2021 Hampton Roads Holidays: Get a List of Events, Light Displays and More!


It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season in Hampton Roads!

After a year off from many annual celebrations, parades, illuminations and more will return this year.

Get a list of events taking place below and check out our neighborhood holiday light map here.

*If you have an event you would like added to this listing, email stephanie@maxmediava.com.


Chesapeake

Chesapeake Rotary Christmas Parade.  Dec. 4th. The parade begins at Mt. Pleasant Rd. and Battlefield Blvd. and ends in front of City Hall on Cedar Rd. Most roads will start closing by 4:15 p.m. in and around this parade. For easiest parking and great views, come down to the Municipal Complex.  There will also be food vendors and portable bathrooms. Parking: General Parking is available at the City Hall/Municipal Center parking lots located behind the Central Library on Cedar Road.

Christmas Market. Dec. 5th. Lots of local vendors & crafters to shop from to get all your Christmas gifts! Live Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, & sprays plus, handmade wreaths & Christmas crafts.

Chesapeake’s Christmas Bird Count Dec. 14th- Jan. 5th- Held annually by the National Audubon Society, this is the ideal way to see some of the over 200 species of birds flying south for the winter as they migrate across Virginia. Free to participate, this holiday season event is a wonderful way to celebrate nature with family and friends.

Christmas in the Country:Drive through this light display at Triple R Ranch.  The event runs Dec. 10th- Dec. 31st and is free of charge.

Deck the Hall– Kick-off the holiday season with Chesapeake’s newest holiday light show, Deck the Hall, a free, drive-through laser light show that will project festive, holiday scenes on the front of the Chesapeake City Hall building. From here be sure to venture over to one of the many family light shows held in Chesapeake, including the Pugh Family Christmas Light Show which was featured on the “The Great Christmas Light Fight” in 2017.

Fa-La-Land– December 11 and 18 from 5-9 p.m. Walk around this outdoor wonderland while enjoying carolers, face paintings, llamas, baby goats in holiday sweaters, live snow globe, holiday-themed food trucks, holiday movie characters, and more! Information: 757-382-6411

Holiday Brass– Dec. 16th. The bold sounds of the Virginia Symphony brass section ring in the holidays with a blast! Experience the festive sounds of the season in a concert filled with wit, virtuosity, and the glorious music of the holidays—featuring the VSO brass and percussion sections in an all-new program. You’ll enjoy music from a variety of styles that have made this concert a new holiday tradition! Event is FREE to the public. Doors open at 6:00 pm


Hampton

Holidays in the Sky Laser Light Show: We’re lighting up the night sky with our 30 minute, holiday-themed laser light show! Experience holiday magic from the comfort of your car at the Hampton Coliseum parking lot on November 19, 20, and 21. These seven showings are free and open to the public. Space is limited and registration is required.

Holiday Drive-in Movies: The Holiday Drive In Movie Series returns to the Hampton Coliseum. We’re showing the classics you know and love to celebrate the 30-day Coliseum Central Holiday Extravaganza.  Space is limited.  Reserve your spot here.

Holiday Wonder WalkThe walk will showcase the Hampton Coliseum, Candyland, “Frozen” and more from December 5 through December 12 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Winter Whimsy at the Hampton Carousel: November 23, 2021 - December 30, 2021. Carousel Park & Hampton Carousel. Make new holiday memories while enjoying festively adorned horses. The historic Hampton Carousel will be decked out for the season while playing special carousel Christmas music. Enjoy a free candy cane. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Take a ride on the carousel before it closes for winter!

Holiday Wonder Walk at Waterwalk Path: December 4, 2021 - December 12, 2021. Water Walk Path. Hampton Parks, Recreation & Leisure Services offers a way for families to celebrate the holidays in a socially distanced, safer environment under COVID-19 conditions, with the “Holiday Wonder Walk” along Hampton’s Water Walk Trail. There is no admission fee, all activities are free, and free parking is available at the Hampton Coliseum. With the lifting of certain COVID restrictions this year, also featured will be live entertainment, food vendors, merchandise vendors, exhibitors, strolling characters, and kid’s activity stations.

