From UVA traditions to Charlottesville’s charm, winters in Charlottesville can be filled with fun activities. Below are some of the highlights of our favorite things to do in the city!
1. Snowball fights on the Lawn
If you’re wondering what Grounds (campus) looks like during a major snow, check out photo of the Lawn taken a few weeks ago! Not only does it resemble a winter wonderland, but it is a tradition for students to launch competitive snowball fights at midnight.
2. Lighting of the Lawn
Besides the snowball fights, the Lawn holds many other traditions throughout the winter season including “Lighting of the Lawn” which takes place every December before finals. The tradition began in the wake of 9/11 to bring the UVA community together. After performances by UVA acapella and dance groups, an exciting countdown leads to the entire Lawn lit for the holiday season. It is a fun night to enjoy with friends and classmates, as well as be part of the Charlottesville community!
3. First Night Virginia
If you are staying in Charlottesville over winter break, this is an event you do not want to miss! There is no better way to ring in the New Year than to attend Charlottesville’s First Night on the Downtown Mall. The event is full of fun activities and entertainment of all kinds including live music and delicious food. This is New Year’s Eve celebration that most UVA students miss but worth checking out nonetheless!
4. Skiing and Snowboarding at Wintergreen
Whether you are a skier, snowboarder, or just a snow enthusiast, a great winter getaway is less than an hour’s drive from Charlottesville! Located just south of the beautiful Shenandoah National Park is Wintergreen Resort. The resort has trails for all levels of skiers/snowboarders, from beginner to master. Full-day passes to the mountain are an affordable $89 on weekends, and $59 during the week, making this a popular destination for UVA student seeking snowy adventure. Or if you’re looking to join a club, check out UVA’s Ski and Snowboard Team.
5. Restaurant Week
Charlottesville is known as a foodie town, with more restaurants per capita than almost any other city of its size. During the third week of January, you can find many fine dining restaurants offering dining experiences for a bargain! Charlottesville Restaurant Week is modeled after big cities like Washington D.C. and New York where you can fine dine without breaking the bank (completely). Over 35 restaurants offer three-course meals for $29 or $39. In addition, part of the proceeds benefits the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. For a list of restaurants, click here. If you miss Restaurant Week, don’t worry! It’s a semi-annual event that occurs every year in January and July.
6. Home Basketball Games
Last, but absolutely, positively not least: UVA Men’s Basketball games. The Hoos play 16 home games a year at John Paul Jones Arena. While getting a good seat can be difficult, especially for graduate students who did not attend UVA undergrad, it is worth going for the incredible atmosphere and energy in the student section. Oh, and have I mentioned that they are among the top teams in the country each and every year! Basketball season is an exciting time for every Hoo, so make sure you take advantage of it!