Lights and Sounds of the Season from Around the Shenandoah Valley
There are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Here’s a roundup of stunning holiday lights and festive sounds to brighten up your holiday season!
Luminary Nights & Carriage Rides
Natural Bridge State Park will light up the night this holiday season with Luminary Nights & Carriage Rides. Plan to take a stroll (or a carriage ride) along the illuminated Cedar Creek Trail and gaze up at the breathtaking 215-foot limestone bridge. Fridays and Saturdays will be reserved for pedestrians on the trail. Sunday nights, pedestrians and carriages will share the trail. December 9-11 and December 16-18, 5 – 9 p.m.
Christmas in the Park Light Display
Stay warm in your car and drive slowly past the festive light displays while jamming out to your Christmas music playlists. Christmas in the Park at Glen Maury Park is open from December 1-January 1.
Holiday Pops Concert
If you’re not yet in the spirit, you will be after enjoying the annual Holiday Pops Concert performed by the Washington & Lee Department of Music on December 5 and 6, 7 pm at Lenfest Center for the Arts. This year’s concert will be live-streamed for free. The programs feature student conductors and include holiday favorites from individuals and ensembles.
Christmas Wonderland at Creative Works Farm
Check out the light display in Adaville – Creative Works Farm’s own 50’s themed town – and get treated to light shows, see Santa in his workshop, play in the Grinch’s Funhouse, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, decorate an ornament, and even hitch a ride on a wagon. Tickets are available online only – purchase them on Creative Works Farm’s website.
New Hope Christmas Event & Parade
Be sure to check out the New Hope Christmas Event & Parade. There will be opportunities for photos with Santa, games, crafts, cookie decorating, free food, and more! The fun and games start immediately after the parade. The parade line-up beings at 4:30 p.m. and will start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 10.
Stable Craft’s Old-Fashioned Farm Christmas
Ride on a magical horse-drawn wagon and visit Santa at Stable Craft. Make sure you book your wagon ride before you go to make sure you get a seat. You can also visit the barn to visit with the horses and feed them carrots. There will also be caroling and a National Lampoon-style Costume Contest (with a $100 prize!). Open 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3.
Celebration of Holiday Lights
Now through the end of December, Gypsy Hill Park will be aglow with holiday lights and festive decorations. If you’re lucky, you might catch a live performance! Entrance into the park is free and lights can be seen every evening from 5 – 11 p.m.
Saturdays in December – (Dec. 3, 10, 17)
Multiple opportunities to shop, stay and play downtown Staunton this holiday season. Discover delicious foods, fabulous retail, attractions, and galleries. Enjoy strolling holiday characters, musicians, performers, and activities, 10 AM-2 PM, Saturdays during December.
- December 3 – Santa’s Sleigh & Reindeer will be in Candy Cane Courtyard @ City National Bank (38 N Central Ave, Staunton)
- December 10 – Santa’s Cottage, located in Gingerbread Gardens @ Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, (18 N. Coalter Street) Fun activities, music, and photo opportunities.
- December 17 – Santa’s Downtown Workshop will be set up inside THE SPACE (35A South New Street.) Stop by, take a look inside and capture a selfie with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and friends!
A Christmas Carol at the American Shakespeare Center – (Dec. 1-30)
Celebrate the holiday season with the American Shakespeare Center. Marley, the three ghosts, and Tiny Tim are all back! ASC fills the holidays with warmth and light this December with Dickens’ classic, family-friendly tale.
‘That Holiday Feeling’ Waynesboro Decorations Trail 2022
Want to find the best light displays in Waynesboro? From December 3-24th, you can pile everyone into the car and enjoy ‘That Holiday Feeling‘ Decorations Trail 2022 which maps out participating decorated houses and businesses. Lights will be shining every evening from 6 – 8 p.m.
Second Annual Holiday Market & Waynesboro Christmas Parade
Come Downtown for the Second Annual Holiday Market on Saturday, December 3rd from 10-4:30 pm at Lumos Plaza and Bruce Alley. There will be local artisans and crafters, a food truck, face painting, a performance by the Mountain Heritage Cloggers, and much more! Be sure to stick around after the Holiday Market for the Waynesboro Christmas Parade, starting at 6 p.m.
Wayne Theatre Holiday Programming
Kick off Christmas with a classic – Gerald Dickens’ performance of “A Christmas Carol” on November 28th at 7 p.m. Really want to get in the spirit? Get tickets now for Pam Tillis: “Belles & Bows” Country Hits & Christmas Favorites on December 16th at 7:30 p.m. Want to have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas? The Wayne’s Monday classic movie feature for December 19th will be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with two chances to catch the holiday staple on the big screen, at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.
