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Christmastime in the Historic Triangle

Christmas is just around the corner, so make sure your holiday plans (and plans for shopping!) are set so you can soak it all up during this most wonderful time of year… and Christmastime in the Historic Triangle makes it even better. 

Here’s what’s going on next month in the Historic Triangle. We’ll start with Williamsburg!

Busch Gardens

Christmas Town is back at Busch Gardens, and it promises to be the best year ever! On select dates from November 12 to January 2, bring your family to see 10 million sparkling holiday lights, set against the backdrop of a stunning holiday wonderland. Think ice skating shows, rides, beautiful Christmas carols, a magical Santa’s Workshop, and delicious hot chocolate! Get your tickets here.

Colonial Williamsburg

Join the Colonial Williamsburg community as it celebrates the holiday season with three Grand Illumination weekends: December 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19. Enjoy holiday traditions, old and new! On Friday evenings, join the new Procession of the Yule Log and hear holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Saturday evenings will include a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, glorious music, and a joyful appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks displays over the Governor’s Palace and Capitol building.

Jamestown and Yorktown also have an amazing lineup of events for you this holiday season!


Christmas Tree Lighting – Victory Monument & Yorktown Waterfront

Friday, December 3

Festivities starting at 6:30 p.m. with the tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.

Yorktown’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is a beloved community tradition that dates back to 1945! Guests are invited to gather at the Yorktown Victory Monument by 6:30 p.m. for live music, including a performance by the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown. From there, the procession will make its way from the Victory Monument to Riverwalk Landing, where the tree lighting ceremony will begin. Stay for a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus—they’re eager to hear all those wish lists!

Christmas Market on Main Street
Saturday, December 4, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, December 5, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Close to 100 vendors will line Main Street to sell everything from nautical paintings to handmade soaps to Christmas ornaments and wreaths! This is a fabulous and very popular shopping event, with fun traditions to make the day even more special. Santa Claus himself will greet families as musicians stroll along the street throughout the day. It simply doesn’t get more “Christmas” than this!


Lighted Boat Parade – Yorktown Waterfront
Saturday, Dec. 4
Pre-parade festivities begin at 6 p.m.
Boat Parade begins at 7 p.m.

If you’re ready to get into the holiday spirit, you’ll want to put this one on your calendar! Pre-parade festivities start at 6 p.m. and include caroling around a beach bonfire, a musical performance by the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown, and complimentary hot cider. Starting at 7, boats will make their way down the river in a dazzling show of lights!

Cookies with Santa – Gallery at York Hall
Sunday, Dec. 5, 1-4 p.m.

The Gallery at York Hall is excited to host Cookies with Santa—a complimentary event to make the season bright. It’s free for families and Santa will stay socially distanced. Bring your phones or cameras, wish lists, and your face masks! Don’t forget to stop inside the Gallery to pick up unique Christmas presents handcrafted by local artists!


Mistletoe Market – Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Dec. 11, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Christmastime in the Historic Triangle is magical at every corner! Browse the farmers market for warm chowders and soups; baked goods including an assortment of cakes, breads, brownies, fudge, cookies; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and local seasonal art! March in the annual Toyland Parade, and don’t forget to hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities. A professional ice carver will be set up in front of the Riverwalk Landing fountain providing a fascinating live demonstration!


Christmastide in Virginia – American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Dec. 18 – Dec. 31 (Closed Christmas Day)
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

During your visit to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war. Assist the quartermaster in preparing military supplies and observe exciting artillery demonstrations! At the clapboard farmhouse adorned with greenery, historical interpreters compare and contrast 18th-century holiday traditions with those of modern times. They will also demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery. Watch open-hearth cooking demonstrations and period dishes being made in the farm kitchen. Other activities throughout the day include traditional caroling and musical performances, including a special concert from the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown.


We wish you the happiest of holidays, and we hope you have the chance to explore Christmastime in the Historic Triangle!

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