Ways to Light Up Your Holidays in Williamsburg
From traditional Colonial Christmases to roller coasters and ice skating, we've got your perfect holiday right here.
The Royal Palace Theatre will once again glisten with the return of a full-scale ice show. ‘Twas That Night, an exciting ice show, reimagines the magic of Christmas Eve and the classic poem A Visit From St. Nicholas. World-champion figure skater Elvis Stojko brings this beloved Christmas story to life, on ice. Combining the grace of professional figure skating with cherished Christmas music, original holiday songs and magnificent visuals, ‘Twas That Night wishes a happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night at Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™. November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Gather around the table for a traditional Thanksgiving meal with your loved ones at one of the taverns at Colonial Williamsburg. From turkey to all the trimmings, these menus feature the favorite dishes of the season.
Ireland’s Abbey Stone Theatre comes alive with the joyous re-telling of the story of the first Christmas. Bring the entire family to experience the inspiring music and dance of Gloria! Contemporary and traditional songs, from the park’s finest talent, merge to highlight and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
The grand dining room of Castle O’Sullivan springs to life as Santa and Mrs. Claus host the most intimate and exclusive event of the season, Santa’s Fireside Feast. Guests gather cozily around the majestic castle as Santa captures the attention of the entire family while recounting a classic Christmas story. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Gather the entire family together for this special presentation. Experience the unique spirit of Christmas as people from the past bring two classic Christmas stories to life. In the Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg) on December 24.
Make a list and check it twice with all the exclusive holiday outlet deals during Black Friday. At Williamsburg Premium Outlets on November 25.
Special sales and Black Friday Fragrance Lovers Tote for first 4 hours. At Yankee Candle Village, November 24 and 25th
Soak up the ambiance of historic Yorktown. Special events, festive decorations, special sales, drawings, discounts, door prizes, strolling entertainment, and more await you as you start or finish your holiday shopping. Hours of operation vary by business. Free event. On November 19-20, 2016 from 9am to 5pm.
Enjoy an evening of holiday music by this peerless male vocal ensemble! The Grammy Award winning King’s Singers have thrilled audiences around the world and won a place in the Gramophone Hall of Fame! The group will perform holiday classics from across the centuries that summon the spirit of the season. Two performances, 8pm on December 16th and 8pm on December 17th.
Save the date and reserve early for this family-friendly festive musical feast of holiday favorites and more! Four performances, at 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. on each day, under the direction of Williamsburg Symphony Music Director Janna Hymes. At the Kimball Theatre; December 3 & 4.
An 18th-century tea set, passed down through many generations and several families, brings three women together. These women have kept the tradition of using this special heirloom tea set only twice a year – on Independence Day and Christmas Day. Their stories shared while drinking tea, connect them to each other, to a shared past, and to events in our nation’s history. (1 hour) $3 program ticket required in addition to museum admission. November 29 at 2:15pm and 3:15pm.
Join Jefferson and Madison as they delight in sharing with you some of their favorite musical selections, along with happy tales of their long friendship. In this unique presentation, John Turner, Lee Welch, Sarah Glosson, and Tom Marshall on violin, guitar, cello, and harpsichord share music that these gentlemen collected, played, and enjoyed. A special holiday program for the entire family. December 5, 4:15pm and 5:15pm at the Colonial Williamsburg Hennage Auditorium.
Enjoy a family-friend activity this holiday season on historic Duke of Gloucester St. Join us at Liberty's Ice Pavilion sponsored by Dominion. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the holidays with a few turns on the ice. Even if you don’t skate, you can still enjoy watching the skaters, sipping on a cup of American Heritage Hot Chocolate or Chowning’s hot cider and relaxing to the sounds of musical performances from many local and area choirs and music ensembles. A part of Colonial Williamsburg's holiday celebration; November 16 through February 20, 2017.
Explore colonial Virginia foodways during a three-day event beginning on Thanksgiving Day. At Jamestown Settlement, learn how food was gathered, preserved and prepared by Powhatan Indians and English colonists. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, learn about typical Revolutionary War soldiers’ fare and trace the bounty of a 1780s farm from field to kitchen. November 24 - 26.