Phoebus Holiday Illumination & Craft Market: December 4, 2021, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Beautiful historic Phoebus will turn into a holiday wonderland on December 4, 2021 from 10 AM -6 PM. Mellen Street will be filled with a variety of holiday crafts and goods from local vendors, food trucks, live DJ and more! Kids activities, special performances, and Santa himself make this event wonderful for the whole family! Christmas tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Ugly Sweater Contest at 5:15 p.m.


Portsmouth

Old Towne Holiday Open House: Nov. 19. Holiday tree lighting, crafters market, shopping, live music, and more along the High Street Corridor. The holiday tree lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Middle Street Mall.

Old Towne Holiday Music Festival: Dec. 11. Live entertainment, strolling carolers, roving costumed characters, marshmallow roasting stations, children’s activities and more during this city holiday tradition.

Snow Wonders: Nov. 26th- Dec. 31.  On Fridays and Saturdays beginning November 26 – December 31, snow will fall from the sky, music will fill the air, and we hope that it brings nostalgic memories of the past. Enjoy this magical holiday experience.

Winter Wonderland: Nov. 26th- Dec. 31. The Coleman Collection continues to offer a visual treat for all ages young alike who come to visit the animated scenes of ice skaters and children sledding and more. Various times offered.



Norfolk

The 7th Annual Great Hot Cocoa War– Beginning the day of Downtown Norfolk’s Grand Illumination celebration (no parade this year), there will be a magical contest of the hottest and chocolatiest proportions. Downtown Norfolk will rain with marshmallows of fantastical sizes! Get your cup and choose your side. The contest runs for a full week. Voting takes place online here

Holiday Yule Log Bonfire & Christmas Marketplace: December 4, 2021, 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Town Point Park. Holiday Yule Log Bonfire & Holiday Marketplace Join us for a one-day Holiday Market in Town Point Park on the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront. The Holiday Market will coincide with the 8th Annual Holiday Yule Log Bon Fire, Saturday, December 4, 2021, 12 noon – 8 pm. This festive outdoor wonderland will feature unique and local crafters, a massive Yule Log bonfire, Christmas caroling with a take home carol book, and also a visit from the big-man himself, Santa Claus. During the festivities, hot chocolate, ciders, seasonal craft beer, mulled wine and other holiday treats will be available for purchase.

A Merry Little Christmas Carol : Dec. 1- 24th- Virginia Stage’s most popular production continues its tradition at the Wells Theatre. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey through time with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future as he learns about redemption, kindness, and compassion. Filled with music and mirth, this timeless play is recommended for all ages and is fun for the whole family to enjoy. Adapted by Patrick Mullins, Directed by MARIANNE SAVELL

Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Million Bulb Walk The Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Million Bulb Walk is back for another year! New this year, visitors can check out “The Wall of Light” which highlights the NATO Tower. This event runs from November 12 through Dec 5 from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. each night. 

Sail Nauticus’ Holiday Parade of Sails: November 20, 2021, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Nauticus & Battleship Wisconsin. Each Saturday at 6:00 p.m., watch the Sail Nauticus fleet celebrate the holiday season! The lighted boat parade features our Harbor 20 sailboats and Santa as a special guest (until Dec. 19)!

Winterfest on the Wisconsin at Nauticus: November 26, 2021, 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM. Nauticus & Battleship Wisconsin. Nauticus’ WinterFest on the Wisconsin returns to the Downtown Norfolk waterfront this holiday season! With more nights and lights to enjoy, you’re bound to be dazzled by this magical winter experience. Bring the whole family!

Virginia Zoo Zoolumination:The Virginia Zoo’s first-ever drive-thru exhibit features blow-up, light-up animals, including 30-feet-tall giraffes and a 5-foot-tall alligator.Tickets are on sale now.  The event runs November 19 through Jan 9 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for a walk-through.  To see the displays lit up, arrive after 5 p.m.


Newport News:

Celebration in Lights : Celebration in Lights is returning to Newport News for its 29th year. One million lights will take over Newport News Park and transform it into an animated Christmas drive-thru display.

The event runs November 25 through January 1 from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.


Suffolk:

Suffolk Grand Illumination (VIRTUAL CELEBRATION): November 19, 2021, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. The 2021 Suffolk Holiday Season begins with a hometown kickoff. This year’s Grand Illumination Ceremony will take place virtually on the City of Suffolk’s YouTube channel. The event will begin with a message from Mayor Michael D. Duman, and will be followed by a performance by a local hand bell choir. The event will conclude with the lighting of the 32-foot holiday tree!

