Holly Jolly Hampton Roads Weekend Planner

This is the weekend to get out and celebrate.

If there’s a part of Hampton Roads not yet lit up with holiday lights, it will be soon! There are a ton of fun and inexpensive or free events happening in every town (even the little ones) and you’re sure to get carried away with the spirit of the season.

Avoiding holiday cheer? How about a holiday beer? Check out our weekend of craft beer and brewery happenings. 

And for everything you need for a complete (and completely awesome) Hampton Roads holiday, visit our Holiday Guide!

All Weekend

Newport News

Ongoing/Celebration in Lights/Newport News Park
Over 700,000 lights illuminate the beauty of Newport News Park’s forests, fields, and ponds in this, Virginia’s longest running drive-through light event. View multi-colored snowflakes, leaping reindeer, whimsical toys, forest animals, elegant swans and scenes from Virginia’s past portrayed in a kaleidoscope of dazzling color for the holiday season. Over 200 displays, including 70 animated displays, are spread throughout a dozen theme areas, including “Winter Wonderland,” “Forest Friends,” “Battle of the Ironclads,” “Santa’s Enchanted Kingdom” and “Old Man Winter.”
$10 per car; $60 per bus

Ongoing/Holiday Magic/Virginia Living Museum in Newport News
Kick off your holiday season at the Virginia Living Museum with “Holiday Magic,” a wonderful new laser program full of classic holiday hits all set with lasers. The whole family will enjoy this delightful show – the most amazing holiday light display you’ll see all season. Recommended for ages 6 and above.
VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission


Friday-Sunday/Richmond Ballet’s Nutcracker/Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
From the opening notes of Tchaikovsky’s famous overture, audiences are instantly whisked into the warm, candlelit drawing room of the Silberhaus family, buzzing with celebrations of Christmas. To the delight of the family’s young daughter, Clara, Dr. Drosselmeyer, the mysterious toymaker, and his handsome nephew arrive with a special gift – a wooden nutcracker doll – that captures the girl’s imagination. As darkness falls, Dr. Drosselmeyer’s magic begins to work, setting in motion fantastical events that will fill Clara’s dreams: a battle beneath the branches of an enchanted Christmas tree, the transformation of the nutcracker doll into the young Nutcracker Prince, and a journey from a snow-covered forest to the far-off Kingdom of Sweets.
Click here for tickets and more information

Ongoing/Dominion Garden of Lights/Norfolk Botanical Garden
Don’t miss Virginia’s favorite holiday tradition. Bring your family and friends to our 21st annual light show extravaganza for a magical holiday experience. During this event, the Garden is transformed into a winter wonderland where you can enjoy a 2-mile drive through a million sparkling lights bringing the four seasons to life.
$25 Per Car

Ongoing/Dickens Christmas Towne/Nauticus in Norfolk
This holiday season, journey through a magical world of Christmas characters, Victorian carolers, sweet treats, shops, games and crafts. Along the way, you can enjoy photos with Father Christmas, a London pub, lively musical performances, an indoor Christmas train display, unique seasonal gifts, strolling carolers and Victorian street scenes.
$5 for adults, $4 for children (4-12), ages 3 and under are free


Ongoing/Winter Wonderland/Portsmouth Art and Culture Center
Celebrate the season with Winter Wonderland, a holiday classic for generations of Hampton Roads visitors and residents which includes scenes from the famed Coleman Collection. From Victorian scenes of animated skaters and carolers to the enchanted forest of bears, deer and Santa’s workshop, the displays are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Admission to Winter Wonderland is $3.00/person or free for museum members

Virginia Beach

Friday-Sunday/Christmas Carol: A Musical/Sandler Center
A festive tradition returns to Virginia Musical Theatre as a big, bold musical, with a contemporary Broadway score by local composer Chip Gallagher and lyricist Jeff Meredith, that captures both the spirit of the holidays and Dickens’ classic novel. With more than 30 singers, a full orchestra and elaborate scenery, this timely, uplifting and exhilarating tale will be a treat for the entire family.
Click here for tickets and more information

