Family Activities for December in Richmond, VA

By Jane Rodda
Families can enjoy the many ice skating facilities in Richmond.
Families can enjoy the many ice skating facilities in Richmond.

The city of Richmond, Virginia, is rich in history evident by the cobblestone streets and old Victorian houses. During the month of December, the town is filled with holiday celebrations, cultural and historical events and plenty of indoor fun centers and museums. Your family will find plenty to do in this capital city along the James River.

Holiday Events

The Dominion Christmas Parade is the traditional kick-off to the holiday season in Richmond. The event attracts more than 100,000 spectators from all over the state. Families can enjoy the marching bands, large floats and helium-filled balloons as the procession makes its way through the downtown area. Richmond also has what is called the "Tacky Lights Tour." To participate, you simply download the city's list of certain homes that display what you might call "extreme holiday decorating" and stop by to get a look for yourself. At the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden you and the family can see the extensive decorations including the Dominion GardenFest of lights, which features more than one-half-million twinkling lights, hand-crafted botanical displays, model trains, as well as enjoy activities such as caroling, craft-making and holiday dinners.


You can spend time at a museum any time of the year, but during December is ideal with the kids out of school and the cold weather keeping everyone inside. The Children's Museum of Richmond provides excellent places for young children to explore with their parents including play farms, grocery stores, a tree house and an art studio. During the month of December up until the 24th, kids can even get that very important visit with Santa at the museum. Alternatively, the Science Museum of Virginia is a great place for families with older children, as it features hands-on science exploration exhibits such as liquid nitrogen displays, chemistry experiments and cow eye dissections.

Family Fun Centers

Many game centers are indoors, making them an optimal place to have some fun in December. G-Force is a venue with a laser tag arena, indoor paintball games and go-kart racing. For a bowling option, AMF Sunset Lanes offers 32 lanes with gutter options, a lounge area and video games. Richmond Ice Zone is an action-packed facility with an indoor ice arena for free skating, skate lessons and hockey lessons. It also has laser tag and an arcade to complete the experience. If you are up for some outdoor winter excitement, consider taking the family to the Farm Bureau Winter Park. Located in the heart of the city, you can skate around, enjoy holiday music and have some hot chocolate by the fire.

See a Show

Richmond is rich with performing arts centers many of which have holiday classic performances during the month of December. The Virginia Repertory Theatre features a Children's Theatre venue that presents a holiday stage production, such as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, all through December. The Hanover Tavern Theatre also typically features a holiday show throughout the month of December such as A Lug Nut's Christmas. Another option is to take the family to see the Richmond Ballet's rendition of the timeless ballet, The Nutcracker.

About the Author

Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.