Holiday Village

Explore your holiday spirit!  We’re filling the park with exciting activities, crafts, music, food and more. The event is FREE, and all proceeds from concessions and retail will be shared with Center in the Square to support their important mission. Download an Event Map (Please note in the event of rain, the event will continue, but some activities may be moved or canceled)

December 14-16 and 20-24 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM at Explore Park

 Attractions include:

VILLAGE OF LIGHTS (FREE) - Check out one of the area’s best Christmas light displays and get a preview of even bigger things to come as we unveil some exciting news about 2019.

FOOD & DRINK - Have a taste of the holidays with food vendors on site, and enjoy a beverage inside our heated wine and beer pavilion.

12 GREENS OF CHRISTMAS - Experience 12 holes of mini golf while surrounded by the music, lights and joy of the holiday season. We’re even bringing the snow to make the experience more magical! Be sure to pre-register online to avoid wait times. Course is open 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $5 per person (under 3 free). Preregistration is suggested using our online registration portal or calling (540) 387-6078 ext. 0

KIDS CRAFTS (FREE) - Stop by the visitor center and make a special craft with Santa's elves.

CARRIAGE RIDES - Take in the beauty of the season down cabin lane with our equine escorts. $5 per person for a group wagon or $10 per person for the private royal carriage.


SANTA EXPERIENCE (FREE) - Meet with Santa and tell him about your Christmas wishes, or join him on select Santa Program Nights for an extended program featuring an hour of music, songs and stories!

VISITS WITH SANTA - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

  • Thursday, December 20
  • Saturday, December 22

       SANTA PROGRAMS  - 6:30 PM and 7:45 PM (full-hour interactive shows)

  • Friday, December 21
  • Sunday, December 23


ENTERTAINMENT (FREE) - Your nights will be merry and bright with carolers, live music performances, ballet and jazz dancers, clogging and more. View Entertainment Schedule

ARTISAN DEMONSTRATIONS (FREE) - Watch local artisans demonstrate their crafts right before your eyes. Crafts include glass blowing, crochet, pottery painting, hand quilting and more. View Artisan Schedule

MOVIES (FREE) - Bring your own blanket and chairs and join us outside on the plaza to view holiday classics on a giant inflatable screen. Movies begin at 7:00 PM each night. View Movie Schedule

MARSHMALLOW ROASTING - Warm yourself by the fire with free marshmallows, or upgrade to a s'more kit and hot cocoa for even more fun.

NORTH POLE WORKSHOP - Let the kids shop on their own for small gifts under the supervision of staff in our North Pole Workshop. 

ARTISAN SHOPPING- See our Christmas Market event (below) going on throughout the season. 


Christmas Market

November 23 through December 24
Daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Visit Explore Park during the holiday season, and you’ll be rewarded with a unique array of Christmas merchandise. Artisan Crafts from 50 vendors throughout the region will be on display and for sale! Including such items as:

• Pottery
• Jewelry
• Ornaments
• Woodwork
• Woven crafts
• Leatherwork
• Watercolor
• Oil paintings
• Essential oils
• Wreaths
• Holiday decor
• Handbags
• And More

Illuminights - Coming Winter 2019

Roanoke County is pleased to announce a new holiday light event at Explore Park in late 2019, called Illuminights. This signature regional event is a partnership between Roanoke County and Center in the Square.

Illuminights is a walk-through show which will feature hundreds of thousands of lights, large visual displays, interactive elements and holiday music. The event will also feature shopping and dining opportunities, holiday entertainment, carriage rides and visits with Santa. Proceeds from Illuminights will be shared equally between the two hosting organizations to support their important missions.

Facts and Figures:

Event Dates:  Nov. 22, 2019 through January 1, 2020
Event times:  5:30pm to 10pm Thursday through Sunday, plus daily operations beginning December 19.
Total operating days: 29

Illuminights Name Logo2