Holiday Events in Yorktown December 2020
December is a special time of year with many traditions that we look forward to all year. Some events will not happen this year and some will be a bit different due to COVID. The events that do take place will be even more memorable this year! Let’s focus on what is taking place and enjoy these special events.
We are still adding events so be sure to check back. It is also a good idea to check events prior to going to make sure the event is still happening.
Christmas Tree Lighting in Yorktown
\Friday, December 4 | 7:30 p.m.
Location: Riverwalk Landing – Yorktown Waterfront
The fun begins with Yorktown’s 76th Annual Tree Lighting. Guests will be entertained by the TRADOC Arsenal Brass Band at 6:30 p.m. followed by a performance from the Fifes & Drums of York Town at 7 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. immediately followed by a virtual message from Santa! The Freight Shed is open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for the public to write holiday cards to military personnel and Santa. We ask that during the event the public adheres to the Virginia Phase Guidelines by practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
To register for this free event, please visit www.yorkcounty.gov/treelighting. There is a 250-person capacity and families will be asked to use outlined social distancing circles which are first come, first served. The Tree Lighting is sponsored by the York County Historical Committee. For more information about this event, please call York County Parks and Recreation at (757) 890-3500. Please note, there will be no programming or procession at Victory Monument this year.
Christmas Market on Main
Saturday, December 5 | 10 a.m. to 3 p. m.
Sunday, December 6 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Historic Main Street
Whether you’re searching for a holiday gift for family and friends or a treat for yourself—you’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main Street!
This is one of the most anticipated Yorktown events every year. Close to 60 vendors line the street in a socially distanced set-up – selling everything from local art like paintings, jewelry, and photography to breads, sweets, and other goodies. Get your greenery and Christmas wreaths too!
The Town Crier rings in the market at 10 a.m. followed by a performance from The Fifes and Drums of York Town to open the market. Then, Santa Claus himself will ride in on York County’s first fire truck before greeting the crowd. Expect strolling musical entertainment to add to the festive atmosphere. It simply doesn’t get more Christmas than this!
The Market continues on Sunday from 11 to 3, so if you can’t make it on Saturday, you have another chance! For the second day, vendors, artists, and food trucks will line the street in a socially distanced set-up selling everything from local art (including ornaments) to seasonal foods to greenery and Christmas wreaths. Expect strolling musical entertainment to add to the festive atmosphere and a special ice carving demonstration!
Viking Yuletide Celebration
Saturday December 5 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 6 | 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Watermen’s Museum
Once you’re done shopping at Market on Main, head down to the Watermen’s Museum for its FREE Viking Yuletide Program! During this family-friendly event, you can learn about the ancient Norse influences on modern Christmas culture; enjoy demonstrations of traditional crafts and sport; play games and participate in the Althing in a Viking-era encampment; and enjoy a proper Victorian display. Odin and St. Nicolas will also be on site for photos. The Museum’s special programming runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is co-hosted by the Society of Amateur Vikings for General Reenactment.
Cookies with Santa
Sunday, December 6 | 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Gallery at York Hall – Main Street
The Gallery at York Hall is excited to once again host this special event – with a few modifications this year due to COVID-19. Children and parents can stop by to wave to Santa, drop off pre-made wish lists for the North Pole, grab a to-go goodie bag with a cookie, and do some holiday shopping as well! The Gallery at York Hall is filled with local one-of-a-kind art in all mediums.
Parents and grandparents are still encouraged to bring their own cameras to this family event, but are reminded that children will have to stand in front of Santa in a designated area. Though six feet away, the big guy in red will still be wearing a mask as an added precaution. Adults and children ages 5 and older are required to wear masks as they enter York Hall. We thank you in advance for your consideration and cooperation during this fun, community tradition.
Market Days – Mistletoe Market
Saturday, December 12 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Riverwalk Landing – Yorktown Waterfront
The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off in Yorktown! Browse the market for chowders and soups; baked goods, including an assortment of cakes, breads, brownies, fudge, and cookies; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and seasonal art! NEW this year – don’t miss a festive ice carving demonstration! Don your holiday attire and march in our Toyland Parade – a short loop around Riverwalk to celebrate the holiday season.
Yorktown Market Days is an open air market that continues taking important precautions to keep our customers and vendors safe amidst COVID-19 concerns, including required spacing between vendors and a setup to avoid congestion in typically high-traffic areas. All staff and vendors are required to wear face coverings when interacting with customers who are less than 6 feet away. Hand sanitizer stations are set up as you enter, as well as signs stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted to shop at the market.
Christmastide in Virginia
December 19 – 31
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Experience Colonial Virginia holiday traditions with interpretive programs, cooking demonstrations, and musical entertainment. Celebrate this holiday season with historical festivities December 19-31 at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown during “Christmastide in Virginia.”
Hear accounts of Christmas during the war in the re-created Continental Army encampment while learning about winter military camp life for a Continental Army soldier. On the Revolution-era farm, compare 18th-century Christmas traditions with those of modern times, deck the halls of a clapboard farmhouse and observe preparations for a holiday feast.
The museums have made adjustments to operations and access to outdoor living-history areas and gallery exhibits so that families can enjoy the museum experience while following new safety protocols and social-distancing procedures. The museums’ films and immersive indoor gallery exhibits are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the outdoor living-history areas are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
December 19 – Wreaths Across America Ceremony
Update: Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions issued by Gov. Northam on 11/13, this ceremony will be closed to the public. Coast Guard members will lay the wreaths to maintain the limited capacity on site.
Yorktown National Cemetery
A remembrance ceremony conducted by the Yorktown Coast Guard Station and members of local organizations to pay tribute to our fallen war veterans. Fresh Christmas wreaths will be placed on grave markers at Yorktown National Cemetery. More info click here