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Que the road trip carol sing-alongs! It’s time to get out of the city for some classic holiday frolicking, shopping, eating, and laughing. We’ve got a full calendar of holiday happenings here in the River Realm. Take your pick: waterside festivals, house tours and parades. 

Click here to view a full list of River Realm events. Pick your favorites, mark your calendars, grab your gang, and hit the road! Here are a few of our favorites:  

Taste by the Bay

November 23
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tides Inn
480 King Carter Drive, Irvington

Travel to our favorite waterside resort for Taste by the Bay: Wine, Food, Arts and Ale. This 7th annual event will feature spirit samplings from Virginia wineries and Virginia craft brews. You’ll also be able to taste bites from local restaurants including Rappahannock River Oysters, Byrd’s Seafood, and Northern Neck Popcorn. Add more here-I will get list-SC Check off your holiday list by shopping one-of-a-kind artisan vendors as you bounce to live music. You can also learn about our local maritime history from various educational presentations and exhibitions.  

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, if available. Learn more. 

Steamboat Era Museum Holiday Marketplace

November 29, 30 + December 7, 14, 21 
10 a.m. –  4 p.m.
Steamboat Era Museum
156 King Carter Drive, Irvington

The small town of Irvington knows how to shop! Join us during the Steamboat Era’s Museum’s Sixth Annual Holiday Marketplace, which kicks off Friday, November 29. Discover jewelry, maps, books, oyster art, wooden toys, decorations, pillows, puzzles, and more unusual gifts. A silent auction featuring artisan work, posters and other collectors pieces will debut during the first two days of the Marketplace.  Be sure to stop in early!

Learn more. 

Allure Art Center Open House

Allure Art Center
November 30
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
419 Rappahannock Drive, White Stone

Our local artists know how to throw a party. Join us for this day-long kick off of the holiday shopping season as a part of Small Business Saturday. The gorgeous Allure Art Center will be lined inside and outside with handmade, original art in all mediums including painting, wood, metal, photography, jewelry, note cards, ornaments and more. Many of the artists create their pieces inspired by the wildlife and spirit of the River Realm. You will find something truly unique for your friends and family, or perhaps something for your own home. While you shop, enjoy coffee, treats, decorations and music! 

Learn more. 

Deltaville Christmas Lights

December 1-31
5 – 11 p.m.
16598 General Puller Highway, Deltaville

We’ll light the way to the holidays! Join us on the first day of December through the end of 2019 for a magical spectacle only found in Deltaville. Take it in by car or hop out and see it on foot. Either way, you’ll witness 130,000 lights twinkling and a 36,000-bulb, computer-controlled light show that dances to Christmas music. If you opted to see it on foot, step into the 20-foot tall walk-in interactive tree and 1,600-square-foot light maze. 

Be sure to check Facebook for inclement weather closings.

Learn more. 

A Traditional Carol Sing: “The Holly & The Ivy”

December 9
3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Historic Christ Church
420 Christ Church Road, Weems

If you’re looking for a wholesome holiday moment, save the date for this nostalgic event at Historic Christ Church & Museum. Cozy up in warm clothes and bring your girl friends or family to listen to traditional songs, carols, and music performed by the Chesapeake Chorale and the Christchurch School Cantorion. The backdrop will be the beautifully “greened” Christ Church, one of our River Realm landmarks. Bring along two non-perishable items per person for the Northern Neck Food Bank to enter. 

Learn more. 

Christmas Fashion Show and Luncheon

December 6
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Chesapeake Inn
250 Virginia Street, Urbanna

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little outing with the ladies. Bring your girls to the Chesapeake Inn for a festive fashion show and luncheon. You’ll see timeless and trendy styles from our favorite Urbanna boutiques including  Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe Tide, Bristow’s Store, and ReSail Boutique. Find something for your holiday parties and for the deserving ladies on your Christmas list. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door.

Learn more. 

Kilmarnock Trolley Express

December 6 -7
6 – 8 p.m.
Kilmarnock Town Centre Park
150 N. Main Street, Kilmarnock

Ride into the holidays in Kilmarnock. The Town Centre Park will be transformed into the North Pole. Here, you can board the magical holiday trolley. Ride through a Winter Wonderland, listen to a story read by an enchanted princess, and breathe in the fresh air. When you return from your ride, visit the North Pole! Entry is $15 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 10.

Learn more and buy tickets. 

Urbanna Harbour Christmas House Tour

December 7
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
United Methodist Church
221 Marston Avenue, Urbanna


House by house, soak in the holidays in Urbanna. This unique waterside village is charming every day of the year, but during the holiday season, residents transform their homes to a scene of enchantment. This year, you can visit six homes on Urbanna Harbour. Each one is decorated for the season with a little River Realm flare. Along the way, stop and shop at a variety of boutiques and enjoy decadent foodie finds.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of when you check in at Urbanna United Methodist Church.  Proceeds benefit the Urbanna Beautification Committee. 

Learn more. 

Kilmarnock Lighted Christmas Parade

December 13
5:30 – 8 p.m.
1 North Main Street, Kilmarnock

Santa on a boat covered in Christmas lights? It doesn’t get more River Realm than that! Join us for some small town fun during the 41st Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. It’s the oldest of its kind in Virginia. Come early with the family to visit with Santa at the local volunteer fire department. Settle in by 7 p.m to see more than 100 floats and boats and cars ride down Main Street. The entire event is free. 

Learn more. 

Urbanna Polar Express

December 20 – 21
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Town of Urbanna

Put on your PJs and channel your family’s holiday cheer on the Polar Express!  On board the Urbanna trolley, your children can enjoy the storybook classic “The Polar Express.” Let their imaginations carry them away as you create long lasting memories and traditions. There are two departure times available each day at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for each adult and free for children who are lap riders (2 years and under). Tickets will go on sale December 2 at

Learn more.

Stay and Play

Make it a multi-day affair by staying the night. Click here to view a full list of our inns, hotels and resort options.  

Be sure to see and taste more of the River Realm when you’re here. Visit our blog for a variety of travel guides, foodie finds, and travel tips. Click here. 

Discover Your Perfect River Realm Adventure!

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