Holidays in Hampton Roads: 11 Festive Events Not To Miss

Are you stationed near Norfolk? The holidays are well underway and here are six great events not to miss:

WinterFest on the Wisconsin

Each year, the USS Wisconsin transforms into one of the best and biggest light displays of the year with over 650,000 lights. As you meander throughout the ship, you will see lights and holiday themed displays. Once you reach the end, enjoy a beverage on the deck as you listen to various musical guests. Get your pictures with Santa and enjoy the holiday boat parade on select nights. The event runs November 11-January 2.

Million Bulb Walk 2021

In the running for USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights is none other than the Million Bulb Walk. Approximately one mile long and accessible for wheel chairs and strollers, come admire the lights as you enjoy your walk in the crisp winter air. It’s fun for the whole family! The walk goes from November 12th-January 2.

Grand Illumination at Williamsburg

Attend the Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination and celebrate the holiday season with two remaining weekends, December 10-12, and 17-19. Yuletide entertainment will include favorite holiday traditions. On Friday evenings, join the 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.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™ returns on select dates from November 12 through January 2, 2022. There will once again be 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.

The Nutcracker at The Sandler Center

Join Ballet Virginia for their production of the favorite holiday classic The Nutcracker with live orchestra. Ballet Virginia’s professional company members will dance lead roles alongside our region’s finest young dancers in this dreamy and entertaining production. Once again, Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking score will be performed live by Symphonicity, the symphony orchestra of Virginia Beach. The performance runs from Dec 17 – 19.

Surf N Santa 5 Mile Run and Rudolph’s One Mile Run

Prefer a more active holiday activity? Put those shoes to pavement during the Surf N Santa 5 Mile Run at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Beginning at the VA Beach Convention Center and wrapping around the boardwalk, challenge yourself to a new PR. For the kids there will be a one mile Rudolph Run. The run starts at 4:30pm on Saturday December 18.

BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach

Check out the Holiday Lights at the Beach in Virginia Beach, sponsored by BayPort Credit Union. The lights will display through January 2, with ilumination beginning at 5:30 pm each night and continues until 11pm Fridays and Saturdays and 10 pm Sundays through Thursdays.

Zoolumination at the Virginia Zoo

Head to the Virginia Zoo this holiday season for a festive transformation! The zoo has welcomed 29 new animals – the inflatable kind – in this exciting exhibition. During the day, visitors can look up at a trio of towering 30-foot-tall giraffes and stare into the open mouth of a 5-foot-tall crocodile. At night, guests will journey on zoo grounds by car for the first-ever zoo drive-thru. Watch the inflatable animal sculptures come to life with light in a spectacular visual experience and hear their compelling conservation audio story in this magical display. The Zoolumination runs through January 9.

Deck the Hall Drive-Thru Light Display

Experience this drive-thu light display from the comfort of your car in Chesapeake! The event is free with the viewing loop lit and shining brightly through January 2, so come out aand see Chesapeake City Hall lit up for the holidays! On December 11 and 18, be sure to come out for Fa La La Land. Enjoy carolers, face paintings, baby goats in holiday sweaters, a live snow globe, and more during this outdoor wonderland.

Festival of Lights at Sleepy Hole Park

Head over to Suffolk and see Sleepy Hole Park transformed into a magical experience for the holidays! Celebrate by taking a drive thru the festive lights and displays, presentd by Suffolk Parks & Recreation. The display will run through December 30, 5:30-9:30pm.

Holiday Wonder Walk

In Hampton, celebrate the season at the Holiday Wonder Walk! The walk will showcase the Hampton Coliseum, Candyland, “Frozen” and more through December 12 from 5pm to 9pm. There is no admission fee, all activities are free, and free parking is available at the Hampton Coliseum.   With the lifting of certain COVID restrictions this year, also featured will be live entertainment, food vendors, merchandise vendors, exhibitors, strolling characters, and kid’s activity stations.

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