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Williamsburg, Virginia, Drive-Distance Holiday Experiences

by Aoife O'Riordan

Nov 23, 2021

© James Kirkikis | Dreamstime.com


This holiday season, Williamsburg, Virginia, and Kingsmill Resort host several festive experiences for the entire family to enjoy.


Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Nov. 12–Jan. 2, visit one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America this season at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town. With more than 8 million sparkling lights adorning the town and the special arrival of Santa and Rudolph, visitors won’t want to miss this fun event. Visitors can also enjoy seasonal food and drink and watch a holiday show.


Cookies with Santa

On Dec. 5, a special event will take place at Gallery at York Hall. The complimentary event features one-of-a-kind stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts made by local artists. These pieces range from paintings, ornaments, pottery and quilts. Santa will also make an appearance for children to have photos taken.


Thrill to the Grand Illumination

Come to Colonial Williamsburg this holiday to witness fireworks and other festive events exclusively found in this historic town. For the weekends of Dec. 3–5, 10–12 and 17–19, visitors can bring a blanket and picnic basket to watch the fireworks as well as enjoy the Friday night holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Friday events will also include the new Procession of the Yule Log. Each Saturday evening, visitors can enjoy a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, a special appearance by Santa and yuletide music. All of these events lead up to the Grand Illumination fireworks over the Capitol building and Governor’s Palace.


Christmas-Themed Walks

Dec. 1–31, Williamsburg Walking Tours offers its Christmas Past and Present Walking Tour. The tour will take visitors through the historic streets of the colonial town to hear about how early colonists celebrated Christmas. Visitors will also learn the interesting tale of a Christmas decoration causing a battle on Duke of Gloucester Street between a dalmatian and a rooster!


In addition to this historic walking tour, the Christmas Decorations Walking Tour will also be available this season for guests to learn about the exteriors of the historic buildings found along the old streets. The tour will also cover the construction techniques and items used in traditional holiday decorations.


Kingsmill Resort Williamsburg

© Kingsmill Resort


So Much Festivity, So Little Time

An array of festive activities will be held at Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg’s only AAA Four Diamond Condominium Golf Resort. Throughout the month of December, guests can take part in horse and carriage rides, glow golf, ugly sweater supper, a gingerbread making competition and breakfast and photos with Santa. Events just for children include Christmas cookie decorating, wreath making, a petting zoo, scavenger hunts, letters to Santa and a magic show. On Dec. 1, the Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on the grounds of the resort.


Participate in a 19th-Century Christmas

Held in the “living room” of the Tucker family home in Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg, guests can partake in a special event Dec. 26. Colonial singers will appear for a recreation of a 19th-century Christmas in Williamsburg, each dressed in 19th-century costumes as they sing songs and share tales of Charles Dickens, the Civil War and the town of Williamsburg. Guests will also have the chance to help decorate the Tucker family Christmas tree.


Re-Live Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases

On Dec. 28, guests can experience the many cultural festivities celebrated in Virginia over the centuries. Held at Hennage Auditorium, guests can enjoy English songs of roast beef and revelry, poetry, prose, stories and Irish and Scots dance tunes. The event will feature veteran Williamsburg musicians David Gardner, Cliff Williams, Doug Austin and Kelly Kennedy.


Shop for Unique Christmas Gifts

On Dec. 4 and 5, one of the most anticipated events will take place on Main Street. The Christmas Market will feature almost 100 vendors selling a variety of goods from handmade soaps to nautical paintings to Christmas wreaths and ornaments. On the first day of the market, Santa will make an appearance and visitors can enjoy listening to a performance by the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown. On Sunday, an ice carver and strolling musical entertainment will grace the market as guests can shop to their hearts’ delight.


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