RVA Holiday Headquarters: Your guide to festive events across Central Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The holiday season is upon us and there is no shortage of festive events and happenings going on in and around Central Virginia.

To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of as many events that we could find.

Did we miss one? Email us and we’ll include it below.


Nov. 15 to Dec. 31Illuminate Light Show & Santa’s Village
Visit Virginia’s largest drive-thru Christmas light show all synchronized to music. Afterward, visit Santa’s Village for more fun holiday activities.

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  • Where: Meadow Event Park, Doswell
  • When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m
  • Cost: $25 per car, $55 per limo or mini-bus, $150 per tour bus or RV

Nov. 16 to Jan. 5Busch Gardens Christmas Town
One of the largest Christmas light displays in North American also boasts festive food and drink, holiday shopping, and heartwarming shows.

  • Where: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • When: Time varies depending on the day
  • Cost: $34.99-$86.50

Nov. 22 to Jan. 6Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights
The holiday tradition features one million twinkling lights, handcrafted botanical decorations, model trains, holiday dinners, a firepit, nightly family activities and more. There are even two dates when dogs are welcome.

  • Where: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
  • When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Cost: $8 for children, $11 for seniors, $13 for adults (discounts for members)

Nov. 22 to Jan. 5 (select dates)Maymont Mansion Holiday Tours
James and Sallie Dooley’s decorated home brings the wonders of Christmas past to life, with a 12-foot Christmas tree, the dining room set for a feast, and beloved traditions of the Victorian era.

  • Where: Maymont, 1700 Hampton St., Richmond
  • When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $8 per adult, $6 per child, free for members

Nov. 23 to Jan. 1Kings Dominion WinterFest
The holiday event magically transforms the park into a winter wonderland, complete with millions of lights, a 300-foot tree, live shows, and hands-on holiday activities.

  • Where: Kings Dominion, Doswell
  • When: Time varies depending on the day
  • Cost: $26-$47, some activities may cost extra

Nov. 23Farmville Family Fun Ice Skating Rink

  • Where: Fireman’s Sports Arena, Farmville
  • When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $5 for 30 minutes, children 12 and under skate free

Nov. 2450th Annual Ashland/Hanover Olde Time Holiday Parade

  • Where: From Thompson and S. James St. to John Gandy Elementary
  • When: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Nov. 29 to Dec. 142nd Annual Model Railroad Show
Features unique and traditional model train displays from across the state and plenty of activities for the whole family.

  • Where: Science Museum of Virginia
  • When: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $15.50 for adults, $13.50 for youth and seniors, $10 for preschool-age children, free for children 2 and under

Dec. 1New Kent County Grand Illumination
The family-friendly event includes the Jingle Bell Jog, Santa Paws Parade, caroling, visits with Santa, children’s activities, a photo booth and more.

  • Where: 12003 New Kent Hwy., New Kent
  • When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend, food for purchase

Dec. 1 to Jan. 1Light up the Tracks in Ashland
Every December, Downtown Ashland Association transforms the historic district by the train tracks into a vintage Christmas Village.

  • Where: Downtown Ashland
  • When: Different times for various events
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 3Holiday Sounds: Richmond Concert Band Free Concert
The band presents its holiday music program.

  • Where: Mt. Pitsgah United Methodist Church
  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 4Prince George County Christmas Tree Lighting

  • Where: Prince George Regional Heritage Center Lawn, 6406 Courthouse Road
  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 5Capitol Tree Lighting
The annual tree lighting at the Capitol, followed by the Executive Mansion Open House.

  • Where: Virginia State Capitol and the Executive Mansion
  • When: 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 6RVA Illuminates
Join the 8News team as Richmond lights up for the holidays. There will be musical performances, food trucks and more fun for the whole family. 8News anchors Katie Dupree and Juan Conde will emcee the event.

  • Where: Kanawha Plaza
  • When: 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 6Handel’s Messiah
The Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus perform this hallmark work of the holiday season.

  • Where: Dominion Energy Center
  • When: 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $14-$35 for kids, $14-$60 for students, $20-$20 for adults

Dec. 6Louisa Christmas Tree Lighting
Features a tree lighting, musical performances, ornament decorating and more.

  • Where: Louisa Courthouse lawn
  • When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend, for a $10 donation you can endow a light on the tree in someone’s memory or honor

Dec. 7Dominion Energy Christmas Parade
The annual parade goes on rain or shine, featuring holiday floats, marching bands, balloons, and Santa!

  • Where: Departs from the Science Musem of Virginia on W. Broad Street and continues east to 7th Street
  • When: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 7Hopewell Holiday Boat Parade
The Appomattox River with glitter with boats decorated for the holidays.

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  • Where: Boats depart from Jordan Point Yacht Haven and make their way to Anchor Point Marina
  • When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 7Spotsylvania Holiday Parade
The theme for the 41st Annual Christmas Parade is Twas the Night Before Christmas.

  • Where: Spotsylvania Historic District, Courthouse Rd.
  • When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., rain date Dec. 14
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 7Louisa Christmas Festival and Parade
This year’s theme is Christmas Red, White & Blue, so floats will be decorated with a patriotic holiday theme.

