5 Things for Families: Pageantry, art, weird food, puppets, and a misunderstood villain

Friday is Christmas! It’s practically here! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?

1. Richmond Nativity Pageant

Fun fact: Richmond’s Nativity Pageant has existed in some form since 1924. The first performance took place on the steps of the Capitol building, but as the crowds grew each year, the pageant was moved down the hill to a stage built over the fountain. After a brief break in production during World War II, the pageant moved to the Carillon in Byrd Park in 1946 and it’s been there ever since. Each year audiences numbering in the thousands gather to watch this live, outdoor production of the Nativity featuring a 200-person cast and choir. Wednesday’s forecast for temperatures near 70 degrees don’t feel very Christmas-y, but I think this event can’t not put you in the holiday mood.

  • Wednesday, December 23rd • 7:00 PM
  • Carillon in Byrd Park, off of Blanton Avenue
  • Free!

2. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Not sure what to do with the fam once the gifts are unwrapped and the figgy pudding has been brought? Ol’ “Open 365 Days a Year” VMFA is at your service. Enjoy the museum’s permanent collection of 33,000 works; check out the Rodin exhibit, and spend some time out in the sculpture garden to soak up this weird warm weather while we’ve got it.

  • Open daily • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • VMFA, 200 N. Boulevard
  • Free general admission; see website for special exhibit prices

3. Fruitcake Science

Apparently people hate fruitcake so much that they’d rather burn, drop, and/or freeze it than eat it. Oh well, at least we’ll all learn something.

  • Saturday, December 26th through Wednesday, December 30th &bull 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday; 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday
  • Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad Street
  • Free with museum admission ($11 and up)

4. RVA Winter Puppetfest

[Barefoot Puppet Theatre][bpt], Crabgrass Puppet Theatre, and Applause Unlimited join forces to bring you and yours six days of puppetry fun. This year’s line up includes Little Red & the Gingerbread Man, The Pirate, the Princess & the Pea, and The Velveteen Rabbit. As a parent who has an entire week of Winter Break to fill after Christmas, RVA Winter Puppetfest, I salute you.

  • Saturday, December 26th through Friday, January 1st • see website for show times
  • Firehouse Theatre, 1609 W. Broad Street and Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Avenue
  • $10 general admission; $25 to “meet the puppets”

5. Maleficent

This is perfect: send the teens and tweens in to watch Angelina Jolie be a beautiful badass, and you and the littler ones can spend time reading books in Glen Allen Library’s rainforest-themed children’s area.

  • Monday, December 28th • 1:30 PM
  • Glen Allen Library, 10501 Staples Mill Road
  • Free! (snacks and drinks will be provided)
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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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