Sky Meadows Holiday House Tours
Enjoy special tours of the Sky Meadows Historic Area during this festive season. Visit each of the houses in the park's Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows "home" celebrated the holidays in the past. Inquire in the Visitor Center for tours. Free and open to all ages. Dec. 16, 17 and 23, 11am-4pm; Delaplane. More information.
Night Before Christmas Hay Ride and Story
Bring a warm blanket, your singing voice and sense of humor to Caledon State Park. Sing holiday songs, while taking a wagon ride through the winter woods. After the ride return to the visitor center for hot chocolate and a reading of the classic holiday story, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Reservations are required. $3 per person or $8 for the whole family. Dec. 15-17, 5pm-9pm; King George.
More details and reservations.
Lights at Bear Creek Lake
Visitors to the park will drive their car through the park to experience a wonderland of lights and popular seasonal figures. In lieu of an event fee, participants are asked to bring a new toy to enter the display area for free. The toys will be donated to the Cumberland Christmas Mother. Saturday December 9 and 16, free seasonal craft-making will be offered at Bear Creek Hall from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 15-17, 5:30pm-7:30pm; Lancaster. More details.
Gingerbread House Contest & Exhibit at Ferry Farm
A long-standing holiday tradition! Adults and children alike will enjoy the sights and smells of the festive creations displayed at George Washington’s Ferry Farm! This year's theme is "Historic Sites in Virginia.” General admission to Ferry Farm and the exhibit: $9 adults, $4.50 students, under 6 free. Exhibit only: $4.50 adults, $2.25 students, under 6 free. Dec. 10-30 (except 24th and 25th), 12pm-4pm; Fredericksburg. Dec. 15-17; 5:30pm-7:30pm; Cumberland. More information.
“At Christmas be mery”: A Special Evening at Historic Jamestowne
Sir George Yeardley, Virginia’s Governor in 1620, invites you to an early-Virginia Christmas celebration complete with a seasonal bonfire, caroling, and firing of the Christmas guns! This special program offers insights into early-English Christmas traditions. After a brief introduction to what the Jamestown settlers expected during their Christmastide, the Captain of the Guard will escort the “new arrivals” along a cresset-lit path to the 1608 Church. Governor Yeardley will then offer a welcome before inviting everyone to sing carols. Afterwards herald in the season by a bonfire with remembrances of “Yule times” past, dancing, and the firing of the Christmas guns! Dec. 16, presentations at 6:30 pm and 8pm, Williamsburg. Tickets and more information.
Civil War Christmas
See the Leesylvania State Park's very own jolly Civil War era Santa in his handmade, festive suit. Bring the entire family out for an afternoon of holiday cheer. Enjoy period music, costumed interpreters and light refreshments. Make decorations as folks during the Civil War did. Bring a camera for pictures with Santa. It's $2 per person or $6 per family. For more information please call (703) 583-6904. Dec. 16, 10am-4pm; Woodbridge. More details.
Christmas Shoppers Hike Break
Take a break from the Christmas shopping rush and take a hike on High Bridge Trail with a park ranger. Gather and decide whether to walk across the Appomattox River toward the site where Thomas Alfred Smyth was mortally wounded, or go west toward Buffalo Creek and beyond seeing the historic architecture along the way. Either way, it is a great opportunity to take a break and enjoy some outdoor time with family and meet new friends. Free and open to all ages. Dec. 16, 1pm-2pm; Green Bay. More details.
Plant Medicine at Stratford Hall
Learn about the medicines contained in many of the easily found and identifiable plants that grow right here in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Did you know that certain weeds can stop an itchy mosquito bite, soothe cold and flu symptoms or even provide the perfect pick-me-up? Herbalist Heather Bedford will give a basic primer on how to find and use plants to help ease a variety of conditions. As an added bonus, she will lead us on a wild and weedy plant walk and forage. Using nothing but the weeds we gather and a few common grocery store items, she will demonstrate how to turn plants into medicine. Dec. 16, 9:30am-12pm; Stratford. More details and registration.
Jug Bay Holiday Hay Rides
All families are invited to bring their children and catch a special wagon ride, which will take you through the beautiful area around the Glendening Nature Preserve. Families will also enjoy games, meet our cute goats, and share s'mores next to a warm fire. Free event; registration required. Dec. 16, 1pm-4pm; Lothian. More information.
Sweet as a Sugar Maple
Syrup from trees? Who knew? Celebrate National Maple Syrup Day by exploring the process that Native Americans used to turn sap into maple syrup at the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center. Conduct a blind taste test to see if you can pick out the real maple syrup! $5/person; 6 - adult, under 13 w/adult. Call 410-612-1688 to register. Dec. 17, 2pm-3:30pm; Abingdon. More details.
Winter Wonderland at the Ward Museum
The Ward Museum and local businesses welcome the community to a celebration of the winter season. A free holiday social event paired with Drop in Art for the creative in you. The lobby and grounds will be decked out for the holidays offering a perfect setting for a community gathering in honor of the season. Don’t miss out on the chance for free admission to all the galleries, have your picture taken with Santa, see artist demos, special discounts on gifts, and make delightful winter crafts. Dec. 16, 10am-2pm; Salisbury. More details.
GRUMP Holiday Market at the National Zoo
GRUMP, the alternative art and crafts holiday show, is coming to ZooLights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Local artisans will be selling everything from handmade soaps, sweets, jewelry, prints and letterpress cards to glass art, hand-bound books, clothing, upcycled animal pillows and DIY craft kits. Don’t miss the chance to shop local and get to know some of D.C.’s own artists and makers. Visit this European-style outdoor market at the Zoo’s main Connecticut Avenue entrance. Dec. 15, 5pm-9pm. More information and list of vendors.