Parents and kids alike are counting down to Christmas here in Richmond, eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival and making last minute trips to the mall for gifts. And there are so many activities to help you get into the holiday spirit in our city. Take some time this month to capture the magic of Christmas. Here are a few of our favorite Richmond Christmas events to get you started.
Richmond Ballet’s annual production of this Tchaikovsky classic is an event not to be missed. Watch as the ballet’s talented company bring this magical holiday tale to life with Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Mouse King, the Sugar Plum Fairy and more. This year’s production will also feature an exciting new set piece, the Swan Sleigh.
The Nutcracker opens Friday, December 11 and runs through December 23 at the Carpenter Theatre. Visit the Richmond Ballet website for more information or to purchase tickets.
Tacky Lights Tour
If you like your holiday events more tacky than classy, then this long-running Christmas tradition is for you. See the biggest and brightest displays of holiday cheer all throughout the Richmond area. You can plan your own route with the Times Dispatch list of locations and this interactive map.
Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden light displays are a Richmond favorite. This year’s theme is “H2Whoa!” and is sure to impress. Make sure to bundle up and wear your comfiest shoes, as this is a walking tour.
The GardenFest of Lights is open nightly through January 11 (closed December 24 and 25). Visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden website to purchase tickets and for information on special events throughout the season.
If you’re looking for more than just pictures at the mall, bring your children down to the Children’s Museum of Richmond to experience Legendary Santa. In addition to portraits with Santa, there are scheduled appearances by other holiday characters. And of course, children can enjoy the museum as well.
For more information, operating hours, and times for Tea with Santa and other special events, visit the Children’s Museum of Richmond website.
RVA On Ice
Located next to the Carpenter Theatre, this outdoor ice-skating rink is a Richmond tradition. Rent some skates (or bring your own) and glide out on the ice for some homegrown winter fun. Make sure to check the event schedule for fun theme nights like 80s Night and Ugly Sweater Night.
RVA On Ice is open now through January 3. Visit their website for more information.
It’s a Wonderful Life at the Byrd
If you’re looking to combine a favorite Richmond tradition with a favorite Christmas tradition, you’ll want to visit Carytown’s Byrd Theatre for a screening of Frank Capra’s 1946 classic. All three screenings will feature pre-show music by Bob Gulledge on the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ.
It’s a Wonderful Life will screen on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 7:15 PM and Christmas Day, December 25, at 7:15 and 9:45 PM. Visit the Byrd Theatre website for more information.
What are your favorite Richmond Christmas events? Don’t forget to like and share!