It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas! Halloween is over and, for most of us, that means it's the start of the Christmas Season.
Thanksgiving can’t be forgotten, of course, but we all know that soon stores will inevitably be filled with repeats of “All I Want for Christmas is You,” multi-colored lights will be strung up around everyone’s houses, and holiday-themed coffees will be bought by the masses. It’s never really too early to start looking for Christmas presents or getting into the holiday spirit so, if you’re like us and already seeking out Christmas thrills or just want something different to do on your weekends off from work, we’re providing a list that might not be nearly as long as Santa’s list but will make your November and December full of holiday cheer!
The Festival of Trees (Southwest Virginia Museum) – For 21 years, the Southwest Virginia Museum has hosted and celebrated the Festival of Trees! Tour the entire museum and see trees, banisters, mantles, and doorways all decorated by volunteers that represent all different varieties of people from the region! Starting November 13 and runs all the way until December 31st! Regular admission rates do apply.
Santa Train (Shelby, KY-Kingsport, TN) – It’s time to welcome Santa to your hometown! For more than 70 years, Santa has made this astounding train trip from Shelby, KY to Kingsport, TN, to bring gifts and holiday cheer to Appalachia. That’s a 110-mile trip! On Saturday, November 19, keep an eye out for the Santa Train and Santa might just personally hand you your gift for the season!
Give a Friend a Lift (Natural Tunnel State Park) – On November 25, from 6pm to 10pm, you can get on the chairlift for free by bringing in 2 or more non-perishable food items per person! Every food donation will be collected and sent to a local food bank to help feed the community. Everyone deserves a good holiday so bring those non-perishables, enjoy the chairlift, and know you helped spread the holiday spirit!
Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel (Natural Tunnel State Park) – Visit the Natural Tunnel with a holiday vibe! Natural Tunnel will be covering their chairlift with Christmas lights and lanterns that’ll make the experience unforgettable! There’ll be representations of the pioneer age and what Christmas was like over 200 years ago! Choirs will be singing those great classic Christmas songs to get you ready for the holidays, and Santa will be waiting for you at the mouth of the tunnel! Parking is $5 per vehicle, it’ll be $4 for a roundtrip on the chairlift, or a one-way ticket will be $3. Starting the last weekend in November, the Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel will happen every weekend throughout December!
Karlan ChristmasFest (Wilderness Road State Park) – Decorated to the nines, the Karlan Mansion, located at Wilderness Road State Park, is a sight to see! Every Saturday (5pm-8pm) and Sunday (1pm-4pm) starting the last weekend of November, stop by the Karlan Mansion to see all the trees amazingly decorated by the community. Every Saturday will have different forms of entertainment such as: live music, Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, and many more!
Christmas Parade and Movie (Lee Theater) – What better way to spend a Friday evening than attending a parade then sitting for a movie afterward? Stop by the Lee Theater to enjoy the holidays with a viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation that’ll surely get you smiling and eager for Christmas. The parade and movie will happen Friday, December 2, from 7pm-10pm.
Tree Lighting (Tazewell) – The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held on Friday, December 2, at 5:30pm! Don’t forget to come back by Main Street the next day for the Christmas Parade at 3pm! In honor of the town’s 150th birthday, the parade’s theme this year is: “Back to the Future-150 years and Counting”! Get thrilled with all the outstanding floats people have put a lot of work into and join in on the Christmas fun!
Crab Orchard Frontier Christmas (Tazewell) – After the Christmas Tree Lighting, swing by the Historic Crab Orchard Museum for a Christmas from the past! Experience a frontier Christmas with historical interpretors and don’t forget to stay warm with hot cups of apple cider or fresh cookies! But make sure to save a few of those cookies for when Santa stops by! The Museum will have discounts in their gift shop so it’ll be a great time to snag a few more Christmas presents while you’re having fun! Admission will be FREE with a canned good donation! Don’t miss out, the Frontier Christmas will be Friday, December 2 from 6pm-9pm!
Breakfast with the Grinch (Southwest Virginia Museum) – Ever wanted to try green eggs and ham? Well, now you can! On Saturday, December 3, at 9am and 10:30am, you can enjoy Dr. Seuss’ classic meal with the Grinch and Cindy-Lou Who! While you’re enjoying your breakfast, there’ll be a reading of the classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! There are two seatings for breakfast. Seating is limited, and advance reservations are required. Registration and payment deadline is November 27th. Admission is $10 per person.
Gate City Christmas Parade (Gate City) – Saturday, December 3, Gate City will be having their annual Christmas Parade! It’ll be full of caroling at 1pm with a special performance by the Jenkins School of Dance at 4pm. The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30pm and at 7pm, the fun continues with the Christmas Parade!
Clintwood’s Christmas Celebration (Clintwood) – The Town of Clintwood is rocking Main Street on the first Saturday of December with their Christmas Parade and plenty of fun with their Christmas in the Park activities! The celebration begins at 6pm so don’t miss out!
Richlands Christmas Parade (Richlands) – Starting and ending at the Richlands Police Department, spend your Sunday at this awesome Christmas parade! The theme this year is “Looking Back” and you’ll even get a chance to see Santa riding around! The Parade starts at 5pm on Sunday, December 4.
Festival of Trees Night Viewing (Southwest Virginia Museum) – Can’t get enough of the Southwest Virginia Museum’s Festival of Trees? Stop by the museum at night and see those Christmas trees light up the whole place! Every Saturday in December from 5pm to 8:30pm, it’s sure to make your nights full of holiday magic! Regular admission rates apply.
A Christmas Carol the Musical (Coeburn) – It’s a classic Charles Dickens tale re-told in a musical way! Experience this timeless Christmas tale at the Coeburn Middle School! There are several showings so there’s no reason to not come and see it. First two showings are Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10 from 7pm to 9pm. Please call (276) 524-4190 for admission prices and other show times.
Tea with Mrs. Claus (Southwest Virginia Museum) – The Museum cordially invites you for a fun, exciting tea party with a very special guest, Mrs. Claus! Tea will be served, Mrs. Claus will read classic Christmas tales, and of course, lead guests to sing traditional Christmas carols! The $20 fee includes one adult and one child. Additional children are $5 each. Seating is limited, and advance reservations are required. Registration and payment deadline is December 4th.
Cedar Bluff Christmas Concert (Cedar Bluff) – The Cedar Bluff Business and Professional Association invites you to experience and enjoy a traditional holiday tradition. On Monday, December 12, starting at 6pm, a special annual concert will be held at the Town Square. Join in on the caroling and stay warm with some steaming hot wassail!