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 Williamsburg events fill the local calendar, and the mix of historical and holiday traditions makes for a festive season around town.
Our B&B in Williamsburg 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. Enjoy the lighted cresset baskets that line the streets as evening snow falls, experiencing how the holidays looked a few centuries ago.
The always-popular Liberty Ice Pavilion opens in mid-November, kicking off the winter activities downtown. Located along Duke of Gloucester Street 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 with a toasty drink at one of the many nearby award-winning restaurants, winery tasting rooms, and hip Williamsburg breweries. And make sure to browse the local shops (a perennial favorite is 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.
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 tree lighting takes place on November 30, 2023, when 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, stroll to the serene tree setting during the following weeks, as it stays lit throughout the holidays. The holiday parade follows a few days later, on December 3rd, 2023, at 5 p.m., bringing the city together in the yuletide spirit. Local marching bands play holiday tunes, decorated floats roll through downtown, and spectators line the streets.
To add some thrills to your holiday stay, visit nearby Busch Gardens, just a few minutes away from our Williamsburg B&B, from November 10th, 2023, through January 7th, 2024, 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!