Christmas in Williamsburg: Top Ways To Celebrate Holiday Magic

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SUMMARY: Williamsburg VA transforms into a festive wonderland with its Grand Illumination and Yule Log Ceremony, while Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town dazzles with over 10 million lights. Step back in history with Colonial festivities, shop the Christmas Market, and indulge in seasonal performances and food for an unforgettable Christmas experience.

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Christmas In Williamsburg VA

It’s the Christmas season! And, if you’re interested in a glimpse of what the merriest time of year was like in the 18th century, Williamsburg is the place to be!

With colonial Christmas decorations, special events, period music, and more–Williamsburg’s definitely a quaint and cozy place to enjoy the holiday festivities.

So, we’re taking a look at the top ways to celebrate Christmas in Williamsburg VA. These include Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Christmas Town, the Williamsburg Christmas Parade, Christmas markets, Colonial Christmas tours, and more below.

Grab your hot chocolate and let’s get to it!

Related Reading: 20 Things To Do In Williamsburg In December

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Colonial Williamsburg Christmas

Overview of Christmas In Williamsburg VA

Parades, music, events, markets… Step back in time and immerse yourself in the yuletide spirit through Williamsburg’s colonial charm. From the flicker of candlelit windows to the echoes of carolers along historic streets, Christmas in Williamsburg is a picturesque living postcard of the holiday season.

Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Festivities

Witness the historical heart of Virginia transform into a spectacular canvas of festive delights. Experience the Grand Illumination with its grand fireworks and traditional gun salute or partake in hauling the Yule Log through the streets, following a jolly parade of music and merriment.

Christmas Tours In Williamsburg

With Williamsburg being a mecca of unique tours and guided experiences, the holidays are no exception.

If you’re looking to make the most of your Christmas experience in the ‘burg, there are several tours available that’ll take you into the heart of colonial Christmas.

The Guided Colonial Christmas Tour is a 90-minute excursion into Williamsburg holiday traditions from the past through the present day. Each participant gets a Christmas candle for the tour that stops by the Geddy House, Palmer Home, Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, and other hallmarks. You’ll even learn about how the pirates celebrated Christmas back in the day.

You can book the Guided Colonial Christmas Tour now with a lowest price guarantee and pay anytime up to 48 hours in advance. This includes free cancellation for a full refund up to 24 hours in advance.

For those seeking a bespoke experience, the Private Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tour is a 90-minute exclusive tour for your group that highlights Colonial Williamsburg Christmas traditions and holiday decor throughout the historic area. Merchants Square, Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, Governor’s Palace, Capitol Building, and Colonial Williamsburg are stops along this tour. Gingerbread cookies and coffee are included as well.

Like the Guided Tour, you can book the Private Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tour with a lowest price guarantee, reserve now and pay later option, and free cancellation opportunity.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town

If there’s a beacon of Christmas cheer in Williamsburg, it’s undoubtedly the Busch Gardens Christmas Town. With over 10 million twinkling lights, this event is a radiant spectacle matched by no other.

Christmas Town boasts not just lights but also thrilling rides, heartwarming shows, and an abundance of holiday spirit. Here’s your chance to relish the sights, sounds, and smells of the season at one of the best Christmas events around. 

You can get $17 off of your Christmas Town tickets through that exclusive link to Undercover Tourist. And, that includes a best price guarantee and no additional fees.

Related Reading: How To Visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg On A Budget

Live Performances

Known for their high caliber live entertainment, Busch Gardens Williamsburg puts on a spectacle of holiday shows with beloved Christmas music and carols. Shows include Gloria, Wisemen, Up on the Haustop, Scrooge No More, Twas That Night, Christmas Carolers, Celtic Christmas, and Merry Misfits.

Father Christmas

Step back into yuletide traditions as Father Christmas greets you in his grand velvety robes. A picture with this symbol of Christmas past is like stepping into a living holiday card—a memory to cherish for years to come.

Christmas Town Express

All aboard the Christmas Town Express! This festively decorated train ride winds through the park, giving passengers a panoramic view of the Christmas Town splendor. Enjoy the carols and jingle bells as the twinkling countryside of lights roll by—a joyful journey for all ages.

Holiday Shopping In Williamsburg VA

‘Tis the season for a holly jolly shopping experience in Williamsburg Virginia! As the aroma of gingerbread and pine fills the air, let your festive spree begin at the heart of it all: the Christmas Market on Main Street. Starting December 2nd, over 100 skilled artisans will delight you with their homemade crafts.

This lively market is not just about shopping; it’s an event! With the town crier announcing the start of festivities, the spirited melodies from the Fifes and Drums of York Town fill the winter air. You never know, Santa Claus himself might be mingling in the crowd.

Williamsburg Christmas Market

Nestle into the charm of bygone times with a visit to the Christmas Market. Vendors offer everything from handcrafted jewelry to homemade jams, perfect for finding that unique gift for a loved one. Strolling thru the market is a treat with frequent sightings of Santa and musical performances setting the tone for your merry pursuit of the perfect present.

