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Two weekends of Merry Market festivities, wreath-making workshops returning to Maymont

Maymont is making the holidays cheerier this year with two weekends of Merry Market, where hundreds of hand-crafted gifts will be offered for sale by local artisans in an open-air setting accented by twinkling lights, cozy fire pits, fresh evergreen garlands, and a holiday train for kids.

Trevor Dickerson

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Maymont is making the holidays cheerier this year with two weekends of Merry Market, where hundreds of hand-crafted gifts will be offered for sale by local artisans in an open-air setting accented by twinkling lights, cozy fire pits, fresh evergreen garlands, and a holiday train for kids. Merry Market opens from 5 – 8pm on Fridays, December 1 & 8, and 12 – 8pm on Saturdays, December 2 & 9. In another holiday tradition, Maymont is offering seven sessions of its signature Wreath Workshops from Tuesday, November 28, through Saturday, December 2 (times vary), where participants create their own fresh evergreen wreaths under the expert guidance of Maymont staff.

The highlight of Merry Market is the curated artisan market, the Vendor Village presented by TowneBank, featuring 100 vendors over the two weekends. Shoppers can stay fueled up with tasty treats from the festive holiday bar and food vendors, relax around fire pits and enjoy live music from Pay Rent Brass Band and roaming bands of carolers. On Saturdays, children will enjoy meeting Saint Nicholas or taking a ride on a holiday train around the lawn, while kids and adults alike can join in DIY crafts at the Holiday Helpers Craft Station. On Saturday, December 9, Publix will host family-friendly activities and Goldfish Swim School will offer face-painting.

Artisans will be selling a variety of hand-crafted décor, accessories, specialty foods and personal pampering items that make thoughtful gifts for the holidays. Among the offerings are one-of-a-kind cyanotype prints and apparel by Deep Blue Joy; hand-made housewares in clay and wood by South Creek Studios; all-natural raw goat milk soaps and other products by Moth Wood; delicious jams and pickles by Dayum Jams; creative Bloody Mary mixes sourced from local farms by Back Pocket Provisions; and playful ceramics by MADE in Richmond, plus candles, knitwear, pet treats and accessories, and much more! Visit the Merry Market page for vendor previews.

“Merry Market is a chance for the entire community to enjoy the great outdoors and reconnect with one another while supporting local artisans,” said Parke Richeson, Maymont President and CEO. “It’s a fun way to experience the joys of the winter season, with fresh evergreen wreaths, warm drinks and tasty food around fire pits, while listening to carolers and a great live band.”

New this year, a holiday kiddie train will offer free rides around the Carriage House Lawn on Saturdays from 12 – 5pm. Saint Nicholas will be available on Saturdays for photos with the family, and the Christmas sleigh from the Maymont Carriage Collection will be on display. A selection of food, desserts, hot coffee, cider, cocoa and other beverages will be available for separate purchase from food vendors. The holiday bar will serve red wine, mulled wine and holiday craft beers to guests ages 21 and over.

Merry Market tickets may be purchased in advance or at the gate for $10 per person; $5 for children ages 3 – 16; and free for children ages 2 and under. Maymont members enjoy free admission. Guests who present a SNAP or EBT card receive free Merry Market admission through the Museums for All program (advance purchase is available Fridays – Sundays on-site at The Robins Nature Center or Stone Barn from 10am – 5pm). All proceeds benefit Maymont.

Maymont will close at 3pm on Fridays, December 1 and 8, to prepare for Merry Market. The grounds will open at noon for Merry Market guests only on Saturdays, December 2 and 9. Guests will enter Merry Market through the Historic Estate entrance at 1700 Hampton Street. Event parking is available at the Historic Estate parking lot and The Robins Nature Center, in addition to street parking. The Maymont Farm entrance is closed during the event. Merry Market takes place entirely outdoors, rain or shine, except in the case of severe weather. Guests are advised to wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear suited for an outdoor lawn.

The seven Wreath Workshops tend to fill up in advance and include wreath supplies and refreshments. Guests are advised to bring their own snippers and gardening gloves. On Friday and Saturday, December 1-2, Wreath Workshop admission ($55 per person, $41 for members) includes admission to Merry Market. Participants must be 17 or older. Times vary; see calendar for details.

Due to the beginning of work on the Maymont 2025 project, the Maymont Mansion will be closed during the 2023 holiday season. It is expected to reopen in time for the 2024 holiday season with a fresh new red slate roof and upgraded climate control system. Learn more about Maymont 2025 here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.