As we usher in the glorious colors of the fall and the cooler weather of the Holidays, Colonial Williamsburg Resorts is greeting the season with one-of-a-kind accommodations, distinct culinary offerings, and leisure activities for guests to enjoy a truly unique getaway, packed with leisure, relaxation, and cultural exploration that will delight the senses and create lasting memories.
Colonial Williamsburg Resorts is kicking off the holiday season in November with a festive array of events and experiences including the Annual Lighting Ceremony at the iconic Williamsburg Inn, a popular golf invitational, Annual Pie and Bake Sale, Thanksgiving feasts, and the highly-anticipated Annual Gingerbread open house at the Williamsburg Lodge.
All combined with the opportunity to explore the holiday-decorated, immersive Historic Area, the world’s largest outdoor history museum. Guests can walk and explore interactive and innovative experiences that take them on a journey through the history of our nation, visit the newly renovated and updated art museums that feature folk and decorative arts, and enjoy shopping and dining at Merchants Square located minutes away.
For first-time or returning guests, here are 10 reasons to visit Colonial Williamsburg Resorts now and for the holidays.
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the magical experiences you can expect this season.
Annual Williamsburg Inn Lighting Ceremony
The holiday season kicks off with the Annual Williamsburg Inn Lighting Ceremony, featuring artists from the Virginia Arts Festival. We invite our guests and community to enjoy thousands of dazzling lights, live musical performances featuring artists from the Virginia Art Festival, and a special guest from the North Pole to delight guests and spread Christmas cheer.
Annual Gingerbread Open House at the Williamsburg Lodge
Gaze in wonder at the traditional gingerbread house display in the lobby of the Williamsburg Lodge created by the hotel’s talented pastry team. This annual tradition also offers guests the opportunity to send their Santa letters and pick up some holiday treats from the bakeshop.
Holiday Decoration & Illumination of Historic Area
Explore 301 acres of living history that pays homage to our nation’s beginnings and includes more than 600 restored or reconstructed original buildings, costumed interpreters, interactive activities as well as the recently renovated and expanded Art Museums, and the shopping and dining experiences in Merchant Square. Walk the streets that famous presidents and notable political figures walked such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, to uncover the fascinating stories and history of our nation’s origin. As the season changes, also enjoy exciting experiences including Fall Harvest, Ghost Tours, hundreds of holiday decorations, and the nightly holiday Illuminations. Click to see Holiday Decorations Tour Dates and Ticket Information.
Grand Illumination Weekends
The community is invited as we celebrate the holiday season with three Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination weekends, December 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19. On Friday evenings, a new Procession of the Yule Log and enjoy holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Saturday evenings will include a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, glorious music, and a joyful appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks displays over the Governor’s Palace and Capitol building.
Liberty Ice Pavilion Returns
Enjoy a family-friendly activity this holiday season on the historic Duke of Gloucester St. when the Liberty Ice Pavilion sponsored by Dominion returns. Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays with a few turns on the ice. A short walk from Colonial Williamsburg Resorts hotels. Refreshments including hot cider, coffee, and more will be available for purchase only steps away from the ice.
Artful Tree at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Visit the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and see our 16-foot Christmas tree, this is an annual tradition at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. For over 50 years, the museum staff and volunteers have decorated it with handmade ornaments that reflect items from our rich Collections. There are 2,000 ornaments in all, made from cloth, wood, tin, paper, and recycled materials! See Facebook Live time-lapse video of the process.
ChristmasTown Busch Gardens
It is the most wonderful time of the year as Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™ returns on select dates from November 12 through January 2, 2022.
The World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park will once again be transformed by the season with over 10 million twinkling lights, one of the largest light displays in North America. Christmas Town™ classics such as Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas Town Express, and ‘Twas that Night ice skating show renew holidays traditions, while three NEW heart-warming shows offer a merry surprise for all. Thrilling rides, festive treats, and holiday shopping complete the experience with spirited fun for the whole family. Christmas shines brightest at Busch Gardens Christmas Town.
Christmas Market in Merchants Square
Over 30 vendors this year! Get ready to enjoy shopping from local vendors, live entertainment, snacks, craft beer, gluhwein, and photo ops. This will be a village-style setting similar to that of a traditional European Christmas Market. Plan to attend. The market is going to be located in the same area as last year, the P4 parking lot (corner of Francis St. & S. Boundary St.).
Holiday Farmers Market in Merchants Square
Saturday’s Farmers Market continues in Merchants Square. The Market is located in the Francis Street parking lot (P6) on the corner of Francis and Henry Street. Over 40 vendors offer a variety of local products, among which are fresh seasonal produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, honey, cheese, cut flowers, handmade soaps, and more.
New Year’s Eve Celebration on the Art Museum Lawn
Enjoy Live Music and watch the ball drop under a huge tent on the Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
FREE COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
We’ll have so much more Colonial Williamsburg Resorts holiday fun to share with you in the months to come. In the meantime, be sure to be on Santa’s nice list and keep checking the CW Resorts Blog for all our holiday news!