Finding the Festivity in Front Royal
With gift-giving, parties, Christmas celebrations and more, the holidays are an exciting time of year. Heading to a holiday event can be a fun way to celebrate the season with the wider community. Check out Front Royal’s events calendar and find the best events where you can celebrate with our small town community this winter. Choose the event that suits your mood, or try to make it to all of them. You can bundle up for a Christmas parade and some local shopping, relax and restore with a musical performance, or enjoy a fun, historic celebration. Read on to discover the events you’ll find in Front Royal this holiday season.
1. Front Royal Christmas Parade and Festivities
The first Saturday of December is the date of a beloved Front Royal tradition: the Christmas Parade! Mark your calendar for December 3rd to enjoy a full day of fun. The celebration starts in the morning with the Kiwanis annual pancake day, lasting until 3 pm. Stop by Warren County High School to support a good cause and charge up with a plate of pancakes before a day of fun.
Head downtown around noon to find an open air market where local vendors can provide you with unique, beautifully crafted gifts to get you started on your list (or help you finish!). Enjoy entertainment from Front Royal’s talented youth while you shop. Need a break? Stop by Royal Cinemas at 1 pm for a FREE Christmas movie showing! With horse-drawn carriage rides available too, there’s plenty to keep you busy until 5 pm rolls around and it’s time for the Christmas parade. The ceremonial lighting of Front Royal’s Christmas tree ends a magical evening.
2. Music to Uplift your Spirit
The busyness and gaiety of the holiday season is exciting, but it can also be draining. It’s important to take the time to recharge and refresh your spirit. What better way than by reflecting on the real meaning of Christmas with beloved choral classics of the season. Give yourself or a loved one the gift of an evening of Christmas song in the Front Royal area.
The Blue Ridge Singers is a local group of musicians who perform classic choir music throughout the year. This year’s free concert of Christmas and Advent music will be held at three different times and locations around Warren County. Check it out to see which one works for you!
Another option for a free concert is Night of Wonder, a performance of historic and well-loved Christmas music by the Valley Chorale. Performances are in Staunton, Winchester, and Front Royal on December 9, 10, and 11. Pick the one that works for you.
If you’re a fan of big bands, Front Royal has that too! On December 13, enjoy Christmas music of the Front Royal based American Legion Community Band at Front Royal’s RMA. Can’t wait until the thirteenth? Head to the nearby historic town of Harper’s Ferry for their performance on December 11.
3. A Christmas Celebration of Front Royal’s History
Take a break from all the music, and enjoy a Christmas Celebration with a historic twist with the Warren Heritage Society’s Christmas Open House on December 14th. The Warren Heritage Society is the proud owner of three fantastic historic homes in Front Royal. Check them out and enjoy chatting with 17th century reenactors. Refreshments keep the mood festive. You can enjoy a little bit of Christmas and learn some history too!
With band music, choir performances, festivals, and more, there’s plenty to enjoy in Front Royal during the holidays. Make your plans today for a memorable holiday season in Front Royal!
Motorcycles and Front Royal, Virginia
Guest Post written by Warren Massey of Front Royal, VA.
Twitter @ijustwant2ride and https://ijustwant2ride.com/
I have ridden along many national parkways including the Natchez Trace (TN/MS), Great Lake Seaway Byway (NY), Blue Ridge Parkway (VA, NC) and, of course, the Skyline Drive Parkway (VA). I have also attended multiple motorcycle rallies along the east coast including Daytona.
Outside of rallies, I have never seen as many motorcycles in one location as I do in Front Royal, Virginia. During motorcycle riding season, it is not uncommon to see hundreds of motorcycles in Front Royal, either singular or riding in large groups daily. You can see these large numbers of motorcycles passing through almost every day but especially on weekends. In my opinion Front Royal could be the motorcycle destination of Virginia much like Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee.
Why are so many motorcycles passing through Front Royal? It is because the town is located at the northern terminus of Skyline Drive and about an hour from the nation’s capital. All these motorcycle riders are passing through the town on the way to Skyline Drive or to parts unknown as they leave the Parkway.
By just passing through Front Royal motorcyclists are missing out on opportunities for some great local rides and the great local flavor. For example, a rider can take a loop from Front Royal to Luray via Fort Valley Road. That ride would last about two+ hours, depending on stops, and would have you back in town by lunch time.
After lunch, mount the motorcycle and head south out of town to cross under Skyline Drive at it two gaps. But be careful, they are quite technical, and the northern gap is designated as a high crash area. Two+ hours later you will be back in town with enough time to get to dinner and a stroll along main street.
