Photo: Mosaic Business Solutions/Mosaic Photography
You know the holidays have arrived in Loudoun County when wine country vines are covered in twinkling lights and historic towns are decked out like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Throw in seasonal performances, artisan markets and animals dressed in festive attire, and you have the perfect holiday destination. Here are a few ways to enjoy the holiday season in Loudoun County this year.
Historic Traditions in Loudoun
Loudoun’s picturesque historic towns come alive in the holiday season, transforming into postcard-worthy sights. While Middleburg’s famous Christmas parade will not take place this year, holiday magic still fills the streets. Visitors can partake in a family-focused scavenger hunt, enjoy free hot cocoa at various stops, drop letters for Santa at the old post office and enjoy carriage rides down Washington Street, where the lampposts are hung with antique wooden Christmas ornaments and decorated with twinkling lights. Visitors will also get a glimpse of Middleburg back in time, as large banners with photos and scenes from previous holiday celebrations decorate the town.
Over in Leesburg, a tree lights up the Town Square, and historic streetlamps are adorned with red ribbons and greenery. The annual Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Show moves outdoors on December 5 at Freedom Park and will feature more than 30 local artisans. The town puts a twist on its traditional holiday parade by offering a free Glitter & Glow Drive Thru at Freedom Park on December 12. Visitors can drive past stationary floats decorated by the community to capture the holiday spirt.
Just north of Leesburg, the Old Lucketts Store is hosting its annual Holiday Open House four days a week through December 20. Purchase a ticket online in advance to get access to the Holiday Design House—a festively decorated 19th Century farmhouse on the property where all décor and items in the home, from homeware and ornaments to furniture, can be purchased.
Wine & Beer Holiday Happenings in Loudoun
On select evenings this season, drive west on Route 7 in Loudoun toward Bluemont to enjoy a surreal sight. To the left of the road, about a mile south, the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains are carpeted in a glorious golden glow. What looks like the landing pad for a spaceship in a Spielberg movie is in fact 15,000 holiday lights strung through 10,000 grape vines at Bluemont Vineyard. Until January 2, you can celebrate the season with a festive light show. Each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Bluemont staff will lead a countdown to the illumination, followed by a rousing toast with Bluemont wines.
While the lights can be seen from miles away, two locations on the property—The Stable event venue which is hosting a “Winter Wine-derland” holiday pop-up for kids and the Harvest Room & Kitchen restaurant up the hill—offer the best vantage points.
Beer lovers can cozy up with their friends or family in igloos dotting the farmland at Wheatland Springs Farm + Brewery. Often found on trendy hotel rooftops in New York City or Washington, D.C., these personalized clear bubbles have arrived in Loudoun to provide the perfect backdrop for a magical evening. Each fits up to eight people and are open to guests 21 years and older.
Family Fun in Loudoun
Stroll through an array of lighted sculptures at Franklin Park Arts Center’s first Winter Lights Walk. From December 14 through January 2, this new outdoor experience in Purcellville features the work of local artists and is an extension of the park’s indoor gallery exhibit, “Stars, Night and Winter Sky.”
Over in Leesburg, animal encounters abound on weekends in December at the annual Christmas Village at Leesburg Animal Park. One of the most iconic symbols of Christmas comes to life as camels, sheep and other animals depict the famous nativity scene. Other activities include photo opportunities with Santa and furry friends, a holiday train ride, craft making and thousands of twinkling lights decorating the farm.
photo: Mosaic Business Solutions/Mosaic Photography
Holiday Shows in Loudoun
For an even more festive experience, nothing beats Stagecoach Theatre Company’s upcoming dinner theater production of comedy murder-mystery, “Up on The Rooftop, Click, Click, Bang.” To accommodate diners, this holiday-themed production is being staged in the Carriage House at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens. Intermission will be a three-course, socially distanced dinner catered by Pure Perfection.
The theatre company will also do a production of the iconic show “A Christmas Story” in downtown Ashburn from December 12–23. This black box theater is one of the few offering a safe, yet intimate, live show that will capture the hearts of everyone as it tells the story of little Ralphie at Christmas time.
photos & lead photo: Courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa
Holiday Fun at Loudoun’s Resorts
Make a weekend of it and stay at one of Loudoun County’s two luxe resorts, each offering enchanting and memorable experiences. At Forbes five-star rated Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, board a wagon and let the elves take you to Santa’s workshop for a visit with the man in the red suit. You can then enjoy s’mores, hot chocolate and a craft project. Visit the resort’s resident miniature horse Cupcake and hunt for the Elf on the Shelf who moves throughout the property.
At the beautifully decorated Lansdowne Resort & Spa, book the new holiday staycation package, complete with a s’mores kit to enjoy at the outdoor firepit, a bottle of wine and a holiday gift. For those traveling with kids, breakfast with Santa is a must on December 19.
For details on everything happening in Loudoun, visit www.visitloudoun.org. ~
you might like
Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant Virginia weddings, are complemented by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique that brings the pages of the magazines to life. The Shop features over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods and award-winning Virginia wines and craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country covers the grape-growing foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Lynchburg to Leesburg, including points in between like Charlottesville and Middleburg. Ivy Life & Style Media also creates other projects, including CharlottesvilleFamily.com, a collection of local resources including a popular calendar of events, family services guides and features on education, health and family day trips for parents and teachers in Charlottesville, as well as the CharlottesvilleWelcomeBook.com a guide to resources for Charlottesville tourists and newcomers.