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Holiday Events around Hampton Roads & Richmond

21 November 2013 by


Here is a list of some of the great Holiday Events going on around town.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Hampton Roads Peninsula Area Holiday Events:

Celebration in Lights, Virginia’s first drive-through holiday light event, opens for its 21st season on Thanksgiving night (November 28, 2013).  Newport News Park will be transformed by over 800,000 individual lights creating animated holiday and fanciful scenes.  This year’s event will feature more “light tubes” which create the effect of falling snow, more lighted arches, and the refurbishment of displays with energy efficient LED bulbs.  The event will be open each evening, 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. through New Year’s (January 1, 2014).  Hours and admission are: Sunday- Saturday 5:30 - 10:00 p.m., $10.00 per car and $60.00 per bus

CHRISTMAS TOWN  Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™ celebrates the most wonderful time of the year. Since its debut in 2009, families have grown up with Christmas Town’s blanket of six-million glittering lights, breathtaking shows and traditional Christmas culinary delights. Visit Santa Claus at his North Pole workshop and begin a Christmas Town tradition that is as warm as apple pie. This year, take a step into the not-so-distant-past at Holiday Hills™ where mid-twentieth century Christmas celebrations come to life. Sip some hot chocolate and let the warmth of the season take over. Start a new Christmas tradition this year at Busch Gardens Christmas Town. OPENS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 22ND!!

Hollydazzle Hampton Roads Newport News Parks, Recreation & Tourism will present Hollydazzle, Hampton Roads’ most unique holiday event, on Friday, December 6, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in City Center at Oyster Point.  Hollydazzle is a free family event with activities and entertainment leading up to the spectacular BayPort Credit Union “Fountains of Light Show” at 8:45 p.m. with fireworks and new special effects by Pyrotecnico and the lighting of the 45’ BayPort Credit Union Tree on the Fountain Plaza.  The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with holiday entertainment at locations throughout City Center at Oyster Point.  The Snowflake Children’s Area will include five “make and take crafts” (including Gift Bags, Magic Scratch Ornaments, and Holiday Mugs), dance performances by the City Arts Dance Company, The Academy of Dance, and  international street performer Wacky Chad (bike stunt and juggling).  The CSX Dazzle Stage will feature musical performances by the Warwick Assembly of God Christmas Choir, Soundscapes, and  Harmonica Plus. Christopher Newport University A Capella Groups Expansion and the Newport Pearls will perform on the Gazebo Stage.  The U.S. Army Brass Quintet and the Tap Dancing Terror of Tidewater will perform on the Lakefront Commons Stage.  Strolling performers will include carolers, “living” statues, mimes, stilt walkers, and Katie Balloons.

Grand Illumination Colonial Williamsburg: In the 18th century, a special occasion was celebrated with fireworks, bonfires, and the lighting of candles in the windows or cupolas of public buildings and private homes. Today, this tradition lives on. Celebrate as live musical performances and a dazzling display of fireworks cap off a weekend of holiday events, December 6, 2013  Schedule of Events:  Come early to experience the Revolutionary City dressed in timeless natural decorations on a walking tour or take in a live auction on the Market House stage. Then, enjoy a relaxed dining experience and musical performances before the fireworks light up the sky.

Yorktown Events: Christmas Tree Lighting  Friday, Dec. 6, 2013  6:30 - 8:30 PM  Riverwalk Landing, Water Street, Yorkown.  A tradition that began in 1945 continues with the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting. Evening highlights include a performance by the Mt. Vernon Elementary School Mustang Chorus at 6:30 pm at the Victory Monument; a 7 pm performance by The Fifes and Drums of York Town at the Victory Monument and the US Navy Fleet Forces Band Brass Ensemble at the Riverwalk Landing stage; festive music; the procession of lights through the historic village; and, the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free. 757.890.3500.

