Since 1970, Junior Friends of The Campagna Center in Alexandria, Virginia, has organized a standout Christmas event that lures hundreds of people from across the county and further afield. In the name of education for young and old, the two-day Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend in December has been about festive fun and a fundraiser for The Campagna Center.
No two years are alike, with a myriad of different activities put on to encourage participation and fun. The weekend starts with The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, then sponsor-organized events such as a holiday home tour, Scotland tastings, and more.
The parade is something that hundreds of people look forward to thanks to the addition of Scottish Clans, bagpipes, dancers, classic cars, Santa Claus, Scottie dogs, and more.
Each of the activities and events takes place in Alexandria, with the highly anticipated Scottish Christmas Walk Parade encompassing the block of The Campagna Center along South Washington Street on the first day. The remaining activities form an action-packed schedule over the remaining day, with Alexandria’s rich Scottish heritage celebrated in the best way possible.
Those who choose to vacation to Alexandria during December will also be treated to a range of fun activities to do outside of the main event. The area is home to 70 major parks spanning 950 acres, including Cameron Run Regional Park. Visitors can also go biking on the Mount Vernon Trail if weather permits, or exploring at the many parks and trails that border the Alexandria waterfront.
If you’re looking for a fun weekend away in your motorhome with friends and family, then Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend could be the perfect excuse. You won’t be disappointed by what this Virginia city can offer.
While attending the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade has been free in the past, you are not going to want to leave once the parade is over. Therefore, it’s worth taking a look at the organizer’s various ticket packages to ensure you can be a part of everything this Christmas event in Alexandria has to offer. In the past, tickets for some of the activities have ranged from between $250 and $3,000, depending on whether you attend as a sponsor or simply wish to attend everything happening in the city. Otherwise, you can pay a purchase price for each individual event.
Alexandria is an independent city along the Potomac River’s western bank and just under 10 miles from Downtown Washington, D.C. Those who are traveling via RV to the area will be able to access it via several different roads. State Route 7 bisects the city from the east and west, while I-395 and U.S. 1 cross through the western part of the city.
Given the time of year and sometimes-challenging weather conditions, RV-goers may like to download a traffic app such as Virginia 511 to remain up to date with weather alerts and congestion. Upon arriving in the city, the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend will kick off around South Washington Street.
For the first part of the event, the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, there will be no parking spots available for any vehicles. The block incorporating The Campagna Center is for parade-goers only, not vehicles.
If you require somewhere to park your RV, there may be nearby on-street parking at neighboring businesses. Alternatively, you can park your vehicle at your campsite and arrange for someone to pick you up and drop you off. Each event may offer limited parking, but check when you book to avoid being disappointed or not having a backup plan.
Alexandria is home to a reliable city bus and train transport service, which may make your navigation of the city far easier. However, if travel times don’t align with those of the events you are attending, then it’s worth having a plan B up your sleeve. You may wish to order a taxi, prearrange parking for your RV near your chosen venue, or make use of a ride share service.
Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend takes place at several venues across Alexandria, which means that onsite camping is not available. Those who are visiting the city for the weekend may like to book their accommodation weeks in advance when they secure their ticket packages.
Due to the location of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend in a built-up part of Alexandria, nearby RV campgrounds are a rarity. Fortunately, RV vacations are all about adventures, so having to travel tens of miles from a campsite to the entertainment won’t bother most. Washington DC / Capitol KOA Holiday, just over an hour's drive to the northeast, may allow you to camp and enjoy other sites in the region. You can also arrange to park your RV in the city center then jump aboard a train or bus to avoid using your motorhome as your primary mode of transport.
Each of the events that form part of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend is best attended on foot. While you can make use of your RV or alternative transportation methods to get around in the area, you will not need scooters, skateboards, or motorized devices within most of the event settings. Each venue size and location differ, so make sure you search the address of each before you hit the road.
December weather in Alexandria, Virginia, is some of the coldest of the year. Therefore, you’re not going to want to pack light layers. Rain jackets, thermal garments, and all your winter woollies should make their way into your suitcase. The more you bring, the warmer you can be as you navigate the city on foot.
It can be a little tricky to plan what to take to an event that’s split into several smaller ones, such as the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. However, as long as you exit your RV with cash, payment cards, spare clothing, and a backpack, you can be ready for pretty much anything. Make sure you’ve got all your tickets for entry into each venue before you leave home.
When temperatures plummet in Alexandria, you are going to want to put your health and safety first. Carry a thermos of hot chocolate to keep you warm, and don’t skimp on winter woollies either. Warding off winter chills should be your top priority. It also doesn’t hurt to carry cold and flu supplies in your RV, as well as toiletries, extra blankets, prescription medication, and a first aid kit.
There are many different ways to cook when you set off on an RV adventure. You can use your onboard RV appliances, shared facilities at a campground if available, campfires, fire pits, and even charcoal grills. However, it always pays to check your chosen RV campground’s rules before you start preparing those hearty camp-style ribs or loaded potatoes. You can also pick up all the supplies you need within a 200-yard distance of The Campagna Center.
If all the weekend’s events have tired you out and you prefer someone else to cook, then Alexandria’s eateries will take the reins. Within a ten-mile radius of The Campagna Center, diners will be treated to an abundance of different options. You can go for something light and fresh at a local cafe, or stick with what you know at a fast food outlet. This city also offers plenty of privately owned establishments to tantalize your taste buds.
Vendors will be located at various events throughout the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. Who those vendors are and what they offer can change from one year to the next.
For example, in past years, a Scottish tasting event saw various country-themed vendors offer special wine, beer, and food to interested visitors looking to experience this heritage at its best. While these tastings are often included in the ticket price, it’s worth bringing cash and payment cards in case a certain tipple takes your fancy, and you want to purchase more.
Wherever you travel in Alexandria, make sure you never leave your RV unattended with the keys in it. If you leave it for any period, lock it and store any valuables out of sight. If you have any questions or concerns on your visit to Alexandria, Virginia, then visit the local police station within three miles of The Campagna Center.
Not only can December in Alexandria, Virginia, be bitterly cold, but it can also be wet. Temperatures can plummet as low as 32 degrees-Fahrenheit, and don’t often reach above 50. Carry extra blankets, snow chains, water, and top up your RV’s coolant before you hit the road. It’s a good idea to ensure your heating is in tip-top shape before you leave, too.
If you find yourself struck down by a winter chill or something a little more serious, then help is nearby. In an emergency, you can dial 911. Otherwise, you can drive to the closest hospital within 4.5 miles of The Campagna Center. There is also a pharmacy for additional first aid supplies within 300 yards.