It’s that time of year again – the gentle snowfall around downtown and festive lights appearing on every house. Santa’s checking his naughty and nice lists and children are ready for snowball fights, candy canes, and hot cocoa. Whether you’re looking for a good old-fashioned family Christmas celebration or enjoying the special times with friends and loved ones – there’s plenty to do, both indoors and out, in Richmond this holiday season. The Wilson Group helps you find a home – and we can also help you find plenty of holiday cheer for 2018.
- Victorian Holiday Celebration: November 16 – January 6
- Church Hill Holiday Festival - Historic Candlelight Walk: December 7
- King's Dominion Winterfest: November 23 – December 31
- Patrick Henry Christmas: December 8
- Dominion Energy Gardenfest of Lights: November 23 – January 7
- Court End Christmas: December 9
- Santa Paws: December 8
- Illuminate Light Show: November 16 - December 31
- Find Your Home Value Here!
- Miracle on Cary Street: November 23 – December 31
- The Nutcracker Ballet: December 14 – 23
- Dickens Christmas Towne: November 17 - December 31
- Breakfast with Santa: December 9
- Holiday Lantern Tour: December 15
- Star Light, Star Bright Tacky Lights and 6K Run: December 8
- Legendary Santa at the Children's Museum: November 23 – December 24
- Light Up The Tracks: December 1 - 22
- A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol: November 16 – January 5
- The Game's Afoot: Holmes for the Holidays: November 30 – January 6
- Cirque Musica Holiday presents Wonderland: December 11
- 3 Redneck Tenors Christmas SPEC-TAC-YULE-AR: December 12
- VA Rep On Tour Presents: The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves: December 15
- Happy Holidays!
Victorian Holiday Celebration: November 16 – January 6
Come visit Maymont and take a step back in time. Discover the magic of Victorian holiday celebrations in a scene right out of a Dickens novel. Experience Major and Mrs. Dooley’s “Gilded Age” celebration inside the historic Maymont Mansion, located at right here in Richmond. Local actors in authentic period costume show how a Victorian Christmas is celebrated. Check out a lavish feast, aromatic evergreen décor, and gifts that come from the heart Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is just $5 and includes a guided tour of the restored home. For information, call 804-358-7166, ext. 329.
During the holiday season, you’ll see the gorgeous, unique wreaths that adorn each room. If you have the crafting bug, you’ll envy one for yourself! You can make one here! Maymont offers wreath workshops and classes that allow you to bring this authentic decor into your own house. To make reservations, call 804-358-7166. Space is limited.
Church Hill Holiday Festival – Historic Candlelight Walk: December 7
Take a stroll down gaslight streets, with the sounds of bagpipes and classic carols in one of the more relaxed Richmond holiday events: Church Hill Holiday Festival. The caroling begins at Jefferson Park (Union Hill) at 7:15 pm and follows a walking path toward St. John’s Chuch for Vespers. Next, walk by candlelight toward Libby Hill Park with neighbors and residents joining in as the procession passes their homes. Also, enjoy a visit with Santa at the park. Then, marvel at the 180-degree view of the James River and downtown holiday lights. This event is free to all!
King’s Dominion Winterfest: November 23 – December 31
The exciting amusement park isn’t just for summer fun – it’s also home to one of the brightest holiday events in Richmond! Bring the whole family to experience the park alit at night with thousands of twinkling lights and plenty of holiday cheer. This is an ongoing holiday event in Richmond. It is full of breathtaking holiday displays and delicious hot chocolate and other traditional holiday treats. A 300-foot decorated Christmas tree soars into the air and twelve live shows are not to be missed. Also, hands-on holiday activities keep little fingers busy, and each step becomes an adventure. Thirty-four different wandering performers fill the air with holiday cheer. There’s even fun for the more adventurous. Twenty-one of the rides are open in the evenings, perfect for a Christmas thrill.
Patrick Henry Christmas: December 8
Famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speaker Patrick Henry is your host for this Revolutionary War-era holiday event in Richmond. Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, located in Beaverdam, is the setting for an 18th-century dance, complete with authentic music and holiday refreshments. Speak with folks from this time period. Even with discussion of the upcoming war with Britain and opinions of the American Colonies. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and this event is limited to those 18 and older.
Bring the family back to Scotchtown the next day. The Patrick Henry Family Christmas celebration is on December 9, from noon until 5 pm. First, make small tree ornaments in Colonial-era style. Next, enjoy refreshments popular in the 1770s. Also, learn historic dances and popular games from this time period. Stick around long enough, and the little ones might even get a visit with Father Christmas!
