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Though Christmas Town won’t be happening at Busch Gardens this year due to COVID-19, there is still plenty to celebrate (from an appropriate distance, of course). Check out what the Busch Gardens Christmas celebration will look like this year…
The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration is a limited-capacity event happening now through January 3, and it really hits the spot if you’re looking for a magical Christmas fix! All guests are required to wear masks while in the park, even outdoors. To further support everyone’s safety, families book their reservations ahead of time so that it is possible to maintain a safe distance from others during your visit. As a result, lines are short and guests can take their time moving from from place to place.
From the thousands of sparkling lights across eight European villages to live Christmas carols, rollercoasters and more, the Christmas spirit is strong at Busch Gardens this year. Park employees have worked diligently to bring families lots of Christmas cheer while maintaining a safe space* for all. Be sure to give them an extra thank-you for working extra hard this year!
Though children won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap this year, everyone can still say hello and take a photo one family at a time from a safe distance. Find Santa in his workshop in Oktoberfest, getting ready to bring toys to all the children of the world. Before you visit, write a letter to him on his special Christmas stationary by downloading it here! Simply drop it off in the mailbox sitting outside of Santa’s workshop.
While guests will not be able to sit on Santa’s lap this year, they will still be able to say hello and take a photo from a safe distance!
Christmas Lights and Holiday Decorations
In true Busch Gardens fashion, eight European villages will be adorned in the most beautiful lights and holiday decorations. You couldn’t ask for a better backdrop for your family’s holiday photo!
If you’re looking for a unique holiday thrill, Busch Gardens delivers. This year, 15 iconic roller coasters and rides for all ages will be open to guests: Alpengeist, Der Autobahn and Der Autobahn Jr. (all new to the park!), InvadR, Verbolten, Le Catapult, Li’l Clydes and more! See the full list here.
One of the things that makes the holidays truly special is the music. Enjoy the sweet sounds of your favorite holiday songs as soon as you enter the park, sung by the wonderful Killarney Irish Trio. You can also hear a singer and acoustic guitarist in New France, as well as a pianist inside the Fest House, and of course, the Cookie Monster holiday music show in Sesame Street ® Forest of Fun!
Meet the Animals
In addition to rides, Busch Gardens is also home to sweet animals! Meet new friends at the Highland Stables and snag a photo opportunity with gorgeous Clydesdale horses draped in festive garlands. Members of the park’s animal care team will be there to tell you more about the animals. See all the animals at the park here!
Busch Gardens Railway
A trip to Busch Gardens isn’t complete without a ride on the railway, especially for locomotive lovers! Hop aboard at Tweedside or Caribou Station for a beautiful ride around the park as you sip on hot chocolate and sing along with the Christmas music.
Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt
Little ones will love searching the park for hidden gingerbread men! Find them all and claim your prize at the Emporium! This is the perfect way to engage little ones as you make your way through the park.
Sesame Street ® Forest of Fun
If you have little ones, be sure to stop at the Forest of Fun, where your favorite Sesame Street characters are waiting to play! This fun-filled land for kids is full of fun rides and sweet photo opportunities. Learn more here.
Uncover holiday-inspired specialty foods, desserts and drinks in each themed village. From scrumptious BBQ in New France to a turkey dinner with mashed potatoes at the Fest Haus, there is something for everyone—even the pickiest eaters (yes, that means pizza, nuggets and fries!). Spaced-apart tables and other measures are taken to ensure your safety!
Creative adult beverages are available as well, including specialty cocktails like a cranberry hot toddy, spiked hot chocolate, and even a drink that tastes like warm apple pie. To save 15%, purchase your meals ahead of time here (tip: portions are large, so you may want to split meals for little ones). See the full menu of food and drinks here.
After a full day of trains, lights, rides, and animals, finish your visit with a little Christmas shopping. Mistletoe Marketplace offers unique handcrafted gifts, home decor and souvenirs from around the world, and each village offers specialty gifts like snowglobes and other lovely treasures that will remind you of your trip!
Create a reservation or purchase your event tickets now, because this event is likely to fill up with reservations quickly! Day and event reservation windows are available on select dates now through January 3, 2021.
*Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present; there is no guarantee you will not be exposed when you visit the park. Review more important safety guidelines here.