Seven Ways to Play Before Santa Comes to Town

The busiest time of the year is upon us as we hustle around taking care of party planning and decorating. Be sure to balance all of that with some down time, doing something fun. Breathe in the season with a quick trip to Staunton. 

Enjoy a slower pace for a hot second. Get a cup of coffee and just sit with a friend. When you’re good and ready, stroll our downtown and check out the window displays.

These are the top seven ways to play before Santa comes to town:

1. Sparkles & Sweets | November 11, 6-9 p.m.

This special downtown event kicks off the holiday season with late shopping hours, carriage rides, a variety of street entertainment, and sweet treats at more than 30 participating businesses. While supplies last, a free “downtown. shopping. bag.” will be available at the City National Bank courtyard on Central Avenue and at Sunspots Pavilion.

2. Holiday Window Reveal | November 18

Staunton’s downtown shopkeepers compete in an annual window decorating contest, but the real winner is YOU! The creativity is always impressive, and an evening stroll to admire them is a great way to unwind and enjoy time with the ones you love this season.

#magicalmainstreet #fairyqueencity #finished! #lovestaunton

A photo posted by Pufferbellies Toys & Books (@pufferbellies) on

3. Celebration of Lights | November 21 through January 1

For families in the Shenandoah Valley, the annual trip to drive through Gypsy Hill Park during Celebration of Lights is a tradition. Amazingly, it’s free! The 214 acres will feature lighted holiday displays and creations from 5 to 11 p.m. nightly. Perhaps the best thing about Celebration of Lights is that it’s made possible by community organizations, churches, and individuals who claim a space to decorate. 

4. Small Business Saturday | November 26

Why not abstain from the Black Friday chaos and #ShopLocal on #SmallBusinessSaturday? Our downtown shops will be overflowing with great cheer and deals, carriage rides from Classic Carriage will be offered, and your first two hours of parking at the Wharf lot and the Johnson Street garage are FREE! Plus, it always feels so good to support the “mom and pop” shops, doesn’t it? Lend a hand!

5. Staunton Christmas Parade | November 28, 7 p.m.

“Magical Main Street” is the theme for this year’s Christmas parade and ASC’s Scrooge will be the Grand Marshall. It’s the annual showcase of holiday-themed parade floats, marching bands, local organizations, and of course, Santa Claus.

6. American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

Oh, the fantastic acts you need to see this season! 

The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, Adapted for the Stage by Joe Mantella
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Ginna Hoben
A Christmas Carole by Charles Dickens, Adapted for the Stage by Jim Warren

7. Historic Staunton Foundation’s 44th Annual Holiday House Tour | December 3, 5 p.m. and December 4, 1 p.m.

Come along and celebrate the diversity of Staunton’s architecture as you walk a section of the Newtown Neighborhood. Five distinct private homes will be showcased and discussed.

Cheers to a merry and bright season in Staunton!