Holiday events

From holiday parades and festivals to craft fairs and tours, these events are family-friendly and sure to fill you with the spirit of the season.

From holiday parades and festivals to craft fairs and tours, these events are family-friendly and sure to fill you with the spirit of the season.

Bizarre Market Holiday

Come delight in Richmond’s softest, sparkliest sale of handmade gifts and wonders by local artists!

Date: November 27 through December 24
Time: Monday through Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Friday through Saturday, 10am to 8pm; Sunday, 12pm to 6pm
Location: Chop Suey Books at 2913 W. Cary Street
Cost: Free to browse, but come ready to shop and support your local craft folk!

GardenFest of Lights 2009

Hundreds of thousands of lights arranged throughout the gardens in botanical themes.

Date: November 27 through January 11
Time: 5pm to 10pm
Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens at 1800 Lakeside Avenue
Cost: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $6 for kids (3 and under are free)

Jefferson Hotel Tree Lighting with the Richmond SPCA

The SPCA mascot, Joey, will be on hand to help celebrate the annual lighting of the Jefferson Hotel’s Christmas tree. Enjoy holiday music and refreshments.

Date: November 30
Time: 6pm to 8pm
Location: Jefferson Hotel at 101 W Franklin Street
Cost: Free

The Bizarre Bazaar

The 34th Christmas Collection will fill up the entire raceway complex with hundreds of holiday gifts and decorations.

Date: December 3 through December 6
Time: Thursday through Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm
Location: Richmond Raceway Complex, near Interstate 64 and Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike
Cost: $7 (can be purchased online)

Gingerbread Fun

Let you kids learn how to build a kickin’ gingerbread house!

Date: December 4
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Location: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pauley Center (200 N. Boulevard)
Cost: $30-$32 (call 804-340-1405)

Main Street Station Holiday Open House

A Polar Express theme including free train rides, holiday refreshments and live entertainment.

Date: December 4
Time: 5pm to 9pm
Location: The Plaza at Main Street Station, 1500 E. Main Street
Cost: $2 for parking

Holiday Market

Shop local merchants for fresh decorative greenery, handmade crafts, and one-of-a-kind gifts.

Date: December 4
Time: 5pm to 9pm
Location: 17th Street Farmers’ Market
Cost: Free

Governor’s Executive Mansion Open House

Join fellow Richmonders fo the lighting of the state Christmas tree.

Date: December 4
Time: 5:30pm to 7pm
Location: Capitol Square in Downtown Richmond
Cost: Free

25th Anniversary of the Grand Illumination at the James Center

Santa Claus and radio station, Lite 98, will count down the lighting of the James Center tree and reindeer.

Date: December 4
Time: 6pm to 7pm
Location: 10th and East Cary Streets
Cost: Free

Giant Holiday Cards on Display Downtown

This year’s 7th annual exhibition of art cards will display holiday cards from Metro Richmond area public and private schools during the month of December. The giant cards, each created from wooden doors, are designed and painted by art classes and clubs in schools from the City of Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover counties, and private schools.

Date: December 4 through December 31
Time: Richmond Public Library – Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Main Street Station – Monday through Thursday, 9:30am to 6pm, Friday through Sunday, 9:30am to 8:30pm
Location: Richmond Public Library (2nd and E. Main Streets) and Main Street Station (15 E. Main Street)
Cost: Free

Free Horse Carriage Rides

The sound of jingle bells ringing and hooves on cobblestone as they clip-clop through Richmond’s historic River District. Talk about holiday spirit!

Date: December 4 and 5
Time: 6pm to 10pm
Location: Rides start and end in Shockoe Slip at the 13th and E. Cary streets fountain
Cost: Free (one round trip ride per person please)

The Annual Ukrop’s-Supervalu Richmond Christmas Parade

The two mile-long parade down Broad Street will have high-flying balloons, holiday floats, star spangled marching bands and Santa Claus.

