Holiday Almanac 2011 

The day-by-day breakdown of activities on your twice-checked list.

click to enlarge Celebrate Illuminate
  • Celebrate Illuminate

Now Playing

The Mystery Dinner Playhouse presents "A Happy Holiday Whodunit," a holiday caper set in Santa's workshop playing Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Hotel through Feb. 12. 285-9951.

Stop by the Children's Museum of Richmond's Holiday Village through Dec. 31 to see the diversity of the holidays through a neighborhood of Fan-inspired houses featuring holiday celebrations from around the world:  Hanukkah, Eid, Lunar New Year, Diwali, Christmas and Kwanzaa. 474-7000.

The Virginia Street Gallery brings together the crafts and wares of area artists. This unique spot for givers is open Thursdays-Sundays through December. Themarketumbrella.com.

Nov. 16

Enjoy a complimentary beer while personal shoppers assist you at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for Men's Beer-n-Pretzels Holiday Shopping from 5 – 8 p.m. 262-9887.

The Richmond Triangle Players present "The Holiday Stops," the story of three members of the National Ladies Organists League, who have booked a hall to present their Christmas show. It's a sequel to the wildly-popular play, "The Stops." Playing through Dec. 17. 346-8113.

Nesbit Salon & Spa plays host to a Head-to-Toe Holiday Fashion event that features fashion stylists, makeup artists and a skin-care representative to showcase this season's holiday trends. Guests are encouraged to bring canned goods to be donated to the Food Bank. 355-8775.


Swift Creek Mill Theatre presents "It's A Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play," bringing the beloved American holiday classic to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. Playing through Dec. 31. 748-5203.

Nov. 18

Celebrate the holiday season at Maymont and see a stunning array of Victorian decorations with the Maymont Mansion Holiday Tour running Tuesdays-Sundays through Jan. 6. 358-7166.

The St. Gertrude High School Holly Spree brings vendors selling items such as wreaths, custom framed art, Christmas trinkets and jewelry. Continues on Nov. 19. 358-9114.

Nov. 19

The Visual Art Center's Holiday Design and Craft Show takes place at the Science Museum of Virginia and features a large variety of local made art, perfect for holiday shopping. 353-0094.

One Voice Chorus performs Songs of Good Cheer at Grace Baptist Church. 7 p.m. 231-0324.

The Richmond Outreach Center will serve hot meals for the impoverished at the Richmond Outreach Youth Center for its 10th annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Volunteering this year is the Glenn Beck Radio Show. 675-4101.

Nov. 20

Enjoy the Richmond Concert Chorale in a Christmas concert at All Saints Episcopal Church. 7:30 p.m. 353-5236.

Nov. 25

Dominion GardenFest of Lights, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's holiday tradition, features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains, family activities and more. On display through Jan. 9, 2012. 262-9887.

Barksdale Theatre's Hanover Tavern presents "Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas," inspired by the warm-hearted comedy of Appalachian folk tales, and filled with traditional carols showcasing the Christmas culture of Southwestern Virginia. Playing through Jan. 8, 2012. 282-2620.

The Concert Ballet of Virginia presents the classic story of "The Nutcracker" at Benedictine Monastery, today through Nov. 27. The production will also come to Goochland High School (Dec. 2-4), Monacan High School (Dec. 9-11) and Atlee High School (Dec. 16-18). 798-0945.

click to enlarge Legendary Santa
  • Legendary Santa

The Legendary Santa celebrates his 75th anniversary at the Children's Museum through Christmas Eve. 474-7000.

Head to the Hilton Garden Inn, the former Miller & Rhodes, for the Lighting of Symphony of Trees. 8 p.m. 551-2648.

Chop Suey Books' seventh annual Bizarre Market Holiday runs through Dec. 24 and features local artists and crafters, plus a tiny auction of small goodies. 422-8066.

Art Works' Day After Thanksgiving Art Affair ushers in the holiday season with a fun filled day of holiday shopping, music, games and exhibits. 291-1400.

