There’s something about the traditions of a small-town Christmas that are especially magical. If you’re looking to fill the season of joy with some small-town festivity, plan a visit to Front Royal. You’ll find every weekend packed with holiday fun! Join our small community, support local business, and experience the magic of Front Royal’s holiday traditions. Read on to discover the best of Front Royal’s holiday celebrations this year.
1. Start out Right with Pancakes
The first Saturday of December starts the season off with a bang! Head to Warren County High School on December 4, and enjoy a drive-thru pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Front Royal. You can support a great cause, and fuel up for your day at the same time! But don’t head home yet! There’s plenty more on Front Royal’s Calendar today!
2. Celebrate with the Town at the Front Royal Christmas Festival and Parade
A beloved annual tradition, the Front Royal Christmas Festival and Parade is scheduled for December 4. It’s a great time to be on Front Royal’s Main Street! Enjoy an afternoon of live performances, a free Christmas movie showing, and more. The parade starts at 4 p.m., so you can watch the best of Front Royal roll by, including many of our favorite local businesses and organizations. Do some Christmas shopping beforehand, or grab some gourmet coffee or baked goods to enjoy while you watch.
3. Main Street Holiday Lights
Front Royal’s picturesque holiday lights traditionally come on at the end of the Christmas Festival. Stick around to watch the ceremony, or come back any evening during the holidays and enjoy the display in the Main Street area.
4. Christmas Classic Showings at Royal Cinemas
If you miss the movie showing at the Christmas festival, no worries! Come back to Royal Cinemas any weekend in December to enjoy the screening of a Christmas Classic! It’s a great way to relax and get in a festive mood after a day of shopping, exploring the town, or outdoor adventure.
5. Bring Refinement to your Holiday at the Blue Ridge Singers Holiday Concert
If you’re looking for the place where fine arts and Christmas festivity meet, check out the Blue Ridge Singers Holiday Concert. Coming to Front Royal on Friday, December 10, this local group performs challenging choral music in a way that will leave you enchanted and looking for more!
6. Explore our Christmas Market
If you’re a lover of Christmas Markets, you won’t want to miss Front Royal’s! The Front Royal Indoor Market on December 12, will be the place to finish up your holiday shopping! Check out local vendors, enjoy blacksmithing, stained glass making, and other crafts, and maybe even run into Santa Claus!
7. Watch the Band Play in the Holidays!
Another Front Royal Favorite, the American Legion Community Band Concert is a free show to put you in the holiday spirit. If the sound of the band is what tells you it’s the holidays, you won’t want to miss this one!
8. Enjoy some Holiday-Flavored Ice Cream
It’s never too cold for ice cream! If you need your taste buds to remind you that it’s the holidays, don’t forget to stop by Spelunker’s! This local legend has some of the best burgers and fries around, but their frozen custard is truly out of this world. Their holiday custard flavors are highly anticipated, and for good reason! Upcoming delights include Candy Cane Blast, Caramel Sweet Potato, Peach Pecan, and Eggnog. Check their facebook page for a full schedule of flavor-of-the-day offerings. Don’t leave a stop at Spelunker’s out of your day in Front Royal!
With a calendar full of quintessential holiday events, great Christmas shopping options, and delicious ice cream to top it all off, Front Royal is a great place to celebrate the holidays! Plan your holiday outings in Front Royal now! Maybe you’ll find a new tradition that’ll keep you coming back year after year.
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.
A Wine Lovers Itinerary!
Here's a sample itinerary just for Wine Lovers looking for a mid-week or weekend getaway along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail - perfect for your visit!
Summary: Savor Virginia wines and soak up mountain vistas in the unmatched setting of Front Royal’s rustic vineyards.
Location: Front Royal, VA.
Settle into lodging late afternoon/evening
Relax at the hotel in the morning or enjoy Saturday morning Zumba at Jig 'n' Jive or Explore Art and Clay
Pick up a picnic at Blue Wing Frog
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon picnic at Glen Manor Vineyards
Dinner at Osteria 510 if you’re still hungry
Get a coffee and see Murals downtown. Walk down Chester Street and pop into the Virginia Beer Museum (opens at noon)
Visit the beautiful Chester Gap Cellars winery
Dinner at The Element, a local favorite
Ideas to extend the stay ...
Visit one of the area's great Meaderies
Hike, camp or rent a cabin at Shenandoah National Park
Whatever your plans, there's so much to DISCOVER in Front Royal!
Guest Post by Taylor Jones.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, it is all upon us this holiday season. Despite all things 2020 - Front Royal has leveled up this year! In years prior it may not have been as easy to holiday shop locally but this year things are different. Local business is thriving! I’ve gathered a list of local spots that can make all your holiday present dreams come true.
First up is Inklings on Main Street. If you haven’t been through to visit this brand new spot you are missing out! They have great gifts from local vendors, vintage clothing, and all things Shenandoah related. This is a great place to shop for the person in your life who loves and takes pride in the Shenandoah Valley - as they have tons of mugs, posters, and puzzles that are Shenandoah themed. You can also find artisanal soaps, candles, and lotions! This place is chock full of things you probably didn’t know existed but are the perfect gifts for your family and friends.
It wouldn’t be a local gift guide without a shoutout for The Apple House - whether you’re looking for a fun hot sauce, cool socks, a funny tea towel, or some beautiful jewelry you’re looking for The Apple House. You may know them for their donuts and great barbecue but they are so much more. This place is quintessential to our town and they will not disappoint you or your gift receiving loved ones. P.S. - They offer holiday catering too!
Stokes…. I truly believe Stokes General Store is the most slept on spot in Front Royal. Stokes has so many great gift options and not just the ones you would think. They sell guns, and knives, and all things adventure related for that person in your life. But they also sell Carhart jackets, Minnetonka footwear, cast iron skillets, all kinds of boots and shoes; they’ve got it all. My favorite Denim jackets will never go out of style and Stokes offers them at a fair price and the chance to support a local shop!
Another great option for your adventure loving friends is Mountain Trails on Main Street! Mountain Trails is a real gem. They sell Patagonia outerwear and Blundstone boots and all the beanies you could ever wish for. They also sell sleeping bags, the fancy and coveted HydroFlasks and all sorts of warm flannels. Mountain Trails isn’t just an obvious choice for your adventuring loved ones, they have gifts for the whole family! They also have a store in Winchester!
A new spot with lots of great new options is Turnmeyer Galleries on South Street! They sell fun Front Royal Christmas puzzles, beautiful ornaments, and Shenandoah-themed mugs! Turnmeyer Galleries also sells beautiful images of the local scenery, in a number of different mediums. It is also a great spot to buy Yankee Candles locally!
Mystic Mountain Trading Company has lots of great options for your hippy friends! They have all the colored tapered candles, crystals, wind-chimes, and warm blankets you could desire. Mystic Mountain has gifts you may not have thought of but are sure to be crowd pleasers!
And last but not least, Royal Oak Bookshop! Royal Oak Bookshop is a representation of all the best things in our town. Packed to the brim with all sorts of books (local or otherwise) this shop is undervalued. This Holiday season you can call to place an order for any book, they’ll wrap it, and send it anywhere in the world! They also have a bunch of great books about our local history that would interest anyone who has lived in our town for long. The staff are friendly and helpful, including the shop cat.
There are so many other great shops in Front Royal but these are just a select few. Remember to shop local if you can this year. It is more important than ever for our local businesses to be able to stay afloat and support their families throughout 2020 and beyond!
Have a Happy Holiday!
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