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Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg

Places To Visit For Christmas In Williamsburg

Your itinerary for a Christmas in Williamsburg would not be complete without a trip down memory lane to the Governor’s Palace, the Duke of Gloucester Street, and Jamestown Settlement, each place steeped in history and decked out in seasonal finery.

Governor’s Palace

The regal setting comes alive with stately decorations and historical narratives.

Step through the wrought-iron gates of the Governor’s Palace and walk back into a colonial Christmas. Surrounded by gardens and aglow with holiday decorations, this historic mansion offers a peek into the celebrations of the past.

Duke of Gloucester Street

Stroll this iconic avenue as it dazzles with Christmas greenery and wreaths on every door.

The iconic Duke of Gloucester Street dons its holiday best, presenting an open-air journey through festive cheer with its wreathed facades and traditional decorations that reflect the era’s holiday spirit.

Jamestown Settlement

Delve into America’s beginnings with traditional English Christmas customs and see how the season was celebrated by the first settlers.

Let the festivity continue with “At Christmas be Mery”: A Special Evening at Historic Jamestowne, where you can soak in a traditional English Christmas complete with historical reenactments, madrigal singing, and the warm glow of a seasonal bonfire.

Christmas Musical Performances In Williamsburg VA

Stroll through the historic streets or settle in a cozy venue for an evening of Christmas Musical Performances. The traditional echoes of carolers compliment the contemporary beats, ensuring every musical palate is catered to in Williamsburg.

From the euphonic Christmas carols to the grandeur sounds of the holiday season, music is an integral part of Williamsburg’s Christmas. Performances range from intimate indoor concerts to grand outdoor spectacles where the whole town seems to sing in unison.

Christmas Carols

Hear the timeless tunes of Christmas Carols as they are brought to life by local choirs and musicians. These joyful harmonies are the heartbeats of the season, resonating through the crisp winter air.

Sounds of the Holiday Season

The sounds of the holiday season resonate throughout Williamsburg, from intimate indoor performances to open-air concerts. Each note adds to the festive symphony that defines Christmas in this historical town.

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Christmas Dinner in Williamsburg

Christmas Dinner In Williamsburg

Culminate the holiday experience with a Christmas Dinner in Williamsburg, where flavors meet festivity. Savor the festive food, from hearty roasts to sweet treats, guaranteed to satisfy any holiday cravings in a setting of colonial charm.

Festive Food

Festive Food is an essential part of the celebrations, with flavors crafted to compliment the spirit of the season. Indulge in traditional holiday fare or discover new twists on classic dishes at various eateries throughout the town.

Christmas Things To Do In Williamsburg VA

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Step into a world of holiday enchantment at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town, where the celebration shines with over 10 million lights—one of the largest displays in North America. Festivities extend beyond illumination; the park transforms into a winter wonderland complete with 20 spirited rides and roller coasters, each adding a dash of adrenaline to the merry atmosphere.

Christmas Shop

Can’t get enough shopping? The Christmas Shop is a year-round haven for Christmas lovers and a must-visit during the holiday season. Whether you’re after a dazzling ornament for your tree or Williamsburg-themed gifts, this shop is a treasure trove for festive finds. Don’t miss out on the magic inside—it’s where Santa’s elves would shop if they vacationed in Virginia!

Ice Skating

Take to the ice in Merchants Square on the Colonial Williamsburg Ice Rink.

American Revolution Museum

For a touch of history interwoven with your holiday merriment, the American Revolution Museum offers a compelling look at the nation’s founding, decked in festive décor. Engage with exhibits that tell the story of America’s fight for independence, all while surrounded by the season’s joy.

Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

Immerse yourself in the artistic side of the holidays at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Discover fine art, folk art, and decorative artifacts that shed light on the life and times of early America, beautifully accented by seasonal decorations and exhibits.

Christmas Lights Sightseeing

Including the lighted boat parade in Yorktown, a spectacle that illuminates the waters with holiday cheer.

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Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg VA

Best Williamsburg Hotels For Christmas

After a day of holiday hustle and bustle, retreat to the comfort of one of Williamsburg’s best hotels for Christmas. Williamsburg’s hospitality shines as brightly as its Christmas lights, with places like Kingsmill Resort and Williamsburg Lodge offering more than just a place to stay—they provide a complete holiday experience.

Both accommodations provide packages that can add a sprinkle of convenience to your holiday escape.

Kingsmill Resort

Situated along the picturesque James River, Kingsmill Resort offers a luxurious stay amidst bountiful Christmas cheer, perfect for those who appreciate festive elegance and a range of seasonal activities.

Kingsmill is a cozy and spacious timeshare style resort with ample amenities, scenic landscape, shuttle to Colonial Williamsburg, and is also near Busch Gardens (5 miles from Colonial Williamsburg).

Consider the Kingsmill Resort for its luxurious amenities and sprawling grounds bedecked in holiday finery. 

