It’s common knowledge that Charlottesville residents and visitors get to experience a diverse lineup of events throughout the year, and the month of December always brings a spectacular selection of things to do in town. When you’re looking for something to do on your weekends, there is something for everyone. Find our can’t-miss Charlottesville events in December 2017 below. All locations are within the city of Charlottesville unless otherwise noted.
Friday, December 1st:
1. Charlottesville’s 20th Annual Grand Illumination: A family-friendly event with live music, crafts, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, finishing with the lighting of the community Christmas tree – over 20,000 bulbs! Following the lighting of the tree, catch a showing of A Christmas Story at the Paramount.
201 East Main St at 5:30 pm [free].
2. Femme Funk: A Female Musician Showcase: A benefit concert at the Ante Room showcasing female musicians from UVA and the Charlottesville community to aid the Shelter for Help in Emergency. Performers include Choose Your Own Adventure and Soju Blue.
219 West Water Street at 7 pm [$10 suggested donation].
Saturday, December 2nd:
1. Barracks Road Annual Holiday Parade: A day of holiday cheer featuring a Santa Claus appearance, spectacular floats, marching bands, and horse-drawn carriages! This event is quite family-friendly as well.
2134 Barracks Road at 9:30 am [free].
2. Charlottesville Symphony Holiday Concert: The UVA-Charlottesville Symphony and the UVA University Singers come together for a special holiday concert at Old Cabell Hall on UVA Grounds.
Old Cabell Hall at 8 pm [$10 for students, $10-45 for adults].
Friday, December 8th:
1. Tweed + The Fat Catz: Rapture hosts The Fat Catz, a funk rock group melds “explosive improvisation” and unforgettable hooks. This should be a great way to spend your Friday night. 21+ event.
303 East Main Street at 10 pm [free for 21+].
2. Justice on Trial: Black Lives Matter Too: The Chad Cooper Company presents a play on race relations and the legal system at the Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center. The performance brings in characters like Emmett Till and Harriet Tubman to educate and inspire viewers.
1400 Melbourne Road at 7 pm [$44 early-bird, $60 at the door].
Saturday, December 9th:
1. Guided Tour of Aboriginal Art: This free tour of UVA’s Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection gives you a look inside the only museum of Indigenous Australian art in the world. Knowledgeable guides lead fun, informative hour-long tours of wonderful exhibits.
400 Worrell Drive at 10:30 am [free].
2. Mojo Pie at Albemarle CiderWorks: Cider and live music make a great combo, and Mojo Pie’s performance at Albemarle CiderWorks will be a perfect pairing. Come enjoy an afternoon of refreshment and folk tunes.
2545 Rural Ridge Lane in North Garden at 2:30 pm [free].
Sunday, December 10th:
1. Harlem Globetrotters at JPJ Arena: The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters make a stop at UVA’s John Paul Jones Arena on a Sunday afternoon, showcasing incredible dunks, long shots, comedy, and plenty of fun.
295 Massie Road at 2 pm [$25.50-97.50].
Friday, December 15th:
1. Bobby Midnight Band at Glass House Winery: Another pairing of great music and great booze, the Bobby Midnight Band will take the stage at Glass House Winery in Free Union. Blue Mountain Brewery will have a food truck on hand with a tasty menu.
5898 Free Union Road in Free Union at 6 pm [free concert, tasting fees still apply].
Saturday, December 16th:
1. Charlottesville Ballet’s The Nutcracker: A holiday tradition for many, The Nutcracker is a storied ballet that is sure to spread some holiday cheer and bring exposure to the wonderful Charlottesville Ballet. The performance will take place at the Earl Dickinson Building for Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences.
501 College Drive at 4:30 pm [$20-75].
2. Eddie from Ohio at the Jefferson: Eddie from Ohio, a harmony-driven folk alternative outfit, makes their way to Charlottesville for another stop at the famed Jefferson Theater. A collection of JMU and VT graduates from Northern Virginia, the group has toured nationally and been named “Best Contemporary Folk Group four times by the Washington Area Music Association. Come see this storied band in your town.
110 East Main Street, doors at 7:30 pm [$25-40 per person].
Sunday, December 17th:
1. Travis Elliott at Rapture: After a well-received debut EP in 2003, Travis Elliott hit the road for countless tours to hone his craft. Come hear performances from his catalog of over 500 songs at Rapture.
303 East Main Street at 10 pm [free].
Friday, December 22nd:
1. Open Music Jam at the James River Brewery: It may be a little far, out in Scottsdale, but this local brewery’s bi-weekly Friday jams are great for musicians and listeners alike. Enjoy great music and even better beer.
561 Valley Street in Scottsville at 7 pm [free].
Saturday, December 23rd:
1. A Christmas Tour with Phil Vassar and Kellie Pickler: The Paramount hosts famed country singer Kellie Pickler and Phil Vassar for a Christmas-themed show that will bring lots of holiday cheer!
215 East Main Street at 8 pm [$82].
Tuesday, December 26th:
1. Montpelier Kids-Free-After-Christmas Event: From December 26th to January 1st, kids 14 and under get free admission to any Montpelier house tour. Yet another reason to go visit James Madison’s residence!
11350 Constitution Highway in Montpelier Station from 9 am to 5 pm [kids under 14 are free, adults $22].
Saturday, December 30th:
1. After Hours at James Monroe’s Highland: Don’t miss your last chance for a special after-hours holiday tour of President James Monroe’s former home, offered at twilight with various desserts accompanying tours.
2050 James Monroe Parkway from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm [$28 per person].
Sunday, December 31st:
1. First Night Virginia in Charlottesville: A special celebration of the arts in Charlottesville, this family-friendly event comes with plenty of opportunities to hear music, experience visual art, and get some good food while you’re at it! Buy a wristband early and save some money too.
East and West Main Street from 3 pm to 12:15 am [sales open December 1st, price TBD].
2. New Year’s Eve at Veritas Winery: If the combination of a masked ball, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a five-course meal sounds like a great way to spend your NYE, then Veritas should be your best bet! Better yet, a breakfast will be served just after the midnight celebration.
151 Veritas Lane in Afton at 7 pm [$175 per person].
3. New Year’s Eve Fun Fest at Blue Mountain Brewery: Following the brewery-winery trend, Blue Mountain Brewery will offer a family-friendly New Year’s Eve with sparkling cider toasts. An event that offers fun for all ages, BMB will also host a “Hair of the Dog” New’s Year Day brunch the next morning.
9519 Critzers Shop Road in Afton, 3:30-5:30 pm and again at 7:30-9:30 pm [$5 per ticket].
Thanks for checking our list of the best Charlottesville events in December 2017, and come back next month for a fresh list!