How to Make Spirits Bright in the 757

Big Ben decorated in Busch Gardens England

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Big Ben decorated in Busch Garden’s England

The holiday season is finally in full swing! With that comes the desire for friends and family to go out together to experience all the fun festivities. Bundling up with a hot chocolate in hand to watch a light show this December is definitely the way to go. The good news is that the Hampton Roads area is full of opportunities to see an array of amazing light displays. 


In Newport News:

Newport News Park provides the 29th Annual Celebration in Lights. It is a drive thru holiday light display that spans from Thanksgiving to New Years, showing nightly from 5:30-10:00. Prices Monday-Thursday are $12 per car while on weekends the price rises to $15. A bargain of $10 per car can be received if tickets are bought in advance at the Newport News Park Visitors Center. Over one million individual lights are used to create 350 festive display pieces and over 50 arches along the two mile drive. There will also be new additions to the animated scenes which includes new magical trees, candy pieces, and deer displays. 

Newport News Park’s Celebration in Lights (Courtesy of

City Center at Oyster Point hosts their annual Holiday Tree Lighting, previously known as Hollydazzle. It is on December 4, with festivities going from 5:00-8:00 and the tree lighting ceremony at 7:00. Admissions and parking are both free. This exciting experience will also include food and gift vendors, street performers, themed games, children’s activities, and giveaways. This event marks the beginning of the month-long Lights at the Fountain show, too. That show runs every night from December 4-January 1, displaying every half hour from 5:00-9:00. It is a ten minute synchronized light show, which encompasses one major tree, 55 other trees wrapping around the five acre fountain plaza, 16 snow machines, and a customized soundtrack. The theme this year is Let it Snow!



Colonial Williamsburg offers a historical take on the grand illumination. What used to be a one night a year celebration, will be split up into three weekends (December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18). These precautions are being taken due to the ongoing pandemic. The festivities are open to the public, free of charge. Beginning Fridays at 6:00, there will be a yule log procession by wagon and the lighting of the cressets along Duke of Gloucester Street. The street will be filled with holiday cheer, including music, decorations, and 18th century entertainment, until 8:00. The following Saturday the festivities continue, starting at 5:00 and ending at 7:00. The traditional reading of an original holiday story, accompanied by an appearance by the one and only Father Christmas, and a beautiful fireworks display over the Governor’s Palace will all take place. 

Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination firework show (Courtesy of

Christmas Town, courtesy of Busch Gardens, is a classic holiday attraction for families living in Hampton Roads along with visitors statewide. Their kickoff to the holiday season started November 12 and will extend all the way through January 2, with hours varying depending on the day of the week and proximity to the holidays. Three variations of tickets will be sold to fit the needs of each customer. The single-day tickets are $39.99, unlimited Christmas Town passes are $69.99, and signing up for a yearly membership for $11.75/month provides all season access and additional benefits. Busch Gardens is transformed with the help of over ten million lights, making it one of the largest displays in North America and nominated for USA Today’s Best Theme Park Holiday Events this year. Along with the lights, classic rides and rollercoasters, Christmas Town also provides a Santa’s Workshop, festive shows, restaurants, and shopping opportunities. 



Winterfest on the Wisconsin, in Downtown Norfolk, provides the unique experience of seeing a light display aboard the retired Navy battleship, USS Wisconsin. It is currently open Wednesday-Sunday and will run through January 2nd. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday have 5:00-9:00 hours while Friday and Saturday go 5:00-10:00. If ordering tickets online, children cost $10 and adults $12.50 on weekdays and $12/$14.50 on weekends. There is also a $5 up charge if tickets are purchased in person rather than online.  The show includes over 650,000 lights that make up beautiful themed zones and festive music. Drinks and snacks will be sold aboard and there are multiple opportunities to tour the areas below deck for the full experience. Additionally, customers can opt for a visit with Santa for an extra $5 per person. 

Winterfest on the Wisconsin (Courtesy of



These attractions are at the top of my list to see this holiday season and they should be on yours, too! Regardless of whether or not you can afford to see a light show or have the means to travel far, there is an experience  to get anyone in the festive mood.