Top 20 Things to Do in Williamsburg over Christmas Break 2023

Top Things to Do in Williamsburg Area over Christmas Break 2023

From our friends at Localourist.comLive Like a Local. Play Like a Tourist!(TM)

  1. Visit the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg (yes, bring the kids!) They have a tour that includes making an ornament. This week they have special concerts and performances that kids and adults will love. **Good Neighbor Pass gets you admission FREE. It is a world class museum right in our back yard! Here is their daily calendar with hourly events! Or check out the Art Museums Holiday Guide. Or better yet – their Holiday Planner!
  2. Christmastide at Jamestown Settlement and at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. This event is at two different museums so this can be a two day event! There are different parts at each museum so make sure to visit both!
    Tis the season for centuries-old holiday merriment. Grab your friends and family and plan on attending Christmastide in Virginia. Come have a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through festive interpretive programs, fancy cooking, caroling and musical entertainment. If you are a Williamsburg, James City County or Yorktown Resident you get free admission (*here are the details/rules) Christmastide goes on daily from Dec 16 – Dec 31 (except on Dec 25th when they are closed)…More info
  3. Visit the Williamsburg Christmas Market! – A European-Style Christmas Market with 40 chalets with vendors local, regional and national vendors. Everyone will enjoy live entertainment, a train ride, adults can indulge in gluhwein (warm spiced wine) and craft beers. Enjoy Christmas music, firepit, & delicious market food from local restaurants. Admission is free! Last market is Dec. 21-23 (Thursday-Saturday).
  4. Photo with Santa! This is the perfect opportunity to snap your own family photo with Santa! It is free and easy. Santa will be there waiting to hear wish lists and to have pictures taken each weekend leading up to Christmas. Plus while in New Town = why not catch a movie, get some holiday shopping done, or have a meal at one of their great restaurants!
  5. Drive the Spectacular Lights Tour in Williamsburg – The Spectacular Lights Tour in Williamsburg is annual list of the Best Christmas Lights in the area! Live Like a Local and visit all your favorite local neighborhoods in “the Burg” as locals call it! Readers also can submit their favorites to the list and map! The GOOGLE Map has all the home listed (there are over 100) so you can drive along – the list gives you photos and links to maps. Here is the list and map.
  6. Visit the Virginia Living Museum – Not technically in Williamsburg but this museum is a favorite with families and is a short drive away. They have indoor animals but also a huge outdoor (stroller and small child friendly) walking trail that leads to a huge Dino themed park. Discover the magic of Winter Nature Nights this holiday season!  Savor hot chocolate in the cozy café, followed by a walk along the beautifully lighted outdoor boardwalk trail. On the Dinosaur Discovery Trail, the storybook “How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas” comes to life.  During the week after Christmas come and enjoy their Holiday Science Shows that are part of your admission ticket running Dec 27 – 29! And get ready for their New Years Event too: Noon Years Eve 2023! Put visiting the VLM (how locals refer to the Virginia Living Museum) on your list!
  7. School Crossing Toy Store – Why a toy store? Because they are the only independent toy store from Richmond to NC boarder. That’s right folks. What we had as kids is a unicorn now….and Williamsburg has one: a real live toy store. It is stocked with toys, figets, stuffies, musical instruments, games, puzzles, activities for car/plane rides, crafts, spy tools, outdoor toys, ropes and climbing, dolls, science toys and equipment, paints, infant toys, toddler and kid toys as well as items teens love and adults will enjoy too! Stop by – your kids will go nuts (but in a good way).
  8. American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – learn the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Explore period artifacts, immersive environments and films, with a 180-degree surround screen and dramatic special effects. In the outdoor living-history areas, visitors can learn about the rank and file of a soldier’s life at a re-created Continental Army encampment and explore a Revolution-era farm based on a real-life 18th-century family.
  9. Christmas in Yorktown! Many of their big holiday events happen in early December but there are still many reasons to head over! Don’t forget to grab your camera to get a pic of your favorite family members with the holiday decorated LOVE Letters. You cannot miss them – they are on the waterfront. If it is a sunny day – stroll on the sandy beach. Make sure to visit the York Hall Gallery where local artists have wonderful items for sale, visit their great restaurants and boutique shops!
