Yorktown Harvest Festival, Whimsical Wonderland, Turkey Trot and more events this week

As Thanksgiving draws nearer, holiday-themed events are starting to kick off once again.

Some highlights for this week include Heritage Humane’s Holiday Bazaar in Williamsburg, the annual Harvest Festival in Yorktown, a free Whimsical Wonderland show at the Hampton Coliseum and the Timberneck Turkey Trot in Gloucester.

The Liberty Ice Pavilion in Colonial Williamsburg will also be opening this Friday, Nov. 18, and Christmas Town has returned to Busch Gardens. Additionally, the Mariners’ Museum and Park is now collecting toys for its annual Toys for Tots toy drive.


Special Events

Friday, Nov. 18

  • Revel at Chowning’s Tavern – Chowning’s Tavern Garden (Colonial Williamsburg). Head to Chowning’s for an evening of 18th-century merrymaking. You never know who may stop by to share stories, converse, ignite a bit of treason or lead the room in boisterous song. 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

Saturday, Nov. 19

  • Timberneck Turkey Trot – Machicomoco State Park (Gloucester). Run or walk a scenic, flat, paved 3.1-mile loop course at Machicomoco State Park in Gloucester. All race proceeds will help fund the restoration of the Timberneck House, the c.1800 Catlett family home overlooking the York River in Machicomoco State Park. The house will become a place for learning, lodging and exploring Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. This event is hosted by the Fairfield Foundation. See website for pricing information. 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
  • Repair Fair and Litter and Recycling Expo – Warhill High School (Williamsburg). This event will feature an outdoor drive-thru recycling drop-off for tires, glass, compost and soft plastic. Additionally, donations of furniture, clothing and shoes will be accepted, and fixers will be available indoors to repair lightly broken items. Shredding will also be provided (maximum 2 grocery store bags per person). Pre-registration is required for repairs. For more information or to pre-register, click here. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
  • Heritage Humane Society Holiday Bazaar – Bruton Parish Hall (Williamsburg). Heritage Humane’s annual Holiday Bazaar features something for everyone on your list – both furry and human! You’ll find hand-crafted items, gourmet soups from local restaurants, homemade baked goods, gift baskets and more. All proceeds benefit the homeless pets at Heritage Humane Society. 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
  • Cars & Coffee – High Street (Williamsburg). This monthly event is free to all who own a special car or just want to come out and see these cars. You can also enjoy special treats, breakfast or lunch offered by Tipsy Beans Cafe. 9:00 – 11:30 am.
  • Community Day at the Art Museums – Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg). Bring friends and family along to visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums on this free day. You’ll be able to explore new exhibitions, including “I made this…”: The Work of Black American Artists and Artisans and Making Music in Early America. There will be guided tours at 11:30 am and 12:30 pm. This event runs from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.
  • Shellabration Celebration – Docks at Downtown Hampton (Hampton). Purchase farm-fresh oysters – shucked, cooked, stewed and brewed – to take home just in time for Thanksgiving. There will also be live music, prizes, family fun and oyster and bay exhibits. Admission is free and open to the public. 12:00 – 4:00 pm.
  • Whimsical Wonderland – Hampton Coliseum (Hampton). The whole family will enjoy this holiday-themed event, featuring stage shows by aerialists, jugglers and illusionists, as well as roaming entertainers and stilt walkers. Free. 12:00 – 5:00 pm.
  • WHRO Classical Open Mic – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). Join this fun, casual afternoon celebrating the local classical music community. Listen or sign up to perform here. 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
  • Harvest Festival – Riverwalk Landing (Yorktown). Head to Yorktown’s Harvest festival for fun for all ages. This autumn extravaganza will feature a live animal show, petting zoo, log carving demonstration, balloon art, inflatable axe throwing, a pie-eating contest and more. There will be 50 vendors selling Thanksgiving foods and other items, and local jewelers, painters and photographers will sell their holiday handiwork. Attendees will also enjoy live bluegrass music from Ralph Motley and the Last Minute Grass, or catch the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown. The Virginia Living Museum will present a live animal show inside the Freight Shed at 10 am and 1 pm. Free. This event runs 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
  • Going Over There: Doughboys and Doughnuts at the Depot – Lee Hall Depot (Newport News). Enjoy a star-spangled remembrance of the Great War and the role the Lee Hall Depot played in achieving victory. Meet the station agent, plant a victory garden, engage with troops and more. Included with regular admission. 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Yorktown’s Harvest Festival returns this Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The event will feature photo cutouts, a petting zoo, a live animal show, log carving demonstrations, a pie-eating contest, costumed interpreters, seasonal foods and more. (Photo courtesy of York County).