Doves, donkeys, cattle, sheep and more. Join Kelly Kennedy as she celebrates the holiday season with joyous songs, tunes and stories from all required in addition to museum admission at Colonial Williamsburg; November 28th 4:15pm
The way we celebrate Christmas has developed over many centuries and borrowed from many different traditions. Discover musical examples from several centuries with fiddler John Turner and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Kennedy. (1 hour) $7 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 8th at 4:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Experience seasonal music from the days of Colonial America with Lee Welch, Sarah Glosson and Barry Trott. Discover the origins of popular traditions as settlers arrived from the British Isles and Europe, bringing their music and customs to their new homes in the New World. (1 hour) $7 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 9th at 4:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Enjoy drinking songs and tavern revelry led by the critically acclaimed Virginia Company (David Gardner, Barry Trott and Cliff Williams) as they invite you to join in on the merriment and fun of an 18th-century style bacchanal. $9 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 11th at 3:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Martha Jefferson is running a new household, deeply involved in an uncertain war with the world's greatest empire, and married to a wanted man. Thomas is unwillingly pulled into a public office he feels unprepared to hold, and trying to hold together an unsteady union of states. Hear Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson share stories and fond memories as they try to make the most they can of their Christmas together in this uncertain time. $3 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 12th at 11:15am at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Join Williamsburg balladeer Bill Weldon for songs and stories from the holidays of earlier times. Sing along on the carols that warmed our ancestors spirits at the bonfires of Christmas' past. (1 hour) $5 program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 10th at 2:15pm
Enjoy dinner, dancing, and Christmas classics sung in the Sinatra style by tribute entertainer Sean Reilly. Chef Travis Brust presents an elegant, four-course holiday menu with wine. Specialty cocktails available for purchase. Celebrate the holidays with unforgettable music in the Williamsburg Inn's beautiful Regency Room in Colonial Williamsburg. December 18
Join Lee Welch and Doug Austin for a delightful program of carols, tales and tunes celebrating the Yuletide. Explore the traditions, dances and music of the colonial period, sung and performed on a variety of early instruments. A delight for the entire family. $7 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 16th at 4:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg. December 19, 1:30 & 4 pm.
Martha Custis reflects on past Christmases and looks forward to her new life at Mount Vernon. How will her duties change in her new life? How will her children welcome her husband to their traditions of Yuletide? $3 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 17th at 11:15am at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
A remembrance ceremony conducted by the Yorktown Coast Guard Station and members of local organizations pay tribute to our fallen war veterans. Fresh Christmas wreaths will be placed on grave markers to honor veterans buried there. Yorktown National Cemetery. Free. December 17th at 12pm at the Yorktown National Cemetary.
The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert during Colonial Williamsburg's Grand Illumination weekend. Come enjoy a festive program of seasonal music to delight the whole family. Conducted by Music Director Janna Hymes. December 3 & 4, 2016, at 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm each day. Tickets $30. At the Kimball Theatre on Merchants Square.
Enjoy this annual community Christmas parade with bands and floats and more! With 50 years under its belt, this year's theme is The Night Before Christmas! This is a holiday tradition you won’t want to miss! December 3.
The Gaelic people have always enjoyed a good party of song, food, drink and stories to pass the time. Master storytellers Shel Browder and Donna Wolf invite you to join them for our own Ceilidh. sharing stories, odes and perhaps a song or two. $5 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 14th at 2:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Festively decorated sail and power boats compete for “Best in Show.” The Yorktown waterfront is bedazzled with holiday sights and sounds, including a spectacular floating parade of lights, caroling around a roaring beach bonfire, musical performances and complimentary hot cider. Free. At Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown; December 3.
The Virginia Regional Ballet presents its 2nd annual Tea With Klara and her Nutcracker Friends. Enjoy refreshments, crafts, and dancing with Klara and many other characters from the beloved "The Nutcracker" ballet. A treat for children and their chaperones to interact with ballerinas who will perform the Nutcracker on December 17th and 18th, 2016, at William & Mary's Phi Beta Kappa Hall.; December 4th at 2:30pm.