Dominion Energy Gardenfest of Lights: November 23 – January 7
Each year, this display gets larger and more elaborate, making it easily the brightest holiday even in Richmond. If you’re tired of driving in the car to admire holiday lights, this walking tour of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens is perfect. There’s never a chance of repeating, as every season brings a different theme – and 2018’s is bolder than ever. Bringing Art to Life interprets famous works of art into twinkle light displays. How many are you familiar with? Pieces include sculpture, dance, paintings, and music, expressed through light displays and natural floral elements. The tour is self-guided, giving you and your family plenty of time to admire your favorite parts. Bring an appetite – the Botanical Gardens also offers s’mores and hot chocolate by the fire pit each evening.
Court End Christmas: December 9
The 31st annual open house event is a must for celebrating holidays in Richmond. Several historic sites are offering free admission and special holiday entertainment. Just park one time, and enjoy complimentary shuttle transportation to each participating location. The event lasts from 12 noon to 5 pm and includes stops at The Valentine, the Valentine First Freedom Center, Historic St. John’s Church, Virginia State Capitol, The John Marshall House, Monumental Church, ACWM – White House of the Confederacy and more! Gather the family for children’s activities and carriage rides, or enjoy special performances. Delicious holiday treats are served, as well as live musical performances and special entertainment.
Santa Paws: December 8
The holidays are for all the members of your family – including fur babies! Visit Short Pump for the Santa Paws holiday event designed just for Richmond dogs and their humans. Your dog can play in the dog park and both make new friends – or have pupper pose with Santa for a sweet pic. The party lasts from 10 am to 2 pm and is located at the Short Pump Park, and includes dog treats as well as the chance for you to create your own dog-safe chew toy crafted from recycled t-shirts. There are people treats, too, including concessions and beverages, and vendor booths to buy your dog some special stocking stuffers.
Illuminate Light Show: November 16 – December 31
When it’s too chilly to walk through one of the historic guided tours, grab a thermos of hot cocoa and the family to the largest holiday light event in Richmond. The Illuminate Light Show is held at Meadow Event Park, featuring tens of thousands of holiday light displays, synced to festive tunes. Finish the driving tour at Santa’s Village, with photo opportunities for children, refreshments, and live holiday entertainment. If you still have a few people on your “nice” list this season, enjoy holiday shopping at Santa’s Village and plenty of chances to make lasting holiday memories. Admission is $25 per car at the gate, and the show begins at 5:30 pm, lasting till 10 pm.
Miracle on Cary Street: November 23 – December 31
This is the fifth year that the Christmas-themed pop up has opened, and for the first time in Richmond, there will be one at the Jasper. Event planners expect this to quickly become one of Richmond’s favorite new Holiday traditions. Miracle began in New York City and has since spread across the country, featuring classic Christmas cocktails in a fundraiser to benefit Action Against Hunger – with 10 percent of the sales benefiting this nationwide charity. 80 cities now participate in Miracle‘s festive cocktail experience, so except to see an impact in our community for those in need. “We’re thrilled to be launching in the very center of Richmond’s most popular independent retail and dining destination,” says Jasper owner Mattias Hagglund. “There’s no better place to celebrate the holiday season.” Prices per cocktail vary, and each comes with a commemorative mug.
The Nutcracker Ballet: December 14 – 23
The classic Christmas Eve story of Sugar Plum Faries and villainous Mouse Kings returns to the Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Energy Center. Join Clara on a chill winter night and experience the bright music, daring sword battles, and a trip through the Winter Kingdom of Sweets. After select matinee performances, attend Clara’s Tea Party to introduce little ones to their favorite characters and sip warm tea while mingling with the cast. Pricing for tickets varies with dates, times, and seating.
Dickens Christmas Towne: November 17 – December 31
Bigger and brighter each year – no Ebeneezer Scrooge can ruin this merry tradition! An annual holiday event in Norfolk – completely worth the trip for RVA folks – the Christmas Towne is celebrating the 175th anniversary of A Christmas Carol. View an exhibition of original sketches for the story, created by artist P.J. Lynch, in addition to traveling magical fairies, carousel horses, and tea parties on the weekends. There are special events weekly – here’s a schedule – so come out for an afternoon or evening of delights at the Decker Half Moone Center, next to Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin! There’s traveling carolers, a giant train display, and small shops for gifting or that perfect souvenir.
Breakfast with Santa: December 9
Join the fun folks at The Good Doogie for breakfast with Santa! This ticketed breakfast features scrumptious pancakes and fresh-squeezed juice, along with sizzling sausage and bacon. Each family ticket is just $25 (includes 4 people – each additional person is just $5 more) and includes a professional photo with Santa by Aeternus Photography. The event lasts from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. Get tickets here.
