Man driving horse drawn carriage in Williamsburg in the snow
[ Special Events & Festivals ]

Experience a Colonial Christmas at Colonial Williamsburg

Take a step back in time this holiday season at Colonial Williamsburg. Each year, the Williamsburg historic attraction introduces guests to the 18th-century holiday traditions.

Here’s what you can expect this Christmas season:

Grand Illumination Fireworks over Governor's Palace
Photo Credit: Colonial Williamsburg / Facebook

Grand Illumination

Each year, the festivities kick off with the Grand Illumination fireworks display. On December 8, 2019, visit from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm for this marvelous show. This performance will reenact the traditional celebrations of fireworks and the firing of guns.

In addition, the celebration will host multiple musical performances throughout the Historic Area. You’ll be able to see the fireworks best from the Capitol, the Palace, and the Magazine from 7 to 7:30 pm.

Christmas Decorations

Colonial Williamsburg transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays. Look around and you’ll see seasonal wreaths hung on doors, find garland lining fences and windows, and hear carols being sung throughout the city.

Colonial Williamsburg soldiers stand in front of a Christmas tree at night
Photo Credit: Colonial Williamsburg / Facebook

Holiday Events

In addition to the Grand Illumination celebration, Colonial Williamsburg hosts a series of special holiday events throughout the season. These events include:

A Raleigh Christmas Party
Several times each night starting after Thanksgiving, your family and friends can join in a riveting Christmas party at the Raleigh Tavern. Guests will dance, participate in entertainment, and enjoy Christmas treats and a toast, as well. Guests must also purchase special tickets for this event.

Tickets:

  • Adult: $25.00
  • Child (under 6): $12.50
  • Youth (6-12): $12.50

12 Days and Night Before Christmas
Each year on Christmas Eve, Colonial Williamsburg brings family and friends together for a special Christmas presentation. Actors bring two classic holiday tales to life during this performance at the Hennage Auditorium. Guests must have a separate ticket for this show, too.

Plus, this is just a handful of the holiday events and fun happening in Williamsburg this Christmas.

Date: Tuesday, December 24th, 11 am – 12:15 pm & 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Tickets: $1-3

The Traditions of Christmas

Guests can join William Marshman, Butler to Royal Governor Lord Botetourt, as he supervises the preparations for a Palace Ball. Recounting the grand balls of England, he may compare them to the “quaint colonial customs” he has witnessed since arriving in Williamsburg.

Date: December 9th, 12th, 6th, 25th (see calendar for specific times)
Tickets: $12-19; separate tickets required at the Governor’s Palace

Midwinter Stories

Listen to the stories and traditions from Native Nations such as the Lakota, Cherokee, Shawnee, and Pamunkey. These midwinter stories take place traditionally in the fall and winter when domestic activities move indoors, keeping culture alive and thriving. Experience the beauty of storytelling at the Governor’s Palace Stage. Included with admission, no event ticket is required.

Date: November 28th – December 15th (see calendar for specific times)

Further, for a full day-to-day calendar of activities, flip through Colonial Williamsburg’s 2019 Holiday Planner. Each day in December presents a flurry of fun activities and dining options.

Holiday Treats

Throughout the holiday season, Colonial Williamsburg guests can also enjoy tasty seasonal treats found across the historic city. Plus, if you happen to visit on Christmas Day, you can reserve a spot at the buffet.

The Christmas Day Buffet is hosted at the Williamsburg Inn’s Grand Regency Room and features various chef stations, live entertainment, views of the Golden Horseshoe Golf Course, and additional beverages for purchase. Place your reservations today to attend.

Celebrate Christmas at Colonial Williamsburg this Year

Nothing else screams “Christmas” quite like walking down the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg as the snow falls. Spend this Christmas in Williamsburg by getting your discount tickets today.

Don’t forget to read our tips on visiting Colonial Williamsburg before you go!

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