Tis the season for new traditions in Fredericksburg
This holiday season, the streets of Fredericksburg won’t be packed with parade-goers and the cinnamon-scented parties will have to be held over for another year. But in this historic city, there’s no end of Christmas charm to see and there are plenty of unique memories to be made. Here are ten ways to make this holiday a special one in Fredericksburg:
- Make tangible memories together
Homemade ornaments are a timeless holiday treasure. is offering take-and-make clay ornaments for families to paint at home together. Pick shapes and colors before picking up the kit at the art studio, or getting it delivered. After painting the ornaments, they can be returned for glazing before residing on you tree for years to come.
, which runs Historic Kenmore and George Washington’s Ferry Farm, is also offering ways to decorate at a distance. The museum group’s annual gingerbread house contest will continue with homemade gingerbread house entries accepted through Dec. 5. The exhibit of contest entries will take place outside at Ferry Farm from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19, weather permitting.
Kenmore is offering a virtual Wee Christmas Workshop live online at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12. Participants will create a holiday themed “room box” using materials provided in kits, which can be picked up after purchasing at the museum.
2. Cook together.
Cookies aren’t the only baked good that your family can decorate by hand. in downtown Fredericksburg has pizza kits to take home and make together. Families can roll out the dough, toss it, and load it up with toppings. It’s tasty, tons of fun to make, and could even become a new tradition. The kits can be ordered online and picked up at the restaurant.
3. Take a virtual candlelight tour
One of Fredericksburg’s best loved traditions, the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation candlelight tour, turns 50 this year. And is continuing even though the public cannot be invited into historic, decorated homes this year. They have created an app that allows tour-goers to walk four neighborhoods in the city and view 130 properties with long histories and festive decorations. Low on time? Break the tour up into multiple walks to spread out the holiday cheer.
4. Discover a window wonderland
This year, the tour of decorated merchant windows has a competitive element. You can stop by the Fredericksburg Visitor Center at 706 Caroline St. to pick up an entry form and then find 62 riddles in the windows of the participating businesses to solve. Completed forms can be turned in for a chance to win $1,000 in downtown gift cards or 60 other prizes. Those participating can also vote for their favorite window online .
5. Take in the bright lights.
What’s more quintessentially December than a twinkle light? The is happening all season long at The Village at Spotsylvania Towne Centre. Through Dec. 24, the holiday light show takes place at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The center’s big Christmas tree is beautiful enough, but it’s really a sight when combined with the show.
6. Drive in.
This year to discourage crowds, is becoming a reverse parade. Gas up the car and drive Gordon Shelton Boulevard in Celebrate Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 5 between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. It’s free to drive through and look at 40 floats and lights at during this one-night event. The parade is usually a chilly affair, but this year you can cruise in comfort.
Another opportunity to participate from the comfort of your own vehicle is a Dec. 16 , sponsored by the city’s Parks and Recreation department, at the Dorothy Hart Community Center parking lot. Make sure to preregister online and bring your own marker. Cards will be provided at the event, and numbers will be called out over radio and easily visible signs. Call BINGO by honking the horn or flashing lights. It’s easy to entertain the whole family at this socially distant game night.
7. Find your tree
Fredericksburg is surrounded by a natural bounty and that makes finding a Christmas tree an adventure for the whole family. just outside town is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday for people to cut their own blue spruce trees. , is open for cut trees or cut-your-own with a bounty of Fraser firs, white pines, Douglas firs, Scotch pines, Alberta spruces, Norway spruces and Colorado spruces.
Need a quick and convenient tree? The Fredericksburg Host Lions Club is selling Christmas trees, wreaths and White House ornaments in the Greenbrier Shopping Center parking lot on Plank Road. The Knights of Columbus are also selling cut trees in the city, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday behind St. Mary Catholic Church on William Street.
8. Write a letter to Santa
sits this December on the corner of Caroline and George streets, and is offering return letters from the big man, himself. Children can write to Santa and “mail” their letter in the box directly to the North Pole. Though Dec. 18, all letters with a return address will receive a note from Santa. The new initiative is sponsored by the local Rotary Club and is the newest in a long list of holiday activities to do downtown.
9. Learn something new—about the past.
The will be commemorated virtually this year by the National Park Service. While there will be no live park events, the battle, which occurred Dec. 11-15, 1862, will be remembered online through video programs that will touch on the perspectives of soldiers, civilians and enslaved populations during the battle. There will also be ranger talks on Dec. 11 and 12, and a recording of the park’s annual tour, “In the Footsteps of the Irish Brigade” on Dec. 13. Follow #Fredericksburg158th on social media to keep up with anniversary content.
10. Shop locally for everyone on your nice list.
Downtown merchants have COVID-19 restrictions in place. And business owners are getting creative to attract shoppers while keep everyone safe. has been holding weekly sidewalk sales. has a system for shoppers to pick items from outside and receive safely packaged artistic pieces. , like many businesses, is offering curbside pickup. There’s something for everyone downtown. Find handcrafted wood objects for dad at , beautiful homewares for mom at , toys for every kid at , and gifts for everyone in between at and —and maybe even something shiny at , Remember to check hours and protocols before visiting and shopping, and find more retailers .
11. Get your fill of punch, wassail, mulled wine and more.
Whatever your drink is, local merchants and restaurants have it. in downtown Fredericksburg has cocktails to-go, featuring the holiday special “drunken cranberries,” made of vodka, fresh pressed orange juice, mint simple syrup and stewed cranberries. Before drinking, they recommend shaking it up and topping it with ginger beer, which is included.
Local breweries have their holiday releases on tap and ready for you to take home in cans and growlers. in downtown Fredericksburg has barley wine freshly brewed that is perfect for the holiday season, with notes of toffee and caramel. has similarly seasonal brews, notably a unique peat-smoked porter. There’s something for every taste at , which always has 36 different house-made beers available.
However you choose to celebrate this year, spending the holiday season in Fredericksburg is a recipe for a memorable time. Happy Holidays!
See up-to-date Holidays in the Burg info, here.
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