Special/Signature Issues » 2012 Holiday Almanac

Holiday Happenings

What to do in Richmond from now through the end of the year.



Please check our weekly calendar listings in Style Weekly for additional and updated events throughout the season. Pricing varies, though many events are free. For some recurring show performances, times may vary. We recommend calling ahead.


Stop by the Children's Museum of Richmond's Holiday Village through Dec. 31 to see the diversity of the holidays through a neighborhood of Fan-inspired houses featuring holiday celebrations from around the world: Hanukkah, Eid, Lunar New Year, Diwali, Christmas and Kwanzaa. 474-7000.

Celebrate the holiday season at Maymont and see a stunning array of Victorian decorations with the Maymont Mansion Holiday Tour running Tuesdays-Sundays through Jan. 6. 358-7166.

NOV. 23

Dominion GardenFest of Lights, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's holiday tradition, features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains and family activities. On display through Jan. 7, 2013. 262-9887.

Chop Suey Books' annual Bizarre Market Holiday runs through Dec. 24 and features local artists and crafters, plus a tiny auction of small goodies. 422-8066.

Art Works' Day After Thanksgiving Art Affair ushers in the holiday season with a fun-filled day of holiday shopping, music, games and exhibits. 291-1400.

Richmond's ice skating rink, Farm Bureau Winter Park at RVA on Ice, is back for another season. Sixth and Broad streets next to Richmond CenterStage. Runs through Jan. 31, 2013. 592-3330.

43rd Street Gallery will be holding Holiday Open House through Nov. 25 featuring handmade, local, affordable gifts.

Glave Kocen Gallery is holding a 'Tis the Season sale featuring a variety of local art. Through Dec. 22.

NOV. 24

Ashland Coffee and Tea gets ready for the season with the Susan Greenbaum Holiday Show. 798-1702.

Carytown presents its Black Saturday with deals from Carytown stores and free horse-drawn carriage rides.carytownrva.org.

NOV. 26

The Jefferson Hotel hosts its annual tree-lighting ceremony with live music, a parade down the Grand Staircase and a visit from Santa. 649-4750.

Swift Creek Mill Theatre presents "Drifty's Polar Parade," where Drifty the Snowman plans a parade from the North Pole to the South Pole and all of his friends will be marching along. Runs through Dec. 22. swiftcreekmill.com.

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart presents a Christmas concert with classic holiday songs. Additional concerts will be on Dec. 1, Dec. 10 and Dec. 24. 359-5651.

Celebrate XL102's Miracle on Broad Street with three nights of rock shows at the National. Of Monsters and Men and Civil Twilight on Nov. 26, Silversun Pickups on Nov. 27 and Lamb of God on Nov. 28. XL102richmond.com.

NOV. 27

Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" comes to life at the Landmark Theater as the Grinch discovers there's more to Christmas when he decides to steal it away from the Whos. Runs through Dec. 2. 646-0546.


NOV. 28

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs its rock theater holiday songs at the Richmond Coliseum. 780-4970.

West End Assembly of God presents "Glorious Christmas Nights: Streets of Gold," that tells the journey of a brave Irish family seeking a better life and future in New York. Continues through Dec. 9. gloriouschristmasnights.com.

"Bethlehem Walk" is an interactive outdoor drama where guests experience the first Bethlehem. At Salem Baptist Church in Goochland County. Continues through Dec. 4.

NOV. 29

The Bizarre Bazaar, a holiday marketplace featuring gifts for everyone on your list takes place at Richmond Raceway Complex through Dec. 2. 673-7015.

Richmond Shakespeare presents "A Child's Christmas in Wales," a theatrical version of Dylan Thomas' radio poem that combines rich memories with traditional holiday songs and delightful dances from Wales and England. Playing at the Theatre Gym at Virginia Repertory Theatre through Dec. 23. richmondshakespeare.com.

