Christmas is almost here, and Santa Claus is making his round of visits to Coastal Virginia cities with festive feasts, storytelling and more. Join Santa and embark on a Christmas cruise along the Elizabeth River or mingle with Mrs. Claus over a cup of tea. See below for more on Santa’s special appearances in Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.
Dec. 9: From 1–6 p.m., snap a holiday selfie with Santa and take a ride on the festively decorated historic Hampton Carousel for just $1. The first 150 children to visit Santa will receive a free gift. Complimentary face painting will be available at the carousel, as well.
Dec. 9: Celebrate Christmas with Santa and a hot breakfast at The Mariners’ Museum and Park from 10–11 a.m. Breakfast guests are invited to take pictures with Santa, enjoy storytelling and make ornaments and other holiday crafts. Breakfast includes pancakes, fresh fruit, bacon and sausage. Tickets are $10 for members and $12 for non-members, and include admission to the museum for the day. Visit The Mariners’ Museum and Park website to purchase tickets.
Dec. 9: Embark on a festive morning cruise along the Elizabeth River and enjoy breakfast, dancing and mingling with Santa. This two-hour cruise from 8:30–10:30 a.m. aboard the Spirit of Norfolk includes kid-friendly dining options, breathtaking harbor views and access to the ships Sky Deck Lounge. Boarding begins at 8 a.m. Adult reservations are $34.90, and admission for children 12 and under begins at $19.95. Book here.
Dec. 9: Skate with jolly old St. Nick at MacArthur On Ice at Downtown Norfolk’s MacArthur Center from 2–3 p.m. Come dressed in your best holiday outfit to receive free skate rentals.
Dec. 10, 17: All aboard the Polar Express! On Dec. 10 and 17, Coastal Virginia residents can take a magical ride onboard the Polar Express and admire the beautiful Dominion Garden of Lights at Norfolk Botanical Garden. Before your board the train, sip hot cocoa, visit Santa and paint a keepsake plate and mug. Admission is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Multiple riding times are available.
Dec. 16: Visit the region’s only African-American Santa Claus at The Pavilion at Bide-A-Wee Portsmouth. Santa’s Jingle Bell Brunch features a delicious brunch spread, balloon artistry, games and pictures with Santa. Proceeds from this Claus to Cause event benefit lunch arrears for local Hampton Roads students. The brunch offers two seating times at 10 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 2 to 12.
Dec. 10: Sip on a warm cup of tea and celebrate the holiday season with Santa and Mrs. Claus at The English Tea Room. This special tea event will take place from 5–7 p.m. Tickets are $15 per child and $25 per adult.
Dec. 19: During this special evening, children can snuggle up with blankets in their holiday pajamas for Santa’s reading of "The Night Before Christmas," beginning at 6 p.m. Milk and cookies will be provided as well. Admission is $18 per child. For reservations, call 757-366-5777.
Select dates now through Jan. 1: Join Santa at the majestic castle at Trapper’s Smokehouse for an afternoon of storytelling, scrumptious food and holiday cheer. Elves prepare an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring holiday staples like turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole and more. Admission is $31 for adults and $21 children ages 3 through 9. Make your reservation here.