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!
There’s a seasonal rhythm to human eating that comes with making an effort to eat local and produce some of your own food. Summer and early fall are a natural time of year to be outdoors, growing and harvesting fresh produce. But as the weather cools and the days shorten, there’s a lot less growing happening in the great outdoors. Many of us feel an urge to get cozy inside instead. It’s a great time to enjoy the tastes and scents of home-baked goods or preserved produce.
If you’re feeling a craving for cozy baked goods and preserved local produce as fall turns to winter, you’ll find plenty to satisfy you in Front Royal. Read on for the best local places to pick up baked treats or stock up on local preserves.
Front Royal’s Baked Goods
Down Home Comfort Bakery is Front Royal’s number one stop for freshly baked goods all year round. But in the fall, there’s something particularly appealing about cozying up with one of their tantalizing treats. You’ll even find seasonal produce in your treats here. Try out the Pumpkin Moonshine Cake or Apple Caramel Cake for melt-in-your-mouth flavors of fall. Their cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns are favorites all year round. Need a hand with your Thanksgiving dinner? Down Home Comfort Bakery has you covered with a huge selection of delicious pies available for preorder now!
Head to Manor Line's Back 40 for a cozy coffee shop with many local products on the menu. Enjoy delicious coffee and seasonal baked goods. Couches, a stash of board games, and toys for kids make it a great place to spend a cozy few hours.
Or explore a few blocks north of Main Street to find Garcia and Gavino, a friendly family bakery. You can enjoy cupcakes and other sweet treats, as well as a selection of empanadas and breakfast burritos.
In the mood for warming up with a cup of coffee and a baked treat on the side? Front Royal’s Daily Grind is another great option. This cozy coffee shop on Main Street is a long time local favorite. With fresh scones, muffins, turnovers, Danishes, and more, you’re sure to find the perfect sweet treat to pair with that warming mug of coffee or hot chocolate.
Let us not leave out DOUGHNUTS, wonderful doughnuts! And anyone knows that the most memorable doughnuts around are Strites Doughnuts! You can get your fill at 50 Water Street in Front Royal, open Friday and Saturday's from 7am to sold out or Noon. (Note they accept cash only).
Local Pickles and Preserves in Front Royal
For many years, preserving food to last through the winter has been one of the major tasks of human life. During the summer and fall, people would “put up” a supply of canned and preserved goods, such as pickles, jams, sauces, pie fillings, dried fruits, and more. The colder moths were a time to rest from the labor of growing and harvesting, and enjoy the food prepared earlier in the year.
With grocery stores now bringing fresh food into our hands from all corners of the earth, preserving food is no longer a necessity for many. Nevertheless it can be a fun and money-saving hobby, and the results are still delicious. If you’re not interested in preserving your own food, shop for local preserves in Front Royal. The Apple House has a wide range of local products such as chutneys, jams, jellies, and pickles. Dusty’s Country Store is another great place to stock up on preserved Virginia produce including peanut butter and traditional chutneys. Pick out some unique gifts at either location to get a jump start on your holiday shopping.
It’s the season for cozy fires, candlelight, spicy baked goods, and delicious jams and jellies. Look no further than Front Royal to stock up on all your edible supplies for a cozy and delicious winter.
Music has the power to relax, invigorate, bring people together, or simply add that perfect final touch to an already amazing day. With its universal appeal, music is something you’ll find all over the world, and Front Royal is no exception. With a local music scene that’s bursting with talent, Front Royal has plenty going on for music lovers. Looking for a place to sip on a beer and enjoy live music? Head to Front Royal! Have an aspiring musician in your family? Find a teacher in Front Royal! In search of a classical choir performance? The Front Royal area has that too.
Natural beauty brings with it inspiration for the human spirit, and with the stunning outdoors that surrounds Front Royal, it’s not surprising that musicians aplenty are enjoying the opportunities in and around our town. With country, folk rock, classical and much more besides, Front Royal’s music scene is hopping to the beat! Use our handy guide (below) and make plans to enjoy the musical side of Front Royal life on your next visit.
Where to Listen to Music while you Eat!
Sometimes you’re just in the mood to enjoy a beer or a meal and unwind to the sound of live music. There’s a few places you can find this fantastic combination in Front Royal. Head to the Blue Wing Frog on a Thursday to enjoy their Live Music Thursdays alongside a serving of fresh, locally sourced, home-cooked, healthy food.
Virginia Beer Museum has a lively calendar of events, including band performances and more. If you are looking to share your own musical talent, head here too. You’ll find regular open mic nights and karaoke. Who knows, you may get a chance to hear some other yet-to-be-discovered musical talents.
Front Royal’s own downtown brewery, Vibrissa Beer, is another eatery to check for Live Music Nights. Follow them on Facebook to get all the latest updates.
Honey & Hops Brew Works also have 'Music and Mead' live music events at their venue on Main Street. What a great way to experience mead and hear local talent!
More Musical Performances in Front Royal
For a more organized performance that’s still relaxed, the Blue Ridge Arts Council has you covered. Their summer concert series, Gazebo Gatherings, is a great place to enjoy live music, new bands, and the fantastic feel of Front Royal’s downtown area. Grab a chair and some snacks and head to Front Royal’s Main Street Gazebo area, where you’ll find a fun crowd of other music lovers. Don’t forget to walk across the street to C&C Frozen Treats for an ice cream.