After dinner, riders could visit the Virginia Beer Museum for brew and live music or Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing for a unique activity or any of the many other venues in town. Front Royal has lots of hotels and restaurants and a main street that could be considered a throw-back to another era. Check out the movie theater that has a 1950’s vibe with a state-of-the-art projector and sound system.
Front Royal may be the gateway to Skyline Drive, but it should also be a destination at the start or end of your motorcycle ride. Stay a day or two, there are plenty of hotels and campgrounds, to explore both our local roads and our small-town atmosphere.
As the calendar turns to February, thoughts of romance begin to warm the winter air. If you’re planning an evening with a special someone look no further than the Front Royal area! You’ll find that a small town Valentine’s Day is the perfect setting for your romance to blossom. Read on for five tips (plus a bonus!) on celebrating Valentine’s Day (or any romantic occasion) in the Front Royal area. With fine dining, fun activities for couples, special events with local businesses, and wineries aplenty, there’s a way for everyone to keep the romance going (and maybe fall in love with Front Royal, too!)
1. Sample Front Royal’s Fine Dining
Nothing says “I love you” quite like dinner at an elegant table for two. If you’re in search of a traditional dinner date Front Royal’s fine dining eateries are at your disposal. Don’t forget to make a reservation! With Valentine’s weekend being one of the busiest of the year in restaurants, you’ll want to make sure you secure your table well in advance.
Mark your calendar for Saturday February 12 to take advantage of the four course Valentine’s dinner at ViNoVA Mediterranean Bistro. Go here to make your reservation and enjoy four delicious courses, a bottle of wine, and a special dessert cocktail. Eat, drink, and fall in love!
For a local craft brewery in a modern setting with delicious pub food, plan your Valentine’s Dinner at Front Royal’s own Vibrissa Beer. You may even catch a glimpse of Cupid while you eat.
The Element on Main Street is Front Royal’s classic fine dining option. You’ll find gourmet food and the atmosphere to go with it. Or for another fine dining options, lovers of Asian cuisine, should visit Try Thai on Main Street.
2. Explore a Casual Dining Spot that Locals Love
If you’re not in the mood for formal dining, a fun, casual eatery can also be a setting for great date. Today, we’re featuring two old Front Royal favorites where locals have been making great memories for years!
If there’s one restaurant in Front Royal that pizza lovers shouldn’t miss, it’s The Melting Pot! This local favorite has been feeding pizza to Front Royal for over 50 years. Some locals have been making memories here for a lifetime!
For a fun twist on the traditional dinner date, why not try a breakfast date instead? The Apple House is an old Front Royal area favorite that gets you out of town, but doesn’t involve a long drive. Don’t forget to end your meal with one of their famous apple butter donuts! Or come back in the evening for a drink, appetizers, and a sandwich at the Apple House’s newly opened Bushel Pub. With a drink menu full of Virginia wines and Virginia Craft Beers, it’s a great date-spot for lovers of local products.
3. Take a Dance Class
What could be more romantic than enjoying a dance together? If you or your partner have two left feet, don’t worry! Jig ’N’ Jive Dance Studio offers private ballroom and swing dance classes for couples. Have fun together, learn a new skill, and listen to romantic music, all at the same time!
4. Enjoy Special Valentine’s Events with Local Businesses
It’s impossible to enjoy all the Valentine’s fun on one day! That’s why Front Royal’s favorite local businesses have banded together to plan some fun events leading up to the big fourteenth.
The week of February 7-14, take part in the second annual Warren County Chocolate Crawl. Explore Front Royal and receive a special treat or discount at participating businesses.
Bring five receipts from participating businesses to the Visitors Center to enter their I LOVE Main Street $250 Giveaway! The winner will receive $250 in gift cards to all your favorite main street businesses. Stop by the Visitors Center for details.
On February 12, enjoy extra fun on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the I LOVE Main Street event.
February 12th and 13th are also a great days to try out axe throwing with your date! Shenandoah Valley Axe Co. is offering a Valentine’s special that features 1.5 hours of axe throwing as well as coaching and refreshments. Make your reservation today!
If you’re coming into town a week early, no worries! Main Street’s local businesses also have some Valentines-themed fun planned for the “First Friday” weekend of February 4-6.
