If you’re looking for something to do this holiday week, there will be no shortage of local events happening.
The 30th annual Celebration in Lights will open in Newport News Park on Thanksgiving night. On Friday and Saturday, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will host a special “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia” program. The Williamsburg Christmas Market, featuring 30 vendors, will also kick off Friday.
Saturday will bring the Gingerbread Display Open House at the Williamsburg Lodge, a ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas performance in Hampton, the Williamsburg Inn Annual Lighting Ceremony and Port Warwick’s Holiday Tree Lighting. A special Storytime with Santa event – included with $1 museum admission – will also be held at The Mariners’ Museum on Sunday.
️ Thursday, Nov. 24
- Thanksgiving Dinner – Various Locations (Colonial Williamsburg). Enjoy a special Thanksgiving dinner set in Williamsburg’s historic area at Campbell’s Tavern, King’s Arms Tavern, the Williamsburg Lodge or the Williamsburg Inn. Multiple dinner-time options are available. See Colonial Williamsburg’s website for additional information and reservation details.
- Thanksgiving Day Buffet – Riverwalk Restaurant (Yorktown). Enjoy classic Thanksgiving dishes with some twists at the Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Riverwalk Landing. Reservations are required; call to reserve your table. $55/adult, $22/child. 11:00 am 7:00 pm.
️ Friday, Nov. 25
- Washington and the American Indians – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). Join George Washington as he discusses his experiences with various American Indian nations and hear some of their stories of him in return. 11:00 – 11:45 am. Requires art museum admission or a Good Neighbor pass.
️ Saturday, Nov. 26
- Bird Walk – New Quarter Park (Williamsburg). Join the Williamsburg Bird Club for a bird walk at New Quarter Park. Bring binoculars for the best views. Free and open to the public. Register online by Nov. 26. 8:00 am – 10:00 am.
- Gingerbread Display Open House – Williamsburg Lodge (Williamsburg). See the new 2022 gingerbread house display created by the Williamsburg Lodge’s talented pastry team. The display – an annual tradition – will be featured in the lobby. Guests will also be able to send letters to Santa and purchase delicious holiday treats from the bakeshop. This year’s village is inspired by favorite cartoon characters. The Open House will be held Saturday, Nov. 26, and guests will be greeted by the pastry chefs. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
- After Ate 8K and 4K – Billsburg Brewery (Williamsburg). This easy 8K and relaxed 4K run/walk starts at the zero mile mark on the Capital trail and ends at Billsburg Brewery. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Williamsburg Salvation Army. See the website for additional details, including start times and prices. 10:00 am.
- Waterfowl Watch – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Waterfowl viewing season has returned. Stop by York River State Park’s outdoor display and discover the ducks that inhabit the park until early spring. Bring your binoculars for better views of these amazing birds. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – The American Theatre (Hampton). Enjoy a charming musical adaptation of Clement Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” set in 1823. Tickets are $10-$15. 11:00 am.
- The Polar Express in Concert – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News). Experience The Polar Express with a live orchestra this holiday season. Tickets are $25-$114. Tickets are available for purchase here. 3:00 pm.
- Holiday Tree Lighting – Port Warwick (Newport News). Enjoy the lighting of The Majestic Tree in Port Warwick. There will be live holiday music, dance performances, carriage rides around William Styron Square and food trucks. Children will enjoy face painting, a puppet show and balloon art. See the full schedule of events here. Free. 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
- Williamsburg Inn Annual Lighting Ceremony – Williamsburg Inn (Williamsburg). Get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the sounds of the season at the 4th Annual Williamsburg Inn Lighting Ceremony. The program this year will be held on Saturday, Nov. 26. Enjoy music by the Virginia Arts Festival Brass & Timpani, Larry Jay Giddens (an acclaimed opera singer and Eastern Shore native) and a special visitor from the North Pole. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available for purchase. 6:00 pm.
- Holiday Organ Recital – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Enjoy the music of the season at this recital by Rebecca Davy, music director & organist at Bruton Parish Church. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.
