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Unwrapping the Magic of the Holidays in Staunton

While the Staunton Christmas Parade may have concluded, there’s still an abundance of holiday festivities awaiting you in the Queen City! Here’s a roundup of things to keep you busy throughout the holiday season!

Downtown Festivities: 

Staunton’s enchanting downtown is one of America’s most celebrated Main Streets and offers a truly authentic holiday experience. Find something for everyone on your shopping list in one of our boutiques and artisan shops offering unique gifts for all ages and interests. 

Saturdays in December

Hit downtown Staunton in style during Saturdays in December – (December 2nd, 9th, 16th). The town lights up to celebrate the season with shopping specials, decorations, holiday performers, activities, and more. Visit Santa and other holiday character on the following dates:

  • December 2nd – Santa’s Sleigh & Reindeer will be in Candy Cane Courtyard at City National Bank (38 N Central Ave, Staunton).
  • December 9th – Santa’s Cottage, located in Gingerbread Gardens at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum (18 N. Coalter Street) Fun activities, music, and photo opportunities.
  • December 16th – Santa’s Downtown Workshop will be set up inside THE SPACE (35A South New Street). Stop by and grab a selfie with the Clauses and friends!
  • The Snow Court will entertain on December 2nd and 9th.
  • Bundle up and get the camera ready as you enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Staunton. Storybook Carriage Rides are available on December 2nd and 9th.
  • Santa’s Mailbox will be accepting Santa letters on all three days.
  • The Grinch will be at the Wharf all three days. Father and Meri Christmas will be found in various downtown locations.

Art for Gifts

You’re sure to find a unique and thoughtful gift at the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art’s annual Art for Gifts holiday market. This gallery showcases works by 70 Virginia artists and artisans and features quality, handmade fine art and crafts. Open through December 31st.

Sustainable Staunton Holiday Night

Enjoy surprise ugly sweaters, crafts, discounts, and more at the Staunton Patio during Sustainable Staunton Holiday Night on December 1st.

Winter Market

Thanksgiving marks the end of Staunton’s traditional Farmers’ Market but the Wharf lot will come alive on Saturdays in December with its Winter Market! The market’s vendors offer homegrown and hand-crafted products ranging from food to clothing and accessories, home decor, and gifts. There will also be weekly live music. The Winter Market will be held on December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 9 am – 2 pm.


Santa’s Scenic Railway

Make some special memories on one of Virginia Scenic Railway’s Santa’s Scenic Railway rides. Between now and Christmas, your family can board the train at the historic Staunton station and take a 50-minute ride with a very important guest. The train will shimmer with sparkly decorations, and guests get to enjoy a holiday snack. The best part will be meeting Santa himself and snapping lots of photos!

Holiday House Tour

The 48th annual Historic Staunton Foundation’s Holiday House Tour will open the doors of six historic homes and a storefront in the Newtown Historic District. Learn the history of these Staunton landmarks and enjoy gracious holiday decorations. The tour is on December 9th and 10th, and tickets will be good for both days.

Old World Holiday Tours at Frontier Culture Museum

Embark on an after-hours lantern tour of the Frontier Culture Museum as you travel to England, Ireland, Germany, the Shenandoah Valley, and Staunton visiting original farmsteads with costumed interpreters performing festive music and holiday skits. Tours run December December 15th – 17th, and December 20th – 23rd. Mobility carts are available for those who are unable to walk the tour, advance notice is required.  

Celebration of Holiday Lights

For the 18th year, Gypsy Hill Park has transformed into a winter wonderland, aglow with holiday lights and festive decorations. Entrance into the park and the Celebration of Holiday Lights is free and lights will be lit every evening from 5 – 11 pm. 

Christmas Wonderland at Creative Works Farm

Looking for another chance to visit Santa and check out the seasonal lights? Christmas Wonderland at Creative Works Farm includes a walk-through light and music show, musical performances, crafts, refreshments, wagon rides, visits with farm animals, and chances to meet and greet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Grinch. All proceeds benefit Camp LIGHT, a summer camp for children with special needs. December 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th.

Christmas Ghost Tour

If you’ve enjoyed A Christmas Carol and want to learn about your hometown ghosts, take a 90-minute Dark Tales and Haunts of the Queen City Christmas Edition. You’ll learn about Staunton’s history, hauntings, and holiday legends. Grown-ups only.

Holiday Performances

American Shakespeare Center’s A Christmas Carol 

The holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, has returned to the Blackfriars Playhouse. Enjoy ghostly season’s greetings filled with memorable music and cheer with this contemporary twist on the age-old tale of Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim. Through December 30th. 

Another way to enjoy theater at the Blackfriars this season is to attend the Share the Light celebration on December 2nd. This free event will feature performances by local student groups.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play

Silver Line Theatre Exchange proudly presents It’s a Wonderful Life by Joe Landry, produced in special arrangement with Playscripts. Part of their Professional Performance Series, this production features talent from local and regional professional actors. This beloved American holiday classic comes to life as a live, captivating 1940s radio broadcast from December 14th – 30th.

WinterStage at The Blackburn

Folk musicians Robin and Linda Williams will come “Home for the Holidays” to the stage at The Blackburn Inn. Their concert will feature beautiful music and words of wisdom for the holidays. December 15th.

Heifetz Institute’s Holiday Homecoming

The Heifetz Holiday Homecoming concert will feature Paul Neubauer on the viola in the Franci Auditorium on December 15th.

ShenanArts Holidays on the Great White Way

Celebrate the holidays and support community theater at ShenanArts with an evening of Broadway-inspired performances of seasonal songs. December 15th and 16th.


Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots

Create a family tradition for years to come by blowing a glass ornament at Sunspots Studios! Trained glassblowers will instruct and assist you in making a one-of-a-kind ornament for your tree. Ages 7+. Visitors can also watch daily live glass-blowing demonstrations.

Ornament Making

Make plans to follow along as The Faded Poppy teaches you how to make a rustic, scented Christmas ornament at Stable Craft on December 3rd. Might as well enjoy a pint or flight as you work!

Also on December 3rd, Burrow & Vine will host an ornament painting workshop. See their other workshops here.

Wreath Workshops

Decorations make the holidays brighter, and there are several local wreath and centerpiece workshop opportunities. Make a gingerbread snowflake wreath at Kate’s Merchantile. Art Hive, Harmony Harvest Farm, and Valley Pike Farm Market still have slots open for wreathmaking workshops, but they’re filling up quickly.

Enjoy the holidays here in Staunton!

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