There is something magical about the holiday season, with all its twinkling lights and listening to festive songs while sipping hot chocolate—it really is the most wonderful time of year and what better place to celebrate the season and all its rich traditions than the birthplace of American holidays Williamsburg VA?
Throughout Greater Williamsburg, there is one opportunity after another to look, listen, learn or even lift up your voice in the spirit of the season.
Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town features the biggest Christmas light display in North America with more than 8 million twinkling lights, opening on select days from Nov. 24 through Jan. 1, 2018. Throughout the holiday run, experience holiday shows sure to give you a shiver even on warm nights.
At Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can enjoy a variety of 17th- and 18th-century holiday music Dec. 23-31, including music by David Gardner on fiddle and Barry and Lynn Trott on mandolin, guitar, flute and viola da gamba. Barry and Lynn Trott perform at Jamestown Settlement on Dec. 23, 28, 30 and 31, and David Gardner performs at Jamestown Settlement on Dec. 24, 26, 27 and 29 and at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown on Dec. 30 and 31.
Shopping in Williamsburg VA
Have some holiday cash to spend?
Stretch your dollars at the more than 120 stores of Williamsburg Premium Outlets. You’ll find deals for 25 percent to 65 percent off and that word “premium” in the name is not an accident. New Town is a place to cross plenty off your list. You’ll find everything here from bikes to beauty products, clothes to comic books, and cigars to secrets — Victoria’s Secret, that is.
At Busch Gardens, Christmas is a month-long celebration with shows, lights and, of course, shopping. Stop by the Mistletoe Marketplace where you can stroll through a traditional German outdoor market complete with local vendors who specialize in art projects. This is where you can find a unique treasure for those picky art lovers on your Christmas list.
Nothing compares to Yankee Candle Village during the holiday shopping season. With more than 45,000 square feet of interactive shopping and fun, you will linger here, wrapped in the warmth of the season. Stroll through the Holiday Park with more than 40,000 ornaments and 250,000 candles. Enjoy original animated musical entertainment and other activities, like daily visits with Santa.
The Christmas Market on Yorktown’s historic Main Street is a perfect occasion to find a gift and enjoy the spirit of the season on Dec. 2, and with more than 40 shops and restaurants, the 18th-century style retail village, Merchants Square, is the hip holiday place to shop. Don’t miss an opportunity to buy colonial-style gifts from retailers such as Everything Williamsburg, the Williamsburg Craft House and Williamsburg at Home.
For more unique gifts, consider Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown, a collection of waterfront shops that offers clothing, jewelry, quilts, art, patriotic items, home decor, and more. Check out Auntie M’s American Cottage, which sells handcrafted art from American artists and craftspeople from all over the country; Viccellio Goldsmith, for his distinctive fine jewelry; and The Yorktown Onion, for its fine art and high-end home accessories.
The historic area at Colonial Williamsburg alone could make everyone on your list smile at the ingenious gift choices you’ve made for them. There are more than a dozen shops. At the John Greenhow Store, you’ll find imported porcelain, pewter, leather and tinware. At the Golden Ball, silversmiths fashion one-of-a-kind jewelry, including earrings, pendants and rings. The Prentis Store sells handcrafted leather goods, iron hardware, tools, reproduction furniture and more.
New Year’s Eve in Williamsburg VA
NEW YEAR, NEW TRADITIONS!
Wrapping up another year of memories and traditions new and old, New Year’s Eve in Greater Williamsburg will be one to remember!
What better night to mark the end of Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration? Dazzling shows and more than 8 million twinkling lights will enhance your experience while you sip Busch Gardens‘ signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate. Stop for a photo op in front of the park’s 50-foot-tall, light-animated Christmas tree.
Colonial Williamsburg wishes you a Happy Hogmanay! With the suppression of Christmas celebrations being mandated by the government in the 17th century, Scotland turned to New Year’s Eve for its end-of-year frivolity, a tradition that remains strong to this day. Celebrate the Scotsman’s greatest day with songs, tunes and stories to welcome in the new year.
To learn about additional ways to celebrate the New Year visit www.visitwilliamsburg.com.
Megan Galko grew up in a family that loved to camp and she spent many of her childhood weekends and summers traveling the US. Now a mother of 5 she still has a love of travel, although she would prefer to sleep in a hotel rather than sleep in the ground! When she isn’t sitting pool side at her kids swim meets you can find her sitting lakeside at her family’s lake house or hitting the road on her next family adventure!