Nov. 26

Mannheim Steamroller plays its popular holiday songs at the Landmark Theater. 8 p.m. 646-0546.

Ashland Coffee and Tea gets ready for the season with the Susan Greenbaum Holiday Show. Greenbaum also hosts a CD release party on Nov. 19 at the Carpenter Theatre for her new "This Life" release. 8 p.m. 798-1702.

Nov. 27

Wilton House Museum opens its doors to the public for free with family-friendly games, snacks and performances by the Barefoot Puppet Theatre. 282-5936.

Nov. 28

The Jefferson Hotel hosts its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony with live music, a parade down the Grand Staircase and a visit from Santa. 649-4750.

The Richmond Symphony and the Choir of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will present a Benefit Holiday Concert for Catholic Charities, featuring popular works by Handel, Mozart, and John Rutter, as well as traditional carols. 285-5900. 

Nov. 29

The Richmond Concert Band presents its Christmas Concert Series at River Road United Methodist Church. 737-3767.

Learn how to make a holiday wreath with Maymont's Wreath Workshops and learn from the experts how to create the spectacular wreaths used at Maymont. Also on Nov. 30, and Dec. 1. 358-7166.

Nov. 30

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs its rock theater holiday songs at the Richmond Coliseum. 780-4970.

"Bethlehem Walk" is an interactive outdoor drama where guests experience the first Bethlehem. Located at Salem Baptist Church in Goochland. Continues through Dec. 4.

click to enlarge James River Parade of Lights
  • James River Parade of Lights

Dec. 1

The Bizarre Bazaar, a holiday marketplace featuring gifts for everyone on your list takes place at Richmond International Raceway through Dec. 4. 673-7015.

Celebrate “Miracle on Broad Street” at the National with Switchfoot and the Airborne Toxic Event. 612-1900.

Dec. 2

Downtown Richmond buildings light up for the holidays with The Grand Illumination, which takes place at the James Center and continues around the city.

The Poe Museum will also be open late with singers and hot apple cider.

Gallery5's Holiday Market features food, drinks and a series of craft-focused workshops. The fun continues on Dec. 3. 644-0005.

Bow Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square plays "A Christmas Story" at 11:30 p.m. The film also will be screened Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. 354-6099.

"A Christmas Story" also will be playing at the Henrico Theatre at 7 p.m. and on Dec. 3 at 2 and 7 p.m. 328-4491.

Henrico Theatre Company presents "A Christmas Survival Guide," a story where the characters learn to cope with the holiday season in ways that are both hilarious and heartwarming. Thursdays-Sundays through Dec. 18 at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 501-5859.

Dec. 3

The Dominion Christmas Parade will begin at 10 a.m., featuring a special grand marshal, holiday floats, marching bands, huge helium balloons, and Santa himself. It will depart from the Science Museum and continue east to Seventh Street. This year, Rudolph promises to be extra careful around Meadow Street. Richmondparade.com.

Join the fun at ChristkindlMarkt, a European-style Christmas Market at First Baptist Church with local vendors, craftsmen and artisans selling handmade craft and food items, Christmas trees and more. 358-5458.

The Richmond Symphony's annual holiday tradition "Let It Snow!" features favorite holiday songs at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage. Another show is planned Dec. 4. 788-1212.

Community Christmas at the Hanover Tavern features a day of fun with a colonial Mr. and Mrs. Santa, holiday crafts, reading corner and re-enactments with 18th and 19th century tavern residents. 537-5250.

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will present its free annual Christmas Concert in commemoration of World AIDS Day, featuring the Cathedral Choir, Amy Grant Hruska and Patrick Carlin. 359-5651.

Learn how to make holiday decorations at Maymont's Deck the Halls Workshops. 358-7166.

The Virginia Historical Society presents a Gingerbread Tea and Tour at Virginia House, where people can design and build their own gingerbread houses. Cider and cookies will be served as Virginia House staff talk about holiday traditions in the Tudor home. The tour continues through Dec. 4. 342-9665.

