Discover Williamsburg During the Most Wonderful Time of the Year with Festivities for the Whole Family – Santa (and Benjamin Franklin) Approved!
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Dec. 2, 2016 – Ice skating. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus. Christmas tree lightings. And so much more. Holidays in the Greater Williamsburg area go beyond being just dates on the calendar, they're an opportunity to have loads of fun and create lasting memories with friends or family.
Visit during this magical time and revel in the season. Here are some experiences guaranteed to keep you jolly until the new year. Special room rates and packages are available for these, and many other holiday events in Greater Williamsburg. For more information, or to reserve your stay, visit www.visitwilliamsburg.com/christmas-vacation-deals-packages.
Strap on the Skates and Glide
Take to the ice at Colonial Williamsburg's winter wonderland at Liberty's Ice Pavilion. The rink is open for the season. Skate Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. There will also be caroling at the rink on Dec. 9, 16, and 23 at 6 p.m.
Have a Blast at Busch Gardens Christmas Town
The smell of Christmas trees, and the largest light display in North America, are a holiday feast for the senses that announces Christmas is here at Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Along with the 8 million dazzling lights are newcomers to the festive party, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Sesame Street Forest of Fun – for the kid in everyone. You also won’t want to miss one of the six holiday shows daily, including ‘Twas That Night,” an ice show featuring world champion Elvis Stojko that reimagines the classic poem A Visit From St. Nicholas on select dates through Jan. 2. And don’t forget to check out the stunning Scottish countryside setting for a stable of family-friendly animals including Scottish blackface sheep, Border collies, and, of course, the famous Clydesdales. What could be more enchanting than petting beautiful animals under a starry winter sky?
Shop, Gawk, and Celebrate at Yankee Candle Village
If Christmas is celebrated all year round at Yankee Candle Village, imagine what December is like. With more than 40,000 square feet of interactive shopping and fun, linger here, wrapped in the warmth of the season. Stroll through the Holiday Park with more than 40,000 ornaments and 400,000 candles. Enjoy original animated musical entertainment and other activities. Say “hi” to Santa. And don't miss the tree lighting on Dec. 3 and 4.
Watch Lights Dancing on the River and Revel in the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting
Join in the 20th anniversary Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade, with caroling and hot cider around the beach bonfire, as decorated motorboats, sailboats, and Chesapeake deadrise workboats parade on the York River at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. Then, on Dec. 6, watch your kids’ eyes light up at the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting, a tradition since 1945. Tap along to The Fifes and Drums of Yorktown at the Victory Monument, listen to festive music at Riverwalk Landing, and follow the procession of lights through the historic village welcoming the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Have Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a child-friendly breakfast on the water at the Riverwalk Restaurant in Yorktown and relive the wonder of the season as kids relay their Christmas wish list to the merry one. Tickets are required. Dec. 10 at 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Live an Authentic Colonial Christmas
For the month of December, become part of centuries-old holiday traditions at the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown. At Jamestown, programs and a film will compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the time with how they were observed in the difficult early years of the first permanent English settlement. At the American Revolution Museum, listen to stories about military encampments and watch holiday preparations on a Revolution-period farm. Visitors to the Continental Army encampment can assist the quartermaster in preparing military supplies and observe artillery demonstrations.
Trill to the Grand Illumination
There are plenty of ways to celebrate the magic and history of Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg. On Dec. 4, grab a blanket and head over for the finest fireworks display of the season with live music from multiple stages – a very Colonial way to celebrate; participate in spreading holiday cheer and join carolers enjoying coffee, tea or velvety hot chocolate prepared in the 18th-century way on the porch of R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11, 15, 18 and 22; or attend a special reading of The Night Before Christmas on Dec. 24, and learn about the first Christmas tree in the United States as you sing along to classic Christmas carols and watch the lighting of the tree in Market Square.
Get out and Frolic in Nature (Bugs, Optional)
Round up the kids for a free, guided walk on the new Freedom Park nature trail in Williamsburg, which departs every 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Dec. 3. Stop to examine plants, wildlife, insects, and more along the multi-use trail winding through historical sites and forests as well as along creeks and open meadows.
Spend an Evening with Charles Dickens (or at Least with his Great-Great-Grandson)
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Scrooge and Tiny Tim. At the Williamsburg Inn, Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, will present a retelling of the classic A Christmas Carol during an elegant banquet featuring world-class cuisine. Reservations are a must. Dec. 13 and 14.
Watch Classic Christmas Cartoons in the Square (Hello, Charlie Brown!)
The Blue Talon Bistro will host Toons in the Square on Dec. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring "A Charlie Brown Christmas," “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Frosty the Snowman” on Duke of Gloucester Street in Merchants Square. Wythe Candies will be distributing goodies to the first 100 children.
Live it up at First Night Williamsburg
First Night Williamsburg dawns on New Year's Eve. More than just a night, it's really an afternoon and evening extravaganza of family-oriented, alcohol-free fun presented throughout Williamsburg and on the campus of the College of William & Mary. Music ranges from classical and rock to jazz and the blues; food ranges from burgers and BBQ to key lime pie. And, of course, there are fireworks, not once, but twice, first as part of the children’s show, which ends at 7 p.m., and then again at midnight. Magicians, storytellers, puppeteers, jugglers and clowns round out the nonstop fun.
For additional information on these and other events happenings around Greater Williamsburg, please visit www.visitwilliamsburg.com.