Belle Magazine's Jingle Belle Market hits the Westwood Club with all the holiday gifts you'll need. styleweekly.com/shopbelle.

NOV. 30

Downtown Richmond buildings light up for the holidays with the Grand Illumination, which takes place at the James Center and continues around the city. 344-7278.

Virginia Repertory Theatre presents "Madeline's Christmas" where the young French girl and her friends experience a holiday adventure beyond their wildest dreams. Continues through Dec. 30. 282-2620.

Gayton Baptist Church holds a Jazz Nativity featuring jazz music inspired by the Christmas season. 7 p.m. $8-$12. The tinsel-coated riffing continues with performances on Dec. 1 and 2. 360-2801.

Huguenot United Methodist Church presents "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a funny and magical Christmas tale where the director of the annual pageant is faced with casting the awful Herdman kids. Continues through Dec. 9. 272-1704.

Jazz musician Emme St. James releases her new holiday album "I'd Like You for Christmas" at the Wine Loft. emmestjames.com.

DEC. 1

The Dominion Christmas Parade will begin at 10 a.m., featuring a special grand marshal, holiday floats, marching bands, giant helium balloons and Santa himself. It will depart from the Science Museum of Virginia on West Broad Street and continue east to Seventh Street. richmondparade.com.

The Richmond Symphony's annual holiday tradition "Let It Snow!" features holiday favorites at Richmond CenterStage. Another show is planned Dec. 2. 800-514-ETIX.

Hermitage High School's Holiday Craft Fair features holiday gifts, decorations and wreaths. 836-8228.

Head to the Mountain Road Corridor Holiday Celebration in Glen Allen featuring a tour down Mountain Road, an open house at Walkerton Tavern, the annual tree lighting ceremony at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and historic lantern tours at Meadow Farm Museum. henricorecandparks.com.

The film "White Christmas" plays at Bow Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square at 11 a.m.. Also playing Dec. 2. 354-6099. "White Christmas" will also be playing at the Henrico Theatre on Dec. 14 and 15. 328-4491.

Enjoy Historic Christmas at Hanover Tavern all day with visits from Colonial Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a community bake sale, children's colonial holiday crafts, juggler Jonathan Austin and caroling. 537-5050.

St. Mary's Catholic Church presents a Christmas concert with the National Capital Brass Band. 740-4044.

The Concert Ballet of Virginia presents the classic story of "The Nutcracker" at Benedictine Monastery through Dec. 2. Other performances are at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center (Dec. 4), the Deep Run Recreation Center (Dec. 11), Monacan High School (Dec. 14-16) and Atlee High School (Dec. 21-23). 798-0945.

Mechanicsville's Church of the Redeemer presents "No Room at the Inn," an exhibit featuring 350 nativities from around the world, from the smallest miniature to a four-table city of Bethlehem. Runs through Dec. 2. churchredeemer.org/no-room.

DEC. 2

Five Windsor Farms homes, including the Milburne house designed by William Lawrence Bottomley and built by Claiborne and Taylor in 1934, are open to the public at the St. Catherine's Holiday House Tour. st.catherines.org/holidayhousetour.

Celebrate an Old-Fashioned Christmas at Maymont with a grand Christmas tree, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, and hand bells. 358-7166.

The Richmond Choral Society performs a collection of Christmas songs at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. 4 p.m. $10-$20. 358-4771.

The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present its Christmas concert, "On This Shining Night" at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church in Ashland. Other performances are Dec. 7 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church and Dec. 9 at Grace Baptist Church cvamc.org.

The Richmond Men's and Women's Choruses perform a Harmony in Hanover Christmas Concert at Hanover Tavern. 537-5050.

Deanna Danger and the Boom Boom Basics burlesque group take over the Byrd Theatre and present an evening of burlesque and vaudeville tributes to favorite holiday movies in "Byrlesque at the Byrd." boomboombasics.com.

