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Get the most out of Christmas and New Year’s with these events
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What to learn how to make wine? Chateau Elan is offering a winemaking class in early January in Braselton. Photo courtesy of Chateau Elan.

If you’re looking for something to do while the kids are out of school, we’ve got you covered.

You can go see Santa, celebrate New Year’s Eve a bit early with the kids, do some good for animals or learn how to make a glass of wine.

Whatever you choose, it’s time for the holiday season, so go celebrate with everyone you know as 2019 comes around.

Winemaker Wannabe

It takes a lot of knowledge to make wine, but in January have the opportunity to learn the ins-and-outs of what it takes to get the job done at Chateau Elan’s Winemaker Wannabe class. The class aims to give guests an inside look at what winemaking is all about (along with a tour and tasting) with the price of admission, which is $75 per person.

The first class will be from 8 to 10 p.m. Jan 4, at Chateau Elan.

Following the tasting, guests will have the chance to blend their own wine, while asking questions about the process.

“This is a class geared for those who have always wondered about the winemaking process and they kind of want to experience that firsthand,” said Emily Truax, marketing manager at Chateau Elan.

She said they’re hoping the tour gives guests a little more behind-the-scenes action on the entire process, helping them understand how it happens. Guests are often curious about it, Truax said, so classes are important for Chateau Elan to offer.

After spending time blending their own bottle of wine, guests will get to design their own label for the wine and take it home with them after the class

“Obviously, anytime you have wine and cheese and a tasting, it’s always going to be really fun,” Truax said. “But this is also a way to really understand the behind-the-scenes of winemaking, and really make that an approachable thing for people and help them understand that on a really personal level as they craft their own bottle.”

For more information on the event, contact Chateau Elan at 678-425-0900.

New Year’s Noon Day Celebration

If you’re looking for something a little more kid-friendly, the Hall County Library has you covered. It will be hosting a New Year’s Noon Day Celebration especially for children who can’t stay up until midnight.

The event will go from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at the library and is free to attend.

“The children are out of school, so we want to provide an opportunity for them to participate in the New Year's Day celebration without having to stay up until midnight,” said Gail Hogan, outreach librarian.

She said there will be storytime with some of the best books of 2018.

Adrianne Junius, youth services director, said she’ll be reading some of her favorites from the year, including Kevin Henkes’ “Winter is Here.”

There will also be snacks and craft stations.

The moment everyone will be waiting for comes at noon. After gathering everyone together, children will count down the final seconds until noon, until a balloon drop sends balloons falling from above.

“When the schools are closed and a lot of preschools are closed, we like to do something fun,” Junius said. “We like to be able to provide something for them to do and encourage them to read during the Christmas break, which sometimes doesn’t happen as much as we’d like it to.”

For more information, call the Hall County Library at 770-532-3311

Toys for Spots

Animals need presents, too, this Christmas.

Lucky for them, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is hosting a Toys for Spots event with Downtown Drafts from 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 23.

For each item guests bring to Downtown Drafts, they’ll be given a ticket to win prizes from the bar and from BarkBox, a subscription service that delivers goods for dogs.

Donated items can be dropped off anytime until the event.

In order to receive a ticket, the donated items must come from a list provided by the Humane Society. The list includes everything from peanut butter to dog toys to cleaning products.

Jekyll Brewing will also be at the event and will donate all of its proceeds from its Flightless Fowl IPA brew to the Humane Society.

For more information, call the Humane Society at 770-532-6617

Cirque Du Sleigh

If you want a show, Left Nut Brewing Co. is the place to be Friday, Dec. 20. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., the brewery will host Cirque Du Sleigh in its taproom.

The event promises to be an “evening of aerial entertainment, live music and drinks all around,” according to Left Nut Brewing.

The event is free and the taproom is open from 1-10 p.m.

Cirque Fit will perform each hour using silks hanging from the rafters in the taproom.

A last chance for Santa

You don’t have a lot of time left if you’re wanting to go visit Santa Claus on the downtown Gainesville square.

The last two chances are 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 21 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 22 at Main Street Market, so grab the kids, grandkids or one of your friends and head to the square to celebrate Christmas by sitting on Santa’s knee.

Photos by Celestial Studios are $25.

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Chateau Elan is offering a winemaking course this Christmas season for those interested in a crash course on how it's done. Photo courtesy of Chateau Elan.
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