Booking your stay at Kingsmill Resort through the link provided (Booking.com) comes with perks like free cancellationa price match, and exclusive deals and discounts on your stay.

Williamsburg Lodge

Blending colonial charm with modern comforts, the Williamsburg Lodge serves as your cozy holiday haven. Relax by the fireplace after a day of historical exploration and holiday shopping.

Williamsburg Lodge is an Autograph Collection hotel with designer decor, two restaurants, an extensive spa, and prime real estate in the heart of Williamsburg (within Colonial Williamsburg).

The Williamsburg Lodge offers you a cozy colonial ambiance that’s steps away from all the Yuletide action. 

Booking your stay at the Williamsburg Lodge through the link provided (Booking.com) also comes with the perks mentioned above like free cancellationa price match, and exclusive deals and discounts on your stay.

Williamsburg Christmas Packages

Williamsburg presents an array of Christmas packages that blend accommodation, dining, and entertainment, wrapping up the perfect holiday gift for families and couples alike. From exclusive tours to festive dinners, these packages curate an unforgettable Christmas experience.

For those seeking an all-inclusive experience, Williamsburg’s hotels offer Christmas packages that sometimes include event tickets, meals, and special tours, ensuring your holiday stay is as hassle-free as it is unforgettable.

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Colonial Christmas Decorations

Christmas In Williamsburg VA FAQs

As you wrap up your holiday plans, don’t forget to explore the frequently asked questions that guide visitors through the wonders of a Williamsburg Christmas, from where to find the best light displays to how to indulge in traditional Christmas activities.

Does Colonial Williamsburg do anything for Christmas?

As detailed above, Colonial Williamsburg does a lot for Christmas, including: the Yule Log Ceremony, “At Christmas Be Mery,” Christmas markets, colonial Christmas decor, and the Williamsburg Christmas Parade just to name a few.

​What time does the Williamsburg Christmas Parade start?

The Williamsburg Christmas Parade starts at 5pm on December 3rd.

What is the path for the Williamsburg Christmas Parade?

The path for the Williamsburg Christmas Parade starts off at Brooks Street and Richmond Road where it’ll then proceed down Richmond Road, turn left onto Duke of Gloucester Street, head right on to North Henry Street, turn back left onto Francis Street, go right onto Nassau Street, and then end at the Colonial Williamsburg employee parking lot.

Is Williamsburg nice at Christmas?

Williamsburg is most definitely nice at Christmas time! The Colonial Williamsburg historic area is gorgeous set up with all of the Christmas lights, décor, and holiday music. Add in the major events, market square offerings, and holiday traditions, it’ll be a special visit during this time of year.

What is open for Christmas in Williamsburg?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Christmas Town and Colonial Williamsburg are open for Christmas day with their respective attractions and entertainment offerings.

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Colonial Williamsburg VA

When is Williamsburg decorated for Christmas?

Williamsburg is decorated for Christmas around mid-November with most decorations being in full splendor after Thanksgiving.

How long is Colonial Williamsburg decorated for Christmas?

Colonial Williamsburg is decorated for Christmas from mid-November to early-January annually.

Does Williamsburg VA have Christmas lights?

Williamsburg VA has near endless lights between Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, and festive Christmas decorations locals set up.

Where is the best place to see Christmas lights in Williamsburg?

The best place to see Christmas lights is the Busch Gardens Christmas Town, featuring the largest light displays (over 10 million lights) and creating a mesmerizing experience for all ages. Other remarkable displays include the lighted boat parade in Yorktown and the resplendent streets of Colonial Williamsburg, all of which embody the holiday spirit with their brilliant luminosity.

Can you meet Santa Claus in Williamsburg?

Yes, you can meet Santa Claus in various locations around Williamsburg, including the Christmas Market on Main Street during the festivity kick-off, and at multiple events held throughout the town during the holiday season. Each encounter provides a festive setting for family photographs and a chance for children to share their Christmas wishes with Father Christmas himself.

What are the must-see holiday events in Williamsburg?

The must-see events in Williamsburg during the holidays include the Grand Illumination, known for its stunning fireworks display and ceremonial firing of guns; the charming Yule Log Ceremony, which delights families with its festive procession and music; and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony taking place on December 1st.

Additionally, a visit to the Christmas Market and the unique “At Christmas be Mery” at Historic Jamestowne offer a peek into the historic celebrations of the season.

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Have a Merry Christmas in Williamsburg VA

Wrap Up

Williamsburg VA is a spirited place to celebrate Christmas in the most magical way. From the historical streets adorned in wreaths and ribbons to the grand spectacle of Busch Gardens Christmas Town, Williamsburg brings holiday traditions to life. Wrap up your year with a visit to this charming town where the past and present merge to create a Christmas haven.

Happy holidays!

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Christmas in Williamsburg?

For more Williamsburg VA travel guides, you can also check out:

Best Places To Stay In Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg Restaurants Guide

30 Top Things To Do In Williamsburg VA

Most Unique Tours In Williamsburg VA

Best Breweries In Williamsburg VA

Thanks for reading!

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