St. Mary's Catholic Church presents a Christmas Concert with the National Capital Brass Band. 740-4044.

Gayton Baptist Church holds a Jazz Nativity featuring jazz music inspired by the Christmas season. The tinsel-coated riffing continues with two performances on Dec. 4. 360-2801.

Mountain Road in Glen Allen celebrates the holidays with historic tours of the Courtney Road Service Station, an open house at Walkerton Tavern, the annual tree lighting ceremony at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and historic lantern tours at Meadow Farm Museum. artsglenallen.com.

Dec. 4

University of Richmond's Schola Cantorum and Women's Chorale will perform new and familiar Christmas carols and anthems at the 38th annual Candlelight Services of Lessons and Carols at 5 and 8 p.m. at the Cannon Memorial Chapel on campus. Another performance is planned Dec. 4. 289-8980.

Celebrate an Old-Fashioned Christmas at Maymont with a grand Christmas tree, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, hand bells and more. 358-7166.

Storyteller Pam Bomboy tells tales of holiday cheer at St. Nick's Christmas Party at Maymont. 2 p.m. 358-7166.

The toys come to life in HATTheatre's production of the British musical "Rock Toyz." 343-6364.

Head to the Greater Richmond Convention Center as the River City Rollergirls present their sixth annual "Seasons Beatings" event, featuring a day of mini fun bouts with skaters from various roller derby leagues. 783-7300.

Dec. 5

The Henrico Concert Band performs a concert of holiday music at Henrico Theatre. 640-3369.

Dec. 6

The Richmond Concert Band presents its Christmas Concert Series at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral. 737-3767.

Dec. 7

"Silly Bus Holiday Extravaganza," blends holiday and children's song classics with other Silly Bus fan favorites at Richmond CenterStage. 592-3400.

Dec. 8

World-renowned saxophone player Kenny G performs a holiday concert at Richmond CenterStage. 592-3400.

Dec. 9

Amy Grant and Vince Gill celebrate "The 12 Days of Christmas" with a concert at the Landmark Theater. 646-0546.

Listen to VCU's music department at the Holiday Gala at the Singleton Center for the Performing Arts. 828-1166.

St. John's Church will be the starting point for the Holiday Vespers and Candlelight Caroling through the Church Hill neighborhood to Libby Hill Park overlooking the James River. 649-7938.

Enjoy a holiday evening at Maymont by Moonlight with refreshments, carol singing and horse-drawn carriage rides. Also on Dec. 16. 358-7166.

Randolph-Macon College presents the timeless story of "A Christmas Carol" at the school's Cobb Theatre through Dec. 15. 752-7316.

The Museum of the Confederacy discusses Victorian Christmas traditions during the Civil War. Also on Dec. 14. 644-7150.

"Scrooge," a musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale, plays at the Henrico Theatre. It is also planned for two shows on Dec. 10. 328-4491.

Dec. 10

Boaters decorate their vessels and converge on the James River for the James River Parade of Lights, which runs from Richmond to Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield. Jamesriveradvisorycouncil.com.

click to enlarge "Handel's Messiah"
  • "Handel's Messiah"

The Richmond Symphony presents "Handel's Messiah" with the Richmond Symphony Chorus at Richmond CenterStage. 788-1212.

The Fan Holiday House Tour shows off beautiful Fan houses decked out for the holidays. Also on Dec. 11.

Enjoy an evening of neighborhood fun, cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres at Patrick Henry Pub for the Church Hill Holiday Party. 644-4242.

Spend a day of family fun on MacArthur Avenue for "Christmas on MacArthur," featuring a parade and a visit from St. Nick. Vendors will have their displays inside at Samis Grotto. Bellevueweb.com.

The Richmond Boys Choir performs a holiday concert at the Richmond Public Library. 2 p.m. 788-6404.