  10. Ice Skating in Merchants Square – if you haven’t – it is really fun. And if you don’t want to skate you can always grab a hot chocolate in the snack shack and watch your friends and family skate from the benches that surround the rink. Live Like a Local: If you have a Good Neighbor Pass you get a discount on Monday – Friday! Call it DoG St. if you want to Live like a local or Duke of Gloucester if you want to Play Like a Tourist. And if you think you will be skating into the New Year – the rink stays open until February 27, 2024 so it might be a better deal to get a Seasons Pass.
  11. Evening Programming at Colonial Williamsburg – Are they for tourists, yes…but are they also for locals…a hard “Yes!” And if you are a local with a Good Neighbor Pass – evening programs are 25% off! Try Haunted Williamsburg, (the only official ghost tours of Colonial Williamsburg), To Hang a Pirate (a really good one), Cry Witch, and Revolutionary Points of View, Lighting of the Cressets, Christmastide and more! Here is a list of evening programs at Colonial Williamsburg. Your Good Neighbor Pass gives you a discount on evening programs so make sure to have it when you book!
  12. Celebration in Lights at Newport News Park – We ride through every year and always enjoy the magic of the lights. There are over a million lights in the two mile drive.
  13. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens – Christmas Town is back and it is beautiful! We have our review updated for all the new shows and info you will need to make your time in the park awesome! If you need tickets make sure to visit our Busch Gardens Discount page.
  14. Catch a holiday movie at the Kimball Theater – The Kimball was originally opened as The Williamsburg Theatre in 1933 by John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s RKO film distribution and production company, The Kimball Theatre has been Williamsburg’s cinema for 90 years. The following are showing: It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas,and A Hard Day’s Night.
  15. Parks & Playgrounds – Rent boats, go fishing, hike, mountain bike, look for sharks teeth…if the weather cooperates head to one of our amazing playgrounds or parks in the area. Need to refresh you memory on all this area has to offer? Check out our Best Playgounds and Parks in Williamsburg area post.
  16. Take the Ferry! It is free and kids love it. When you get to the other side you can visit Chippokes State Park, Smithfield’s main street or just pull into the Surry Seafood House and have lunch or dinner on the patio on the water! Here is a link to the Ferry Schedule
  17. Fireworks – Busch Gardens will celebrate New Years Eve. Cap off your night and celebrate the New Year with a spectacular fireworks show at 9 p.m. on December 31. If you don’t have a membership check discounts here.
  18. Area Museums – These are several regional museums that if you have the chance to go to…definitely go! Chrysler Museum is FREE and the Mariner’s Museum is only $1 admission. Virginia Living Museum (see #7). Nauticus has an amazing light display, Virginia War Museum, Hermitage Museum, and Portsmouth Children’s Museum all are excellent museums!
  19. Don’t forget our State Parks! York River State Park is a great place to walk, bike, fish, walk the dog and so much more. Chippokes State Park is a short ferry ride away and it is definitely worth the drive . You can find sharks teeth there too! Both Parks have a great way to welcome the New Year – 1st Day Hikes. Learn about York River and Chippokes!
  20. Eat outside in Merchants Square under umbrellas and heated lamps. You are supporting local businesses, and celebrating the season with outdoor seating and heat lamps on DoG Street! Plus while you are there stop and shop! Favorite stores…Fat Face, The Shoe Attic, Scotland House, Ltd., Blink, Danforth Pewter, French Twist Boutique, J. Fenton, Penny and a Sixpence, The Precious Gem, Brick & Vine…actually they are all wonderful – see full list of shops & restaurants here. Or shop online at Colonial Williamsburg Shops.

Visit our Best things to Do in Williamsburg page that has a guide of things to do for every month!

Make sure to visit our Daily Calendar of Events in Williamsburg. That will give you an hour by hour guide of what is going on!

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  • Olivia Bada

    Marketing, communications, sales, writing, and web management all come together when working on published pieces for Localourist, The Burg Weekender, The Burg Weekly and Williamsburg Families.

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