Friday-Saturday/A Wesleyan Christmas/Virginia Wesleyan College
Ring in the season with an evening of holiday favorites, old and new, performed by the Wesleyan Singers and the Wesleyan Chorale with faculty soloists and instrumentalists, under the direction of Dr. Bryson Mortensen. With George Stone, piano. Co-sponsored by The Center for Sacred Music. (Advance reservations are a must; call 757.455.2101. All seats: $5)

Saturday-Sunday/Scuba Santa/Virginia Aquarium
Be sure to catch a glimpse of the jolly ole’ elf swimming with the fishes in the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium.
Click here for more information

Friday-Sunday/The Man Who Came to Dinner/Regent Theatre
After slipping on the Stanleys’ icy doorstep, flamboyant radio star Sheridan Whiteside requires a lengthy recuperation, entangling himself in their household with his outlandish guests and unconventional pets.
Click here for tickets and more information

Ongoing/Holiday Lights at the Beach/Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Take a shining journey into nautical, holiday, and adventure lands – all along the beautiful Virginia Beach boardwalk. Festive fish, jumping dolphins, frolicking porpoises – all in bright, colored lights against the clear night-time sky, are the stars of McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach, presented by LIberty Tax Service. They are joined by Santa, elves, and a 40-foot tall Christmas tree erected on the beach and in the beautiful parks along the Virginia Beach boardwalk.
Cars, $15 nightly, Limos, $25, Motor coaches, $45, Mini buses, $25

Ongoing/“An Enemy of the People”/Little Theatre of Virginia Beach
Ibsen’s classic play tells the story of Dr. Thomas Stockman, who is hailed as the hero of his town when he champions the development of “the baths,” a health retreat that will put the town on the map and boost the local economy and quality of life for all of its citizens. But when Stockman learns that the springs are poison and will be lethal to those who use them, he advocates closing them down. His friends and even his own brother, who is the Mayor of the town, line up against him, declaring him “an enemy of the people.”
Click here for tickets and more information


Ongoing/Christmas Town/Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Celebrate the spirit of the season at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town™. Christmas Town brings holiday traditions to life with heartwarming shows, delicious holiday dining and festive shopping opportunities. Experience Christmas traditions from around the world and keep warm with a mug of Busch Gardens’ signature hot chocolate. This year, Christmas Town is brighter than ever with more than eight million lights.
Click here for tickets and more information

Ongoing/A Colonial Christmas/Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center
“A Colonial Christmas” at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center offers a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions with special interpretive programs, and December 26-31, musical entertainment of the period.
Save 20% with a combination ticket to both museums: $21.00 for adults and $10.50 for ages 6-12 (2016: $21.25 adults; $10.75 ages 6-12). Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $16.75 for adults and $7.75 for ages 6-12 (2016: $17.00 adults; $8.00 ages 6-12), and to the Yorktown Victory Center, $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Free parking.



7 p.m./Holiday Jam/Hampton Coliseum
The Beat and 103 Jamz presents Holiday Jam featuring Jill Scott, New Edition and Babyface.
Click here for tickets and more information

8:30 p.m./Phoebus Holiday Illumination/Mellen St. and Hope St.
Join us for the 2nd annual illumination event! Shop with Phoebus merchants for special deals, and enjoy a vendor fair, children’s area, and more. There will special performances by Irish dancers and carolers, and maybe Santa will even stop by!


6:30 p.m./Ghent Holiday Tree Lighting & Caroling/Blair Middle School
Join your friends from the Ghent Business Association for a family friendly event to help spread the holiday spirit throughout Ghent. Enjoy music and caroling from area school groups including Blair Middle School and Norfolk Collegiate. Warm up with hot chocolate and cookies provided by Tidewater Physical Therapy. And, there will be a special appearance by Santa Claus as he helps light the tree

6:30 p.m./Coheed and Cambria/The NorVa
With Audiostrobelight
Click here for tickets and more information


5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m./An Evening with St. Nick/Isle of Wight County Museum
Visit the jolly ol’ elf and enjoy a reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – plus holiday refreshments, crafts and activities. Perfect for families! Pre-registration for visits with St. Nick are suggested.

