{Photo by John Ellingson}

As seen in Loudoun Now's "Get Out Loudoun" publication.


Holidays in Loudoun

Scarlet-jacketed huntsmen on horseback, vintage horse-drawn carriages straight out of Downton Abbey and a 1.5-mile procession of floats, drummers, bagpipers, hunt dogs and 700 farm animals –
literally more than in Barnum’s Circus…


“Nowhere does the holidays quite like Middleburg,” Garden & Gun wrote of the town’s Christmas festivities. The famous Christmas in Middleburg parade and hunt review takes place the first Saturday in December, but celebrations start the evening before with the Oh Holy Night Tree Lighting at the visitor center, and continue through Sunday with the Foxcroft School’s nativity – a tradition begun in 1904 that inspired the wider celebrations seen today. 


snowing in middleburg parade


Holiday fun in Loudoun isn’t restricted to hunt country, however!


Fans of historic homes can enjoy a series of themed Christmas teas – Nutcracker, Candy Cane, even Ugly Sweater – at Oatlands Historic House & Gardens over multiple weekends in December. Enjoy a black tea blend, cucumber sandwiches and cream scones and make sure to take a guided tour of the main mansion, decorated for the season. 

Nearby, kids will love Leesburg Animal Park’s ‘Christmas Village’, open select evenings in December, and featuring a nativity, bonfire and marshmallow roasting, holiday lights, and live animal encounters. We hear Santa himself may even appear.


Vines at Bluemont Vineyard covered in holiday twinkle lights

{Photo via Bluemont Vineyard}


Talking lights, over 10,000 vines on the slopes of vertiginous Bluemont Vineyard will be illuminated from late November through December, bathing the hillside in a resplendent glow. Enjoy the twinkling views over a glass of aptly named Ascent, a Bordeaux Blend.

Fans of live entertainment can get in the spirit, too. A Christmas Carol: A One Man Performance by John Hardy is at Franklin Park, December 7th, and on December 14th enjoy The Snow Story on Ice at ION International Training Center. Santa drops in on the Leesburg Farmers’ Market December 7th – in a helicopter, not a sleigh – while both Purcellville and Leesburg host their Christmas parades the weekend of the 14th. Stock up on gifts at the Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show at Ida Lee the weekend before, featuring 90 local artisans.


Cupcake the Miniature Pony in holiday attire at Salamander Resort and Spa

{Photo via Salamander Resort & Spa}


Lansdowne Resort & Spa meanwhile debuts its second Winter WonderLansdowne: a variety of festive offerings such as brunch with Santa, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, horse and carriage rides and the lighting of a 20-ft tree. Back in Middleburg if you can’t make the parade, Salamander Resort & Spa will unveil its own tree and a host of events such as cookie decorating and story time with Mrs. Claus. Famous miniature pony Cupcake will even dress up for guests.

Happy holidays from Loudoun County!