Richmond hosting two free holiday events on December 3

The city of Richmond invites residents and visitors to historic Shockoe Bottom on Friday December 3, for a free Polar Express themed Holiday Open House at Main Street Station, 1500 East Main Street, and the free 12th Annual Holiday Market at the 17th Street Farmers' Market, 100 North 17th Street.

The Holiday Open House at Main Street Station will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. The event will feature free train rides for children, hot cider and cookies, decorations, tree lighting, crafts and live entertainment. Celebrate the holiday season by enjoying the restored glory of Main Street Station and explore the lighted "Cathedral Walk" at the Plaza at Main Street Station. This year's event will focus on literacy as professional storytellers will be on hand to read to children, as they enjoy cookies and cider by the fireplace.  Come early, as the first 300 children in attendance will receive a free book courtesy of the Richmond Public Library.

This year's Holiday Open House at Main Street Station will again feature an exhibition of oversized holiday "greeting cards" from metro Richmond area public and private schools. The giant cards, each created from wooden doors, are creatively designed and painted by art classes and clubs in schools from throughout the area. The event is free and $2 parking will be available on the west side of the station using the Franklin Street entrance. Additional non-event parking is available within the Plaza using the Main St. and Cary St. entrances. For more information call (804) 646-5607.

The Holiday Market at the 17th Street Farmers' Market will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. This year's event will feature homemade crafts, music, snacks, cider and most of all Santa and Mrs. Claus. Youth Gardeners from the Mayor's Youth Academy will have an array of crafts, treats, and other goodies available for purchase. Free parking is available in the 18th and Grace Street lot. For more information call (804) 646-0477 or visit