Christmas is alive at York Hall where children and parents can visit with Santa Claus, enjoy some tasty treats, and shop for holiday gifts in the Gallery at York Hall. Cameras are encouraged. At York Hall in Yorktown from 1pm to 4pm; December 4.
Williamsburg’s oldest Christmas store specializes in unique and collectible Christmas merchandise, including dated Williamsburg ornaments. Come see our handcrafted lines as well as your favorite collectibles at The Christmas Shop. Located in Merchants Square.
In the 18th century, illuminations, which included the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks, were held to celebrate major events, such as great military victories, the anniversary of the reigning sovereign’s birth, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Join Colonial Williamsburg for this special day by strolling the Revolutionary City and viewing all the unique decorations. Enjoy musical performances from multiple stages and delight in the fireworks displays from three different locations. December 4th from 5pm to 7:30pm.
Join Yankee Candle Village as we light up the holidays! Sing along with Christmas carolers as Santa lights the Village Christmas Tree from 4pm-9pm. Free Ornament Personalization, Free Holiday Food Sampling, Free cupcakes and Marva Maid Milk. December 3rd.
Join Santa and Mrs. Claus, our special guests from the North Pole, for this once-a-year, family-oriented breakfast. Experience the enchantment on the children’s faces as they relay their Christmas wishes to Santa. Special treats for the kids. Seating is limited. Tickets Required. At Riverwalk Restaurant in Yorktown; December 10, 8:30 - 10:30 am.
Enjoy a fun-packed hour of music from an 18th-century Table Lodge performed by award-winning fiddler David Gardner. The Master Mason and official musician for Williamsburg Masonic Lodge No. 6 will present music that entertained Masons like George Washington, Peyton Randolph, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin. $7 Colonial Williamsburg program ticket required in addition to museum admission. December 17th at 5:00pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
The market will operate with extended hours and offer items unique to the holiday season, in addition to the usual array of fresh produce, meat and seafood, baked goods, quality art, and more. Toyland Parade, 1 pm. Decorate a stroller, wagon, yourself, or even a pet and join in the 1:30 pm parade. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to greet the guests. The Fifes and Drums of York Town will lead the parade, and as an added treat, the Polar Express will be chugging along through Riverwalk Landing. All aboard! Riverwalk Landing. Free. Riverwalk Landing. All aboard! December 10th from 9am to 3pm.
The Holiday Season is a time to create lifelong memories with friends and family. Join the Williamsburg Winery for a memorable afternoon of wine, food and live music. Enjoy delectable small-plates inspired by holiday traditions from around the world and toast the season with delicious Williamsburg Winery wine all while the 504 Supreme sets the mood with live holiday jazz. December 6. The transfer provides round-trip transfer from our Holiday Celebration at The Williamsburg Winery, Sunday, December 4th, to the Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg. No worries about where to find parking! You may attend the Holiday Celebration and the shuttle transfer or select what best meets your needs. December 4th 2pm to 5pm.
Whether you are searching for a holiday gift for family, friends, or as a treat to yourself, you’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main. The market features arts and crafts vendors, strolling entertainment, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. December 3rd 10am to 3pm.
The smell of Christmas trees coupled with the dazzling light display of Polar Pathway will make you feel as if Christmas is here. The breathtaking waterfalls of Italy’s Escape from Pompeii® are now a cascading icy wonderland that shimmers under the moonlight. Relive and preserve this Christmas Town memory by bringing your camera for a once-in-a-lifetime photograph. Busch Gardens®; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
The Elizabethan period was a golden age for the arts. Not only did Shakespeare flourish under Elizabeth, but some of England's finest songs and dance tunes were composed then. Join Wayne Hill and Lynn and Barry Trott to enjoy music for the winter season from the late 16th and early 17th centuries on lute, cittern, viols, recorders, violin and voice. $8 program ticket required in addition to Colonial Williamsburg museum admission. December 18th at 3:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Sing, clap, toe-tap and share in the revelry of our Virginia Christmas traditions as Kelly Kennedy and Andy Cleveland, perform on fiddle, guitar, piano, banjo, accordion and more. Discover English fiddle tunes, French courants, Irish lamentations, and Scottish strathspeys that have been a part of Old Dominion Christmas celebrations for more than 400 years. $8 program ticket required in addition to Colonial Williamsburg museum admission. December 19th at 4:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas as you wind your way through the world's most beautiful theme park in this exciting 8K run through the wonderfully decorated Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA.; December 4, 7:30am to 10:30am.