Sunday, Nov. 20

  • Tea with Klara – Williamsburg Community Building (Williamsburg). Virginia Regional Ballet will host the 7th annual Tea with Klara on Sunday, Nov. 20. All ages are welcome to enjoy this afternoon of tea, crafts, storytime and dancing with Klara and the characters from The Nutcracker Ballet. See website for ticket information. 12:00 pm 3:00 pm.


  • 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.
  • 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. 2:00 – 10:00 pm.
  • 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.
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Christmas Town Preview weekend starts TODAY! Who else is ready to get a jump start on all things holly & jolly? ✋ …

Music & Theater

Thursday, Nov. 17

  • Neighbors and Friends – Ferguson Center (Newport News). The Virginia Symphony Orchestra presents Neighbors and Friends. Hear beautiful and nostalgic music by composers Jessie Montgomery and Antonin Dvořák. Though the two composers were separated by 100 years, they lived about 10 blocks away from each other. Tickets are $25 and up. 7:30 pm.
  • Chamber Recital: W&M Gallery Players – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Enjoy a candlelight Chamber Recital featuring the William & Mary Gallery Players, under the direction of Susan Via. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.

Friday, Nov. 18

  • Voctave – Ferguson Center (Newport News). Hear swoon-worthy arrangements of some of your favorites, from Broadway to Disney films, in this special performance by a cappella superstars Voctave. Tickets are $33.50 and up. 8:00 pm.
  • The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays – Ferguson Center (Newport News). Celebrate the holidays with the entire family at The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays. You’ll see a stunning showcase of jaw-dropping talents, featuring some of the most incredible illusionists on earth. $56.50 and up. 8:00 pm.

Sunday, Nov. 20

  • A Concert of Spanish Art Songs – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). Enjoy a concert featuring Spanish-language art songs, curated by Maestro Jorge Parodi. 2:00 – 5:00 pm.
  • Hymn Sing – Williamsburg Presbyterian Church (Williamsburg). This musical program features the Tidewater and Richmond Chapters of the American Guild of Organists. It is presented by Norman Elton, Rebecca Davy, Scott Hayes, and Mary Beth-Bennet. Attendees can join in the singing of hymns. 4:00 pm.


  • Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical – Williamsburg Players (Williamsburg). See the story of Matilda transformed into a vibrant musical. See website for times and ticket information. Nov. 4-20, 2022.

Lectures & Workshops

Wednesday, Nov. 16

  • Traditional Indigenous Cultures of Virginia: Past and Present – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Duane Baldwin, Museum Education Specialist with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, for an interesting presentation about the traditional cultures of the Indigenous people of Virginia. 6:30 – 7:30 pm.
  • Director’s Series: Shannon LaNier – Jamestown Settlement (Williamsburg). Christy S. Coleman, executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, will engage in a lively and enlightening discussion with Shannon LaNier, a veteran TV news anchor, author and social media influencer. LaNier also happens to be the 6th great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Tickets are $10 for either in-person or virtual attendance; admission is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

