8News’ Ultimate Holiday Event List: Things to do in Central Virginia this season

Christmas ornament

Christmas ornament

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The coronavirus has impacted much of this year, and the winter holiday season is no exception. While things may look a little different there are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit. Here’s how you can celebrate in our area:

Nov. 13 to Jan. 3 — Illuminate Light Show

Enjoy the beauty of Christmas lights from the comfort of you car with this drive through display. The almost one million LED lights are synchronized to music you can tune into with your car radio.

5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly at Meadow Event Park on 13111 Dawn Blvd. in Doswell, Va. Tickets are $25 per car. Find more information and purchase tickets online here.

Nov. 23 to Jan. 10 — Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights

Take a stroll through Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden illuminated with thousands of lights. New this year is an outdoor model train display wrapping around around the Garden Keeper’s Cottage in the Children’s Garden. Tickets are $5-$18. Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights
Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (Image by Tom Hennessy)

Nov. 27 to 29 — 43rd Annual Model Railroad Show

Explore seven different train displays, make a conductor hat and enjoy many other fun activities at this year’s show. Tickets are $13.50 to $15.50; you can purchase tickets and find more information online here.

Nov. 27 to Dec. 24 — Photos with Santa Claus at Southpark Mall

Santa will be visiting Southpark Mall near Macy’s for photos and to listen to your Christmas wishes. This will be a contactless event with families sitting six feet away to ensure social distancing.

Photos will be available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It will be closed on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7. You can make an online reservation here.

Nov. 27 to Dec. 24 — Ship and Shop Holiday Vendors Market

Every weekend Stony Point Fashion Park will have a rotation of different artisans and vendors from around the area selling unique gifts. Beer, wine and spirits that will be available throughout the venue. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday, Stony Point Fashion Park, 9200 Stony Point Parkway. Free.

Nov. 27 to Dec. 31 — Bright Nights at Canopy Adventure Park

Canopy Adventure Park in Midlothian has decorated their ropes course and ziplines with fun and festive lights for the holiday season.

Every Friday and Saturday reservations can be made to explore their easy or moderate courses. An evening up in the trees can be booked here.

Nov. 30 to Jan. 6 — Gingerbread Design Competition

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design will have entries for its Gingerbread Design Competition on display on the first floor. The museum is located at 2501 Monument Ave. You can find more information online here.

Dec. 4 – RVA Illuminates

Light up the downtown skyline with 8News during a time-honored Richmond tradition. This year 8News will be providing live complete coverage of performances, uplifting stories and the official lighting at 6 p.m. This is a virtual event. For more info, click here.

Dec. 5 Movies on Brown’s Island

Get in the holiday spirit with the classic Christmas movie, “Elf.” The showing will be presented by Venture Richmond at Brown’s Island. All you have to do is bring your own blankets and chairs and find a socially distant spot on the island. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance.

Dec. 5 to 11 — Holiday Hustle virtual 5K

This virtual 5k is raising money for the Power Over Parkinson’s Foundation, which supports the use of exercise and wellness to reduce the symptoms or slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease. Registration is $10-$25. You can find more information and register online here.

Dec. 5 to 27 — Taste of the Season

Enjoy a taste of the holidays at Kings Dominion’s outdoor holiday food event. It will feature 25 sweet and savory tastings, festive-themed areas, live shows and 16 popular rides throughout the park.

Reservations for the foodie event open on November 16 for season passholders. Single-day tickets will be available on November 18. You can find more information and reserve your ticket online here.

Past Events

Nov. 12 to 15 InLight Richmond

1708 Gallery’s 13th annual InLight Richmond’s is a public exhibition of multimedia light-based artworks across the city. In response to COVID-19, this year’s theme is Safety and Accountability. For more information about specific locations click here. Free.


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