5. Sip on a Glass of Virginia Wine
There’s something about the experience of sharing a glass of wine that is both memorable and romantic. If you’re in search of a wine date, the Front Royal area has a wealth of amazing local wineries. Rappahannock Cellars, and Fox Meadow Winery are two nearby favorites that combine delectable wines with all the classy winery atmosphere you love.
6. Don’t Forget to Plan Something for the Kids
Not strictly a date idea, but all parents know that the babysitting is an essential aspect of date planning. If you’re planning your night out for Saturday February 12, you’re in luck! Entertain them and let them burn off some energy at Battlegrounds Fitness. They’ll enjoy a night of fun, games, and healthy exercise. Bonus: they should be tired enough to collapse into bed right when you get home, giving you even more quiet time together! All ages from “potty-trained” on up are welcome.
You deserve a night on the town and it helps knowing your kids will be playing and having fun too! That's why Code Ninjas offers Parent's Night Out - definitely a win-win evening for entire families! Drop the kiddos off where they will play games, assemble puzzles, build robotics, and more! Code Ninjas is offering this service on Saturday, February 12th from 6 PM to 9 PM and on Valentine's Day, February 14th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Once you've had a chance to unwind, swing by to pick them up (please) and hear about all the fun they've had!
Bonus: Take your picture by the LOVE Sign
While you’re out and about town on your date, don’t forget that Front Royal has a great spot for a fun photo shoot. Stop by Front Royal’s LOVE sign (located by the downtown gazebo and Commerce Street by Pavement). It’s the perfect background for taking a memorable picture together. While you’re there, stop by the Visitor Center to claim a special treat just for visitors to the area.
There really are almost unlimited options for romantic outings in the Front Royal area. After all, anything can be romantic when you’re with the love of your life on Valentine’s Day! To get more ideas for a fun activity that you’ll both enjoy, see our posts here and here. It’s easy to fall in love in Front Royal!
Getting off the beaten path means excitement, adventure, solitude. It means taking the road less traveled . . . and perhaps discovering a hidden treasure. That’s what’ll happen if you get away from it all and explore the small mountain town of Front Royal, the gateway to Shenandoah National Park. Get away from it all in Front Royal, and you’ll find a group of incredibly talented locals waiting to provide you with unique and memorable shopping, dining, and crafting experiences. Read on for a run-down of some of hidden treasures you’ll want to find as you explore Front Royal!
Pick Out the Perfect Gift at Inklings
If you’re in search of a gift that’s lovingly crafted, high-quality, and unique, you’ll hit the jackpot when you stop by Inklings on Main Street. From organic baby swaddles to herbal teas, handmade candles and soaps, and loads of other goodies, you’ll find a wide array of unique gifts to please the pickiest person on your list (or yourself!). Inklings sources their products from small businesses and artisans across the country, and there are always new items coming in. Imagine browsing Etsy, but in person!
Enjoy Genuine Country Food at the Apple House
The Apple House is about a ten minute drive from downtown Front Royal, and here you can find genuine country food and products in a genuine country setting! Stop in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and explore the gift shop for a wide range of tempting items, including locally produced jellies, jams, and condiments. Don’t forget to grab some of the famous Apple Butter Cinnamon Donuts for the road!
Explore Fine Art at Turnmeyer Galleries
If you’re exploring Main Street, you’ll want to be sure to stop at Turnmeyer Galleries. It’s a unique blend of boutique gift shop and art gallery. Browse the fine art photography and metal work on display, or check out the incredibly wide range of gifts and luxury items. Plan ahead and you can even participate in a photography workshop or schedule an indoor or outdoor portrait session.
Complete Your Own Work of Art at The Studio
If you want to make your Front Royal souvenir even more unique, why not paint it yourself? Sign up for a class or workshop at The Studio on Main Street, and complete a painting or craft project under the expert direction of local artist Kelly Walker. You’ll walk away with a piece you can be proud of!
Take on a Pottery Project at Explore Art and Clay
Pining after pottery? Stop by Explore Art and Clay and check out all this full service pottery studio has to offer. You can participate in a pottery workshop, paint your pre-made pottery piece (they’ll fire it for you!), or even schedule time to use their equipment if you have your own supplies. Whether you’re an experienced potter or you’ve never tried it before, stop in for a fun date, family outing, or solo creative outlet! You’ll bring home a souvenir that you made yourself!
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all: the crowds, the hustle and bustle, the pace of the city. If you’re looking to take a break from the busy-ness of modern life, come and explore the unique shops and special treasures of the town of Front Royal. You’ll come away with fond memories, and a souvenir that’s just as unique as our town.
Discover Front Royal