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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

For those who are staying in Richmond over the break, there are plenty of weekend and night-out activities to fill up the holiday season. Here are some of RVA’s most festive spots this winter to celebrate the city’s history and beauty. 

Byrd Theatre Christmas Movies

There is nothing more nostalgic than getting together with your family or friends to watch a classic Christmas movie. Throughout the winter, The Byrd Theatre in Carytown hosts showings of beloved holiday movies such as “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Elf” and “Home Alone.”

RVA Illuminates

RVA Illuminates is the event that lights up the Richmond skyline from Kanawha Plaza for the first time each winter. Located in the heart of downtown Richmond, the plaza provides 360-degree views of the city. Although the event has already passed this year, this annual Richmond tradition features live music, activities and an outdoor movie viewing. 

Switch RVA Ugly Sweater Christmas Party

One of the city’s nightlife hotspots is Switch RVA, a pop-up bar with an immersive art experience. On Dec. 17, the bar is hosting an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, with a $100 prize for the ugliest sweater.

Merry Market at Maymont Botanical Garden

In addition to a light show, Maymont Botanical Garden hosts a market with over 40 local business stalls. There is food, drinks, live music and even an arts and crafts tent for children to make their own decorations and ornaments. 

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights

Similar to Maymont’s light show, Dominion Energy also hosts the GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. This year’s theme is “Seeds of Light,” and with over a half-million lights, the garden’s paths will feature a fire pit, a live tree-cutting event and model trains. There will also be live choral and instrumental music on select Thursdays.

Kings Dominion WinterFest

If you are an adrenaline junkie, Kings Dominion is the perfect place to be this winter. Similar to the Halloween Haunt, the park will be adorned with lights, decor and holiday-themed performances. In addition to the rides, local artisans and small businesses will have stalls with festive goods. The park will also have an ice skating rink.

Carytown Holiday Artisan Market

Mark your calendars for Dec. 10 and 11. City Stadium in Carytown, a short distance away from the Monroe Park campus, is hosting the 11th Annual Artisan Market. There will be live music, food trucks, and local artisans in various categories such as painting, jewelry, graphics, photography and sculpture.

Canal Walk and surrounding bridges

One of my personal favorite views of Richmond can be seen by walking along one of the many bridges in downtown Richmond. With views of the city on one side, and the James River on the other, some of the smaller bridges leading to Brown’s Island are sometimes decorated with Christmas lights as well. It is the perfect picture spot and the walk makes a perfect end to a night downtown.

Tanya Kurnootala is a junior at VCU majoring in biology. She enjoys writing about issues that enrich the female perspective, with a focus on politics and women's health.