The holiday season is a great time to spend in the Roanoke Region in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Here are a few events I would recommend checking out this December. 

One of my favorite winter activities is to walk through Explore Park’s Illuminights. You can take a magical walk around a half-mile wooded path and see over 650,000 lights.

Illuminights - Explore Park - Roanoke, VA

On certain evenings, there are also family-friendly activities like roasting marshmallows around a fire. Keep in mind you do need to purchase your tickets in advance. Explore Park will also host a canned food drive at Illuminights, so don’t forget to take a few canned food items with you! Illuminights begins November 18th and runs until December 30th. 

For all the avid cyclists in the Roanoke area, on December 12th, Ride Solutions is hosting a Christmas Light Night Ride that begins and ends at the local Cardinal Bike Shop in Grandin Village. The tour will view the lights from Arlington Avenue to Westover Avenue and all the lights in between. Registration begins at 5:30 (with the ride starting at 6:00) and is free, but a $5 donation is encouraged.

Holiday Lights Tour - Grandin Village, Roanoke

Dress in your best festive holiday cycling outfit! After the ride is complete, hang out at Cardinal Bike Shop for a little while and try some amazing food or drinks from their café, which will be open until 8 p.m. A raffle will also take place after the ride. 

Another event I would recommend checking out is at Golden Cactus Brewing. They are hosting a Holiday Market on Wednesday, December 20th, from 5 to 8 pm. They host mid-week markets throughout the year, but this one will be holiday-themed! This will be a great opportunity to do some last-minute Christmas shopping from over a dozen local vendors. This is a kid-friendly event, and while you enjoy beer, the kids can make free s'mores.

If you are near downtown, I would recommend going to Rookies and trying one of their amazing ice cream sandwiches. Their December menu came out early and includes cookie flavors like Crinkle, Gingerbread, and Christmas Cookie. Some of their Christmas ice cream flavors include Peppermint, Eggnog, and Gingerbread.  

I hope you have a great holiday season in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. There are so many great events to attend; it is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit! Happy Holidays!