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Escape the city or the house for a weekend getaway with us in the River Realm. Celebrate the holidays with a bit of magic only made here in our eight small towns. There are many ways to get some socially distant adventure and also indulge in the spirit of the holiday season. We’ve got it all: unique shopping, Christmas lights, family-friendly fun, decadent food, and spectacular views. Slip away with your pals or book an epic celebration with your family. 

Keep reading for our ideas for a River Realm holiday adventure. 

Slumber in Holiday Style 

Drop your bags off somewhere new before you embark on your River Realm holiday. The well known Tides Inn will be open through the New Year for the first time in years. Located just outside of Irvington, the resort features a spa, golf course, two restaurants, and an epic terrace overlooking Carter’s Creek. In Urbanna, Atherston Hall is an enchanting home built in the 1880s. The inn is steps away from boutique shopping, dining, and a marina. The newly opened Deltaville Dockside Inn is another option that will make you feel like you’re on the set of your favorite retro Christmas film or check out the Kilmarnock Inn in Kilmarnock. 

Click here to see all of our lodging options.

Indoor Fun at Compass Entertainment Complex

Bring the whole crew to this one-stop location for fun and memories. The Compass Entertainment Complex just moved to the neighborhood, and it is packed with magic. The state-of-the-art entertainment complex has a six-screen movie theatre, an arcade, an indoor adventure course, climbing walls, and a go-kart course. It’s nestled between Kilmarnock and Irvington, two towns full of a lot more holiday shopping and dining. 

See the Pretty Lights

Enjoy small town festive fun this holiday season. There are plenty of activities that are perfect for socially-distanced enjoyment and free to visit.

Every night after December 1, you can see the Deltaville Christmas Lights at 16598 General Puller Highway. Drive by or walk around to see local resident Stephen Blue’s display of 130,000 lights. You can dance to a light show, walk through a 20-foot tall interactive light tree, and weave your way through a 1,600-square foot light maze. 

Enjoy the gorgeous lights and decorations of our small town of Urbanna while you get some of your holiday shopping done at Urbanna’s diverse boutiques and indulge at local restaurants like Portside Grill. Take in the sites with a little history on the side with Museum In The Streets, a magical journey through time narrated by Urbanna’s own historian, Larry Chowning.

Beginning December 10th, Christmas in the Park at Kilmarnock Town Centre Park is a great way to enjoy holiday sights and sounds of the season. Come and see the tallest Christmas tree in Lancaster County and festive holiday displays around the park. This event runs every week, Thursday through Sunday, from 5pm – 8pm. This is a fun activity for all ages!

Click here for more events in the River Realm.

Enjoy a Waterfront Meal

If it’s magic you’re looking for, you must enjoy a meal on the water. We have endless options you can’t find anywhere else. Watch the boats roll in and out of the cove as you enjoy a long meal at Deltaville Tap and Raw Bar; it’s a short drive from Dockside Inn. Creative dishes and an extensive beer and whisky selection are sure to cure any craving and keep you warm. Fish Hawk or the Chesapeake Restaurant offer both a casual and fine dining experience at the Tides Inn. 

Those are just a few of many dining options! Click here for a full collection of dining options. 

Strike a Pose with a LOVE Sign 

Pose for the ‘gram in front of one of our giant LOVE signs. We have four to see. Each one is perfect for taking your annual girls’ trip group photos or capturing your family holiday card images. Speckled throughout towns like Kilmarnock, some big LOVE signs are decorated just for the holiday season. 

Visit this blog post for more info about each sign! 

Indulge in Holiday Oyster Dishes

It wouldn’t be a trip to the River Realm if you didn’t dig into some oysters. Have one of our restaurants serve up comforting holiday classics like the Stuffin Muffin at Merroir or Byrd’s Oyster Stew at Dredge in Irvington. The Table at Wilton offers upscale holiday meals prepared and ready to pick up if you’d rather enjoy it at home. You can also pick up fresh oysters to feature in your holiday dinners back home. Stop into seafood and produce markets like J & W Seafood, Walton’s Oysters, and Urbanna Seafood Market. See a full list of places to buy oysters here.

Create some Holiday Art

Sometimes you have to make the magic yourself. Get ahead on your gift list by creating something handmade or create something for your own home. Take an art class at River House Creations. The one-of-a-kind gift shop is in the heart of Urbanna. While you can buy ready-to-wrap gifts, you can also create your own stained glass, shell art, or driftwood piece. The studio offers holiday and coastal decor options.  

Shop Small Businesses 

We have dozens and dozens of boutiques across the River Realm that carry a collection of clothing, antiques, home decor, craft supplies, and jewelry. Even our coffee shops and restaurants will offer a selection of finds like painted oyster shells at The Local in Irvington. Take a cruise around our blog of shopping itineraries to learn more about hidden shopping gems. Click here. 

On December 4th, White Stone Merchants are hosting a Perfect Gift Night! Some merchants include The Country Cottage for the sweets lover in your life and NEW boutique, The Pink Lemon, with unique gifts for even the hardest to shop for.  When Ordinary Won’t Do will be hosting Triple V Farms to provide a lovely wine tasting experience while you shop for The Perfect Gift!

Share your holiday adventures.

While we stay socially distant, we still want to connect and get to know you! Join the River Realm family. Share your travel story on Instagram. Tag @virginiasriverrrealm in your photos and what you discovered during your visit!

Discover Your Perfect River Realm Adventure!

Are you the type that loves an outdoor adventure? Or are you looking to spend quality time with your loved ones splashing along our shorelines?

Discover your perfect path for exploring the wonders of Virginia’s River Realm.