The Williamsburg Inn will host its Annual Lighting Ceremony this Saturday, Nov. 26. (Photo by Christin Nielsen/The Triangle).
️ Sunday, Nov. 27
- Santa and the Sugarplum Brunch – Billsburg Brewery (Williamsburg). Attend the first annual Santa and the Sugar Plum Brunch hosted by SI Dance! The event will be catered by Capitol Pancake. Santa will read The Night Before Christmas, and the Sugar Plum will read The Nutcracker to the children. Santa and the Sugar Plum will also be available to take photographs with guests. The brunch will take place in the new heated pavilion at Billsburg Brewery. See the website for menu options and additional details. Tickets can be purchased here and cost $25 for children, $15 for adults. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
- Museum Store Sunday – Jamestown The Museum Shops at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will join museum stores worldwide on Sunday, November 27, for Museum Store Sunday, during which they will offer a special 20% discount on total in-store purchases. All proceeds will support the educational mission of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
- Storytime with Santa – The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News). Santa Claus is coming to The Mariners’ Museum. Join this event for holiday fun and bring your camera to capture magical moments with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There will also be cookies and hot chocolate, and Santa will share one of his favorite stories. See the website for the schedule. This event is included in $1 admission. 9:00 – 11:30 am.
- Turkey Burn 2022 – Various Locations (James City County). Establish a new holiday tradition by participating in this fun calorie burn! Call James City County Parks & Recreation for more information. For ages 14+. Free. Monday-Saturday, Nov. 21-Nov. 26.
- Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia – Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. This Thanksgiving holiday, learn about how early Virginians prepared meals and preserved food. You’ll also be able to enjoy cooking demonstrations throughout the day in re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore the waterways of Indigenous Virginia with special guided tours offered one day only, at Jamestown Settlement on Saturday (Nov. 26). Food & Feasts of Colonial Virginia will be held on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26.
- Annual Colonial Williamsburg Pie & Bake Sale – Taste Studio (Williamsburg). The Annual Colonial Williamsburg Pie & Bake Sale returns this year on select dates in November and December. The November sale will kick off on Sunday, Nov. 20 and run until Wednesday, Nov. 23 (11:00 am – 5:00 pm daily). Colonial Williamsburg’s popular pie flavors (King’s Arms Pecan Pie, Campbells Rum Cream Pie, Shields Apple-Cranberry Pie and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie), and a variety of hand-crafted baked goods will be available. Pre-orders are not accepted. See the website for additional details, including a menu and prices.
- Williamsburg Christmas Market – Court Street (Williamsburg). The Annual Williamsburg Christmas Market returns for a third season! There will be 32 vendors, photo ops with Santa, live entertainment, warm spiced wine and craft beers, Christmas music, fire pits and delicious food from local restaurants. The market will be held on the following dates: November 25-27 (Fri-Sun), December 1-4 (Thurs-Sun), December 8-11 (Thurs-Sun) and December 15-21 (Thurs-Wed). See the website for hours and additional information. This market will be held on Court Street behind the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
- Free Photos with Santa – New Town (Williamsburg). Santa Claus is coming to New Town on select weekends (Saturdays & Sundays) in November and December in front of the Regal New Town cinema. Snap your own photos (and share them instantly) for free. This event will be held on the following dates: Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. Santa will be on site from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm each day.
- Celebration in Lights – Newport News Park (Newport News). Celebration in Lights features two miles of holiday light displays set against the backdrop of the beautiful woods and water at Newport News Park. It features over one million lights and is nightly, Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. $12/car Monday-Thursday, $15/car Friday-Sunday. 5:30 – 10:00 pm.
- Christmas Decorations Walking Tour – James Geddy House (Colonial Williamsburg). Enjoy a guided tour of Colonial Williamsburg’s picturesque streets and building exteriors decorated in holiday splendor. This tour is available on select dates throughout November and December. See the website for available times and dates or to purchase tickets.