Lights Show at Heritage Park in Broadway
Stop by Broadway’s Heritage Park during the evenings to view the Christmas lights from November 30 through January. The town of Broadway has encouraged its residents and businesses to decorate and compete for the best holiday display, so after you leave the park, you should see some nice lights around town.
Elkton Old Town Christmas
Celebrate the holidays by checking out the decorated storefronts and taking advantage of the extended store hours in downtown Elkton during Old Town Christmas and Downtown Marketplace. You’ll also get a chance to snuggle up with your family on a tractor-drawn hay wagon ride. Listen for carolers and performers, and try to catch a glimpse of Santa. December 9, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Other Events in Rockingham County
- December 1 – Elkton Christmas Tree Lighting (Elkton Town Hall) at 6 pm
- December 3 – Brix & Columns Christmas Market
- December 3 – Town of Elkton Christmas Parade 5 pm
- December 4 – Town of Grottoes 27th Annual Christmas Parade 5 pm
Enjoy the holiday season in Downtown Harrisonburg at Winter Wonderfest Saturday, December 3rd. Sip & Stroll and shop while taking part in family-friendly activities such as voting in the Annual Gingerbread House Build-off, touring downtown in a horse-drawn carriage, visiting with Santa & Mrs. Claus, enjoying a holiday movie at Court Square Theater, and much more. As the evening falls, the streets will glow as downtown businesses unveil their window decorations for the first night of the Holiday Light Tour. The day is capped off with the City of Harrisonburg’s annual Holiday Parade and tree lighting. A local favorite is the holiday cookie tour offering delicious cookies from area bakers but tickets sell out well in advance.
- December 2 – Downtown Luray Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7:30 p.m.
- December 3 – Stanley Christmas Parade at 6 p.m.
- December 10 – Bark-mas at Wisteria Farm & Vineyard at 1 p.m.
- December 15 – 2022 Luray Christmas Parade – Christmas Past, Present & Future at 6 p.m.
- December 15 – Community Christmas Party @ The Mimslyn Inn
Christmas in the Valley at Shenandoah County Fairgrounds & Winter Wonderland Drive-Through Parade in New Market
Christmas in the Valley at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock provides a way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with displays, artisans, crafters, freshly roasted nuts, baked goods, activities, and music for everyone. Follow the 1 ½-mile Christmas Lights Trail to see the cheerful scenes, all from the comfort of your car. Then check out the Christmas Crafts Village to find gifts and refreshments, a carnival of games, treats, and children’s rides.
On December 3rd Journey (via vehicle) through the New Market Community Park to enjoy the beautiful, festive lighting, and the stationary parade lineup! You will be able to wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus but WATCH OUT for the Grinch lurking around.
This parade is a drive-thru-only event, so you can stay bundled up in your vehicle and enjoy the ride through the park. At the end of your winter wonderland journey, you will get a goody bag (while supplies last).
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Break out your walking shoes for admission to Winchester’s annual Walking in a Winter Wonderland light display. You’ll stroll along a paved path through beautiful Clearbrook Park to enjoy fantastic decorations, light displays, and music. November 25 – January 1, closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Belle Grove Plantation Holiday Tours
Belle Grove Plantation will be decorated for the holidays. In the historic Manor House, there is a 12-foot Christmas tree in the Parlor and area Garden Clubs will decorate each room using the theme of “A Few of My Favorite Things.” Tours are offered December 2 through December 30 Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (last tour 3:15 p.m.) and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. (last tour 4:15 p.m.) Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Click here for pricing.
Follow the Star Guided Walking Tour
Fellowship Bible Church’s Follow the Star Drive-Thru Nativity is a wonderful holiday experience in Winchester. You’ll experience the story of Jesus’ birth with dramatic presentations, scenery, animals, a soundtrack, and more. December 3 and 4, 5 – 8 p.m. Admission is free.
- November 27 – December 31 – Parking Meters on Parade Decorating Contest
- December 2 – Christmas Tree Lighting at Rose Hill Park and The Old Time Christmas Open House at Clarke County Historical Association
- December 11 – Historic Rosemont Manor Holiday Open House
- December 17 – Christmas Market at Audley Farm
Nothing warms the heart and keeps good cheer and the holiday season spirit alive more than a good holiday tradition or two. You’ll find something on this list to enjoy with your loved ones on your next trip to the Shenandoah Valley!
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