10 Magical Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Williamsburg, VA

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Updated November 23, 2023

Christmas in Williamsburg, VA is a magical time! Colonial Williamsburg is filled with history. This has inspired many unique holiday traditions and special events that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Below are my top recommendations for how to spend a perfect Colonial Williamsburg Christmas.



Where to Stay in Williamsburg, VA
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg – Great for Families
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The Historic Powhatan Resort by Diamond – Great for Furnished Apartments
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Club Wyndham Kingsgate – Great for Recreation and Amenities
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Kingsmill Resort – Great for Nature Trails


Want to learn more about Winter activities in Williamsburg? Learn all about the Top Things to Do in Williamsburg, VA in December!


Williamsburg Christmas Packages

Colonial Williamsburg is one of the best places to celebrate the Christmas season while also taking in some fascinating colonial history and holiday traditions.  

To help you create a perfect Williamsburg vacation experience, the historic site offers a special Holiday Getaway Package. This gives you the perfect way to enjoy all of the Christmas festivities in Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area. 

The package includes: 

  • Hotel accommodations at the Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg Lodge, Griffin Hotel, or Colonial Houses.
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily Tickets to Colonial Williamsburg
  • Colonial Williamsburg Boxed Holiday Ornament
  • Colonial Williamsburg Retail Shopping Pass

You can learn more about the Williamsburg Holiday Getaway Packages here.


10 Magical Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Williamsburg, VA

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Location

Busch Gardens Williamsburg, 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Dates

November 10, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Tickets

Tickets to Christmas Town are separate from regular park admission. Admission is included with a Busch Gardens Membership.

Description

Busch Gardens Christmas Town earns the top spot on the list because it is the largest Christmas event in the whole state of Virginia! The theme park gets a holiday makeover to celebrate the season.

As part of the festivities, Busch Gardens is transformed into a winter wonderland with over 10 million holiday lights decorating the park. This is one of the largest light displays in North America!

The Busch Gardens Christmas Town celebration features several special events, including Santa’s Workshop and the Christmas Town Express. There are also special holiday entertainment events and of course Christmas decorations throughout the beautiful theme park.



Jamestown Settlement

Location

2110 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Dates

December 16 – 31, 2023

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased here.

Description

Jamestown Settlement hosts Christmastide in Virginia. The event features 17th and 18th-century Christmas traditions brought to life through special demonstrations, costumes, props, and more!

The re-enactments focus on English Christmas customs of the period.

There is also musical performances from the period during Christmastide. The performances take place at 11:30 am and 3 pm.


American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Location

200 Water St, Yorktown, VA 23690

Dates

December 16 – 31, 2023

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased here.

Description

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown also features special Christmas events, including stories about how Christmas took place during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can learn about how the Continental Army spent Christmas on the battlefields.

There are also special demonstrations at the farmhouse, including lessons about 18th-century holiday traditions, how to set a colonial farmhouse table for Christmas, and even open-hearth cooking demonstrations of period dishes.


Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg

Location

300 Palace Green St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Dates

December 2, 9, and 16, 2023

Tickets

You can purchase tickets through the Colonial Williamsburg website.

Description

On select dates, Colonial Williamsburg will be illuminated with fireworks to celebrate the season! The fireworks displays take place at the Capitol and the Governor’s Palace.

While visiting, you can also look at all of the lovely colonial Christmas decorations around Williamsburg. There are also live music performances on multiple stages at the historic site.



Christmas Market on Main

Location

301 Main St, Yorktown, VA 23690

Dates

December 2 to 3, 2023

Tickets

Free admission. No ticket is required.

Description

Christmas Market on Main takes place every December on Main Street in Yorktown. The highly anticipated event features over 100 vendors in the heart of Yorktown!

The merchants include arts, crafts, soaps, clothing, food, Christmas wreaths and decorations, and much more!

The event also features a performance by the drum corps Fifes and Drums of York Town, plus an appearance by Santa Claus, and holiday music throughout the weekend.


Yorktown Mistletoe Market and Toyland Parade

Location

331 Water St, Yorktown, VA 23690

Dates

December 9, 2023

Tickets

Free admission. No ticket is required.

Description

The Yorktown Mistletoe Market and Toyland Parade is another festive event in Yorktown. The outdoor market features vendors selling jams, breads, honey, cakes, cookies, wreaths, handmade soaps, local art, and much more.

The annual Toyland Parade is also held as part of the festivities. You can also take a ride on the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express as part of the family-friendly event.


Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade

Location

Dates

December 2, 2023, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tickets

Free admission. No ticket is required.

Description

The Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade is another highlight of the Christmas season. The annual event features a performance by the Fifes & Drums of York Town, complimentary hot cider, and Christmas carols around a beach bonfire.

The boat parade begins at 7:00 pm and features brightly colored boats decked out in Christmas lights. It is a fun and festive experience for the whole family.


Yule Log Celebration

Location

Market Square, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Dates

  • Friday, December 1, 2023: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, December 8, 2023: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, December 15, 2023: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tickets

Free admission. No ticket is required.

Description

The annual Yule Log Ceremony has been taking place in Colonial Williamsburg since 1940. The tradition dates back to English and Scottish holiday customs. 

The Yule log is transported by wagon from Capitol Circle to Market Square. As part of the tradition, visitors can toss a sprig of greenery into the bonfire for good luck. The event also features music and the lighting of the cressets. 




Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Location

Market Square, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Dates

November 30, 2023: 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Tickets

Free admission. No ticket is required.

Description

The annual Colonial Williamsburg Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 5:00 pm in front of the Courthouse steps. 

The event features Christmas carols, a reading of The Night Before Christmas, and a bonus story of the history of the first Christmas tree in Virginia.

The highlight of the event is the lighting of the 40-foot spruce tree on Market Square. Father Christmas helps illuminate the tree, which features over 7,500 sparkling Christmas lights. 


Learn even more about what to do, where to stay, and where to eat at Colonial Williamsburg!

Learn about the best things to do in Williamsburg

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Learn about the best places to stay in Williamsburg

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Building and gardens at Colonial Williamsburg

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