- Talk of the Town: Christmastide – Lumber House Ticket Office (Colonial Williamsburg). Walk about the historic area and experience the spirit of the Christmastide season with an 18th-century resident as your guide. Your guide will share the news of the day and reflections on the holiday season. This tour is available on select dates throughout November and December. Spots are limited, and some dates are already sold out. See the website for available dates and times.
- Loosely Knit Annual Holiday Sale – Grissom Library (Newport News). If you’re looking for the perfect handmade holiday gift, stop by the Loosely Knit Group’s Annual Holiday Sale, November 19th – December 19th during library operating hours. Items for sale include crocheted and knitted shawls, sweaters, mittens, hats and scarves, baby and children’s clothing, ornaments, kitchen items and more. All proceeds benefit the Newport News Public Library Foundation to be used at the Grissom Library.
- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Exhibit 2022 – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). William & Mary Libraries, in collaboration with the WRL Gallery at Stryker Center, presents this annual exhibit of the Nancy H. Marshall “A Visit from St. Nicholas” Collection. This year’s exhibition features colorful illustrations and activities of magical wintry nights through the celebration of Christmas Eve. This exhibit is open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, Nov. 21 – Jan. 5 (closed Nov. 24-25, Dec. 23-26 and Jan. 1-2).
- Photos with Santa presented by Williamsburg Downtown – 439 Prince George Street (Williamsburg). This event features photo sessions with beloved local “Santa,” Jim Hines, who has been known to thousands of families as the “Yankee Candle Santa” from his years at Williamsburg’s former Yankee Candle location. Sessions are signed up in advance and grouped in 30-minute increments (only 1-2 families are allowed in the studio at a time). Each ticket includes high-resolution digital copies of all photos taken during the session. Proceeds from this photo event will go to participating local nonprofit organizations. See the website for additional details or to reserve a ticket. Photo sessions will be available Nov. 25 – Dec. 23. “Santa Paws” pet portraits are also available every day except Mondays (Mondays are “allergy-free” days), and a Sensory Santa is available for those who need a quieter experience with Santa (just write it in the notes section when purchasing your ticket). Follow Williamsburg Downtown’s Facebook page for updates and additional information.
- Liberty Ice Pavilion – Colonial Williamsburg. The Liberty Ice Pavilion will open for the season on Friday, Nov. 18. See a full schedule of the ice rink’s operating hours here. For information about one-day skating tickets, click here. Season passes are also available.
- Lighting of the Cressets – Duke of Gloucester Street (Colonial Williamsburg). Colonial Williamsburg’s 18th-century streets will come alive at night with strolling musicians during the Lighting of the Cressets. This event is open to the public and will be held on select evenings throughout the month. This event will be held Nov. 17, 18, 19, 25 & 26.
- Toys for Tots Annual Toy Drive – The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News). The Mariners’ Museum and Park is hosting its annual toy drive for children in need. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child during the museum’s open hours and place it in the donation box in the Main Lobby. Toys for children 8 and over are always particularly needed. This event will run from Tuesday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 11, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
- Christmas Town – Busch Gardens (Williamsburg). returns to Busch Gardens on select dates between Nov. 11, 2022, and Jan. 8, 2022. Enjoy one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America along with holiday shows, festive food and drinks, unique holiday shopping and more. See the website for pricing information.
Celebration in Lights opens for its 30th season in Newport News Park on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the City of Newport News).
️ Monday, Nov. 21
- Cinema @ Scotland Street: “The Spy” – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). Williamsburg Library’s Cinema @ Scotland Street series features indie, foreign, art house and documentary films. This week’s featured film is The Spy (2019). See the website for a description and link to the trailer. 6:00 pm.
Lectures & Workshops
️ Tuesday, Nov. 22
- Medicare Choices for Veterans – James City County Library (Williamsburg). This event provides a general overview of Medicare choices for veterans and those with Tricare for Life. Light refreshments will be available. See the website for registration information. 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.
- Baby Lapsit Storytime – Williamsburg Library and James City County Library. This story time program is especially for babies from birth to 18 months and their caregivers. It includes 15 minutes of songs, fingerplays and lap games. The same songs and activities will be featured every week to form a foundation for learning for your baby. This program is offered Mondays (Williamsburg Library) and Tuesdays (James City County Library) at 10:00 am throughout the fall.