  • Where: Starts at Meadow Ave. and travels down Main St. to Rosewood Ave., then to the County Office Building on Woolfolk Ave.
  • When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 7Prince George Christmas Parade

  • Where: Begins at Beazley Elementary School and travels Courthouse Rd.
  • When: 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 7A Christmas Past at Pamplin Historical Park
Families will enjoy the holidays — 19th-century style. Enjoy treats, crafts, and costumed interpreters.

  • Where: Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg
  • When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Included with regular park admission, free for children 5 and under

Dec. 8- Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade
This year’s parade theme is A Red, White, and Blue Christmas.

  • Where: Begins at the Chester YMCA and ends at Centre St. and Harrowgate Rd.
  • When: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 8 or 14Santa Train in Ashland
Ride with Santa from Ashland to Williamsburg and enjoy time with Santa, Rudolph, and the Polar Express Conductor.

  • Where: Departs from Ashland Amtrak Station
  • When: Check-in at 7:30 a.m., arrives back at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $55-$105 for children 2-12, $105-$210 for adults

Dec. 8Victorian Christmas at Maymont
Victorian ladies and gentlemen welcome you to the estate and invite you to visit the Dooleys’ mansion.

  • Where: Maymont Mansion and Carriage House Lawn
  • When: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $5 per person for mansion tours, $8 per person for carriage rides

Dec. 8Hopewell’s Light Up the Night
Includes a Christmas parade, grand illumination, and festival.

  • Where: Parade departs from Cavalier Square Shopping Center and travels toward Ashford Civic Plaza
  • When: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., parade beings at 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 8Christmas with the Richmond Choral Society
A concert of beautiful seasonal music for the entire family.

  • Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 2315 N. Parham Rd., Richmond
  • When: 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $15 in advance for adults, $18 at the door, $16.50 for seniors at the door, $10 for children and students

Dec. 8A Capella Family Christmas Sing-Along
Edward “Eddie” Pleasant, a featured baritone in several operas and musicals, conducts the sing-along.

  • Where: Three Chopt Church of Christ, 9500 Three Chopt Rd., Richmond
  • When: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 8Spotsylvania Christmas Luminary
Bring a blanket and warm gloves as the candles are lit at dusk and the area choirs sing.

  • Where: Marshall Center lawn
  • When: 4:45 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 8Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination
In the 18th century, fireworks celebrated major events. Enjoy musical performances on multiple stages and fireworks displays from the Capitol, the Magazine and the Palace.

  • Where: Colonial Williamsburg
  • When: Fireworks at 7 p.m., activities all day
  • Cost: Single-day tickets $44.99 for adults, $24.99 for children

Dec. 10Holiday Sounds: Richmond Concert Band Free Concert
The band performs its holiday music program.

  • Where: Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral
  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 12Tea & Tidings at Pamplin Historical Park
Enjoy tea and treats while learning the stories behind traditional holiday decorations and carols.

  • Where: Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg
  • When: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $24

Dec. 13Blackstone Christmas Parade

  • Where: Begins near Seay Park at Main and Church St. and ends in the town’s Historic District
  • When: 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 13Church Hill Holiday Candlelight Walk and Caroling
Bring your own candles and lanterns for this annual event.

  • Where: Begins at Jefferson Park and goes through the Union Hill and Church Hill Neighborhoods to historic Libby Hill
  • When: 7:15 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 14Carmax Tacky Light Run
The 6k course shows off dozens of Midlothian’s best displays of tacky lights.

  • Where: Midlothian Mines Park
  • When: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: $10-$45

Dec. 14Three Centuries of Virginia Christmas and a visit from Father Christmas
Experience Christmas traditions from 1619, 1771 and the 1860s with songs, food, decorations and more.

  • Where: Henricus Historical Park, Chesterfield
  • When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $9 per adult, $7 per child ages 3-12

Dec. 14James River Parade of Lights
Dress up your boat with lights in a festive theme or just join the spectators to see the show along the shoreline in Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico.

  • Where: Watch along the James River from Rocketts Landing to the Varina Enon Bridge, click here for viewing locations
  • When: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend

Dec. 15Church Hill Holiday House Tour
Neighbors open their homes to share a tase of holidays past and how they live there today.

  • Where: Church Hill
  • When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $25

Dec. 17Holiday Sounds: Richmond Concert Band Free Concert
The band performs its holiday music program.

  • Where: Bon Air United Methodist Church
  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 22Holiday Sounds & Christmas in the Fan
Join the Richmond Concert Band for its last concert of the season. This event is family-friendly.

  • Where: Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • When: 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dec. 26 to Dec. 30Fruitcake Science
The museum conducts unconventional experiments on fruitcake, including burning, freezing and dropping.

  • Where: Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond
  • When: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Included with museum admission

Dec. 31Noon Year’s Eve
Count down to noon and see thousands of bouncy balls, streamers and confetti fall in the museum’s Rotunda.

  • Where: Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond
  • When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Cost: Included in museum admission

Dec. 31New Year’s Eve Family Frolic
Fun family activities all afternoon on New Year’s Eve including live music, photo opportunities, crafts and more.

  • Where: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
  • When: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Regular garden admission

If we missed your event, let us know via email.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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