Christmas Market on Main:  (Yorktown) Whether you are searching for a holiday gift for family, friends, or as a treat to yourself, you’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main. The market features arts and crafts, demonstrations, roasted chestnuts, hot cider, entertainment, historical interpreters and much more. Free. 757.890.3500.Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013  10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade:  Festively decorated sail and power boats compete for “Best in Show.” The Yorktown waterfront is bedazzled with holiday sights and sounds, including a spectacular floating parade of lights, caroling around a roaring beach bonfire, musical performances and complimentary hot cider. Free. 757.890.4970.  Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013  7:00 - 10:00 PM

Yorktown Market Day and Toyland Parade:  Saturday, December 14 - Yorktown Market Days and Toyland Parade, 9 am to 3 pm. Special holiday market featuring an assortment of items: seasonal fruits & vegetables; fresh seafood, eggs, poultry, beef and pork; fine sweets and baked goods including cakes, breads, brownies and cookies; coffee, jams and jellies; homemade relish and spices; organic and gluten free products; holiday wreaths, pines and flowering bulbs; homemade peanut brittle; quality art, and holiday music. Starting at 1:30 become a part of our Toyland Parade, jump in with a decorated a stroller or wagon, or even yourself! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to greet the guests. The Fifes and Drums of York Town will be leading the parade. As an added treat, the Polar Express will be chugging along through Riverwalk Landing. Free. (757) 890.3500.

Downtown Hampton Lighted Boat Parade: Cruise into the spirit of the holiday season at the 25th Annual  Downtown Hampton Lighted Boat Parade. More than 20 boats are expected to  participate. This highly anticipated parade of illuminated power and  sail boats will be visible from anywhere along the Hampton River,  however spectators wanting to hear the narration will want to find a  spot near the Hampton Maritime Center.  Saturday, December 07, 2013  (7:00 PM)

Williamsburg Area Community Christmas Parade:  Annual community Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Williamsburg Area Chamber and Tourism Alliance.  The parade features more than 100 entries including floats and marching bands and begins at Merchants Square in the historic area of Williamsburg. The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!  Then stay in the area to discover the many holiday options including outlet shopping, touring Colonial Williamsburg and enjoying their Christmas decorations, Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, a Colonial Christmas at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center and so much more!   Free admission to watch the parade.  Saturday, December 07, 2013  (9:00 AM-10:30 AM)

Holly Days Parade Hampton:  Have a joyful time in downtown Hampton at the Peninsula’s largest illuminated holiday parade.  You’ll want to come early and get a good spot to enjoy one ofHampton’s greatest seasonal traditions. Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 7:00 pm  2013 Theme: Joy to the World

Hampton Roads Southside Area Holiday Events:

Grand Illumination Parade "Holidays In The City" Downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth Saturday November 23, 2013.  Parade begins at 7pm.

McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach: Opening Weekend for McDonald's Holiday Lights at The Beach!!  Plus, they will have “Military Mondays,” military receive a 50% discount each Monday night from November 25-December 30.  $8 “Opening Weekend Special” Friday, November 22-Sunday, November 24
Be among the first to experience what has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Hampton Roads families! 
From Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24, visit McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach for $8 per car!
Friday, November 22 - 5:30pm-11:00pm, $8 special Saturday, November 23 - 5:30pm-11:00pm, $8 special Sunday, November 24 - 5:30pm-10:00pm, $8 special
Monday, November 25 through Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - regular pricing in effect. McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach opens nightly beginning at 5:30.  Hours of operation are 5:30pm-10:00pm Sunday through Thursday and 5:30pm-11:00pm Friday-Saturday.
Admission prices: Cars, Monday-Thursday, $12 per car Cars, Friday-Sunday and holidays, $15 per car Limos, $25 Motor coaches, $45 Mini buses, $25 (vehicles larger than a 15 passenger van) Combo Ticket, $25 - one-time entry to Holiday Lights at the Beach and Norfolk Botanical Garden of Lights (limited number of these tickets available)  On “Military Mondays,” military receive a 50% discount each Monday night from November 25-December 30.
All vehicles enter through the main entrance at 2nd Street.  Cash only is accepted at the gate.

Dominion Garden of Lights: Drive through a million twinkling lights this winter.  Thanksgiving night through December 31 5:30 – 10 p.m. nightly  Don’t miss Hampton Road’s favorite holiday tradition. Bring your family and friends to our 19th annual light show extravaganza for a magical holiday experience. During this event, our garden is transformed into a winter wonderland where you can enjoy a 2-mile drive through a million sparkling lights bringing the four seasons to life.  $15 Per Car  (Monday – Thursday) $20 Per Car  (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) Military Monday Appreciation Nights:  $10 per Car with a military id sponsored by USAA.

