5 Things

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttt’s the MOST! Wonderful TIIIIIIME! Of the YEAR! No, for real! There are so many things to do, and so many of them involve hot chocolate. Take that, summer.


Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttt’s the MOST! Wonderful TIIIIIIME! Of the YEAR! No, for real! There are so many things to do, and so many of them involve hot chocolate. Take that, summer.

1. The Bizarre Bazaar

I’ve worked in offices where people would fight over the chance to get the afternoon off to shop The Bizarre Bazaar. The lucky winners would disappear for a few hours, emerge from the fray , bruised and battered, then return carrying bags of goods destined to deck the halls…or deck the neighbors, if necessary. As a result, I’ve always thought of the Biz Baz as a winter white Cadillac of crafty, Christmasy wares. Fight your own way to this mecca of crafts, linens, gourmet food, fashion, furniture, jewelry…you name it.

  • Thurs. Nov. 29 – Sun. Dec. 2 • 10:00 AM
  • Richmond Raceway Complex, 602 E. Laburnum Ave.
  • $7

2. Grand Illumination

Give the family a holiday memory to remember! Back in my day, the James Center situation was a few sparkly reindeer and not much else. But now, friends…NOW! The magic of it all is sometimes a little overwhelming. The reindeer, the big tree, and the entirety of downtown Richmond shall be limned in a brilliantine halo as if to tell the world, “Hey, world! It’s the holidays! And we’re f@&king Richmond, Virginia!” This year, like Mary and Joseph admiring the star, Santa joins up with Lite 98 to count down the minutes until we become our own bright beacon, leading weary travelers into our welcoming arms.

  • Fri. Nov. 30 • 5:50 – 7:00 PM
  • James Center, 900-1200 block of Cary St.
  • Free!

3. Dominion Christmas Parade

For almost 30 years, the annual Richmond Christmas Parade has delighted Virginians brave enough to weather the cold and cheer on the passing floats and giant helium balloons. And this year will be the best year of all…or else! We’ve been promised a very special Grand Marshal in addition to the rest of the hoopla, so assure your kids that it’ll be way better to see it in person than it will be to watch it on TV (broadcast live on WTVR-CBS 6, by the way), and haul them down to Broad Street for a little classic Richmond holiday cheer.

  • Sat. Dec. 1 • 10:00 AM
  • Broad St. from Science Museum of Virginia to 7th St.
  • Free!

4. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Unless your heart is three sizes too small, you’ve enjoyed the Grinch and his spindly green antics at least once in your life. Treat your inner child (or your outer child, if you have one) to a live stage production of the Grinch’s own Broadway show. It’s been called, “A great idea for a musical,” by me, who also said it sounded “entertaining” and “spirited.” All joking aside, the Grinch is a holiday classic that we all like to quote from time to time. Give your kids the right context by taking them to see the Mean One while he’s larger than life.

  • Thurs. Nov. 29 – Sun. Dec. 2 • see site for times
  • Landmark Theater, 6 N. Laurel St.
  • $33-$63

5. UR or VCU Basketball

OK OK. Enough eggnog and cozy sweaters. Holiday time happily coincides with basketball time. Take a break from all that listmaking and cookie eating to rediscover the reassuring sounds of rubber squeaking on a polished wood floor. Spiders and Rams are stoked this year to go as far as they can go and, like in the immortal words of Bonnie Raitt, give us something to talk about. A lot. If it weren’t for basketball, this town would be…well, it would be disappointed.

  • Sat. Dec. 1 • 6:00 PM (UR) and 7:02 PM (VCU)
  • UR Robins Center (vs. Wake Forest) or VCU Siegel Center (vs. Belmont)
  • $12 – $22 (UR) / $25 (VCU)


Photo by Gamma Man

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson writes all sorts of things — from marketing content to movie reviews to this very bio.

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