey Museum of Art. Today she will be in the museum discussing how she creates her masterpieces. There will also be time for guests in the audience to ask her questions about her artwork. 3pm, 559 Pacific Street, Monterey. $10. The Poulenc Trio puts on quite the show this evening at the Sunset Center. The trio uses the oboe, bassoon and the piano for a perfect combination while playing works from Beethoven, Previn and Poulenc. 8pm, San Carlos at Ninth Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea. $31-$46. Click here to purchase tickets. Fernwood Tavern in Big Sur will be jammin’ tonight as Jonah and the Whalewatchers take the stage. You will love their reggae and relaxing jams. 9pm, 47200 Highway One, Big Sur. Free event.
The Monterey Museum of Art performs Yuletide Jewels this afternoon to get guests in the Christmas spirit. Several short stories will be performed including “The Big Wheel Truck Stop,” “Holiday Song” and “Mrs. Coney: A Christmas Tale.” 1:30pm, 559 Pacific Street, Monterey. $10. Several inns and B&Bs in Carmel-by-the-Sea get dressed up in holiday splendor for the Inns of Distinction Tour. Not only can you view some of adorable properties but you can also enjoy food and wine from local eateries and wineries. 2pm-5pm, Carmel-by-the-Sea. $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Check out an adventurous and creative take of the Nutcracker at the Steinbeck Institute for Arts and Culture this afternoon. The entire family will love Mixed Nuts which showcases acrobats, jugglers and clowns as they perform the Nutcracker and other carols. 3pm-6pm, 940 N. Main Street Salinas. $5-$40. Looking for more holiday activities? Visit our list of the “Top Holiday Events in Monterey County.”