A Charming Holiday Season in Downtown Staunton

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Framed with an eclectic array of architectural styles, historic downtown Staunton, Virginia is known for its charm and hailed several times over as top downtown in both Virginia and the nation. It’s a beautifully varied destination in both its presentation and its people, and the holiday season is an especially good time to visit.

Kick off the season when you meet Santa at Orlesa Farms on November 14.  Enjoy s’mores, cookies, and a hot beverage from Perk Place Coffee trailer. For a fee, score photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause thanks to Kelly Marks Photography.

Keep the festive feeling going at the Staunton Christmas Parade on November 29. Stepping off at 7 p.m., the aptly named “A Welcome Home Christmas” parade is a return to familiarity after the 2020 parade took a hiatus. Attendees are still requested to use good judgement and adhere to current Virginia Department of Health guidelines concerning COVID-19.

Twinkling snowflakes light Beverley Street and shopkeepers compete for the best window displays. The winner? YOU! “Window shopping” in downtown Staunton during the holidays is a favorite pastime for both residents and visitors.


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Holiday shopping is a snap in downtown Staunton. From vintage finds to luxe boutique grabs and children’s merriment to the great outdoors, there’s bound to be something for everyone on your list. Don’t forget Saturday, November 27 is Small Business Saturday!

Start at R.R. Smith Center for History and Art to choose from a curated collection of locally made arts and crafts. Beginning November 12 more than 50 artisans fill the space for the 50-day Art for Gifts event.

Saturdays in December were made for shopping and are all-the-more enticing when costumed characters are roaming the streets. Expect to encounter carolers, elves, and maybe even Santa himself. Photos are encouraged!


The American Shakespeare Center Blackfriars Playhouse is a steadfast beacon of hope and light each holiday season, and this year is no different. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is an annual favorite and is offered on repeat throughout the month of December. Get your tickets for a performance occurring between December 10 and 30, 2021.

A Christmas Carol 2020

A Christmas Carol 2020. Photo by Lindsey Walters. Miscellaneous Media Photography.


The 214-acre Gypsy Hill Park is a go-to for Shenandoah Valley light-seekers, and for good reason. The park has a long history of welcoming lighted displays for a drive-through experience families return to see year after year. The free Celebration of Holiday Lights display kicks off November 22 and will be available through January 1.

The Old World area of the Frontier Culture Museum will be on display for lantern-led after dark tours and interpretations. Four skits based in 1667 England, Ireland, 1760s Germany, and 1826 Staunton, Virginia will delight you along the one-hour tour, and you can expect a few surprises along the way, too. Old World Holiday Tours are offered December 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19, starting at 5:30 p.m. They will run every 30 minutes until 9:00 p.m. Wear comfortable choose and dress for the weather.

Frontier Culture Museum

Frontier Culture Museum

Tours of a different flavor highlight downtown and its history. Book a Dark Tales and Haunts Ghosts of Staunton Walking Tour for a 90-minute exploration of downtown Staunton and its Christmas-themed legends and lore, including the story of the Frederick House Ghost. The tour is offered December 4 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Begin planning your visit to Staunton by requesting a Visitors Guide or signing up for their newsletter.

Header photo courtesy of Staunton Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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