Virginia Beach

4 p.m.-7 p.m./First Friday ViBe/Oceanfront
Participating area businesses, restaurants and retailers, including MOCA Satellite Gallery, Towne Pavilion II, 600 22nd Street, Virginia Beach. Celebrate local businesses and the arts at First Friday ViBe in “the District!”. Meet at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro to join the Famous ViBe walking tour.

5 p.m./Emma Knight: Flourish Opening Reception/MOCA
Join us at the Emma Knight: Flourish Opening Reception for an opportunity to meet the artist and explore her fascinating painted canvases. The exhibition opening takes place FRI DEC 4 in Virginia MOCA’s Satellite Gallery at Towne Pavilion II in conjunction with First Friday Vibe in the new Virginia Beach ViBe Creative District.
Click here for tickets and more information

6 p.m./Movie Night in the Pool: How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Seatack Rec Center
Enjoy a special feature while floating in the pool! Those age 9 & under must be directly supervised by someone age 16 or older
FREE with rec center membership or day pass


7 p.m./Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting/Riverwalk Landing
A tradition that began in 1945 continues with the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting. Evening highlights include a 7 pm performance by The Fifes and Drums of York Town at the Victory Monument, festive music at Riverwalk Landing, the procession of lights through the historic village, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.



8:30 p.m./4th Annual Christmas Parade/Chesapeake Square
Join Chesapeake Square for the 4th Annual Chick-Fil-A Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 5th beginning at 8:30 a.m. inside the Ring Road of Chesapeake Square Mall. The theme this year is “12 Days of Christmas”. This Christmas Parade is sure to put you in the holiday spirit with beautiful floats, local high school bands, dance teams, community law enforcement, and of course Santa himself! Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!

12 p.m./Frostbite 5k/Oak Grove Lake Park
Come out and support Olivia Grace – a delightful one year old that is facing a lifetime battle. Born at 33 weeks and diagnosed with cerebral palsy and infantile spasms resulting in the loss of both motor and sensory functions that can affect both legs, arms and either side of the body. $25 to register and all proceeds benefit this amazing girl. 200 spots open for runners – if we hit at least 100, we will receive a donation of matching funds! Please register and come out to Oak Grove Lake Park in Chesapeake.
Click here to register and for more information

6 p.m./Great Bridge Christmas Parade/Great Bridge
Annual Christmas Parade produced by the City of Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Rotary Club, and sponsored by the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. This year’s theme is “Be a Gift to the World” and will go on whether Rain or Shine!
Click here for more information

Newport News

9 a.m.-5 p.m./Community Day/The Mariner’s Museum & Park
Admission is only $5 per person and kids three and under are free for Hampton Roads residents.

3 p.m./Hollydazzle/City Center at Oyster Point
Newport News Parks, Recreation & Tourism will present the 12th Hollydazzle, Hampton Roads’ most unique holiday event, on Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in City Center at Oyster Point. Hollydazzle is a free family event with activities and entertainment leading up to the spectacular BayPort Credit Union “Fountains of Light Show” at 7:45 p.m. with fireworks and special effects by Pyrotecnico and the lighting of the 45 foot BayPort Credit Union Tree on the Fountain Plaza.

3 p.m./Lee Ann Womack/Ferguson Center
In a world of faster, harder, louder, country superstar Lee Ann Womack wants something far more radical: to be real. Strip it all away, get to the core of life, love and raw emotion – and you find songs that distill it all to the stopping power of a hollow point bullet.
Click here for tickets and more information


7 p.m./Dark Star Orchestra/The NorVa
Performing to critical acclaim worldwide for nearly 15 years and over 2000 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience.
Click here for tickets and more information


10 a.m.-5 p.m./Castle Christmas/Bacon’s Castle
Celebrate the holidays with us and learn more about 17th century English Christmas traditions and decorations. We will share warm seasonal beverages joyfully with you.

Virginia Beach

5:30 p.m./Holiday Parade at the Beach/Oceanfront
Over 80 parade units make their way down Atlantic Avenue in a joyous celebration of the holiday season. Giant balloons, marching bands, lighted floats, equestrian units, fire trucks, performing dance groups, motorcycles, and more join forces to present a dazzling and entertaining night of fun for all ages!

