13 Group-Friendly Events and Festivals

by Stephanie Kenney | Posted: Mar 21, 2019 | Updated: Oct 1, 2019

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Virginia is host to various types of events throughout the year from music festivals and air shows to garden tours and holiday lights. Many of Virginia’s events welcome groups of all sizes and several have special suggested itineraries developed by Virginia receptive operators. Below is just a sampling of annual group friendly events and festivals for 2019.


– Richmond Folk Festival, Richmond, October 11-13, 2019

Attracting visitors from all over the country, the Richmond Folk Festival features performances from a diverse array of cultural traditions on seven stages throughout three days. Celebrate the roots, richness and variety of culture through music, dance traditional crafts, storytelling and food. The festival has been voted as the best musical festival in Richmond by Style Weekly’s readers over ten years running. Read more.


– Veterans Day, Statewide, November 10-12, 2019

Pay respects and honor America’s Veterans from the American Revolution to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Experience a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Udvar-Hazy Center National Air & Space Museum and more. View itinerary.


– Christmas in Williamsburg & Holiday Happenings along the Blue Ridge, November 2019 – January 2020

Delight in the millions of glowing lights as you visit Bristol Motor Speedway. Experience how Christmas was celebrated during Thomas Jefferson’s time at Monticello. Experience Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town, Colonial Williamsburg’s holiday celebrations and A Colonial Christmas at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. Enjoy fine holiday dining and shopping galore.  The commonwealth comes together with festive holiday décor, special programs and events sure to please all ages. View Itinerary.


– Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon, December 20-21, 2019

Explore Northern Virginia during the most wonderful time of the year, featuring a festive holiday evening at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This colonial inspired event is one to be remembered, as it finishes with fireworks choreographed to holiday music over the Potomac River. View Itinerary.


– Virginia International Tattoo, Norfolk – April 30 – May 3, 2020

Note the new dates for 2020. Groups from all over the US return year after year to be a part of the pageantry and grandeur of this uniquely inspiring experience. Each year’s Tattoo is different, with new performers from across the globe, new themes of honor and patriotism, and state of the art technical effects that will leave you gasping in awe. View Itinerary.


– Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, Winchester – April 24 – May 4, 2020

A long-standing tradition, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival features a two-day Wine Fest, a parade through downtown Winchester, multiple concerts, “Weekend in the Park”, an event featuring a wide variety of crafters, a carnival, fireworks display, and over 30 other events with something for everyone. Read more.


– Virginia’s Historic Garden Week, Statewide – April 18-25, 2020

Every spring, more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks are open to visitors during “America’s Largest Open House.” See unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with fabulous flower arrangements. Read more.


– Patriotic Festival: A Celebration of our Military, Virginia Beach – May 29-31 , 2020

Celebrate the military at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for three wonderful days. Feast on local foods, shop for hand-crafted items and view military expos while you dance and sing along to tunes by national musical artists. View Itinerary.


– Norfolk’s Annual Harborfest Festival, Norfolk – June 5-7, 2020

Every June, Norfolk celebrates nautical history by displaying tall ships from all over the world, along with maritime events and children’s activities. Enjoy local, regional and national entertainment, delicious food and a spectacular fireworks display all along the downtown waterfront. View Itinerary.


– Mountains of Music Homecoming, Abingdon – June 2020

Celebrate the rich traditional music heritage, history and outdoor environment of communities throughout Southwest Virginia. Concerts celebrating old-time, bluegrass, gospel, traditional singing and dance, and many other styles will be presented in over 40 different communities over nine days. Come for the music and stay for a wide variety of cultural experiences, scenic drives, workshops, educational opportunities and much more. Read more.


– Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Bristol – September 11-13, 2020

Note the new dates for 2020. Head to historic Downtown Bristol as State Street is amped to the beat of Appalachia’s past, present and future. The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion offers 22 stages of live music that include outdoor stages, a dance tent, 16 indoor venues and a children’s stage on Saturday for a free event for families. Read more.


– NAS Oceana Air Show, Virginia Beach – September 2020

The show is a thrilling spectacle of both military and civilian flight demonstrations, parachute shows and pyrotechnics. The highlight is the United States Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team. The event takes place at Naval Station Oceana- it’s the only time the Master Base is open to the general public. View Itinerary.


– Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend, Virginia Beach – September 2020

– Neptune, Virginia Beach, © 2004, P. DiPasquale, Sculptor, Photo credit: Virginia Beach CVB –

Declared one of the best festivals in the nation by the Travel Channel, the Neptune Festival is celebrating its 46th anniversary in 2019. Throughout Boardwalk Weekend, daily concerts at festival stages are scattered along 32 blocks of the boardwalk and feature 35 performances from local, regional, and national recording artists. On the boardwalk, you can find over 250 artisans displaying handmade work, at an Art & Craft Show that has been ranked in the Top 20 Fine Art and Design Shows across the country.  See grains of sand being turned into works of art during the International SandSculpting Championship. Read more.

For more exciting events to experience in Virginia, click here.

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