- Preschool Storytime – Williamsburg Library and James City County Library. Preschool Storytime is designed for preschoolers ages 3-5 and their caregivers. It features stories, songs, rhymes, fingerplays and other activities. This program will be offered Monday (James City County Library and Wednesday (Williamsburg Library) this week. (The libraries will close early Wednesday, Nov. 23 and will reopen Saturday, Nov. 26 during Thanksgiving week).
- Toddler Storytime – Williamsburg Library and James City County Library. Toddler Storytime is geared toward toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years and their caregivers. It features brief stories, rhymes, songs and other activities. This program is offered Tuesdays (Williamsburg Library) and Wednesdays (James City County Library) at 10:00 am throughout the fall.
- Open Art Studio – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Kids are invited to drop in and paint, draw, create and explore with a variety of materials in the Open Art Studio. This program is offered at the James City County Library from 1:00 – 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 1:00 – 5:00 pm Friday and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. (The libraries will close early Wednesday, Nov. 23 and will reopen Saturday, Nov. 26 during Thanksgiving week).
Newport News & Hampton
️ Wednesday, Nov. 23
- Fairy Tales in Motion – Grissom Library (Newport News). Kids ages 3-7 will act out classic stories with music and expressive movement. 11:00 am.
️ Saturday, Nov. 26
- Rocks & Minerals – Newport News Park Discovery Center (Newport News). Bring your earth science curiosity and learn all about different rocks, how they were formed and when they were formed. This activity will be held at both 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
- PAWS to Read – Main Street Library (Newport News). Kids ages 6-11 can practice their reading skills alongside an adorable and patient, trained therapy dog. No registration is required. 2:00 pm.
- Gaming Unplugged – Northampton Library (Hampton). Fun games will be available to play for the whole family during this event. 1:00 – 4:30 pm.
- Take-Home Tales: Create Your Fun! – Main Street Library (Newport News). Kids ages 5-11 are invited to stop by the Main Street Library’s youth services desk to pick up a free activity bag, while supplies last. The bag includes a book to keep along with two crafts (including materials) and some fun facts! The bags will be available through Wednesday, Nov. 30 during the library’s regular hours.
Just for Teens & Tweens
️ Sunday, Nov. 27
- Teen Writing Lounge – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Teens are invited to attend this final installment of the library’s writing lounge on Nov. 27.
- Teen Tuesdays – Pearl Bailey Library (Newport News). Teens are invited to hang out at Pearl Bailey’s Teen Spot every Tuesday. This week’s theme is Afternoon Cartoons. 5:00 – 6:00 pm.
Future Events to Note ️
- Wreath Making Workshops – Historic Endview (Newport News). Decorate a grapevine wreath with period embellishments at this popular workshop at Historic Endview. The wreath and all materials will be provided, and a guided holiday-themed tour of Endview is included. $15. Reservations are required. This program is co-sponsored by the Peninsula Master Naturalists. This workshop will be offered Dec. 3 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 – 3:00 pm) and Dec. 6 (1:00 – 3:00 pm). Buy tickets online here.
- Santa Calling – James City County & Williamsburg. Children aged nine and younger living in James City County or the City of Williamsburg can receive a free call from Santa on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 5:45 – 8:00 pm! Arrangements have been made with the North Pole for Santa and Mrs. Claus to personally call each child who completes a registration form by Tuesday, Nov. 29. Registration forms are available here.
- Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops – Williamsburg Presbyterian Church (Williamsburg). Enjoy holiday classics, familiar themes and beloved carols featuring celebrated soprano Sarah Jane McMahon at the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concerts. Directed by Michael Butterman. Shows will be held on Dec. 3, 2022 (2:30 pm and 4:00 pm) and December 4, 2022 (2:30 and 4:00 pm). Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for children and students (18 and under). Children two and under are free.
Have questions, comments or suggestions? Want to submit an event for consideration? Please send me an email or reply to this newsletter.
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