It seems like only yesterday we were sunning ourselves on sandy shores, but winter has finally made it’s seasonal début. The holiday season is upon us, and there are many celebrations taking place this weekend. So bust out your coats, your scarves and gloves, and head to the wintry festivity of your choosing.
McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach
Virginia Beach boardwalk, between 2nd and 34th streets
November 21 – January 3
Do you love the soft glow of Christmas lights? If so, this dazzling display is sure to please. Stretching over 30 blocks, this nautical-themed display of lights is a local favorite, and a great place to see Santa and his elves. Among the thousands of lights is a stunning 40-foot tall Christmas tree. Newly added features include a “12 Days of Christmas” light display, and a special radio frequency you can tune to that will complete your drive down the boardwalk.
The Holiday Lights operate nightly, running from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. This weekend only, they will have special discounted prices to celebrate their opening weekend.
Million Bulb Walk
Norfolk Botanical Garden
November 21 – November 26, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
This opportunity only lasts a few days, so if you prefer to walk through a light display, here’s your chance. The Botanical Garden offers a unique option to walk through their two-mile light display that weaves through their many gardens. These nature-themed lights come in many color and sizes, and will light the pathways through gardens, making your walk enjoyable.
Admission is $10 per person, $8 for military, and children two and under enter for free.
Dominion Garden of Light
Norfolk Botanical Garden
November 27 – December 31
Beginning Thanksgiving night, you can drive through the Botanical Garden holiday light display. It will be open for your enjoyment nightly, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission is $15 per car Monday through Thursday, and $20 per car Friday through Sunday. Military members will receive discounted admission on Monday nights, at $10 per car.
30th Annual Grand Illumination Parade
November 22 at 7 p.m.
Saturday night, the city of Norfolk will light up the skyline, when all of the holiday lights are turned on at once to signify the beginning of the season. Included in the parade are many floats, dancers, marching bands, and festive balloons. As always, Santa will be present and hopes to see you there. Get there early and get a spot in front; you won’t want to miss this spectacular parade.
Light Up the Town
Virginia Beach Town Center
November 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Before Santa heads downtown to the Grand Illumination Parade, he’ll be making a stop at the Virginia Beach Town Center to “light up the town” in Fountain Plaza. Taking center stage is a giant 30-foot Christmas tree. There will also be carolers and a holiday-themed laser light show. Best of all, it’s free and open to the public.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Select days from November 21 – December 31
Busch Gardens kicks off their relatively new seasonal attraction Christmas Town this weekend. If you’d like to immerse yourself in a magical Christmas world, then this is the place for you. With over eight million lights, your time in the park will be unlike any other. Visit Santa’s workshop and Mistletoe Marketplace, a unique German-style outdoor market.
Single-day tickets are $27. Members can purchase a $25 Christmas Town pass and use it on return visits.
So don’t be a Grinch! Bundle up tight, and head out to your favorite celebration this weekend. And remember, as Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”