In search of choral music to make your spirits soar? Front Royal’s own Blue Ridge Singers have you taken care of. This community choir has been delighting the Front Royal area with a range of classical-to-modern choral music for over ten years. See here to keep up to date with upcoming performances. Love to sing yourself? Find audition information here! No formal music training required!
Meet Front Royal’s Native Musicians
In recent years, Appaloosa Music Festival has been some of the most exciting news on the Front Royal music scene. A major draw for music lovers from across the nation, Appaloosa puts Front Royal on the music map in a big way each fall. And it’s all due to our own local talent. Celtic music band, Scythian, is now a national sensation, but its founding members grew up right here in Front Royal. Wanting to spend more time in their home town, they founded Appaloosa festival in 2014 as a way to bring the music scene home with them. The festival’s been growing yearly ever since. Start to make your plans now for a memorable weekend of folk music, camping, and fellowship this fall.
Another local-born talent who’s turning heads in the music world is singer/songwriter Marie Miller. Find her music on Spotify, itunes, and amazon, and remember you’re bringing a little of Front Royal’s relaxed and fun country vibe with you.
Music Lessons in Front Royal
For adults and children alike looking to improve their musical skills, newly-founded Mountain View Music is the exciting studio that Front Royal’s been waiting for. Find a talented and highly qualified team of instructors, individual and group classes in a range of popular instruments and genres, and even the occasional live performance. It’s the music studio you’ve been looking for, all in downtown Front Royal. Ballet and choir classes are available too. It’s yet another exciting initiative for the music lovers of Front Royal.
The Shenandoah Valley is alive with the sound of music! Make the music of Front Royal’s musicians the soundtrack to your next Front Royal outing, and you’ll find it’s the final touch that completes an amazing experience.
In the Northern Hemisphere, December is the darkest month of the year. The good news is that there are thousands of tiny, twinkling lights around to keep all of our spirits up during this season of long nights and short days. The holiday light displays across the U.S. are one of the most magical sights of the holiday season. Whether you enjoy holiday lights simply by taking a walk around your neighborhood, or think it’s worth jumping in the car to check out local lights near you, holiday light viewing is a great way to enjoy the magic of the season. Bring some hot chocolate to sip on, and enjoy a Christmassy adventure for all the family!
There are several fantastic holiday light displays within driving distance from Front Royal. Read on for help planning your light-viewing outing this season.
1. Have a Wonderful Walk at Clearbrook Park
Head north of Front Royal to Clearbrook Park to enjoy Walking in a Winter Wonderland! The 0.5 mile trail is surrounded by stunning light displays with just the right holiday tunes playing to surround you in a magical experience. It’s a fun outing for all the family. Be sure to plan ahead as advance ticket purchase is required.
2. Enjoy Gardens Transformed into a Winter Wonderland
You’ll need to venture closer to the big city for this one, but if you want to see one of Northern Virginia’s Botanical Gardens transformed into a magical winter wonderland, it’s worth the trip. The Meadowlark Botanical Garden’s Winter Walk of Lights includes displays of flowers, animals, and trees, as well as seasonal holiday themes. If you need to warm up, hot chocolate and coffee are available for purchase, as well as snacks, and even cold drinks if you’re in the mood! Tickets are required: plan ahead and reserve your tickets now to avoid disappointment!
3. Cruise through Miles of Magic at the Bull Run Festival of Lights
If you want to enjoy some holiday lights from the comfort (and warmth!) of your car, the Bull Run Festival of Lights in the nearby town of Manassas is for you! Turn off your headlights and enjoy the magic of this 2.5 mile display. There’s even a special radio station you can tune to so you can enjoy seasonal music while you drive. After enjoying the light display, stop by the Holiday Village and Carnival. Here you can enjoy bonfires, s’mores, camel rides, carnival rides, and much more! Buy your tickets here.
4. Enjoy Lighting Small-town Style on Main Street, Front Royal
Though perhaps not as grand as some of the displays around, don’t forget that Front Royal’s own Main Street is picturesque during the holiday season! Take a stroll one evening and enjoy wreaths and lights on the lampposts, and a lit up tree at the gazebo.
There's also 'Front Royal Light Fight', a first for Front Royal! This is a friendly Christmas light competition promoting fellowship, fun, and community. Organized by Lori Oaks, a local real estate agent whose mission is to bring value to the communities she serves. Monetary prizes will be awarded to six winners! Check out the competitors here and mark your map to get out and view them!
Being local, you can even fit in some Christmas shopping while you’re out, or take a break and treat yourself at one of Main Street’s many fantastic eateries.
5. Get Away from it All and Gaze up at a Star-filled Sky
If you’re a lover of nature, and also looking to escape some of the crowds and hustle and bustle, why not switch out a holiday light viewing outing for a removed stargazing adventure. Mother Nature’s display of thousands of twinkling lights is more magnificent than any other! The night skies around Front Royal are dark and free of light pollution, and with Shenandoah Nation Park on our doorstep, it’s a great place to plan holiday stargazing trip for yourself or your whole family. Don’t forget to pack hot chocolate and blankets! See here for more of our tips on stargazing in the Front Royal area.
So if you’re in the Front Royal area this holiday season, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the magic of holiday lights. Whether you’re looking for a magical walk, an enchanted car ride, a stroll in a pretty village, or the silence and majesty of a starry night sky, you’ll find it around here. Guaranteed to lift your spirits, and delight children and adults alike, an outing to see the lights could be the next staple tradition for your holiday season!
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