Family Event Round-Up: November + Family Volunteer Ideas


The holiday season is here, and it’s time for festive fun galore and giving back! Check out this Family Event Round-Up: November + Family Volunteer Ideas for a sampling of the many things to do and explore this month around Charlottesville. You’ll also learn about opportunities on how to help the community and give back as a family. Learn more about these events and discover many other family outing ideas on our Events Calendar.

Events for Preschoolers in Charlottesville

Paramount Theater sign

Storytime at Ting Pavilion
Ting Pavilion, Mondays in November
Join the Virginia Discovery Museum outdoors at Ting Pavilion on the east end of the Downtown Mall for storytelling, songs and movement! Each week will feature stories, songs, movement and bubbles.

Creepy, Crawly & Cute Trail Adventure
Wildrock, Through November 27
Uncover the haunts of the season on Wildrock’s Creepy Crawly Trail! Along the way find spooky spider webs, festive installations and ghoulish décor. Walks are self-guided and timed to promote social distancing.



Events for Elementary/Middle Schoolers in Charlottesville

Paramount Presents: Mark Nizer 4D
The Paramount Theater, November 26
Virginia native Mark Nizer returns to The Paramount! Wearing a pair of 4D glasses, Mark takes viewers into a new dimension of laser light, technology, comedy and expertly crafted feats that is “nothing less than brilliant.”

Winter Wander Trail of Lights
Boar’s Head Resort, November 26–January 30
Stroll on the trail that circles nearly a half mile around Heritage Lake behind the main hotel at Boar’s Head Resort. The walking experience will include thousands of festive lights that will illuminate the rolling landscape with more than 10 unique experiences along the trail.

Events for Teens in Charlottesville

AHS Players Presents: Bury The Dead
Albemarle High School, November 18–21
Bury The Dead is a 1935 play by Irwin Shaw in which six soldiers killed in the line of duty stand up in their graves to stubbornly stand against death. This stirring and eloquent one-act drama, with a cast of 30 performers, employs brilliantly imaginative theatricality to convey its timeless message.


Family-Friendly Events in Charlottesville

Montpelier Hunt Races
Montpelier, November 6
All-day activities include seven horse races, Jack Russell Terrier races, stick horse races, shopping, tours of the mansion and lots of tailgating.

21st Annual Apple Harvest Festival
Albemarle CiderWorks, November 6
Find many of your favorite farmers market vendors, local artisans and craftsmen demonstrating their skills. Enjoy Brunswick stew and apple butter or grab some to go, and then enjoy live music and a hayride around the mountain.

Blue Ridge Sprouts Food Festival
West Oaks Farm Market, November 6
Love locally sourced food and looking for something to do with your tweens and teens? Take them to Blue Ridge Sprouts–a food festival for the whole family! Enjoy demonstrations, contests and a variety of activities.

Shenandoah Free Fee Day
Shenandoah National Park, November 11
Families can enjoy free admission to Shenandoah National Park in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

Turkey Family Fun Day
Castle Rock Farm, November 27
Looking for something to do with the family during the Thanksgiving weekend? Come out to Castle Rock Farm, the home base of Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue to meet the animals, tour the farm and enjoy the fresh air.

Charlottesville-Area Family Volunteer Ideas

Give back this holiday season, and get the entire family involved. There’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities in Charlottesville, especially this time of year. Here is just a sampling of organizations at which people can offer their services. Remember, Giving Tuesday is November 30!

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Help feed the hungry this holiday season. Collect and donate food, or consider working in one of the food bank locations. Children ages 12 –17 may volunteer as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Some shifts have specific age requirements, so be sure to read each job description carefully when registering. Learn more about volunteering with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank on their website.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry’s mission is to give food with kindness and compassion to anyone who seeks assistance while providing an opportunity for volunteers to help their neighbors. The organization currently needs volunteers to help pre-bag dried/canned goods and miscellaneous frozen meat items in advance of distributions, and to pack grocery carts and deliver to clients’ cars in the parking lot. Learn more about volunteering with the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry on their website.

Mason’s Toy Box
Mason’s Toy Box Foundation is globally recognized for its outstanding contribution to the welfare of families facing overwhelming emotional and financial burdens due to a child’s life-altering medical struggles. Families can donate toys, or hold a virtual toy drive to get even more people involved. Learn more about volunteering with Mason’s Toy Box on their website.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Muhammad Ali

ReadyKids provides the Charlottesville area with counseling, family support and early learning opportunities. Most kids arrive at counseling appointments directly after school and are hungry. Consider asking your kids to help you gather and drop off healthy snacks to help fill kids bellies before their counseling sessions. Learn more about volunteering with ReadyKids on their website.

Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House offers families with children at the UVA Medical Center a place where they can find comfort while their kids receive treatment. Although some opportunities are currently on hold because of COVID, volunteers can still order meals to be delivered to families, donate items from their wish list, Adopt the House for a week, etc. Learn more about volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House on their website.

The Salvation Army
There is a plethora of volunteer opportunities with The Salvation Army, especially during the holidays. Sign up to be a bellringer, donate to or work in the family store, or serve meals at the Soup Kitchen–open every single day, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Learn more about volunteering with The Salvation Army on their website.

Toy Lift
Give the gift of presents this holiday season to kids in need. Take your kiddos shopping, and drop off their selections at a Toy Lift donation location. Bonus! This year the Toy Lift is partnerning with local toy stores. Shenanigans and Alakazam Toys are offering special discounts when you shop for Toy Lift toys from either their website or in store! Learn more about volunteering with the Toy Lift on their website.

Make the most of your November by having fun and helping out the community along the way. Looking to do some hiking before the weather turns too cold? Check out Dog and Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Charlottesville. Be sure to peruse our Events Calendar for a fill list of Charlottesville area events this fall and beyond.

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