Top Picks for Safe Holiday Fun in Abingdon

This year many things have changed, but one thing remains the same: Abingdon is the perfect holiday destination.

Here are our top picks for things to do in Abingdon at Christmas!

Abingdon Christmas Family Barter Billie Wheeler
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Keep the holidays bright - and safe - with our top family activities

Southern Living wrote “If Frank Capra had made a Southern version of It’s a Wonderful Life, he might have set it in Abingdon, Virginia, with its tree-lined Main Street, scenic Blue Ridge setting, historic Martha Washington Inn & Spa, and legendary Barter Theatre.”

Of course, as with all things, the holidays look a little different this year, so we’ve compiled a list of safe, fun traditions and maybe some new ones that will carry on and hopefully help to carry you to the new year.

Barter Christmas exterior 2 credit Jason Barnette

See “Frosty the Snowman” and “A Christmas Carol” from the comfort of your car.

Barter Theatre, Abingdon’s professional theatre since 1933, has continued to bring quality entertainment to the area in a safe and innovative way. A company of talented actors have agreed to live in quarantine together, so they can safely interact both on and off the stage.

Instead of performing in the Barter Theatre building, a stage was built in front of the big screen at a local drive-in theatre just minutes down the road. The live performance is simulcast on the screen, while sound is broadcast to your car on a local radio station.  Families can choose from the musical Frosty! or A Christmas Carol - or see both in a double header!  

Beginning in December, enjoy a hot beverage before the show. Wolf Hills Coffee is selling coffee and hot cocoa on site! 

Image Cold Campaign Moonlite Drive In Barter Theatre 1536x862

Earlier this year families were blown away by The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast performances. So bring some hot cocoa and marshmallows and enjoy two Christmas classics, safely! Both shows are playing through December 23.

Explore Abingdon's outdoor holiday markets

Abingdon is fortunate to have two open air holiday markets scheduled, each running Fridays through Sundays through December 20th - so there’s plenty of time and plenty of room to spread out. Why shop at crowded big box stores when you can shop small and find something meaningful and unique?

The Virginia Highlands Festival is returning to the grounds at The Martha Washington Inn and Spa for four weekends beginning November 20—December 20; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-6pm. Visitors can shop for unique holiday gifts, home décor and edible treats, while enjoying live entertainment and hot beverages for sale from The Martha. Learn more about the Holiday Market at The Martha

Holiday craft market vendor 2020 Virginia Highlands Festival

The Abingdon Farmer’s Market is also welcoming craft vendors and for the first time! Their market will be held beginning November 27—December 20; Fridays and Saturdays from 10am-5pm and on Sundays noon-5pm. Learn more about the Farmers Market and special holiday hours.

In order to provide a safe and fun holiday event, visitors and vendors are required to wear masks while within both of these markets.

Window Shopping in Abingdon

Abingdon's Main Street is one of the prettiest in the country and our businesses take great pride in their holiday window displays. What’s more nostalgic than window shopping? At Wolf Hills Antiques, their holiday window is complete with a vintage light-up Santa and antique toys. 

Stroll through downtown, or hop in the car to visit the window displays all throughout town. 

This season, many businesses are offering curbside pickup. Order online or call and many will deliver items to your car!

See our holiday shopping listings
Main Street shop window at Christmas credit Billie Wheeler
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Tour the inflatables at The Martha Washington Inn & Spa

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa isn’t holding back when it comes to helping spread some holiday cheer! Rudolph, the Minions, Mickey Mouse and other fun-loving characters are gracing the front lawn to help say Merry Christmas! It’s the largest collection of holiday inflatables in the region!

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Send a letter to Santa

Santa’s Mailbox is back! The box is located on West Main Street, between Zephyr Antiques and Grounded. Drop a letter to Santa in downtown Abingdon so you won’t be on the naughty list. 

WHEELER Abingdon Christmas Family 6

Make the most of the holidays: upcoming events in Abingdon

Weekends are filled with special holiday events in Abingdon. Saturday 11/28 and 12/5 from 1pm to 3pm, Santa will visit the Holiday Market at The Martha, with photo opportunities at the gazebo (parents must take their own photos). Other special events at this market (Saturdays only) include live music at The Martha’s gazebo, and afternoon wine tastings. Head to William King Museum of Art for a holiday favorite: The Elves Workshop, where littles can craft their own holiday gifts. Or join a local group of carolers for a socially distant singing event, which you can enjoy from inside your car.

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Please remember to wear your mask, social distance, and from all of us in Abingdon, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

The Martha Bedroom Jb0357

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