Holiday Lantern Tour: December 15
Christmastime was a popular time to get married in the Colonial Period. Take a guided tour of Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park and discover a Richmond holiday event from centuries long gone. The tour is free, running in 20-minute intervals from 5 pm to 8 pm. Space is limited. Enjoy being “guests” of the happy couple as they prepare to wed. Festivities include watching how a bride 200 years ago prepared, including words of wisdom from her mother. After the ceremony, congratulate the new couple and enjoy refreshments. The theme for this years tour is “The Magical, Musical Christmas at Meadow Farm”
Star Light, Star Bright Tacky Lights and 6K Run: December 8
You don’t have to be Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to enjoy tacky, over-the-top Christmas lights. Join your neighbors for what Travel & Leisure magazine says are the best Christmas Lights in Virginia – you can participate in the 6K fun run on the 8th, or enjoy walking, driving, or taking a trolley through the different neighborhoods any night of the month. The race itself is just $10. It travels through Midlothian neighborhoods, including Walton Park and Dawnridge Court. Costumes are encouraged at this active Richmond holiday event, and milk and cookies are served afterward.
Legendary Santa at the Children’s Museum: November 23 – December 24
This traditional Richmond holiday event has been happening since 1936. Today’s grandparents probably visited the Jolly Old Elf at the old Miller and Rhoads Department Store. Experience a sunrise breakfast or sunset milk and cookies visit, including games, refreshments, and watching Santa come down the chimney. For children with special needs or sensory conditions, there’s a specially curated “Sensitive with Santa” event created to accommodate them. Costs vary depending on the photo packages that are booked, and space at each session is limited. Visit the downtown location of Richmond’s Children’s Museum for this years Legendary Santa.
Also, there is a kid shop for kids to enter on their own and make or select a present for their parents. Each option is just $2! Call ahead for estimated wait times and play in the small free area is you aren’t a member. Afterwards, you can enjoy everything the Museum has to offer if you are a member. It is not necessary to be a member to visit Santa. You can also visit the rest of the Museum with another member as a guest!
Our very own, Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, Stephanie Glover and her family visited the Legendary Santa at downtown CMOR. Their 19 month old girl, Ellie, is obviously excited to share with you what she asked Santa to give her for Christmas…
Light Up The Tracks: December 1 – 22
Visit lovely Ashland, home to Randolph-Macon College and experience a picture-perfect postcard viewing of homes and businesses that line up along the tracks. Travelers and visitors downtown can experience a row of lovely holiday lights, brightening up the area. Enjoy shopping in a small boutique or dining in one of Ashland’s popular local spots. Find out more here.
A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol: November 16 – January 5
This is the sequel to the popular play A 1940’s Radio Hour, featuring the same Feddington Players broadcasting from a small studio in New Jersey. As the players take on a live-radio adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, mayhem, laughs, and eventually a great time by all ensures. Create your new Richmond holiday tradition by making a stop by the Miracle on Clay pop-up for a post-show cocktail or dine at one of the local restaurants that are near the Sweet Mill Theater. If you enjoy a dinner-and-show combo, there’s a dining option available for $40 – otherwise, tickets start at $17.
The Game’s Afoot: Holmes for the Holidays: November 30 – January 6
Next, if you like your holidays with a hint of mystery, then check out this play, performed at Virginia Repertory Theatre. It is featuring Broadway star William Gillette. He’s renowned for his portrayal of the famous sleuth, and seeing a live performance can really make this Richmond holiday event something special. In this play, follow Sherlock on a wacky mystery as he solves his own death! Single tickets start at $44. Reserve in advance and plan to make an evening of it. Add a special dinner beforehand or a drive through Midlothian neighborhoods to admire Christmas lights.
Cirque Musica Holiday presents Wonderland: December 11
Enjoy a breathtaking circus performance and acrobatics display. It is set to holiday musical favorites both old and new with this one-day-only performance by Cirque Musica. Sweeping backdrops and live music highlight daredevil stunts and jaw-dropping aerial and acrobatic feats. The Richmond Symphony Orchestra provides the accompaniment, making this Richmond holiday event truly a special one.
3 Redneck Tenors Christmas SPEC-TAC-YULE-AR: December 12
If you prefer your holiday celebrations a little more low-brow, keep reading. You’ll love the 3 Redneck tenors slapstick songs and slightly raunchy comedy Christmas show. The performance is one night only, at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Plan to take a driving tour of holiday lights afterward, or enjoy a quick bite downtown. If you’re in the mood to chortle along with country wackiness and big-city music, then this is the Richmond holiday event you’ll love. Ticket prices vary according to the seating, but hurry – they’re expected to sell out!
VA Rep On Tour Presents: The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves: December 15
A show performed by the Virginia Repertory Troupe, this adaptation of the classic tale of the Shoemaker’s Elves is designed specifically for children. Bring the whole family to an event that all ages will love. These special elves are on a mission from Santa, spinning a musical yarn to delight all – with a shocking twist at the end! This is a one-day-only Richmond holiday event, so make your plans now!
Whatever your plans this holiday season, take the time to relax and enjoy your loved ones during the hustle and bustle of this magical time of the year. The Wilson Group has enjoyed meeting so many new Richmond friends and neighbors, getting you into a forever home to make special memories. ‘Tis the season for hope and joy – from us to you – Happy Holidays!