There are free events, ticketed events and so much more to do this holiday season in James City County.
- Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™ is open on select days through Jan. 5, 2019. Experience the largest light display in North America with more than 10 million lights this year. The World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park transforms into a magical place with festive food and drink, wonderful shows including ‘Twas that Night at the Royal Palace Theatre and Santa’s North Pole workshop.
- Caroloke and Cocoa will be held on Dec. 7, 14 and 21 in New Town Williamsburg beginning at 5:30 p.m. each night in front of the fountain by the movie theater. Enjoy free cocoa with lots of toppings and sing a carol or too karaoke-style. Music by Panda Entertainment and prizes!
- “Christmastide in Virginia” at Jamestown Settlement offers a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretive programs and demonstrations from Dec. 20-31, 2018. Enjoy festive fun with daily appearances at Jamestown Settlement by the Lord of Misrule and period musical entertainment at both museums. This event is included with museum admission. As a reminder, local residents receive complimentary admission.
- Take the kids to visit SantaLand in New Town Williamsburg on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. SantaLand is located on Main Street. There will be special activities each Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
- Join Santa Claus and support the York River State Park at Jingle Bark in the Park on Saturday, Dec. 8 from noon until 3 p.m. Walkers will receive a set of "jingle bells." Dogs will receive a special treat. Enter your pooch in the holiday hat/outfit contest. Coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies will be provided. Donations of pet food and supplies will be accepted. Parking is $4.
- On Sunday, Dec. 9, enjoy Pancakes & Pints with Santa at Billsburg Brewery. Join Billsburg as they partner with local food truck favorite, Creekside Catering Co. Billsburg Brewery will be collecting for Toys For Tots to make a difference this holiday season.
- On Saturday, Dec. 15, enjoy Nature Ornaments and Crafts from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Freedom Park. Stop by Freedom Park this holiday season and transform acorns, sweetgum balls, and pine cones into adorable ornaments! Bring billfold size school photos if you would like to make a surprise for Grandma or a remembrance ornament for your tree. Drop in and spend an hour or so, and head home with some new tree ornaments! All materials (except photos) will be provided.
- Attend “At Christmas Be Mery,” a special evening event at Historic Jamestowne on Saturday, Dec. 15. This event will be offered at two times: 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sir George Yeardley, Virginia’s Governor in 1620, invites you to an early-Virginia Christmas celebration complete with a seasonal bonfire, caroling, and firing of the Christmas guns! Join this special program offering insights into early-English Christmas traditions. After a brief introduction to what the Jamestown settlers expected during their Christmastide, the Captain of the Guard will escort the “new arrivals” along a cresset-lit path to the Memorial Church. Governor Yeardley will then offer a welcome before inviting everyone to sing carols. Afterwards go outside to herald in the season by a bonfire with remembrances of “Yule times” past, dancing, and the firing of the Christmas guns! Tickets, which are $18 each, are limited and must be bought in advance.
- Attend the Flute Frenzy Holiday Concert on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. The program includes festive music by each Flute Frenzy group ranging from middle school to adult. The concert is free and open to the public. Dessert reception to follow.
- Celebrate the holiday season with wine and live music! 94.9 The Point and Mix 98.1 present Uncorked & Unplugged - Holiday Edition live from the Williamsburg Winery on Sunday, Dec. 9. Doors open at noon and music is from 1-4 p.m. Enjoy live music from Grammy-nominated recording group Hanson while sipping on delicious Virginia wine in the beautiful Williamsburg Winery vineyard.
- Enjoy Christmas with the Williamsburg Choral Guild on Sunday, Dec. 9 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. There are two performances at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. This is a free, family-friendly program of traditional Christmas selections, seasonal musical arrangements and a group carol sing. The Guild offers this concert to the community in thanks for your continuing support. In lieu of admission, please bring a nonperishable food item for FISH.
- The bold sounds of the Virginia Symphony Brass section will ring in the holidays with a blast during their Holiday Brass Concert! All are welcome Friday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. at Saint Bede Catholic Church. Experience the festive sounds of the season in a concert filled with wit, virtuosity, and the glorious music of the holidays--featuring the VSO brass and percussion sections. You'll enjoy music from a variety of styles that will make this concert one holiday delight you won't want to miss! Parking is limited, please consider carpooling. Ticket prices vary between $10-65 and can be purchased online.
There are numerous restaurants open on Christmas Eve:
- Baker’s Crust
- Café Provencal at the Williamsburg Winery
- Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant
- Center Street Grill
- Colonial Heritage
- Cogan’s Deli and Sports Pub
- Craft 31
- Gabriel Archer Tavern at the Williamsburg Winery
- Guiseppe’s Italian Restaurant
- Honeybutter’s Kitchen at Candle Factory
- Maurizio’s Italian Restaurant
- Olde Town Pizza & Pasta
- Opus 9 Steakhouse
- Sportsmans Grille
- The Whaling Company
- Tuscany Ristorante
- Two Drummers Smokehouse
There are two options available on Christmas Day: Café Provencal at the Williamsburg Winery and The Whaling Company.
- Café Provençal will be open from 5:30pm - 9:00pm for Christmas dinner. Price of menu per person is exclusive of taxes and gratuity. Our extensive wine and beverage list will be available. Reservations require a credit card upon booking For reservations, please visit Open Table or call 757-564-8869. Menu cost is $68 per person; Sommeliers' wine pairing is an additional $30 per person. Menu details can be viewed online.
- First Course: Baked apple and local cheese salad or sweet potato soup or Border Spring Farms Sweetbreads
- Main Course: Hereford Farms filet mignon or herb roasted red snapper or Autumn Olive Farm Osso Bucco
- Dessert: Mint chocolate and almond tart or french vanilla parfait
- The Whaling Company will be open on Christmas Day by reservation only. Please call 757-229-0275 for a reservation.