5 Things for Families: Tours, traditions, a twist, and more

Goodbye, 2015. Hello, 2016 and our last chance to enjoy some of Richmond’s holiday goodness before we enter the event desert that is January and February.

Photo by: Jeff Kubina

1. Maymont Mansion Holiday Tour

Quick! See how Major and Mrs. Dooley lived during the holidays before we have to go back to seeing how they lived on just regular days! But seriously, if you haven’t had a chance to see Maymont Mansion decked out in all its Victorian splendor, hop to it. It’s a very special, very Richmond holiday to-do.

  • Runs through Sunday, January 3rd (closed New Year’s Day) • 11:00 AM — 5:00 PM (tours take place every 30 minutes; last tour starts at 4:30 PM). After the New Year, tours will be 12:00 – 5:00 PM.
  • Maymont Mansion, 1700 Hampton Street (Historic Estate Entrance)
  • $5 suggested donation.

2. Kwanzaa Celebration

Come learn about the significance, history, and traditions of Kwanzaa; enjoy a special story time; and make your own mkeka.

  • Wednesday, December 30th • 10:30 AM
  • North Avenue Library, 2901 North Avenue
  • Free!

3. Noon Year’s Eve

Get it? It’s like New Year’s Eve, except for kids–and adults who have a hard time making it to midnight1. You and the fam can build your own geodesic paper globes, check out unique liquid nitrogen demonstrations, experiment with marshmallows, and more. And when the clock strikes 12:00 (PM), the Science Museum will put its own twist on the traditional New Year’s Ball Drop by dropping not one but 2,016 bouncy balls in the Rotunda. Get ready to live it up and still go to bed at a reasonable hour!

  • Thursday, December 31st • 10:00 AM — 1:00 PM
  • Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad Street
  • Included with exhibit admission ($11 for adults; $10 for seniors and kids ages 4 to 12; free for members and kids 3 and under)

4. New Year’s Family Frolic

It may rain on New Year’s Eve, but don’t count out Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as an option for bidding adieu to 2015 with your littles one. All of the events for LBG’s New Year’s Family Frolic will take place in the Kelly Education Center–save the tradition of “rolling in the New Year” down the hill into the Rose Garden (weather permitting, of course). Enjoy a live concert from Ululating Mummies; make your own New Year’s party hat; take a peek at model trains; and add your hopes for 2016 to the Garden’s “wishing chain.”

  • Thursday, December 31st • 2:00 — 5:00 PM
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue
  • Included with admission ($12 for adults; $8 for kids ages 3 to 12; free for members and kids under 3)2

5. RVA on Ice Pajama Party

RVA on Ice is set to close up shop for the season on Monday, and what better way to say goodbye to this Richmond holiday favorite (and hello to the New Year) than with a pajama party?! There is no better way, just stop trying to think of one. So when you wake up on the first day of 2016, keep those jammies on and head downtown for a day of ice skating and s’mores.

  • Friday, January 1st • 12:00 — 10:00 PM
  • RVA on Ice, 6th and Broad Streets
  • $3-$5 admission; $3-$5 skate rentals (see website for pricing details)

  1. What up. 
  2. Those who attend the New Year’s Eve Family Frolic and who are already in the Garden can stay to attend Dominion GardenFest of Lights
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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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