It's a magical time of year in RVA. From shopping to skating and from ballet to burlesque, Richmond has plenty to offer.
1. Shop Local
Just take a look through like 99 percent of our OutRVA Insiders' recommendations. You'll see Mongrel is one of their favorite spots in Richmond. This gay-owned gift shop is a Carytown staple where you can find a unique item for anyone on your list. From kitchy kitchen gadgets and glassware to a fabulous assortment of cards, candles and home accessories, they'll have your back -- even if you last minute Christmas Eve shoppers...you know who you are.
2. Go See Shiny Things
We get distracted so easily by something sparkly (glitter beards anyone?). There's no shortage of silver and gold this December in Richmond. Stop by the Jefferson Hotel and see the massive tree in the , the impressive gingerbread display by executive pastry chef Sara Ayyash. After taking in all of that delicious, grab a bite you can actually eat (and a sip too) at Lemaire, the hotel's award-winning in-house restaurant.
Hop down a few blocks further downtown to Cary St. to the James Center to see the plaza's twinkling reindeer and then grab a hot chocolate (or beer and wine if you're feeling a little friskier) at Urban Farmhouse in nearby Shockoe Slip.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is alive into the night with Gardenfest of Lights. This annual event runs nightly through January 11 with the exception of a few holiday closures. You'll experience half-a-million twinklin' lights and nightly activities.
3. Take It On The Rocks
Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, Winter Solstice -- whatever you celebrate -- the holidays can be stressful. These spots will ease that angst. Keep tabs on your favorite what our favorite LGBT bars whip up for the holidays: Babe's (here), Godfrey's (here), and Barcode (here).
For a more family-friendly option over ice, check out RVA On Ice outside the Carpenter Theatre. You'll be able to ice skate downtown through January 3 for just $5 plus the cost of skate rental. Need to check out some shops after the skates? Hop to nearby Short Pump to visit The Rink at West Broad Village. Open through January 18, skating is $10 plus the cost of rentals and is a hop away to Whole Foods and Short Pump Town Center.
See A Show
The cup of cheer that is holiday theater overflows in the Richmond Region. The Richmond Triangle Players brings "Christmas On The Rocks" to the stage through December 19. This comedy brings kids from your favorite holiday stories back together all grown up with plenty of camp.
The Richmond Ballet returns with their production of the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker." Artistic Director Stoner Winslet's interpretation has received rave reviews from the New York Times and is a must-see.
Something a little bit more revealing in your stocking this season? Hop to Gallery5 on December 19 for "Naughty and Nice" from the Richmond Burlesque Revue might be for you. Featuring our dolled-up Southern drag darlin' Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside and a troop of lovely ladies, they're sure to show their joy to the world.