Our Holiday Fun Guide! Performances, Santa and MORE!

Mr Popper’s Penguins. Derrick Jaques and Renée McGowan (front). Eve Marie Tuck, Keaton Hillman and Emma-Claire Polich (back). Photo by Aaron Sutten.

Plays and Performances

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.  Nov 23rd – 25th.  Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL.  Fee.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins.  Today – December 30th.  The Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn.  Performed by Virginia Rep.    Visit the website for showtimes and fees.

THE NUTCRACKER. December 14th – December 23rd.  The Richmond Ballet with the Richmond Symphony.    Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Energy Center, 600 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23219.  Visit the website for showtimes and fees.

The Nutcracker – Presented by Central VA Dance Academy.  Dec 20th – 23rd.  Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen.  Visit the website for showtimes and ticket prices.

The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves.  Saturday, December 15th at 11am and Saturday, December 15th at 1pm.  Presented by VA Rep on Tour.  Don’t miss this holiday classic that’s fun for all ages! All tickets $15.

Christmas with KOS and Susan Greenbaum.  December 15th at 4pm and 7pm.  Come join us for an evening filled with holiday favorites from Richmond’s own KOS and Susan Greenbaum. Listen to their unique arrangements of the seasonal songs you know and love. All tickets $10.

Other Holiday Fun!

41st Annual Model Railroad Show.  Friday, November 23rd through Sunday, November 25th. Hours vary.  Science Museum of Richmond.    Enjoy unique and traditional model train displays from across the state. Meet Clydesdales horses, watch a blacksmith in action and take a ride on the Teddy Bear Express. Learn how trains work, conduct experiments, check out special demonstrations and enjoy a holiday weekend filled with fun for the whole family.  The Model Railroad Show is included with museum admission.

35th Annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade.  December 1st at 10am.  Starts at the Science Museum and continuing along Broad Street to 7th Street. The parade features award-winning marching bands, dance troupes, giant helium balloons, floats, and Legendary Santa himself! This beloved Richmond tradition attracts more than 100,000 spectators each year from everywhere in Virginia, with thousands more enjoying the television broadcast on CBS6.  If you can’t experience the parade in person, you can watch it LIVE on WTVR-CBS6 on the day of the parade from 10 a.m. to noon, or see it on Christmas Day. For more information, visit www.richmondparade.org.

Holiday Lantern Tours.  December 15th.  5pm – 8pm.  Meadow Farm.  Christmas was a popular time to get married during the 19th century. You will meet interpreters portraying family and friends of the happy couple as they prepare for the big day. Free, but please register at (804) 652-1455.

Old-Fashioned Christmas.  Sunday, December 2nd.  Noon-4:30pm.  Maymont Mansion and Carriage House Lawn.  Celebrate a charming, old-fashioned Christmas and experience a tradition enjoyed by generations of families. Victorian ladies and gentlemen graciously welcome you and invite you to visit the Gilded Age mansion. Marvel at the grand Christmas tree and the beautifully decorated formal rooms, see the gifts and games of 1893, and stop by the Belowstairs area where holiday preparations are underway. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with St. Nick and Maymont’s Christmas Fairy, good food and drink, festive music, a roaring fire to cheer you, and special activities that are sure to fill everyone with a merry holiday spirit. Free admission; fees for activities.

The Santa Train.   Climb aboard a James River Rambler alongside Santa for a 45-minute excursion. Sponsored by the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, there’s no better way to get up-close and personal with Virginia rail history than by taking the family on a winter train ride!  Tickets are on sale now!

The Bizarre Bazaar.  NOV 29th – DEC 2nd.  Richmond Raceway Complex.  A Virginia tradition for over 40 years, with over 475 exclusive exhibitors with unique offerings include seasonal gifts and decorative accessories for the home and garden, gourmet food and cookbooks, fine linens, designer women’s and children’s clothing, toys, fine crafts and artwork, furniture and jewelry.  Fee.

Looking for Santa?

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is kicking off the holiday season with the highly anticipated arrival of the treasured Richmond tradition of Legendary Santa!  Thanks to the generous support of Genworth and Wegmans, Legendary Santa, the beautiful Snow Queen, and the playful elf will once again delight generations of fans beginning the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. A visit with Santa is free, however ticketed events such as Sunrise and Sunset with Santa at the museum, and Tea with Santa, held in the Old Miller & Rhoads Tea Room, located in the Hilton Richmond Downtown are on sale now.  Tickets can be purchased at www.legendarysanta.org.