Christmas is a time when many field slaves take their rest, and when people remember lost family members and those no longer with them. They come to church, a haven for all heavy-laden hearts. Will Gowan Pamphlet be able to tend to the needs of his flock, given his duties as an enslaved servant at the bustling Kings Arms Tavern? $3 program ticket required in addition to Colonial Williamsburg museum admission December 20th at 11:15am at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Enjoy a lively, festive hour as veteran old-time band Orion (Joe Healey, Steve Suhring, Bill Hunt, and Ken Veasey) teams with Virginia Sky (Ann Robinson and Timothy Seaman). You'll hear classic and new contra-dance tunes and Celtic airs, performed on fiddle, hammered dulcimers (as many as three!), mountain dulcimers, guitar, whistle, piano, banjo, and more. There may even be some dancers! $12 program ticket required in addition to Colonial Williamsburg museum admission. December 21st at 2:15pm and again at 4:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
First Night of Williamsburg is a family-oriented, non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve celebration of the performing arts presented throughout the City and on the campus of the College of William & Mary. December 31, 1pm to midnight. Kid’s fireworks at 7pm.
The Virginia Regional Ballet will be performing it's 10th annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet with The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra and guest principal dancers from the New York City Ballet at the College of William & Mary. Heidi Robitshek's Nutcracker production has been a Williamsburg tradition for over 35 years, each year more magnificent than the last.. At the College of William & Mary Phi Beta Kapa Hall; December 17th at 2pm and 7:30pm and December 18th at 2 pm.
Featuring classic holiday favorites like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” modern hits like “Jingle Bell Rock,” and unique re-imaginings of timeless songs, this is an animated Christmas light display like no other you’ve ever seen! Get into the holiday spirit with the music of the season and dazzling laser effects! Virginia Living Museum; November 23 to December 31.
The rustic Scottish countryside is the perfect setting for our stable of beautiful animals. The star-filled winter sky and smell of fresh hay will have you humming your favorite Christmas carol. Bring your family and see the Scottish blackface sheep, Border collies and Clydesdales. This hands-on Christmas Town experience will take you back to a simpler time. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
The smell of Christmas trees coupled with the dazzling light display of Polar Pathway will make you feel as if Christmas is here. The breathtaking waterfalls of Italy’s Escape from Pompeii® are now a cascading icy wonderland that shimmers under the moonlight. Relive and preserve this Christmas Town memory by bringing your camera for a once-in-a-lifetime photograph. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Santa and Mrs. Claus are waiting for your visit. Excitement will build as you peek through snow-crested windows into Santa’s study, nestled between two nearby reindeer stables. Our elf attendants greet the eager children who are invited to sit on Santa’s lap and pose for a classic Christmas photo that will forever capture the moment’s joy and wonder. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Venture inside Das Festhaus®, festively decorated with garlands, twinkling lights and other holiday finery, to experience the season’s joy and warmth with Deck the Halls, a live musical tribute to Christmas traditions. Dance and sing along with Frosty the Snowman, animated toy soldiers and the park’s festively attired performers. This special show will be the essence of your Christmas Town experience. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Italy’s Il Teatro di San Marco Theatre has been transformed into a magical backdrop for an uplifting celebration of the spirit of Christmas. Ordinary miracles appear extraordinary in this passionate, action-filled program that will touch your soul. The show’s classical and contemporary dance movements coupled with live vocalists will inspire you to reach for the stars. Busch Gardens; November 22 - January 2 (select dates).
