Holiday Light Tour and Events in Shenandoah County You Don’t Want to Miss
By Keryn Means, DCTravelMag.com
The winter holidays are one of our favorite times of the year to get outside, see friends, go caroling, and of course, sip hot cocoa. Every year is a little different, but one thing remains the same– tree lightings, holiday lights and a good Christmas market always puts us in the Christmas spirit.
Shenandoah County knows how to celebrate the holidays, even when things aren’t quite the same as in years past. With safety precautions, many events are still happening across the region, while some have been tweaked to accommodate the need to give everyone a little more space.
From drive-through lights to virtual tree lightings, Christmas is still happening all across Shenandoah County, Virginia. You might even have a hard time picking which activities and events to partake in.
Don’t worry though, we are giving you a run down on everything to do this Christmas season, no matter how much time you have to explore.
Christmas in the Valley
The Shenandoah County Fairgrounds are getting a makeover this holiday season with lights, food and everything you need to pick up for loved ones on your Christmas list. Now through January 2, 2021, you can drive through the one and half mile Christmas Lights Trail. Don’t be surprised if your kids are pressing their noses against the car window to see twinkling lights and holiday scenes from the comfort and safety of your toasty, warm car.
One you have finished your tour of the holiday lights, pop into the Carnival for food, games and rides for the kids, like the Merry Go Round, Jungle Crawler and Wonder Wheel, all with extra safety processions in place.
Every Friday and Saturday, from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the whole family can shop at the Christmas Crafts Village to pick up that special something for everyone on their list. Whether you need gifts, decor or just want to pick up a few treats while you sip hot cocoa and watch the carolers, you are sure to have a night full of fun.
For a little something extra special, come to the Carnival on Saturday, December 19th to see the Promised Land Quartet Christmas Show at 6:30pm and 8pm.
Christmas Light Trails: Open Thursdays and Sundays, 5pm to 9pm, and Fridays and Saturdays, 5pm to 10pm. If you have family visiting, make sure you go back on December 21-23, 5pm to 9pm, to show off this spectacular light experience.
Admission to the Christmas Lights Trail is $25 per car (up to 9 people per car), with free admission for all to the Christmas Village and Carnival. Pick up a $5 coupon at participating local businesses (click here for list).
Carnival: Rides are broken into two sessions, 1pm-5pm (Saturdays starting Thanksgiving weekend) and 5pm- close (weekends through December 31, plus December 17-27). You can purchase a session online for $12 per person (covers one session), or in person for $15/per person.
Christmas Village: It’s never too late to pick up locally-made gifts, wreaths, decorated Christmas trees and baked goods. Handmade items from local craftsmen and women, candy makers and crochet queens, allow you to grab blankets, hats, hard rock candy, birdhouses, farmhouse frames, glassware, mason jar crafts, greeting cards, wreaths and face coverings all in one spot.
The Christmas Village is open every Friday and Saturday, Thanksgiving to Christmas, so you have no excuse to not have your list complete, just remember to check it twice so no one is forgotten.
Christmas in the Valley Food: No Christmas event is complete without food. Several food trailers and trucks are pulling up to make sure no one goes hungry. You can expect to find popcorn, cinnamon rolls (with fresh coffee of course), corn dogs, French fries, funnel cake, pizza, deep-fried Oreos, caramel apples, cotton candy, plus soda and lemonade to wash it all down.
More Holiday Events in Shenandoah County, VA
After you have visited Christmas in the Valley, there is still so much to see and do across Shenandoah County. The towns got their decor up a little early this year to add some extra Christmas cheer to those dark autumn days.
Shenandoah County shops carry everything from Fair-Trade gifts, snacks, toys, memorabilia, locally-made arts and crafts, plants and garden supplies, jewelry, antiques and pottery to locally roasted coffee, beer, wine and whiskey (gin and vodka too!). Everywhere you go, you will find a shop that fits your budget.
Check out the local boutiques along Main Street in towns throughout the county, the Flea Market in Edinburg, and even the On Second Thought, the largest consignment and thrift shop in the county, located in Woodstock.
Find more local shops in Shenandoah county on the Shopping page.
Events in Woodstock, VA
Woodstock has upped their Shop Small game, with a Shop Small Sweepstakes. Pop into participating Woodstock shops and you are entered to win a prize basket with items from the local businesses. Click here to see who is participating this year. The sweepstakes runs November 25-December 21, 2020.
For a bit of family fun, throw the kids in the car to look for Santa’s Woody Woodstock all around town. This town-wide scavenger hunt kicks off on December 4th ( Click for a list of locations). Be prepared for some major begging from the kids. It will be the first time you don’t hear “are we there yet” on a car ride.
To really get into the holiday spirit, Woodstock is hosting a Deck the Halls Holiday Display Contest for the local businesses and even homeowners. When the lights go out, wander the town limits to find your favorite Christmas display. There will be a winner in six categories, and you can vote right here. Voters must be ages 7 and up, casting one ballot per category from December 15 – 21, 2020.
Events in Strasburg, VA
Pop over to Strasburg, VA for their ‘Tis the Season Celebration’ in the Square on December 5th. The Mistletoe Market is offering free cocoa samplings (while supplies last) to get you sugared up for some shopping.
The annual holiday parade starts at 4:30pm and runs along King Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be bringing up the rear as they head to the Square for the Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus with last minute requests at the Strasburg Fire Department. Need more info? Call 540-465-9197.
Events in Edinburg, VA
Although Edinburgh is already dolled up for Christmas along Main Street, the holidays officially kick off on December 3rd in this Shenandoah town. The Christmas Parade begins at 6pm, and Santa’s helpers will be handing out gifts as they follow Santa down the parade route. Have questions, call 540-984-8521.
Events in New Market, VA
“Tis the Season” in New Market to celebrate the holiday season downtown. Pop into the tree lighting ceremony at Town Hall on December 5th that follows the holiday parade at 5pm.
Say hello to Santa before you shop til you drop at the craft market and library book sale. Just don’t forget to pick up your hot chocolate and cookies while you enjoy some live holiday music. Need more information? Call 540-740-3432.
If you are feeling the weight of the holiday season (pun intended), register for the Relay For Life of Shenandoah County’s Annual Santa Sleigh’s Cancer 5K Run and Walk at Shenvalee Golf Resort (9660 Fairway Drive, New Market, VA 22844).
Tacky Christmas wear is encouraged, and prizes will be given out to the best dressed participants. Safety precautions are in place, and hot cocoa and cookies will be available to go. Grab your tickets at bit.ly/Santa5K2020 or by calling 540-820-8805.
Events in Basye, VA
If you are looking for a little holiday outdoor adventure this season, keep an eye on Bryce Resort, where the whole family can learn how to ski and snowboard. Tubing is also available, as well as ice skating. Snow could start falling any day now, and the temperatures could drop so the resort can start making snow.
Get the kids outside this year, where fresh air rules. There is no better time to hit the slopes than during the holidays.