DEC. 3

The Richmond Philharmonic will perform a collection of holiday favorites at the James Center. 740-2890.

Henrico Community Band performs a holiday concert at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 7:30 p.m. henricorecandparks.com.


Pianist Jim Brickman performs a collection of holiday favorites at the Richmond CenterStage as part of his On a Winter's Night tour. 592-3400.

DEC. 7

The annual Hamaganza celebration, which features local celebrities, politicians, media types and, of course, Dirtwoman, performing off-color ditties to benefit the Central Virginia Food Bank, takes place at Hardywood Park Brewery. myspace.com/hamaganza.

The Museum of the Confederacy discusses Victorian Christmas traditions during the Civil War. Also on Dec. 12. 644-1861.

Enjoy a holiday evening at Maymont by Moonlight with refreshments, carol singing and horse-drawn carriage rides. Also on Dec. 14. 358-7166.

Randolph-Macon College presents the timeless story of "A Christmas Carol" at the school's Cobb Theatre through Dec. 13. 752-7316.

The classic holiday movie "Miracle on 34th Street" plays at the Henrico Theatre. Also playing Dec. 8. 328-4491.

The Virginia Commonwealth University music department holds its holiday gala at the Singleton Center for the Performing Arts. 828-1166.

DEC. 8

Hamaganza continues its irreverent and off-color take on holiday performance fundraising at Lulu's. myspace.com/hamaganza.

Boaters decorate their vessels and converge on the James River for the James River Parade of Lights, which runs from Richmond to Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County. jamesriveradvisorycouncil.com.

The Richmond Symphony presents Handel's "Messiah" with the Richmond Symphony Chorus at CenterStage. 800-514-ETIX.


The Fan Holiday House Tour celebrates its 50th anniversary and shows off beautiful Fan houses decked out for the holidays. Also on Dec. 9. fandistrict.org.

Spend a day of family fun on MacArthur Avenue for Christmas on MacArthur, featuring a parade and a visit from St. Nick. Vendors will have their displays inside at Samis Grotto. bellevueweb.org.


Head to the Greater Richmond Convention Center as the River City Rollergirls present their sixth annual Seasons Beatings event, featuring a day of mini fun bouts with skaters from various roller derby leagues. rivercityrollergirls.org.

The Artisan Cafe presents an indoor lifestyle shopping affair at the Emerald Barn that showcases the work of as many as 35 artisans, including wine vinters, clothing and jewelry designers. artisancafeva.com.

Ray Carver stars in Gayton Kirk Presbyterian's "A Ghost Story for Christmas," a one-man show telling the classic story of "A Christmas Carol." 741-5254.

The Richmond Craft Mafia presents Handmade Holiday craft show at ArtWorks Gallery featuring all handmade, holiday items from indie crafters.

The Richmond Men's and Women's Choruses present its "Great Joy" holiday concert at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church. Also playing on Dec. 9. 241-0446.

The American Youth Harp Ensemble presents "Harp the Herald Angels Play" at Grace Baptist Church. 837-9355.

DEC. 9

University of Richmond's Schola Cantorum and Women's Chorale will perform new and familiar Christmas carols and anthems at the annual Candlelight Services of Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Cannon Memorial Chapel on campus. 289-8980.

At the 26th Annual Court End Christmas, nine historic sites in downtown Richmond open their doors for a day of free admissions and holiday festivities including carriage rides, carolers, living history, live music, children's crafts and gift shops. Participating sites include the Valentine Richmond History Center, John Marshall House, St. John's Church and the Museum of the Confederacy. courtendchristmas.com.

ART VA presents its second annual Independent Art and Craft Show at the Bankuet Place. This festive event includes unique creations, local food and music from WRIR 97.3 FM. artvainrva.com.

DEC. 11

Explore the Dooley Mansion with Maymont's Candlelight Mansion Tours, complete with holiday décor of the house. 358-7166.

