A shopaholic's guide to the holidays in the Fredericksburg region
Ready, set, shop! If that’s how you feel once the last trick-or-treater has departed your doorstep, then you’re in luck. The Fredericksburg region has a whole season’s worth of experiences that will allow you to complete you holiday shopping while enjoying great food, interesting historical sites and plenty of holiday spirit.
Here are some key events to put on your calendar before it’s too late.
Combine two great things—local craft beverages and holiday shopping, at this annual tradition, held at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Spotsylvania County. Sip wine, beer and spirits from 1781 Brewing, the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Adventure Brewing Co., Hartwood Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Maltese Brewing Co., Mattaponi Winery, Potomac Point Winery, Red Dragon Brewery, Spencer Devon Brewing and Wilderness Run Vineyards. The event will include live music from Bruce Middle and food from Gourmeltz and The Northern Neck Oyster Co. Buy tickets online for $18 (designated drivers and under 21 are free) now through 5 p.m. Nov. 3. Tickets at the door are $20 per person.
Downtown Fredericksburg Holiday Open House – Nov. 12-13
For years, this has marked the official start of the holiday shopping season in Downtown Fredericksburg. Merchants will have their holiday merchandise on display, along with special holiday treats, music and Santa himself walking the streets. This also marks the start of the Window Wonderland contest. Participating businesses will display riddles in their decorated windows from Nov. 12 through Dec. 31. Do your best to answer the riddles on the form available at the Visitor Center or on VisitFred.com. Submit your answers, along with your vote for your favorite window, by Dec. 31 to be entered to win the grand prize: a $1,000 Downtown Fredericksburg gift card, or one of several smaller gift cards and prizes donated by Downtown merchants.
On Friday and Saturday evenings from Nov. 12 through Dec. 24, B101.5 and the Spotsylvania Towne Centre will put on a laser light show, creating magical holiday scenes in the Village at Towne Centre, across from Sephora. These free shows are Friday evenings at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Build a family shopping night around one of these shows, and enjoy dinner at one of the delicious restaurants in the Village at Towne Centre. The Spotsylvania Towne Centre will run special holiday hours throughout the shopping season, which you can find here.
Small Business Saturday – Nov. 26
Downtown Fredericksburg merchants show you the joys of shopping local on Small Business Saturday. Merchants encourage you to make this an all-day affair this year. Shop early to take advantage of special deals at shops from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., and enjoy free coffee and pastries made possible by the Fredericksburg Department of Economic Development and Tourism, while supplies last. After lunch at a café or restaurant, treat yourself to a yoga class or massage at one of Downtown’s fitness and beauty boutiques. Close out your day with a memorable meal at a Downtown restaurant. All day you’ll be supporting locally owned small businesses run by neighbors within your community. If your shopping day includes children, consider attending Fredericksburg’s Annual Children’s Tree Lighting on Nov. 26 in Hurkamp Park. This free event runs from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. You’ll find child-friendly activities and crafts, music, appearances from Santa and others.
More than 300 vendors will offer a huge selection of handmade crafts, ornaments and other gifts at this annual event at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center. Adult tickets are $8 at the door; $7 in advance, and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Whether you’re into photography, jewelry, metalworks, ceramics, handmade accessories, edible gifts or any number of other crafts, you’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts here.
This new addition to the Spotsylvania shopping lineup should be on your list this holiday season. The market specializes in Amish-produced meats, cheeses, pantry and baked goods. You’ll find seasonal pies, fresh-baked breads, cookies, cakes and more in the bakery. A deli sells meats and cheeses, along with lunch sandwiches and breakfast items you can enjoy on the roomy front porch. A large and interesting selection of jellies and jams, pancake syrups, trail mixes, granolas and dried fruits make this a fun place to browse. The store also sells garden and home décor. 6150 Plank Rd., Spotsylvania 22407; 540-412-1480
This Stafford County shop is a great stop for classic Virginia food and beverage gifts. The shop also makes a variety of gift baskets perfect for host or hostess gifts. Check their website, as they offer wine, cider and beer tastings throughout the season. 261 Garrisonville Rd., Ste. 109, Stafford, 22554; 540-720-3901