Top 14 Things to Do in Williamsburg, VA in December

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia is filled with history and gorgeous historic architecture. This makes it a great place to enjoy a magical holiday season in December!

From amusement parks to historical sites to shopping and much more, you can find something for everyone in Williamsburg in the month of December!

Below are some of my top recommendations for things to do in Williamsburg, VA in December, plus some of my favorite Christmas things to do in Williamsburg, VA to help make the holidays a special Colonial Christmas to remember!


Table of Contents


Busch Gardens Christmas Town

What:

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a beautiful theme park featuring thrilling world-class roller coasters. The park also celebrates the Christmas season in grand fashion, with the largest Christmas event in the whole state of Virginia! The amusement park lights up with more than 10 million lights, making it one of the largest light displays in North America!

The spectacular lights of Christmas Town Busch Gardens are paired with special holiday attractions like Santa‚Äôs Workshop, the Christmas Town Express, and special shows. The park also has amusement park rides for the entire family, plus special holiday-themed shopping and food. More details will be posted later in 2022.

All of this makes it the number one December attraction in Williamsburg, and definitely one that you don’t want to miss!

When:

November 11, 2022 – January 2, 2023

Tickets:

Tickets to Christmas Town are separate from regular park admission. Details will be posted later in the year. Admission is included with a Busch Gardens Membership.


Liberty Ice Pavilion

What:

Liberty Ice Pavillion is an ice skating rink located amidst the historic buildings of Colonial Williamsburg on Duke of Gloucester Street. It is a great way to get out and enjoy the winter air with friends and family. The ice rink also features hot cider, coffee, and more refreshments for purchase.

When visiting the ice pavilion, you can also experience many of the great Colonial Williamsburg sites in the heart of the town’s historic district, including taking a carriage ride past colonial buildings and visiting the Governor’s Palace.

The Liberty Ice Pavilion creates a winter wonderland in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area, and it’s the perfect activity to get you in the holiday spirit!

When:

Exact dates TBA, but are generally from mid-November to the end of February.

Tickets:

You can purchase tickets through the Colonial Williamsburg website.


Williamsburg Christmas Market

What:

The Williamsburg Christmas Market takes place in December in Downtown Williamsburg. The market features over 30 chalets and 60 different vendors, with holiday treats like warm spiced wine, crepes, baked goods, and craft beers. To celebrate the holiday, the market also features live entertainment and musical performances, a fire pit, and Santa Claus. The market is a unique shopping experience and a great place to help support local businesses.

When:

December. Exact dates TBA.

Tickets:

Free admission. No ticket is required.


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

What:

The annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony occurs every year at the Victory Monument & Yorktown Waterfront. The event dates back to 1945 and includes a performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town. The tree lighting ceremony then occurs at Riverwalk Landing. The event even includes a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and so it’s perfect for the whole family!

When:

December 2, 2022 at 6:30pm

Tickets:

Free admission. No ticket is required.


Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

What:

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg host special evening hours in December to celebrate the holidays. The event includes special themed Christmas trees on display. The centerpiece in 2021 was a 16 foot tree decorated with over 2,000 ornaments. The museums also feature hot chocolate and cookies for sale in the gift shop.

When:

December. Exact dates TBA.

Tickets:

You can purchase tickets through the Colonial Williamsburg website.


Jamestown Settlement

What:

In December, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown celebrate Christmastide, which is a unique look at Christmas past. During the event, both historic sites feature a look at what the Christmas holidays were like in the 17th and 18th centuries in early America.

The event includes holiday decorations, demonstrations, interpretive programs, period music, and much more. It is a special way to celebrate the holidays as only Colonial Williamsburg can offer!

Jamestown Settlement will have special programs depicting english christmas customs of the period, as well as a comparison of how the English and early colonists celebrated Christmas in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Outdoor demonstrations will also depict winter activities such as food preservation and hunting tools and techniques.

When:

December 19 – 31, 2022

Tickets:

Tickets can be purchased here.


American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

What:

Both Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown celebrate Christmastide in December.

At Yorktown, outdoor demonstrations will teach visitors about how Christmas and winter were spent in military camps during the Revolutionary War. Some of the demonstrations include learning how rations were cooked.

