For an experience that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas and teaches kids about history and other lands, consider taking your family to an area live nativity. These events (also called living nativities) enable you to “travel back in time” and see what the Christmas nativity would have looked like. Each year several Northern Virginia churches host special presentations to take you back in time to experience the story of the birth of Jesus and the people and places from that era.
Most of these events tell the story of Christmas through scenes staged with live animals, costumed actors (including children) and Bible scenes. The events are free and all geared toward families of all ages, and intended as fun events that you can enjoy at your own pace. Some of these are immersive experiences where you become part of the story (as a shopper in a Bethlehem market, for example). The ones that have marketplace scenes often have people in full character doing what vendors would have done to promote their wares, be they food, pottery items, or leather goods.
These live nativities all special community celebrations, not necessarily religious services, but a few of them do have a service before the living nativity. Most events are outdoors, but some have a big indoor component. At some celebrations, the fun includes music and food. Some of the events even have
Our list of area live nativities for 2019 has about a dozen events, and we are tracking a few others that happen each year. Please note that these presentations take place during the weekend and on week nights, and some are drive-through-only events.