Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Coastal Virginia

by Coastal Virginia Magazine | Nov 30, 2018

'Tis the season for holiday parades, Christmas lights and winter fun. Throughout Coastal Virginia, experience an abundance of festive family celebrations including a colonial-era Christmas, firework shows, nighttime ice skating and more.


Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Nov. 30–Dec. 1: Rudolph, Santa Claus, the Abominable Snow Monster and more of your favorite holiday characters will be on stage at Chrysler Hall for a weekend performance of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical.


A Christmas Carol, Wells Theatre
Courtesy of Virginia Stage Company

A Christmas Carol

Nov. 30–Dec. 23: Watch as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future manifest on The Wells Theatre stage for a magical performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge will also be in attendance. Showtimes vary. $50–$79.


35th Annual Chesapeake Rotary Christmas Parade

Dec. 1: The 35th Annual Chesapeake Rotary Christmas Parade returns with bigger and brighter floats, festive dancers and spectacular musical performances. This year’s theme celebrates Christmas in the City and can be enjoyed by spectators of all ages. Free. 6 p.m. Mt. Pleasant Road and Battlefield Boulevard, Chesapeake.



Dec. 1: For the first time in Hollydazzle history, the annual celebration will replace its fireworks display with a marvelously choreographed light show. Enjoy the show and other holiday festivities at Newport News City Center at Oyster Point.


Annual Candle Lighting at City Center

Dec. 2: Join the United Jewish Community and its Virginia Peninsula chapter for Newport News’ Annual Candle Lighting at City Center. The lighting marks the eve of the first day of Hanukkah. 6–7 p.m.


Grand Illumination Williamsburg

Grand Illumination

Dec. 2: Create a new family tradition at Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination. Stand by with a cup of freshly made hot chocolate and watch as Williamsburg’s historic area glows beneath seasonal fireworks.


7th Annual Phoebus Holiday Illumination

Dec. 7: Let the Christmas festivities begin at Phoebus’ 7th Annual Phoebus Holiday Illumination. Witness a special holiday tree lighting, visit with Santa and enjoy all of the holiday-themed crafts, food and carols along Mellen Street. Free. 5–9 p.m.


Holiday Movie & Crafts

Dec. 8: Enjoy an afternoon of craft making and special viewing of the hit holiday film The Santa Claus at the Willow Oaks Branch Library in Hampton. Free. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.


Hampton Holly Days Parade

Holly Days

Dec. 8: The Peninsula’s largest illuminated parade boasts holiday-themed floats, festive marching bands, dance groups, military members, car clubs and more in Downtown Hampton. Free. 7–9 p.m.


Olde Towne Holiday Music Festival

Dec. 8: An Old Towne Portsmouth tradition, the historic drives of Washington and Water Streets host strolling carolers, featured performers and firepits for marshmallow roasting. The Children’s Christmas Parade will be held in conjunction with the festival from 10–11 a.m. 11 a.m.–3 p.m.


Million Bulb Walk, Norfolk Botanical Garden

Million Bulb Walk

Through Dec. 15: Norfolk Botanical Garden invites you and your family to embark on an illuminated 2-mile journey through the gardens’ holiday light spectacular. The path is decorated with animated light displays and twinkling archways.  $10–$17. 4–9 p.m.


Christmastide in Virginia

Dec. 20–31: Experience colonial holiday traditions at both the Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum in Yorktown. Enjoy everything from 18th century winter activities and camp stories to a tour through a recreated Powhatan Indian village. $7.50–$25.50.


Dickens' Christmas Towne

Dickens' Christmas Towne

Through Dec. 31: Dickens' Christmas Towne transforms Nauticus' Half Moone Center into a cheerful Victorian London streetscape with snowfall, carolers, theatrical performances and more fun festivities for the entire family. $5 for guests ages 3 and older.

Read more about Dickens' Christmas Towne here.


Celebration of Lights, Newport News

26th Annual Celebration in Lights

Through Jan 1: More than a million Christmas lights illuminate the grounds of Newport News Park in fanciful holiday scenes. Drive beneath 43 dazzling arches and admire the 300-plus decorations on display. $12 for cars, $60 for bus. 5:30–10 p.m.


Christmas Town Busch Gardens

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Through Jan. 5: Busch Gardens Williamsburg is home to one of the largest holiday displays in North America. At Christmas Town, families can take pictures with Santa, meet Rudolph, attend holiday performances and ride on some of the theme park’s most celebrated coasters and attractions.


MacArthur on Ice

Through Jan. 14: Grab a pair of skates and hit the ice at MacArthur Center’s outdoor ice-skating rink. Enjoy ice hockey clinics, figure skating shows, private lessons and more. Experience nightly magical snowfalls too. $7–$14.

City and lifestyle magazine celebrating the Southeast Virginia region and its unique charm, customs and ways of living

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