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Affordable ideas for holiday fun with family
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
With Christmas only 10 days away, now is the time many of us start feeling the pressure. So many gifts to wrap, so many parties to attend and, for some, so many purchases left to make. All of that stress can take away the joy of the holiday season.
If you’re looking for a little something you can do to soak up the holiday with your family, here are some affordable ideas:
TODAY: Visit Santa at your local library. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making appearances at various local libraries all day (call ahead for times) and will be available for photos. Grab your camera and Christmas list before heading out the door.
SUNDAY: Get crafty with ornaments. Make ornaments with construction paper, crayons and some string or decoupage newsprint or wrapping paper onto glass balls. These original decorations will not only spruce up your own tree, but also could make great gifts from the kids.
MONDAY: Put on your PJs and take a drive to visit the Elks National Home in Bedford. This Christmas display features thousands of lights nightly through Dec. 31. To make a night of it, pack some snacks and take the long way home to see as many Christmas lights as you can.
TUESDAY: Sing Christmas carols. The Blacksburg Master Chorale will be hosting a holiday sing-along at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. This event is free to attend, though donations will be accepted.
WEDNESDAY: Play with snow dough. This idea came from the blog Ten Kids and a Dog: Make a batch of white play dough out of flour, salt, oil, cream of tartar and water (find the full recipe on the Shoptimist blog). Then, let the kids mix in glitter as they squish and mold the dough. Soon enough, the plain white mixture will turn into sparkly snow dough.
THURSDAY: Take in a film. The Radford University planetarium will be showing “’Tis the Season,” a show describing the legends associated with the stars that appear during the holiday season. This show is free and starts at 7 p.m. in the Radford University Planetarium.
FRIDAY: Stroll through downtown Roanoke during Dickens of a Christmas. During this free event you can watch the SPCA’s Pet Costume Contest, listen to carolers, watch street performers and visit many downtown shops that will be open late. Holiday treats will also be for sale.
DEC. 22: Visit Santa at Green Ridge. Santa will be stopping by the recreation center at 7415 Wood Haven Road in Roanoke County from 7 to 8 p.m. to collect last-minute Christmas wishes and take photos. Bring your camera.
DEC. 23: Make a festive shirt. Use scrap pieces of green ribbon or fabric to make a wintery pine tree tee. Trim the scrap pieces so when stacked, they make the shape of a tree and attach them to a T-shirt with fabric glue. Decorate the tree with strips of colorful ribbon, bows or pompomspoms are great for creating a snowy tree. (See example on the Shoptimist blog).
. White pom DEC. 24: Visit Fashions for the Evergreens at the Hotel Roanoke or The Inn’s Gingerbread House at The Inn at Virginia Tech.
Fashions for the Evergreens features more than 25 trees decorated by local designers and businesses. The display is free to view, and to vote for your favorite just make a donation to United Way of Roanoke Valley.
The Inn’s Gingerbread House is a giant gingerbread house designed and decorated by Executive Chef Chad Brodkin and his team. On Dec. 21, you can enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate while viewing the tasty display.
DEC. 25: Enjoy the day. Spend time with your family, watch “A Christmas Story” , and fill up on holiday treats.
Now rest up, New Year’s is only a few days away.
What’s your family’s favorite affordable holiday activity? Share your suggestions and view examples of some of these crafts on the Shoptimist blog at during its marathon showing on TBSblogs.roanoke.com/shoptimist.
On the blog
-Last Elizabeth Arden Sale before Christmas happening now through Dec. 22
-Stores are staying open later (or not closing at all) until Christmas — does that really help you?
Weather JournalStarting to look a lot like summer