5 Things for Families: Gingerbread houses, horse-drawn carriages, holiday crafts, Grand Illuminations

Silver bells…silver bells…it’s Christmastime in the [river] city. Enjoy it, folks!

Photo by: wintersoul1

1. Present Factory: Holiday Open House

Are you one of those mystical creatures who manages to have Christmases not made totally possible by Amazon? Would you like to be? Come by the Visual Arts Center for free workshops on how to make your own gifts–or stop by the craft sale to purchase some made by local artists. You can even enjoy some holiday snacks and drinks while you’re at it.

  • Friday, December 4th • 5:30 – 8:30 PM
  • Visual Arts Center of Richmond, 1812 W. Main Street
  • Free!

2. 31st Annual Grand Illumination

Lest you think this event just involves standing around waiting for someone to flip a big ol’ switch to light up Richmond, lemme throw some names at you: The Peppas, Richmond Boys Choir, SPARC, cast members from Richmond Ballet’s The Nutcracker, annnnnnnd Snow Queen and Snow Bear. That’s like a who’s-who of Richmond’s most beloved institutions!

  • Friday, December 4th • 5:45 — 7:00 PM
  • James Center, between 9th, 12th, and Cary Streets
  • Free!

3. Polar Express Party!

Get the kids in their PJs a little early and come enjoy a special viewing of [The Polar Express][film]. Includes snacks and some sort of surprise OMG WHAT IF IT IS SANTA.

  • Wednesday, December 2nd • 6:00 – 8:00 PM
  • Westover Hills Library, 1408 Westover Hills Boulevard
  • Free (children MUST be accompanied by adults)

4. Gingerbread Workshop

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design will host this make-and-take gingerbread house event. I can’t decide if we all should be very intimidated or not. Registration required!

  • Saturday, December 5th • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM or 3:00 – 5:00 PM
  • The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, 2501 Monument Avenue
  • $10 program fee per person; $20 materials fee for each house (multiple people can work on one house if you like)

5. Free Carriage Rides

Fun fact: when I see a horse-drawn carriage in real life, I can’t not clap and squeal “HORSE!”1 If you and yours are of that ilk, get yourselves to Carytown!

  • Saturday, December 5th, 12th, and 19th • 12:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Pick-up at Bill’s Cleaners, 3400 and 3500 blocks of W. Cary Street
  • Free!

  1. I also do this when I see a bunny in my yard. Except I yell “BUNNY,” of course. 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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