Grace Manor Inn - Richmond, Va, 23220, USA

"Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus..."

Saturday, November 30th, 2013
It’s that time of year again! It’s time for the annual Richmond city Christmas Parade. Bundle up the kids, grab a thermos of hot chocolate and wander over to Broad Street. The parade starts Saturday, December 7th at 10 am.

There will be floats, marching bands, helium balloons and, of course, an appearance from Santa Claus himself. Broad Street will be closed off from the Science Museum all the way down to 7th Street. Last year, over 100,000 people attended. It’s the highlight of the season! Spend some time with the family and kick off the season with a little holiday cheer.

For more information about the event, visit:

“Illuminate” the night!

Monday, November 25th, 2013
I often find myself out late at night driving. Occasionally, I have the pleasure of seeing Richmond’s majestic skyline in the distance- twinkling every so promisingly. I’ll sigh as I take in it’s beauty and then I’ll focus back on the task of getting to my desired destination.

Around this time every year, I’ll look up at the skyline and grin. The buildings I’m so accustomed to seeing are covered in a blanket of lights. Lights that transform those cold, metal edifices into a subtle reminder of the joy and happiness associated with the holidays.

Be there to count down the seconds until Santa presses a button and lights up the downtown office buildings and the James Center’s Great Tree and reindeer. The Grand Illumination is December 6th, 5:45-7:00pm at the James Center between 9th-12 streets and Clay Streets. There will be live music, dancers from the Nutcracker, a visit from the Snow Queen and much more.

For more information, visit:

Holiday traditions

Sunday, November 24th, 2013
The holidays are a time for traditions- whether it’s baking cookies with your mom, singing carols with friends or putting up the tree with dad. One of Richmond’s oldest traditions is the lighting of the grand Christmas tree at the Jefferson Hotel.

The Jefferson hotel first opened in 1895 and boasts it’s fair share of famous guests, including Charles Lindberg, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Elvis Presley, Calvin Coolidge and more. It is one of 27 American hotels with Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Hotel ratings. The Jefferson is the epitome of luxury- with rich fabrics, angelic murals, intricate architecture, stained glass and, of course, a grand sweeping staircase. It’s breathtaking but it’s truly unforgettable around Christmas.

The tree lighting starts December 6th at 6:oopm. Make sure to get to the Jefferson early and check out what wonderful life-size gingerbread display the hotel pastry team has created this year! For directions, visit:

Richmond on Ice

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Richmond city’s seasonal ice skating rink will open this Friday, November 23. Skaters can enjoy holiday music, movies, a fire pit and a snack bar that’s stocked with warm beverages and supplies to make smore’s. Free arts and crafts sessions will be offered by Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities on Saturdays starting December 7th.

Take the family out for a fun afternoon on the ice or spend a romantic evening cozying up with that special someone over a cup of hot cocoa.

Admission is $3-5 with an additional $3-5 for skate rentals. The rink is located behind CenterStage. Hours vary but the rink will stay open until January 20. For more information about events or how to purchase tickets, visit:

Bizarre Christmas Market

Sunday, November 17th, 2013
Looking for a special holiday gift- one you won’t find at Target? or How about a gift for that person who supposedly has everything?

Take a trip to Carytown’s Chop Suey Books to visit the month-long pop up Bizarre Market. Richmond’s Bizarre Market groups together some of the city’s finest DIY artists and crafters. Vendors range from stuffed animals to screen-printed cards, jewelry to hand-crafted soaps, pottery to hand-stitched hats, bags and clothing.

The Bizarre Market runs November 29th to December 24. You can find the Market upstairs in Chop Suey Books at 2913 W. Cary Street. 10am-7pm. To find out more information as well as to view some of the vendors included in the market, visit:

Dangerous new exhibit opens at Maymont!

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
SNAKE-SNAKE-SNAKE!! What is the difference between the snake you often see in your garden and the snake you might come across while hiking along a trail?

Maymont’s Nature Center just opened a Venomous Snake Exhibit. The exhibit showcases three venomous snakes that are native and common to Virginia: the Timber Rattlesnake, Eastern Cottonmouth and Northern Copperhead. Learn how to identify these snakes and how to protect you and your family against them.

Admission to the Nature Center is $3 adults; $2 children and seniors; free for kids under 4. The center is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. For more information, visit:

Holiday Splendor on the Avenue

Monday, November 11th, 2013
Nothing says Christmas quite like big glittery bows, fresh evergreens, bright lights, festive music and extravagant displays of wealth.

The holidays are upon us! Instead of dragging your family along to do carols this year, why not buy them tickets to the “Fan Holiday House Tour”? The Fan District is a revitalized neighborhood made up of late 19th and early 20th century houses. It’s one of the largest and least altered historic districts in the South. About a dozen of these beautiful houses are open for visitors to walk around, ask questions and just enjoy the general splendor or each uniquely furnished home.

The tour runs December 7-8, 1-6PM. Tickets are $25 in advance/$30 the day of the tour. Visitors can space the homes out over the course of both days but are allowed to only visit each house once. For more information on where to purchase tickets, visit: For a map and further details on the houses included, visit:

Traveling LEGO exhibit visits Richmond

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
There’s nothing that says childhood quite like LEGOs. All of us, at one point in our lives, have had the chance to dig through a giant pile of those brightly-colored plastic blocks and construct some sort of architectural monstrosity.

Dan Parker, a Certified LEGO® Professional, has managed to construct 10 architectural masterpieces. Each piece is a scaled replica of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, made entirely out of LEGOs. Yes, that’s right- LEGOs. More than 500 hours went into transforming these epic edifices into their LEGO® versions, using nearly 200,000 of the toy bricks in the process.

The models include:

  • Chrysler Building
  • Flatiron Building
  • Hearst Tower
  • One Trade Center
  • Willis Tower
  • Space Needle
  • 30 St Mary Axe
  • Taipei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Menara Telekom
  • Burj Khalifa

The exhibit runs November 2 to December 31 at the Children’s Museum of Chesterfield. To find out more information, visit:

Storytelling Traditions in RVA

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013
The ability to tell a good story is a skill that not everyone possesses. The perfect story has memorable characters, plenty of humor, a gradual build up of plot, meaningful dialogue and occasionally, a profound moral lesson.

Secretly Ya’ll, a local storytelling group that encourages people to tell true stories in front of an audience, is constantly on the look-out for those individuals who find themselves just itching to tell someone about a funny situation that happened to them the other day. The organizers will pick a topic for the event and then people are allowed to sign up in advance online or at the event itself to share their story.

The next Secretly Ya’ll is Monday November 4th at Balliceaux- 7PM. Tickets are $5 at the door. This month’s theme is: THIEF! Every dollar raised will go to the Hilliard House, a program that assists homeless women and their children.

To find out more information, visit:

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