Thursday, Nov. 17

  • Studying Slavery and its Afterlives Using Genealogical Research – Virtual, Presented by William & Mary. A panel of genealogists and social historians will discuss the work they’re doing to document enslaved Ancestors. Each researcher will talk about the progress, successes and challenges of their particular project. Open to the public. 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Friday, Nov. 18

  • Evolution of Naval Ordnance – The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News). John V. Quarstein, Director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, will present on naval ordnance during this special Civil War Lecture Series talk. 12:00 – 1:00 pm. Advance registration is required whether attending the lecture in person or online. In-person attendance is $1 for guests; virtual is free.
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In-person or virtually, join JYF Executive Director Christy S. Coleman and Shannon LaNier for the final compelling conv…



  • Veterans Day Youth Art Show – Virginia War Museum (Newport News). This exhibit features artwork by students in kindergarten through 8th grade with themes related to military service. This show is included with regular museum admission. This exhibit will run Nov. 10 – 26, and the museum is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9 am – 4 pm.
  • Yorktown Arts Foundation: Fourth Annual Veterans Art Show – On the Hill Gallery (Yorktown). The 4th Annual Veterans Art Show is open to anyone who is serving or has served in the US military. It will be open Nov. 3-20. More information is available here. Free.


Thursday, Nov. 17

  • Throwback Thursday Film Series – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). The Throwback Thursday Film Series, now in its 19th year, features a variety of classic movies for an adult audience. On Thursday, Nov. 17, the featured film will be Miracle of the Bells (1948; NR), 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

Kids & Families

Williamsburg & Yorktown

Saturday, Nov. 19

  • Bookmobile FunFest: Teeny Tiny Farm – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). Kids of all ages will enjoy meeting miniature farm animals. There will also be horse rides for the first 50 children. Additionally, science activities and crafts will be available 10 am – 1 pm.
  • “The Nutcracker Suite” – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). The Concert Ballet of Virginia, the state’s oldest continually operating ballet company, presents The Nutcracker Suite. This bright, exciting performance will delight children of all ages. Free admission. Performances at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Sunday, Nov. 20

  • T-Rex Tea Party – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Celebrate DINOvember in style with a tea party featuring tea, snacks, crafts and activities that will be both classic – and Jurassic. 2:00 – 3:00 pm.

Newport News

Tuesday, Nov. 15

  • Earth Stories – Pearl Bailey Library (Newport News). Families are invited to celebrate Native American Heritage Month with stories, songs and a fun craft. 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Thursday, Nov. 17

  • Turkey Day Hooray! – Pearl Bailey Library (Newport News). Kids of all ages are invited to attend this event for fun, festive crafts and a story. 5:00 pm.

Saturday, Nov. 19

  • Storytime – Barnes & Noble (Hampton). Head to Barnes & Noble at the Peninsula Town Center (5100 Kilgore Ave.) in Hampton for a children’s storytime. Every Saturday morning, staff will read a story or two, offer an activity if time permits and have a snack. 11:00 am.
  • Turkey Tails – Newport News Park Discovery Center (Newport News). Many people are thinking about turkey as a holiday meal at this time of year. At this event, attendees will learn more about the lives of these amazing native birds. 10:00 am & 2:00 pm.

Teens & Tweens

Wednesday, Nov. 16

  • Tween Game Day – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Tweens ages 9-12 are invited to drop in for board games and video games. 6:00 – 7:30 pm.


  • Teen Writing Lounge – Multiple Locations (Williamsburg). Teens ages 13-18 are invited to join this fun event for writing prompts and exercises to get their creativity going. This program meets Sundays throughout November. It will be held at James City County Library on Nov. 13, at the Stryker Center on Nov. 20 and at Williamsburg Library on Nov. 27. See website for additional information. 2:00 – 3:30 pm.
  • Teen Tuesdays – Pearl Bailey Library (Newport News). Teens are invited to hang out at Pearl Bailey’s Teen Spot every Tuesday. There will be different activities each week. Click here for more details. 5:00 – 6:00 pm.


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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