Date: December 5
Time: 10am
Location: From the Science Museum of Virginia to 7th Street
Cost: Free

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Join Victorian ladies and gentlemen to admire Maymont’s beautiful tree and enjoy carriage rides and holiday music.

Date: December 6
Time: 12pm to 5pm
Location: Maymont Mansion
Cost: Mansion tours- $5 per person, $3 members, free for children 12 and under. Carriage rides – $5 per person/$3 children 12 and under.

4th Annual Holiday Happening

Celebrate the holidays with storytelling, music and children’s craft activities.

Date: December 6
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Location: American Civil War Center (500 Tredegar Street)
Cost: $4, children are free

St. Nick’s Christmas Party

A fun-filled occasion for the entire family with stories, songs, party favors, games and light refreshments. Advance registration recommended.

Date: December 6
Time: 1pm and 2:30pm
Location: Maymont Mansion
Cost: $10

Art Free-For-All: Present Factory

Try your hand at printing your own wrapping paper and holiday cards, make holiday garland, felt hair clips, and more. While you’re there enjoy some snacks and some holiday music from Fan District Caroling Association and others.

Date: December 6
Time: 1pm to 4pm
Location: Visual Arts Center of Richmond at 1812 W. Main Street
Cost: Free

University of Richmond’s Annual Candlelight Service

Includes lessons and carols sung by candlelight. All community members welcome.

Date: December 6
Time: 5pm and 8pm
Location: Cannon Memorial Chapel, Westhampton side of campus
Cost: Free, but seating is first come, first served.

The Grand Illumination at Montpelier Center Complex

The trees and buildings of the Montpelier Center Complex will be lit up for a night time tour of the grounds. Refreshments will be available.

Date: December 6
Time: 5:30pm
Location: Montpelier Center Complex, 17205 Mountain Road in Montpelier
Cost: Free

14th Annual Hamaganza!

Burlesque dancers, local celebrities, and Richmond’s favorite transvestite. Talk about holiday cheer!

Date: December 11 and December 12
Time: 9pm
Location: December 11 at Poe’s Pub (2706 E. Main Street) and December 12 at Capital Ale House (623 E. Main Street)
Cost: $10 or equivalent foodstuffs to donate to Central Virginia Food Bank

Handmade Holiday

The Richmond Craft Mafia hosts this the Second Annual Juried Indie Craft Show Handmade Holiday in Richmond, Virginia that will exclusively feature the work of local crafters and designers.

Date: December 12
Time: 10am to 5pm
Location: Visual Arts Center of Richmond at 1812 W. Main Street
Cost: Free, but you best be ready to shop!

Jingle on the James at Rocketts Landing

A river-front festival meets crafts and fine art show. Enjoy Bell choirs, music, carolers, food and art.

Date: Saturday, December 12 to Sunday, December 13
Time: Saturday 12pm to 9pm and Sunday 12pm to 5pm
Location: Rocketts Landing
Cost: Free

47th Annual Fan Holiday House Tour

Tour 10 of the Fan’s most beautiful homes as they are all decked out for the holidays.

Date: December 12 and 13
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Location: See website for parking details
Cost: $26 when purchased online, $30 day of tour

17th Annual James River Parade of Lights

James River boaters will have their boats decorated with lights as they parade down the river. There will be several viewing sites along the shorelines.

Date: December 12
Time: 5:30pm
Location: From Richmond to Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County
Cost: Free

Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark

Enjoy the lights and glitter of Monument Avenue decked out for the holidays. This early evening stroll combines history with a touch of glitz! Dress comfortably, and please bring a flashlight.

Date: December 26 and 27
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Lee Monument at Allen and Monument Avenues
Cost: Free, but registration is required (call 804-649-0711 ext. 301)

And don’t forget to check out our lists of holiday shows, charitable opportunities, Christmas tree spots, and the lowdown on where to find the man in the big red suit.

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Marge Weimer

Marge Weimer had the distinct honor of being’s first intern. She is a good sport, and we thoroughly enjoy her.

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