December is the best time to visit Shenandoah County to see how local businesses and attractions in small towns are kicking off the holiday season. From Galleries to Wineries, Antique Shops, Historic sites and cafes, there is something uniquely “Shenandoah” about celebrating community and the holiday spirit. Here are five different special events to warm hearts and welcome folks to Shenandoah County.

Christmas on the Farm in New Market December 1st

At the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, visit with living historians at the historic Bushong Farm and discover how a family carries on in the face of a national crisis. From 10am-3pm There will be games to play, stories to hear, refreshments, singing and a visit from a special Christmas guest. Then, visit with the soldiers of Company F, 51st Virginia Infantry and bring them Christmas cheer from hearth and home. Lend a hand with chores or simply join in the holiday celebration. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum on the day of the event. For more information, call The Virginia Museum of the Civil War at 866-515-1864.

Holiday Open Studio Tour December 1 & 2

The Shenandoah County Artisan Trail 2017 Holiday Open Studio Tour is currently in is 6th year and consists of three ceramic artists opening their private studios to the public for a weekend of Pottery sales plus refreshments, studio tours and conversations with the artists

This year’s Holiday Open studio Tour will be December 1-2 and will be open from 10-5 each day (Except for Chickadees- which is Sunday only). Stopping at each one is very do-able in one day and there are great places to stop and eat and stay throughout the county. All of the studios create a warm, friendly environment with a touch of holiday cheer like warm cider, tea and sweets. Then of course each of the artists is happy to give a tour of their working space and talk about the inspiration for their work, emphasizing the appeal to purchase local and handcrafted gifts that really are special.

Progress and details about the Tour and a sneak peek into what will be available at each studio, visit the Holiday Open Studio Tour FACEBOOK PAGE OR for additional information, addresses, pictures and a map, the website is: http://vastudiotour.wixsite.com/holidaystudiotour

Special Vineyard and Winery events

A tasting room at one of the eight different wineries in Shenandoah County is a great place to visit with friends and family to get the season started off in a festive way. Two of the vineyards are hosting special holiday events Early in the Holiday Season. In Toms Brook, North Mountain Vineyard keeps with the owner’s German Heritage as they host a Bavarian Christkindl Market from 11-5 pm on November 23-24 where you can Shop for your German Specialties and they will be Serving Bratwurst and Glühwein. There will be live music by Bill Vaughan from 2:00 – 5:00 pm.

And they invite you to Join them for their Annual Winter Solstice Bon Fire, a pre– Christmas event full of meaning on Saturday, December 15th. There will be live music by our great local musicians:  Gary Slavinski   from 2 – 5 pm and Ryan Jewel   from 5 – 8 pm.

Good food will be provided by Shaffer’s Food truck, and on the tasting counter are home-baked German Christmas cookies for everyone.  Consider this is a rain, shine, or snow event.

Cave Ridge Vineyard is hosting their Holiday Market, and invite you to Sip hot mulled wine while you browse the work of local artists and vendors at our outdoor holiday market. Skip the crowds at the big box stores and find something truly unique for everyone on your shopping list. December 1st from 12-4pm

Small Town Parades and Tree Lighting

Every year folks in the small towns of Shenandoah County gather for annual Christmas Parades and tree lighting ceremonies. Each town hosts their own version with children singing, lights twinkling, hot chocolate and sweets. Carols, dancing, games, stories and of course Santa. Immerse yourself in the joy of one, or visit them all!

  • Edinburg: “Christmas in Edinburg” November 29th Parade begins at 6pm and tree lighting & festivities just after
  • Woodstock: “Light up Woodstock” November 30th begins at 545pm at the Courthouse in the center of town. The Parade begins at 6:30pm
  • Strasburg: “Home for the Holidays” December 1st  4:30pm Parade, Tree lighting and Business Open House
  • New Market: “Tis the Season” December 1st with all day activities beginning at 9am with Business Open Houses, an Open Market from 11am-5pm Town Parade at 5pm, and a tree lighting with festivities at the town Hall just after.
  • Mount Jackson: Open House and Christmas Parade Saturday December 8, 2018 at 3:30PM, after the parade visit with Santa and light the town Christmas tree.

Local Holiday Community Theatre productions

Theatre Shenandoah will be presenting “A Candle in the Window” by L. Don Swartz. A Heavenly Christmas Drama in which a small group of weary travelers discover the power of the season while trapped in a lonely train station on Christmas Eve.  As a blizzard rages outside, the troubled people are forced to turn to each other for companionship. The mysterious stop in the travelers’ journey was more than accidental and has given them a renewed spirit and resolve.  Visit Theatre Shenandoah’s website for Show dates and times Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for senior citizens. Tickets are available for purchase on the website, or call 540-984-3972

At the Rouss Center for the Performing Arts: Three actors, played by Joshua Newman, Johnathan Starkey, and Brayden Hilton, are performing  “Every Christmas story ever told” — plus Christmas traditions from around the world, resulting in a madcap romp through the holiday season!  Even some wacky versions of familiar Christmas songs may be heard.  Performances are:  November 30, December 1-2 and 7-9, Friday and Saturdays: 7:00 pm; Sundays: 3:00 pm.  Tickets:  $15.00 for Adults; $12.00 for Seniors and Students. Children under 3 years of age are free. Tickets may be purchased at our website:  www.rousscenter.org, email at rouss.center@gmail.com or by phone t 540 705-0313 or 1-888-341-7313.  The Rouss Center for the Arts, a 501©(3) nonprofit corporation is located at 9357 N. Congress Street, New Market, VA.