December can be an extremely stressful month, with holiday parties, concerts, and shopping to attend to, but it is also the most joyous month of the year, with celebrations and festivities that bring friends, family, and community together. Take some time this December to enjoy special moments with your loved ones. Looking for something fun to do? Here is a roundup of events and festivities happening in Harrisonburg this December!
Old Fashioned Christmas Fun //
At Silver Lake Mill in Dayton, from 4-7 pm, mix reindeer food, color Christmas pictures, meet St. Nick, enjoy hot cocoa & cookies, and shop the Mill’s delightful new gift sets while listening to music from The Shenandoah Valley Minstrels.
Harrisonburg Holiday Parade //
Starting at 7:30 PM, this festive kickoff to the holiday season features a Winter Wonderland themed parade in downtown Harrisonburg. Afterward, a tree lighting ceremony will take place on Court Square, followed by a holiday concert from the JMU Marching Royal Dukes.
First Fridays //
Stroll the streets of downtown Harrisonburg and stop in to several art galleries and restaurants along the way (including our very own Holiday Open House!) to enjoy works by local artists and delightful food from the downtown culinary district.
Bridgewater College Holiday Extravaganza Concert //
On Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, the music ensembles of Bridgewater College will present a celebration featuring classic holiday music and carols.
Milk & Cookies with Santa //
Bring your little ones to Mount Crawford Creamery from 11-1 to meet Santa and enjoy milk and cookies. Be sure to bring your camera for this great photo op!
Night at the Museum //
An extraordinary gala event…just for grownups! Guests will enjoy a seasonal silent auction, music, and live raffle. Featuring a “taste of downtown” with delicious food and drinks from favorite downtown restaurants in the downtown culinary district.
Downtown Holiday Tour //
Take a peek inside downtown homes and businesses (including our office!). Architecture, history, renovation projects, and interesting stories will amaze you. Get your tickets in advance!
Christmas Market //
Shop for a variety of unique gifts from local vendors while listening to live music. Wood working, handmade cowls & rings, stationary, toys, home decor, and more at the 292 N Gallery. The kids can enjoy face painting and balloon animals while you shop!
Special Library Events //
Visit Village Library in Broadway for a Christmas Open House from 10-2, where kids can eat cookies, drink cocoa, and listen to a special story. At North River Library in Bridgewater from 10:30-12, enjoy some Crafty Santa fun and take part in an ornament swap. For middle and high schoolers, Make It & Take It at the central library from 1-3.
Free Admission to Heritage Museum //
‘Tis the season to be jolly at The Heritage Museum with free admission into the galleries, special discounts and promotions in the bookstore and gift shop, refreshments, and more.
Caroling in the Caverns //
For one night only, the Grottoes Ruritan Club presents a fun night of fellowship and caroling inside Grand Caverns. Experience a special holiday memory with the rare opportunity to listen to musical performances and receive a Candle Light tour inside America’s Oldest Show Cave.
Christmas Arts & Crafts Show //
A tremendous variety of holiday crafts and gift items at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds. Individual vendors will have everything from candles to wreaths, from jewelry to holiday decorations.
Visit JMU’s Forbes Center to enjoy a variety of holiday classics and masterworks by JMU’s small and large music ensembles. Prior to the December 6th matinee (at 12:30 pm), children can enjoy crafts, cookies and cider in the Grand Lobby.
Celebrate Downtown //
During this week-long event, downtown Harrisonburg retailers will offer extended shopping hours, creative deals and gift ideas, holiday workshops, and more. While you’re shopping, get your photo taken with Santa and other holiday characters, plus enjoy snacks and festive treats throughout downtown.
Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir Christmas Concert //
A special holiday concert performed by the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir at EMU’s Lehman Auditorium. Get discounted tickets by ordering them before the event.
Holiday Open House //
From 2-4, stop by the Elkton Community Library for entertainment by local musicians, crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus.
Grottoes Christmas Parade //
Watch a variety of fun floats and displays, majorettes, and more at the Grottoes Christmas Parade, which starts at 5:30 PM.
Sonos Handbell Ensemble //
Ring in the holidays with a performance by the world-renowned Sonos Handbell Ensemble at JMU Forbes Center at 8:00 PM.
Moonlight Holiday Carriage Rides //
Celebrate the Holidays with a truly unforgettable experience – a horse-drawn carriage ride. This dark sky carriage ride event (from 5-8 PM) is offered on the date of a wintery new moon. Begin a new Holiday tradition with your family!
Elkton Parade of Lights //
Another great local parade, featuring festively decorated businesses along the route, and fantastically lit floats, cars, and displays marching through the Town of Elkton.
Bridgewater Christmas Parade //
A fun parade starting at 10:00 AM in Bridgewater, featuring local businesses and organizations, decked out floats, and more. Visit Bridgewater Foods Supermarket afterward for more fun activities.
Visit with Santa //
Stop in to see Santa and stay for a special story time at the Green Valley Book Fair at 1:00 PM. If you bring a donation for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank along, you’ll receive a $2 coupon to the book fair, too!
Meet Santa & Mrs. Claus //
Santa & Mrs. Claus will be at the Hardesty-Higgins House in downtown Harrisonburg from 5-8 PM. Visit Heritage Bakery next door to drink hot chocolate while making gingerbread houses!
Illumination Night //
A joyous night at CrossKeys Vineyards filled with lights, musical entertainment by the EMU Carolers, cookies and punch, a buffet following the illumination experience, and open house. Mulled wine and spirits will be available for purchase.
Nothin’ Fancy Holiday Show //
This popular bluegrass band will perform a special holiday show at Court Square Theater downtown at 8:00 PM. Get your tickets in advance to save some cash.
Shenandoah Valley Choral Society Christmas Carols //
Celebrating their 46th season, the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society will be performing Vivaldi Magnificat with Orchestra and Soloists, Traditional and Contemporary Carol Settings and Carol Sing-Along at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren.
The Nutcracker //
A holiday favorite for generations, The Nutcracker ballet is performed by Rockingham Ballet Theater at Bridgewater College’s Cole Hall, with guest dancers from the New York City Ballet.
Live Nativity //
View the live nativity at Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic, which includes camels, music from the singing group V.O.I.C.E., and more.
First Night Harrisonburg //
One of the best downtown events of the year, with live music, food and drinks, fun activities, art shows, special events at downtown businesses, and of course, the fireworks finale at the strike of midnight. Fun for all ages!
View these and more festivities on our Event Calendar. (Bonus: from there, you can add these events to your own calendar!)
Love doing stuff like this. Cod you email me a schedule of everything
Thanks, Lisa! You can get a link to the calendar here (so it can be added to your own online calendar): https://www.harrisonblog.com/event-calendar/
Another option is to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, which includes events happening in the area year round: https://www.harrisonblog.com/subscribe/