This year, CMoR will offer three evenings with Sensitive Santa, thanks to generous support from the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund. November 29th, November 30th, and December 1st from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.  These evenings with Legendary Santa are designed exclusively for the families of those with special needs.  Attending is FREE, but does require advance registration.

Jolly Jam and Photos with Santa. Friday, December 7th with session at 2:00 – 3:30pm, 3:45 – 5:15pm, and 5:30 – 7pm.  Visit Santa at Romp n’ Roll and skip the long lines with reserved timeslots at our Jolly Jam Party! Plus, enjoy games, activities, and treats before and after your photos.  This is a parent-inclusive event. Older siblings are welcome to participate in photos and circle time activities but the gym equipment is reserved for kids 5 and under.

Santa Brunch or Dinner at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  Tickets are on sale now.  If these events are sold out, kids can visit Santa on Merry Mondays before Dec. 25 during Dominion GardenFest of Lights.

Santa at Stony Point Fashion Park. Capture your child’s special visit with Santa with a photo!  Santa will be available for photos through Sunday, December 24th 5:00 pm.  Santa is located across from Yankee Candle in space 189.  Each child visiting Santa will receive a complimentary gift.  Fee.

Visit with Santa at Short Pump Town Center.  Keepsake Santa Photos available now through December 24th in the Pals Clubhouse on the Upper Level near L.L.Bean!  Fee.

Santa at Chesterfield Towne Center.  Take a picture with Santa this holiday season.

Illuminate Light Show & Santa’s Village.  November 16th – December 31st.  Nightly 5:30pm – 10:00pm.   The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.   The light show consists of hundreds of thousands of LED lights synchronized to music from your car radio.  At the conclusion of the drive, guests can visit Santa’s Village, which will include opportunities for photos with Santa and more!  Fee.

Free Photo with Santa at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.  November 10th – December 24th.

Santa’s North Pole Annex Train Station at Westchester Commons.  November 24th – Dec 23rd.   Visit with Santa and have professional photos taken with Santa and his 19-foot train engine! The North Pole Annex Train Station is located at 317 Perimeter Drive, next to Maurice’s.

Spiritual Events

Bethlehem Walk.  November 28th – December 2nd.  Salem Baptist Church/Broad Street Campus, 465 Broad Street Road, Manakin, VA 23103.  An interactive outdoor drama where guests experience first century Bethlehem.  As you enter the city, allow the sights, sounds and smells to carry you to a period of time that changed the world. Journey through the heart of the city to the marketplace that is bustling with activity from over a dozen authentic shops; enjoy samples from the baker’s shop, see the blacksmith at work making crucifixion nails, marvel at the potter’s crafts and listen for the rumor of a king’s birth from excited townspeople.   The tour is outside and takes approximately 45 minutes. Wait times for the event could be anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Dress appropriately for the weather. The rough terrain is not suitable for wheelchairs; however they do have “chariots” to accommodate person who need help. Admission is free and parking is available on the property. Shuttle service is provided to and from satellite parking locations. Donations to help defray the costs of construction and maintenance are accepted.   Visit the website for times and fees.

Miracle of Christmas – Live at the Zoo.   December 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.  Metro Richmond Zoo.  A live nativity pageant at the Metro Richmond Zoo, celebrating the birth Jesus Christ, through a live re-enactment of the Christmas story featuring animals from the zoo.  The twenty minute pageant will be presented 3 times each evening.  Live musical performances before and after each pageant will be provided by local churches and performing arts groups. Three shows each evening at 7:00, 7:45, and 8:30.The Zoo gates open at 6:15 p.m. for the first show.  The twenty minute pageant takes place outdoors just inside the Zoo’s entrance. Admission and parking are FREE, overflow parking is available.

Glorious Christmas Nights.  November 29th-December 9th. West End Assembly of God, 401 N. Parham Road.  Glorious Christmas Nights will bring you a spectacular holiday musical called “Angels and Kings”.  Fee.

The Richmond Community Nativity Pageant.  December 22nd.  7pm.  Carillon in Byrd Park.  The oldest public Christmas tradition in Richmond. The “Nativity” is a live presentation out of doors with a cast and choir of approximately 200 persons.  Raindate: Dec 23rd.