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There’s no place like Maymont for vacation, and there’s something for everyone at the estate this time of year. First, from November 18 to January 1, 2023, a special Christmas-themed audio tour will be offered at the Maymont Mansion, which will be decorated for the season in Victorian style. The self-guided tour provides insight into the great pomp — and hard work — of holiday entertainment in the Golden Age.
Second, the public is invited to create their own fresh evergreen wreaths in one of seven hands-on wreath workshops, Tuesday, November 29 through Saturday, December 3, under the expert guidance of Maymont staff. And a new event, Merry Market, on Friday December 2 and Saturday December 3, celebrates winter with a two-day pop-up holiday market of 50 local artisans, as well as cozy fire pits, a festive holiday bar, live music, crafts for kids and a chance to take a selfie with Saint Nicholas.
The highlight of Merry Market is shopping for locally made and imported handcrafted gifts at an open-air market surrounded by historic buildings draped in fresh evergreen garlands and twinkling lights on the Carriage House lawn. Shoppers can refuel with something tasty from the festive bar and food vendors, and warm up around fire pits and outdoor heaters, while an a cappella vocal group and a jazz combo set the mood. Children can make their own handmade gifts and decorations and take a picture with Saint Nicholas.
Artisans will sell a variety of handcrafted accessories, decorations and homewares that will make thoughtful gifts for the holidays. Offerings include stained glass from KiYay Studios, pottery from Tana Makes, fine art prints from Laura Marr/FlourishRVA, fair trade decorations and accessories selected and imported by a small world, handmade jewelry by Bee is for Bead, gifts for nature lovers. by Rabbit & Wren, handmade fabric products from India imported by the Asha Project, artwork by Abuelita, custom polymer jewelry by SassyHappy, woodworking by Southside Sawdust, as well as hand embroidery, candles, soaps, knitwear, pet treats and accessories, and much more!
“Merry Market is a chance for the community to celebrate the season with friends and neighbors in Maymont’s unique historic setting,” said Parke Richeson, General Manager. “With live music, Christmas lights, cozy fire pits and crafts for the kids, everyone will enjoy relaxing on the Carriage House lawn with a bit of holiday shopping with small businesses and artisans local.”
St. Nicholas will be available for photos with the family, and kids can also make their own holiday gifts and decorations at the craft tent. A selection of entrees, desserts, hot coffee, cocoa and other beverages will be available for purchase from food vendors including Goatocado, The Cocky Rooster, Monique’s Crepes, Timber Pizza and Pops Kettle Corn. The festive Holiday Bar will serve red wine and holiday craft beers to patrons aged 21 and over.
Merry Market tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door for $10 per person; $5 for children 3 to 12 years old; and free for children 2 and under. Maymont members enjoy free admission. Guests who present an EBT card receive discounted tickets for $3 (on-site only) as part of the Museums for All program. All proceeds benefit Maymont.
Please note: Maymont will close at 4 p.m. on Friday, December 2 and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, to prepare for the Merry Market. Customers will enter the Merry Market through the historic estate entrance at 1700 Hampton Street. Event parking is available at the Historic Estate parking lot and Robins Nature Center, in addition to street parking. Entrance to Maymont Farm is closed for the event. Merry Market takes place entirely outdoors, rain or shine, barring inclement weather. Customers are advised to wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear appropriate for an outdoor lawn.
Wreath workshops tend to fill up ahead of time and include wreath supplies and refreshments, but guests are advised to bring their own snippers and gardening gloves. On Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3, admission to the Crown Workshop ($55 per person, $41 for members) includes admission to the Merry Market. Hours vary; visit the events calendar for more details.
Holiday audio tours are $8 per person, $6 for children ages 3-12, and free for Maymont members and museums for all attendees.
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