Home in Roanoke for the Holidays

close up of the Roanoke neon star sign

Our Top 10 Roanoke Winter Must-Dos

Roanoke is a pretty special place year-round, but during the holidays, especially, this city seems to light up. From music to art to sports, and everything in between, the Star City definitely knows how to get into the festive spirit. We’ve compiled a list of our top ten favorite Roanoke wintertime events…just in case you’re looking for a reason to get out of the house and into a jolly mood!

1. Holiday Pops with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra

With more than 200 musicians performing all your holiday favorites, it’s no wonder this is Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s most popular concert of the year. Act fast, though…this is a one-night only event!
Details: December 2 at the Salem Civic Center
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2. Dickens of a Christmas

Taking place over the course of the first three Fridays in December, each evening features all sorts of fun: roasted chestnuts and other goodies, carriage rides, street performers, Santa and Frosty photos, face painting, games, and activities. Be sure to attend December 2nd to see the Roanoke Christmas Tree Lighting, December 9th for the Roanoke Christmas Parade, and December 16th for the Coca Cola Snow Zone and RVSPCA Pet Costume Contest!
Details: December 2, 9, & 16 at Market Square
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3. Gingerbread Festival and Competition

The tastiest item on our list, this December 3rd event is not to be missed! Judge for yourself which gingerbread houses are your top picks, and then bid to take your favorite home with you!
Details: December 3 at the Salem Public Library
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4. Soaring Ridge/Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Ugly Sweater Benefit Holiday Party

Are you a hockey fan? Are you a beer fan? Are you a fan of helping families in need? Then this event is a must! Join your local hockey team at Soaring Ridge on Friday, December 9th to show off your best…er, ugliest holiday attire. The Rail Yard Dawgs, themselves, will act as judges. And the best part—a portion of the drink sales will go to help two local families whose young children are fighting cancer.
Details: December 9 at Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers
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5. Roanoke Jingle Bell Run/Walk

This one’s for you fitness-minded folks. Run, walk, or run/walk through beautiful downtown Roanoke…while wearing your jingle bells and tacky holiday finest! This event is a fun way to work off those seasonal pounds and raise money and awareness to find a cure for Arthritis.
Details: December 10 at Patrick Henry Hotel
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6. Holiday Tinkerfest

Are you an engineer in the making? Now’s the time to test your skills, at the Science Museum of Western Virginia! Try your hand at three holiday-themed challenges: the Sled Slide, Gingerbread Shakedown, or Splendid Teapot Racing (and let us know how you do).
Details: December 17 at Science Museum of Western Virginia
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7. White Christmas

One of America’s most beloved movies has come to the stage, along with some of the most iconic Christmas music ever written! Grab your tickets, now through December 18th.
Details: Now through December 18 at the Mill Mountain Theatre
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8. Fashions for Evergreens

Visit the splendid Hotel Roanoke to view 34 professionally designed Christmas trees at the 16th annual Fashions for Evergreens contest. Vote for your favorites with cash donations (which go to United Way of Roanoke Valley)—the tree that raises the most money will receive the People’s Choice Award!
Details: Now through January 2 at the Hotel Roanoke
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9. Elmwood on Ice

Dust off your skates, it’s time to get icy! Head to downtown Roanoke to get your ice skating fix! Brand new this year, they’ve even added an ice slide! Why aren’t you there, now?
Details: Now through February 12 at Elmwood Park
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10. Big Lick Downtown Countdown

Ring in the New Year in a truly downtown Roanoke fashion! Music, food, craft brews, and the signature Star Rise at midnight…you absolutely must be there! This event has sold out three years in a row, though, so be sure to buy your tickets now!
Details: December 31 at Market Square
Click here for more info.