There’s something distinctive and special about wintertime in Charlottesville. With snow a real possibility every year, it only adds to the magic. Plus, there are plenty of family-friendly events to make this season even brighter.
From an up-close look at the wilderness in one of the area’s most popular resorts, to one of the most famed homes in the history of America, there are plenty of opportunities to see the beauty of our area during the holiday season. Here’s a look at just a few of the events that can make your wintertime spectacular in Charlottesville, along with contact points so you get the latest details.
Lighting of the Lawn
You know that it’s truly wintertime around Charlottesville when this event rolls around on the calendar. This year’s lighting takes place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 on the lawn at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
More than just a tree-and-building lighting event, Lighting on the Lawn features live holiday music, group receptions, a lighted balloon ceremony, speakers and much more. It’s a great kickoff to the holiday season and a chance for the community to gather.
The website for Lighting on the Lawn has all details you need.
Nature hikes at Wintergreen Resort
This popular ski, snowboard and natural area about an hour from Charlottesville is also known for its great hikes that take place all year around. With the weather in the early sometimes snowy — but rarely big blizzards — it can be a great place to commune with nature.
Wintergreen offers the Living With Nature hike every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. A naturalist from the Wintergreen Foundation leads groups on moderate-intensity interpretive hikes that point out some of the amazing scenic beauty in the area. They are free for members, or $8 for non-members.
To get more details on these hikes, plus all the amenities at Wintergreen, go to its website.
Charlottesville Holiday Market
The farmers and artisans who run our local market system have some great, year-round events. The Holiday Market is no exception, as it takes place every Saturday from Nov. 26 to Dec. 17 at 100 Water St.
From winter produce to specially crafted gifts, it’s a tremendous place to find something for the home or for that special someone. Once the holiday season is over, Key’s Corner Indoor Market at 800 E. Market St. is there to provide produce, crafts and breakfast/lunch dining from January through the end of March.
Find out more about the markets by visiting the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation site.
Holiday evening tours at Monticello
The home of Thomas Jefferson has been open for many years as a museum and a window into the early days of our country’s founding. During the holidays, it also becomes a popular spot to check out the history of the area for special tours.
Decorated with wreaths and other elements that give it a festive holiday spirit, the tours at Monticello take place from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. on select dates throughout Dec. 9-30 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
The tours cover the entire grounds of Monticello and go into how “all people who lived on the Monticello mountaintop, enslaved and free, celebrated the holidays in Jefferson’s time,” according to the Monticello website.
The website also has a lot more information on this historic part of Virginia’s history.
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