Celebrating the Holidays in Colonial Williamsburg
Experience Colonial Williamsburg this Holiday Season
Are you are looking for something different than your usual go-to for celebrating the holidays this year? Maybe you want to share a special and unique experience with a loved one this Christmas. Colonial Christmas Celebrations are a unique way to experience the holidays this year. Come join the festivities of Colonial Williamsburg for authentic colonial decorations, old-world dining experiences, and unique holiday programs and performances.
Colonial Williamsburg is just an hours drive from the Inn at Tabbs Creek. Making a day trip to CW (as the locals call it) easy and enjoyable. Staying at the Inn in Mathews County allows guests a respite from the hustle and bustle of Williamsburg.
In addition to the water views from the Inn, your drive to CW via the Colonial parkway overlooks the York River and its estuaries. There are even areas you can pull in to for a photo opportunity.
Conveniently located about halfway between the Inn and Colonial Williamsburg is the neighboring Gloucester County. Gloucester’s historical downtown area boasts many delightful shops, eateries and even a micro-brewery. Sounds like the perfect pit spot for lunch or dinner!
Colonial Christmas Celebrations and decorations are plentiful once you arrive to CW. Some of the walking tours, workshops and admission to certain buildings offered are for a fee. However, many of the sights to see and the reenactments are just part of the Colonial Williamsburg experience. You can purchase a CW admissions ticket and it will get you in to every historical building. You are also able to just walk around and admire the scenery. Other than parking costs, (and many of those are free as well) entrance into the Colonial Williamsburg area is free.
Colonial Williamsburg is the worlds largest living history museum. Guests that come to the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area can explore dozens of the several hundred original buildings. Costumed reenactors work and dress as people did in the era, sometimes using colonial diction.
Park your car in one of the many available lots, and head to Duke of Gloucester Street. (DOG Street as coined by locals.) Duke of Gloucester Street is the center of Colonial Williamsburg and its living history museum. DOG street is closed to vehicular traffic. All of the buildings in the 8 block reconstructed area have been restored to their 18th century appearance and original location.
Colonial Christmas Celebrations
Holiday Programs, Festive Decorations and More
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, CW becomes even more lively than usual. There are holiday demonstrations, workshops and classes, and walking tours. There is even a Holiday Tea and we certainly can’t forget about The Grand Illumination. For many years the Grand Illumination was held the first Sunday of December. Now the Celebration is held the first three Saturdays of December. The Historic sites are open every day from 9-5 and the Art Museums are open from 10-6. After dark The lighting of the cressets is a visitor favorite, and a great way to warm your hands and toes in cooler temps. Historic Ghost Tours are also always an option for after dark activities!
Walk up and down DOG street and gaze at the amazing handmade colonial style wreathes made from all natural items, including dried flowers and herbs, plants and other unique materials. Grab a cup of hot apple cider and perhaps listen to a demonstration or reenactment. Many of the holiday happenings are available everyday. Some presentations are only on the weekends, so be sure to check the full calendar of events.
If attending on the day of Grand Illumination, arrive early so you can park with ease and find a great spot for watching the fireworks. There will be multiple stages set up near the Palace and the Capital for live music, including the fife and drums.
You can observe the celebratory Yule log hauled by wagon from Capitol Circle to Market Square accompanied by music and festivities!
The “lighting of the cressets” sets the ambience for the evening and the firing of guns and cannons means its time for the fireworks display!
Frequent Visitor Tips
*Visiting Colonial Williamsburg during the week yields fewer visitors and allows for a very relaxed day of exploring. However, some of the holiday presentations and tours are only available on weekends. Check out CW’s Holiday Planner and find out what events you are most interested in and plan your dates and trip accordingly.
*CW offers several different packages for touring and exploring all the history the Foundation has to offer. Choose which admissions package works best for what you want to do! You may not need to purchase a package at all.
*If you decide you want to visit on a Saturday of the Grand Illumination and stay for fireworks, a great tip is to walk around and explore Dog Street and the decorations after the fireworks while most everyone is hoarding the streets and parking areas on their way out. You can even stop into one of CWs authentic taverns like Chowning’s Tavern for a “yard of ale”, mulled cider or an authentic meal while the crowds die down a bit.
*Another good tip is that you can bring a thermos of your own hot cider to sip on while curled up on a blanket to watch the fireworks! Yep, you can bring chairs or blankets and even picnics to enjoy on the lawns while watching fireworks and listening to colonial Christmas songs and music fill the air!
*If you are interested in Home and Garden Tours, the Greenspring Garden Club hosts a wonderful and festive Christmas Homes Tour that can be easily added in to a weekend of exploring Colonial Williamsburg.
Stay Inn with us this Holiday season and experience Colonial Christmas Celebrations in Colonial Williamsburg! Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Williamsburg and then retreat to the comforts and quiet of your room or suite at the Inn at Tabbs Creek!