The Richmond Men's and Women's Choruses present their holiday concert, "Harps of Gold" at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church. 8 p.m. $10-$15. There is also a performance on Dec. 11. monumentmusic.org.

The film "White Christmas" plays at Bow Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square at 11 a.m.. Also playing Dec. 11. $5.50. 354-6099.

Head over to Midlothian for Crenshaw Elementary's Winter Wonderland, complete with craft show, bake sale, raffle and Santa himself.

Dec. 11

Explore historic houses with the Church Hill Holiday House Tour, featuring houses decorated for the holidays. Churchhillrichmond.com.

At the 25th Annual Court End Christmas, nine historic sites in downtown Richmond open their doors for a day of free admission and holiday festivities including carriage rides, carolers, living history, live music, children's crafts, gift shops and more. Participating sites include the Valentine Richmond History Center, John Marshall House, St. John’s Church, the Museum and White House of the Confederacy and more.

The Richmond Craft Mafia presents Handmade Holiday craft show at Plant Zero Café featuring all handmade, holiday items.

Dec. 12

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will present a free concert of Christmas music. 359-5651.

The Henrico Concert Band performs a concert of holiday music at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 640-3369.

Dec. 13

Richmond Shakespeare presents "Holiday Stories" as part of the Second Tuesdays Staged Reading Series at Richmond CenterStage. 232-4000.

The Richmond Concert Band presents a Christmas Concert Series at Linwood Holton Elementary School. 737-3767.

The Virginia Historical Society takes a behind-the-scenes-tour with "All I Want for Christmas," exploring how this holiday has changed during the past 400 years. 358-4901.

Explore the Dooley Mansion with Maymont's Candlelight Mansion Tours, complete with holiday decor of the house. 358-7166.

Dec. 14

Vocal ensemble Stile Antico comes to the Modlin Center for the Arts to perform "Puer Natus Est," a program of Tudor music for Christmas and Advent. 289-8980.


Richmond Shakespeare presents "A Christmas Carol for Two Actors," featuring two actors portraying all the unforgettable characters in the Dickens classic at Richmond CenterStage. Playing through Dec. 24. 232-4000.

Dec. 16

The classic story of "The Nutcracker" comes to life by the Richmond Ballet at Richmond CenterStage. The show continues through Dec. 26. 344-0906.

click to enlarge Hamaganza
  • Hamaganza

The annual Hamaganza celebration, which sees local celebrities, politicians and media types performing off-color ditties for your amusement, takes place at Ballicaeux to benefit the Central Virginia Food Bank. myspace.com/hamaganza.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" plays at Henrico Theatre at 7 p.m. 328-4491.

Dec. 17

Hamaganza continues its irreverent and off-color take on holiday performance fundraising at Capital Ale House. myspace.com/hamaganza.

Students from the Jessica Morgan School of Dance present "The Nutcracker" at Collegiate School. 2 and 6 p.m. Through Dec. 18. 739-7600.

Theatre IV on Tour presents "A Christmas Carol" at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 282-2620.

Dec. 18

The Richmond Concert Band will perform its holiday concert "Christmas in the Fan" at Tabernacle Baptist Church. 737-3767.

Dec. 19

Hometown Favorite Jason Mraz will perform a benefit at Richmond CenerStage for the School of Performing Arts in the Richmond Community that will include holiday music. 353-3393.

Dec. 26

The Valentine Richmond History Center presents Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark, a walking tour of Richmond's favorite street while it's decked out for the holidays. 649-0711.

Dec. 31

Countdown to the New Year at the Children's Museum for the New Year's Eve Bash from 10 am to noon. 474-7000.

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Showplace for the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, including holiday performances, workshops, children's activities, an African market and food. 225-8877.

Yacht rockers Three Sheets to the Wind ring in the New Year for a 1980s prom at the National. 612-1900.

Art Works celebrates New Year's Eve with a Drop the Ball party. 291-1400.


Latest in 2011 Holiday Almanac


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