Other demonstrations in the nearby farm will show visitors other 18th century holiday traditions, such as how a banquet table was set during the holidays, as well as how special holiday dishes were made in an open hearth.

When:

December 19 – 31, 2022

Tickets:

Tickets can be purchased here.


Yorktown Mistletoe Market and Toyland Parade

What:

Yorktown features some excellent Christmas events in December, including the Mistletoe Market and Toyland Parade. The market has a number of winter and holiday treats and goods from local vendors and artists, like soups and chowders, cakes, bread, fudge, jams, holiday wreaths, candles, soaps, and local holiday art.

The Toyland Parade generally takes place in the afternoon, and it is led by Santa and the Fifes and Drums of York Town.

The festivities even include a train you can ride through the festivities: the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express.

When:

December 10, 2022

Tickets:

Free admission. No ticket is required.


Virginia Living Museum

What:

The Virginia Living Museum features over 250 animals native to Virginia, including wood turtles, chipmunks, sharks, pine voles, ghost crabs, flying squirrels, lobsters, eels, jellyfish, and much more.

There is also a 30,000-gallon Noland Chesapeake Bay Aquarium, Butterfly Haven, and even a planetarium. The museum also includes fun outdoor activities such as an outdoor boardwalk where you can see otters, beavers, red wolves, bald eagles, and more; a 5,500 square-foot coastal plain aviary; and a dinosaur discovery trail.

During the holiday season, The Virginia Living Museum also hosts special events, such as the Nature Nights Holidays Lights, which is an outdoor Christmas lights walking tour that’s perfect for the whole family.

When:

Nature Nights Holiday Lights generally occur from the end of November to the beginning of January. Exact dates TBA.

Tickets:

You can purchase tickets for the museum here.


Yule Log Celebration

What:

The Yule Log Celebration in Colonial Williamsburg is an annual tradition that occurs on Friday evenings in the month of December. It begins with the Yule Log being transported by wagon from the Capitol circle to Market Square. It combines the spirit of the 18th-century colonial past with the present.

When:

Friday evenings in December. More information will be posted later this year on the Colonial Williamsburg event calendar.

Tickets:

Free admission. No ticket is required.


Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg

What:

Colonial Williamsburg celebrates the holiday season every December with a special “Grand Illumination” event. The ceremony is inspired by the 18th century “illumination” tradition of firing guns in the air and shooting off fireworks to commemorate special events, such as military victories, or the birthday of a sovereign.

As part of the ceremony, there is a fireworks display each night, plus holiday decorations and musical performances to enjoy throughout the historic district.

When:

December 3, 10, 17, 2022

Tickets:

You can purchase tickets through the Colonial Williamsburg website.


Lighted Boat Parade in Yorktown

What:

For a unique holiday celebration, you can head down to the Yorktown waterfront for the annual Lighted Boat Parade. As part of the event, there is a musical performance by the Fifes & Drums of York Town, complimentary hot cider, and caroling around a beach bonfire.

The event culminates with the parade, which features boats riding by the waterfront and decked out in dazzling holiday lights!

When:

December. Exact dates TBA.

Tickets:

Free admission. No ticket is required.


The Bizarre Bazaar

What:

Holiday shopping is of course a big part of the season, and the annual Christmas Collection Bizarre Bazaar features over 475 exhibitors where you can find that perfect holiday gift. Different exhibitors include specialty boutiques, arts and crafts, and new exhibitors. There is a cafe with food and drink as well.

The show takes place on the first weekend of December every year. The Bazaar takes place at the Richmond Raceway Complex.

When:

December 1 – 4, 2022

Tickets:

You can purchase tickets here.


Shopping at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets

What:

The Williamsburg Premium Outlets feature more stores where you can find additional holiday gifts. The outlets are just 10 minutes from Merchant Square. There are over 135 stores, including American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Coach, The Children’s Place, and much more. A full list of stores can be found here.

When:

Open year-round. Store hours vary.

Tickets:

Free admission. No ticket is required.


Want to learn about more great things to do in Williamsburg, Virginia?

Learn all about the top Things to Do in Williamsburg!

Colonial Williamsburg

Learn about my favorite Hotels in Williamsburg!

Kingsmill Resort Williamsburg
Source: Kingsmill Resort

And learn about my favorite Restaurants in Williamsburg!

Blue Talon Bistro