5 p.m., 7:50 p.m./Wizard of Oz/Virginia Aquarium
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.


8:30 a.m./Williamsburg Christmas Parade/Colonial Williamsburg
We are excited about the plans that are underway for the 2015 Christmas Parade. This year we are celebrating 50th years!!!! Over the past four years we have raised the bar with enthusiasm, excitement and creativity and we are expecting nothing less this year for Our Golden Christmas 1965-2015.

7 p.m./Yorktown Christmas Boat Parade/Riverwalk Landing
Festively decorated sail and power boats compete for “Best in Show.” The Yorktown waterfront is bedazzled with holiday sights and sounds, including a spectacular floating parade of lights, caroling around a roaring beach bonfire, musical performances and complimentary hot cider. Yorktown waterfront.

7 p.m./Holiday Memories presented by the USAF Heritage of America Band/Warhill High School
Join the men and women of the USAF Heritage of America Band as they present an evening of music, memories, and merriment! “Holiday Memories” promises to re-kindle the nostalgia of holiday seasons gone by and bring to life the joy of family and friends.

Virginia Beach

10 a.m./Mingle & Jingle Open House/Old Coast Guard Station
Join us for hot cider and cookies as we celebrate the Holidays! 10% off most items in the museum store (excludes consignment)! Special children’s programs from 10 am – 1 pm! Storytime with Grandma Beach – 10:30 am, 11:30 am, & 12:30


4 p.m./Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting/18 Duke St.
The Town of Windsor will hold its annual Christmas parade on December 5th.  The parade will start at 4pm on Holland Drive and will end at the Windsor Library on Duke Street.  The theme this year is “The Movies of Christmas”. At the conclusion of the Town Christmas Parade, we will have the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree.  Come out and enjoy the holiday spirit with refreshments and fellowship.



4:15 p.m./Hampton Roads Metro Band Presents: “Musical Holiday Gifts”/Chesapeake General Hospital
HRMB is an all-volunteer, non-profit symphonic concert band that is comprised of musicians from 16 to 86 years old. Founded in 1930 as the Norfolk Fire Division Band, HRMB is the oldest continuously performing community concert band in Tidewater. The band’s mission is to provide the public with performances of enjoyable music including marches, classical music, patriotic pieces, big band charts, contemporary tunes, and music from stage and screen. The quality and variety of the music makes a performance by the Hampton Roads Metro Band exciting and entertaining.


1 p.m., 4 p.m./Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales/Ted Constant Convocation Center
Prepare to laugh, sing and dance as you step into a world of wonder where wishing is only the beginning and dreams really do come true in Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they bring the timeless fairy tale adventures of Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life in a live theatrical experience that is pure magic.
Click here for tickets and more information

5:30 p.m./Panic! At the Disco/The NorVa
96X Winter Meltdown Concert Series featuring Panic! At The Disco with special guest New Politics
Click here for tickets and more information

Virginia Beach

9 a.m.-5 p.m./MOCA Holiday Craft Sale & Family Fest/Virginia MOCA
Local artists present the coolest gifts for everyone on your list. Find unique and affordable artwork, accessories and jewelry from more than 30 artists in MOCA’s Atrium and Pavilion. Join us from 2-4pm to create festive winter themed Origami at Family Fest in MOCA’s studios. MOCA is proud to have local and regional artists participating in the Holiday Craft Sale, offering handmade gifts for everyone on your list. Enjoy a festive, family-friendly day: 9am-5pm Craft Sale featuring local artists and crafters, 9am-3pm Hashi Food Truck, Bodacious Pizza, Three Ships Coffee & more! 2-4pm Family Fest Holiday Origami in the Studios
$2 suggested donation


5:30 p.m./Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination/Colonial Williamsburg
In the 18th century, illuminations, which included the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks, were held to celebrate major events, such as great military victories, the anniversary of the reigning sovereign’s birth, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Join Colonial Williamsburg for this special day by strolling the Revolutionary City and viewing all the unique decorations. Enjoy musical performances from multiple stages and delight in the fireworks displays from three different locations.