In the 18th century, Christmas was a time of love, engagements, and weddings. Join the Virginia Company for a concert of 17th- and 18th-century love songs and holiday favorites that will delight and inspire. The critically acclaimed colonial trio features vocalists David Gardner on violin, Barry Trott on mandolin and flute, and Cliff Williams on baroque guitar and recorder.
$9 program ticket required in addition to Colonial Williamsburg museum admission. December 22nd at 4pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Your Christmas Town experience culminates in a multi-colored spectacular light show O Tannenbaum. Gather with friends around our majestic 50-foot Christmas tree, sip a hot beverage and dance to the booming holiday musical score. The iconic tree creates a sense of community that will stay with you long after you leave the park. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Join Scrooge live on stage in an all-new musical at the Globe Theatre as he is swept away by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, who teach him the importance of family and friends being together at Christmas. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
No trip to the North Pole is complete without a ride on the Kinder Karussel. Restored to its original condition, this antique Herschell Carousel features 36 hand-carved ponies and two double-bench chariots. It’s perfect for the entire family. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Bundle up with the family to enjoy a 20-minute trip through more than 200 acres of lush landscaping with stops in Scotland, New France and Holiday Hills. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Get a Santa-eye view of the 8 million twinkling lights at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town from the park’s thrill ride, Nacht Tower. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Yankee Candle’s Holiday Park never ceases to amaze and delight everyone who visits. Come to where it’s Christmas all year long and experience for yourself what makes Yankee Candle Williamsburg so unique.
Visit Mistletoe Marketplace where you can stroll through a traditional German outdoor market and find a unique treasure for every one on your Christmas list. The hustle and bustle of other shoppers will invigorate your spirit as you look through a large selection of crafts from local artisans. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
From one of the top Outlet Malls in America, Williamsburg Premium Outlets, to unique gallery shops and quaint historic trades shops, the greater Williamsburg area is the perfect destination to complete all of your shopping needs this holiday season! November 1 to December 31.
Celebrate the holidays with a traditional Christmas dinner at Busch Gardens Christmas Town with their Black Forest Christmas Buffet. Turkey, ham and other culinary delights are ready to warm your soul. Finish off the night with a warm mug of hot chocolate while walking among the lights of Christmas Town. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Get an extra special view of Christmas Town aboard Busch Gardens’ Aeronaut Skyride and travel above the park’s eight million twinkling lights. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Satisfy the thrill seekers in the group with a trip on Verbolten®. Busch Gardens’ indoor-outdoor roller coaster experience is the park’s gift to coaster fans this holiday season. Busch Gardens; November 25 - January 2 (select dates).
Share an entertaining hour of traditional and holiday music as keyboardist Gary Whaley joins master fiddler John Turner for this Colonial Williamsburg Christmas favorite. These two talented musicians perform on an eclectic variety of instruments from fiddle and keyboards to red pipes, toys, and bird whistles. Plan to sing a favorite carol or two and join in this year's Turner and Whaley version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas." $8 program ticket required in addition to Colonial Williamsburg museum admission. December 23rd at 2:15pm and again at 4:15pm at the Hennage Auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg.
Experience centuries-old holiday traditions and, December 23-31, festivities featuring period musical entertainment and appearances at Jamestown Settlement by the Lord of Misrule. December 1 - 31
Since 1965, we have journeyed in the footsteps of the Magi, seeking the identity of a mysterious star which foretold the coming of a king. Over the years, the scientific thinking has changed, archeology has revealed new clues about the lands in which these events took place, and our understanding of who the magi might have actually been has grown. Our best theory for what the sign of the wise men might have been has changed, too. Now, it is time for us once again to update our understanding. But this time, the change will be like no other. Virginia Living Museum November 23 - December 31.
Holiday traditions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia are recalled through special interpretive programs and, from December 26 through 31, musical entertainment of the period. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, hear accounts of Christmas and winter in Revolutionary War encampments and glimpse holiday preparations on a 1780s farm. December 23 – 31
Come tell Santa what you would like for Christmas! Santa will be in his chair at Yankee Candle for Holiday Photo’s daily starting November 12th.