Million Bulb Walk 2013:  Walk through 2-miles of spectacular lighted display before our Dominion Garden of Lights drive through show begins on Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to kick off the holidays in a festive and healthy way. Guests may walk through the lights on these dates: Friday, November 22 – Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm  This event is rain or starshine. Tickets are available each night at the ticket booth.  For more information, please call Cathy at 441-5830 ext. 319 or email cathy.fitzgerald@nbgs.org  This is a walking event.  No running, bikes or pets please!  Military Discount: $5 (Current Military ID Required) Sponsored by USAA and USA Discounters.

Light up the Town:  It's the annual holiday lighting parade and event at the Town Center of Virginia Beach.  The parade kicks off at 6:00 PM with the illumination at 7:00 PM, followed by a laser light show.  Visit Santa, countdown the lighting of Town Center, visit balloon artists, enjoy carolers and more.  There is fun for everyone! The Town Center of Virginia Beach merchants will hold special open houses so make sure you have time to visit them for special holiday deals.

Coliseum Central Holiday Parade: Peninsula Town Center 4410 East Claiborne Square, Hampton.  Saturday, November 23rd. 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM Town Square.  You won’t want to miss the marching bands, floats, helium balloons and more as they take center stage in the festivities; Santa Claus is also sure to stop by.  This year marks the 15th annual Coliseum Central Holiday Parade that comes through Peninsula Town Center! Join us for great views of the entire parade as it passes through our center. Santa will also visit after his carriage ride and will be in Marys Park.  Enjoy carriage rides around Peninsula Town Center from 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM. Cash donations will be accepted for Operation Homefront. Also enjoy YouthBand performances from 11 AM until 4:30 PM in Town Square. YouthBands brought to you by City Central Events.

Richmond Area Holiday Events:

Tacky Lights (Nov. 28-Jan. 1)-- Richmond homes light up with over-the-top displays starting on Thanksgiving and running through New Year's Eve. You can visit houses yourself with our Tacky Lights mobile guide at www.tackyrichmond.com, book yourself a limo or even hop on a trolley to take in the lights.  We highly recommend Monument Avenue (not tacky, just beautiful), the houses on Asbury Court, 9716 Wendhurst Avenue and 2300 Wistar Court. Find the definitive Tacky Lights Guide right here.

Dominion Gardenfest of Lights  (Nov. 29 through Jan. 13, except Dec. 24 & 25; 5-10 p.m.)—Christmas is supposed to be big, bright and sparkly, and, boy, does Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden ever get that right. This nightly affair boasts over half a million lights, botanical décor, trains and more. That even means various holiday dinners and family activities, like the New Year’s Eve Family Frolic. On this special day from 2 to 5 p.m., families may enjoy live music and arts and crafts. Tickets start at $11 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for children ages 3-12 and $6 for members, with varying prices for special events. More at http://www.lewisginter.org/.

Grand Illumination 2013 (Dec. 6, 5:55-7 p.m.)—Wander around the James Center this magical evening and you’ll swear you’re in the North Pole (minus the snow.) Show up on time and you’ll see all of the reindeer, trees and buildings light the night at once. Free. More at www.thejamescenter.com/grandill.html Check out our guide to tree lightings around town—including the Jefferson Hotel tree lighting—here.

Dominion Christmas Parade (Dec. 7; 10 a.m. to noon)—Watch our city transform West Broad Street into a winter wonderland with floats, marching bands, helium balloons, Santa Claus and other attractions pulling in an audience of more than 100,000. The fun kicks off at the Science Museum of Virginia. Free. More at http://www.richmondparade.com/

21st Annual James River Parade of Lights (Dec. 14; 4-8 p.m.)—The whole premise behind this event is that Christmas isn’t just for land; it’s for the water, too. And it’s a good attitude to have. Boat owners decorate their boats with lights and other holiday flair, and then steer the boats along the river. Parade viewing sites include Libby Hill Park, Osborne Park and Boat Landing, Dutch Gap Boat Landing and Henricus Historical Park. Each site has slightly different hours, so read the flyer carefully. Free. More here

**There are many more wonderful Holiday Events going on around Richmond.  To find more events in your area click here!.


To find a list of all the SANTA CLAUSE IN HAMPTON ROADS locations, visit MYACTIVECHILD.COM BLOG

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