Ring in the Holidays in Williamsburg

A Joyous Time To Visit

As autumn leaves fall along our quaint tree-lined streets and the air takes on a winter crispness, the holiday season shifts into gear in Williamsburg. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, special events fill the local calendar, and the mix of historical and holiday traditions makes for a festive season around town.

A winter collage of images in the winter around Williamsburg

Colonial Charm and Special Traditions

Our historic bed and breakfast is two blocks from Colonial Williamsburg, where the world’s largest living museum’s 300-acre campus comes alive during the holidays. Stroll through the Historic Area and enjoy Christmas decorations adorning 18th-century taverns and brick buildings while stopping into many trade shops to see weavers, furniture makers and more.. As evening snow falls, enjoy the lighted cresset baskets that line the streets, experiencing how the holidays looked a few centuries ago.

Liberty Ice Pavilion opens on 11/18, kicking off the winter activities downtown. Located along Duke of Gloucester St, a block from the inn in Merchant’s Square, the rink offers ice skating and skate rentals throughout the winter. Skate with the family, sip hot chocolate or cider, and enjoy the magical setting.

Wind down down with a drink at one of the restaurants, wineries, and breweries. And make sure to browse the several local shops (don’t miss the Christmas Shop, the oldest holiday store in Williamsburg) for unique and memorable gifts.

If you are visiting during Thanksgiving, the Williamsburg Lodge offers a Thanksgiving Dinner with an extensive menu. Along with antipasti, soup, harvest salad, and the traditional roasted turkey, you can choose between several entrees like chorizo pear-stuffed pork belly porchetta and herb-crusted beef loin. Everyone in the family will find flavors and dishes to love.

Santa in a horse drawn carriage waving at the crowds in Williamsburg, VA

Check the Colonial Williamsburg calendar for special holiday-themed events and shows throughout December, such as folk art ornament making and wreath decorating workshops. Several programs like Talk of the Town – Christmastide, Silent Night, Of Christmas Past, and A Fugitive Christmas take a fascinating look at our country’s past and how history informed our holiday celebrations.

Two other cherished holiday pastimes in Williamsburg are the Christmas Parade and the community lighting of the Christmas Tree. The parade takes place this year on December 4th at 5 pm, bringing the city together in the yuletide spirit. Local marching bands play holiday tunes, decorated floats make their way through downtown, and spectators line the streets.

The tree lighting is just over a week later, on December 15th. Carolers sing timeless holiday songs, and the community gathers around the magnificent 40-foot-tall tree in the heart of the Historic Area as it lights up, ushering in the Christmas season. Even if you can’t make it for the official lighting ceremony, take a stroll to the serene tree setting during the following weeks, as it stays lit throughout the holidays.

Coasters and Christmas Cheer

If you’re looking to add some thrills to your holiday stay, visit nearby Busch Gardens from November 11th through January 8th, where you can check out their Christmas Town extravaganza between rides on their world-famous rollercoasters. You’ll find live holiday shows on big stages, specialty shops, and over 10 million lights, one of the most spectacular light displays in the country.

Stay with us and experience the holiday season’s unique charm in Williamsburg!

View more events on the Colonial Williamsburg holiday planner (pdf)