10 Things You Must Do in Staunton this Holiday Season

10 Things You Must Do in Staunton this Holiday Season

Staunton lights up and shines for the holidays, and our calendar is already bursting with treats this year, including music, shopping, historical tours, and even a chance or two to see Santa! Make plans now to explore Staunton’s holiday music, events and entertainment this holiday season. 

Taste The Best of OUr Culinary Scene

From a holiday tea to oysters at BLU Point Seafood’s raw bar, to Christmas dinner at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center, to a Biteseeing Staunton tour, our town bursts with culinary delights. Check your favorite restaurant for holiday specials.

See How the Better Half Lives on the Historic Staunton Foundation’s 47th Annual Holiday House Tour

Hundreds of visitors will flock to Staunton’s popular Historic Staunton Foundation’s Holiday House Tour to celebrate Staunton’s architecture and holiday decor. This year, five beautifully restored private homes in Staunton’s Gospel Hill Historic District will be showcased and discussed. Saturday, December 7, 5-8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 8, 1-5 p.m. 

Applaud a Live Performance at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

December 4-January 1: For information on showtimes and tickets, visit the American Shakespeare Center.

  • A Christmas Carol – Join Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim – they’re all back to take Scrooge on the ride of his money-grubbing life.
  • Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) – Ring in the holidays with this fast-paced Christmas journey through all of your favorite holiday classics! Be prepared for a whirlwind of laughter, carols, and joy as you experience the Holiday Spirit like never before.

Relax to Beautiful Music

Fill your holidays with beautiful music by attending Advent Lessons and Carols at Trinity Episcopal Church. Trinity’s traditional candlelight service, sung by the Trinity Choirs, interweaves scripture, carols, and choral music. Music for organ, choir, and congregation. Sunday, December 8, 5 p.m

More public music follows on January 5, 2020 with Trinity’s Playing of the Merry Organ with Friends.

Score Unique Gifts in Our Downtown

Don’t head to the shopping center! Enjoy seeing Staunton’s walkable downtown dressed for the holidays. You can count on finding special and unique gifts for everyone on your list in our downtown boutiques and artisan shops. Mark your calendar for:

  • Small Business Saturday Walk off your Thanksgiving calories, make a dent in your holiday shopping, and support local businesses while you’re doing it? It’s a win-win-win at Staunton’s annual Small Business Saturday. Our downtown shops are filled with great deals and holiday cheer and many merchants will be offering discounts and refreshments. Saturday, November 30, 9 am – 7 pm
  • Art for Gifts in the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. This annual, juried holiday market highlights the handmade fine art and crafts by 60 Virginia artists and artisans. November 15 – December 31, Extended gallery hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m.
  • Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots. Aspiring glassblowers ages 7+ can huff and puff and create a piece of original art for their tree or window by blowing an ornament at Sunspots Studios. Ongoing. 

Gaze into the Lights in Gypsy Hill Park

Make time to enjoy the 14th annual Celebration of Holiday Lights in Gypsy Hill Park. Local churches, community organizations, businesses, and individuals design and erect festive displays along the entire 1.3-mile loop every year. The celebration “focuses on strong community values that all can enjoy regardless of age, background or religion.” The display is free to the public and best viewed from a car. The park will shine brightly from November 25 – January 1.

Another great way to view the lights is to attend Caroling in the Park. This Parks and Rec event includes caroling by local choirs, hot chocolate and cookies, bonfires, photographs with Santa, and hayrides that circle the park. The event is free, but it supports the Valley Mission, so donations are appreciated! December 21, 4-6 p.m.

Cheer for Your Neighbors at the Staunton Christmas Parade

Let the 2019 theme of “Small City, Bright Lights = Big Christmas” get you pumped for the holiday season at the annual Staunton Christmas Parade. Marching bands, holiday-themed floats, and local organizations march the route that winds through Staunton’s festive downtown. Make sure you stay until the end to catch a glimpse of parade marshals, Santa and Mrs. Claus! December 2, 7-9 p.m.

holiday high tea at the Frederick house

Happy holidays from your friends over at the Frederick House! This holiday season we are proud to be hosting yet another high tea benefiting Wendy’s Place Cat Rescue!

High tea is $10 and includes unlimited hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate as well as four courses of both savory and sweet finger foods. Guests who prefer only a hot beverage without the finger foods are invited to attend and pay a reduced rate of $2. December 7, 12-6 p.m.

Greet Santa at the Train Station and Ride the Winter Express Trolley

Father Christmas (the old school Santa of yesteryear) will arrive at the train station on the Buckingham Branch Railroad during Cherish Every Christmas. Parents will be able to treat the little ones to a ride of a lifetime aboard the Winter Express Trolley, where they’ll enjoy a ride, a reading of The Polar Express, and special treats from the Clocktower. Cherish Every Christmas also features horse and carriage rides, a tree lighting celebration, and a holiday sweater contest. December 7, 3-7 p.m.

Explore the Frontier Culture Museum By Lantern Light

The 2019 Lantern Tours at the Frontier Culture Museum bring historic holiday traditions to life and explore the changes that have happened over time. Visitors attending this popular event will tour the museum on foot and by horse-drawn wagon. They’ll see living history vignettes at the English, Irish, German, and American farms as well as a Mummer’s play. The tour will conclude with light refreshments and live music. Reservations required. December 13-15 and 20-23.