Holiday Activities in Virginia Beach, VA
True, getting to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens is a bit of trek from the resort city, but it is totally worth the drive to arrive at this holiday paradise. Being that the setting is an amusement park, there are about a dozen or so rides open, but the excitement of holiday attractions such as Santa’s Workshop, live penguins, and the Polar Pathway are almost certain to trump the appeal of the regular activities. Christmas Town also features five shows (including a “Sesame Street” treat for the kids) to keep you entertained. And if you are in the market for holiday gifts or décor, Christmas Town offers an abundance of artisans and shops to meet your needs.
This event, put on annually by the Tidewater Big Train Operators Club, has something for everyone, train enthusiast or just casual admirer. The club takes great pride in setting up various holiday-themed settings for their trains to meander through. In fact, the display is the largest indoor, garden-scale show in all of Virginia. Held nightly around the beginning of December (exact dates change annually, so be sure to check out their site before going), admission is free, the event usually attracts about 1000 visitors a night. Be sure to check it out as an affordable, festive way to get the kids (or kids at heart) in the holiday spirit.
The Founder’s Inn and Spa offers a picturesque setting year-round, but becomes truly magical during the holiday season. The festivities kick off annually with the Illumination event (typically held on the Sunday after Thanksgiving). The highlight of the illumination is the moment when the 100,000 lights are turned on, transforming the grounds into a Christmas wonderland, but the Inn hosts a full day of holiday fun in anticipation of the big moment. Carriage rides, face painting, visits with Santa, and non-stop Christmas music are offered throughout the day, while scheduled readings of the traditional Christmas story, puppet show performances, and seasonally-themed dancers take the stage to put on shows for the whole family to enjoy.
Hunt Club Farm knows how to celebrate the seasons, and they once again come through when the holidays come around. The highlight of the festivities is Santa’s Workshop where you can escape into the world of the North Pole and explore its wonders. Hunt Club Farm also offers some traditional holiday fun as well, including a live animal nativity scene and holiday lights display along with a children’s maze and live petting zoo. As it is a farm, the festivities at Hunt Club are exclusively outdoors, so dress accordingly. To help keep you warm, though, take advantage of the roasting marshmallows or hot apple cider (or both!).
The Town Center of Virginia Beach comes alive each holiday season with the annual Light Up the Town event. Usually scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving, the event kicks off with a holiday-themed parade through Town Center -- Virginia Beach’s unofficial downtown -- complete with a grand appearance from St. Nick himself. As the parade concludes, the festivities shift to the main plaza’s oversized tree illumination. A laser lights show follows the tree illumination and culminates the night. Throughout the event, carolers and holiday jazz music create a festive atmosphere and coupled with the picturesque setting, it's sure to get you in the holiday spirit!