The Henrico Pops Chorus performs a free holiday concert at the Henrico Theatre. Also playing Dec. 12. 262-1093.

DEC. 12

Debra Wagoner, Cathy Motley-Fitch and Desiree Roots, also known as the Richmond Divas, perform at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen for "Divas 4 the Holidays," an evening filled with a variety of holiday songs. 261-2787.

DEC. 13

Buddy Valastro from TLC's "Cake Boss" shares holiday traditions and stories from his family at Carlo's Bakery and demonstrates cake decorating techniques at the Richmond CenterStage. 800-514-ETIX.


DEC. 14

The classic story of "The Nutcracker" comes to life by the Richmond Ballet at the Richmond CenterStage. On select dates after performances, join Clara and her friends for Clara's Tea Party, where guests can meet characters from the show along with some treats. The show continues through Dec. 23. 800-514-ETIX.

Yacht rockers Three Sheets to the Wind presents "The Company Christmas Party" at the National with special guests Thomas Coleman and DJ Spinnaker. 8 p.m. $10-$15. thenationalva.com.

Join the Church Hill Association for a candlelight walk through the neighborhood led by Richmond Pipes and Drums following a vespers service at St. John's Episcopal Church. Head to the association's annual holiday party on Dec. 15 at Old City Bar and explore historic houses on Dec. 16 with the Church Hill Holiday House Tour, featuring houses decorated for the holidays. churchhillrichmond.com.

Bow Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square features "A Christmas Story" at 11:30 p.m. The film also will be screened Dec. 15 and 16. 354-6099.

The Petersburg Area Art League presents the 33rd annual Trees of Christmas, featuring more than 27 trees designed and decorated by various organizations, businesses and schools in the Tri-Cities area. 861-4611.

DEC. 15

The Richmond Boys Choir performs a holiday concert at the Richmond Public Library. 2 p.m. 788-6404.

First Baptist Church Centralia takes the well-known classic Handel's "Messiah" and gives it a fresh interpretation from Alethea McCollin through jazz, contemporary gospel, praise dance, spoken word and a nod to the original with classical renderings 275-0407.

The 1708 Gallery presents its third annual Monster Drawing Rally from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Part performance, part art bazaar, this is a rare opportunity to watch your favorite local artists at work. The event consists of four one-hour shifts with as many as 16 artists drawing simultaneously each hour. Watch art come to life then purchase the completed works for only $65. Kids take part in the action by creating art of their own at the wall-sized coloring station. All funds raised support 1708 Gallery, a nonprofit space for new art. Admission is $5 but kids are free. 643-1708.

DEC. 16

The Richmond Concert Band will perform its holiday concert "Christmas in the Fan" at Tabernacle Baptist Church. 737-3767.

DEC. 18

Enjoy the new "Les Miserables" movie with a holiday wine tasting at CineBistro. 560-7467.

DEC. 22

Theatre IV on Tour performs a holiday favorite recounting the annual visit by St. Nick in "Twas the Night..." at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 261-2787.

Students from the Jessica Morgan School of Dance present "The Nutcracker" at the Henrico Theatre. 2 and 7 p.m. 272-2108.

DEC. 26

The Valentine Richmond History Center presents Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark, a walking tour of Richmond's favorite street while it's decked out for the season. Also on Dec. 27. 649-0711.

DEC. 28

The Rinard Family performs holiday hymns, original creations at the Henrico Theatre. 328-4491.

DEC. 29

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Showplace in the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, including holiday performances, workshops, children's activities, an African market and food. 644-3900.

DEC. 31

Countdown to the New Year at the Children's Museum for the New Year's Eve Bash from 10 a.m. to noon. 474-7000.

Ring in the New Year at the National with a concert featuring Papadosio. thenationalva.com.

Join Joe Enroughty and His Royal Virginians for a New Year's Eve Big Band Dancing Party at Christ Ascension Episcopal Church. 264-9474.

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