Christmas in Driver: November 26, 2021, 5:00 PM - December 19, 2021, 9:00 PM. Photos with Santa! Lights! Music! Craft and food vendors! Holiday Hay Ride! Hot Cocoa! Holiday Treats and more! Visit the Peppermint Path!

Festival of Lights:  November 26, 2021, 5:30 PM - December 30, 2021, 9:30 PM. Sleepy Hole Park. We light up all of Sleepy Hole Park to create a magical experience for the holidays! Celebrate with us by taking a drive through our festive lights! Presented by Suffolk Parks & Recreation.

Holiday Market & Grand Illumination at Bridgeport: December 2, 2021, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM. The Plaza at Bridgeport will come alive with holiday cheer with the First Annual Grand Illumination Holiday Market! Includes photos with Santa, horsedrawn carriage rides, carolers, food & drink vendors, and outdoor shopping!

Cookies with Santa: December 4, 2021, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. East Suffolk Recreation Center. Presented by Suffolk Parks & Recreation. Join us at the East Suffolk Recreation Center for a morning of fun-filled cookie decorations, holiday crafts, and making cookies with Santa! This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration required.

Visits with Santa at the Suffolk Farmers’ Market Artisan Gift Fair: December 4, 2021, 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM. Suffolk Visitor Center. Bring the kiddos to meet jolly ol’ St. Nick, at the Suffolk Farmers’ Market Artisan Gift Fair! Bring your cameras for photos with Santa inside the Suffolk Visitor Center. Holiday décor makes this the ideal place to snap a photo with Santa.

Lunch with Santa:  December 4, 2021, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Northern Shores Recreation Center. Presented by Suffolk Parks & Recreation. Children can play games, win fun prizes, and have a free professional photo taken with Santa.

Meet Santa at the Train Station: December 5, 2021, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum. Bring the kiddos to meet jolly ol’ St. Nick! Bring your cameras for photos with Santa. Holiday décor makes this the ideal place to snap a photo with Santa.

Suffolk Holiday Parade: “Home For the Holidays”: December 11, 2021, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Downtown Suffolk. View the sights and sounds of the 2021 Suffolk Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 7pm. Find the best spot to watch the floats, equestrian units, marching bands, and festive vehicles as they make their way down West Washington Street and turn up North Main Street, with the parade route ending at Finney Avenue. This year’s parade theme is “Home for the Holidays.”

Pet Photos with Santa at the Suffolk Visitor Center: December 19, 2021, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Suffolk Visitor Center. Bring your pet to meet jolly ol’ St. Nick! We welcome all friendly, well-behaved critters. Dogs must be leashed. Pet owners are encouraged to bring a donation for the homeless pets at the Suffolk Animal Shelter. The following items are encouraged kitty litter, cat food/kitten chow, dog food/puppy chow, leashes and collars, grooming supplies, toys, crates, towels, blankets, bleach, hand sanitizer & wipes, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, trash bags and carriers.


Virginia Beach

Holiday Parade at the Beach: On Saturday, December 4, at 5:30 pm, join us for the Holiday Parade at the Beach, where almost 90 parade units make their way down Atlantic Avenue in a joyous celebration of the holiday season. The parade travels north on Atlantic Avenue from 15th Street to 25th Street. The reviewing stand is located at 25th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights: Saturday, December 11, 2020.Boat Parade 5:15 P.M. | Viewing Event 5:30.  Benefits the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation. Prizes Awarded For: Best of Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas & Hanukkah Box, Most Holiday Cheer, Best Spirit of America, Best Beach Theme

Lights at the Beach:  Lights at the Beach returns with a new immersive tunnel of lights from November 19 through January 2, beginning at 5:30 p.m. each night. The lights will stay on until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The Lights of Christmas at the Virginia Beach KOA HolidayThe magic of Christmas returns to the Virginia Beach KOA Holiday starting November 12th and continues nightly through January 2nd, 2022! A drive thru light show experience the whole family can enjoy includes admission to the popular Christmas village where families can grab dinner from one of our food truck vendors, shop for unique gift ideas from local crafters, enjoy the outdoor camping amenities offered by KOA and more! Don’t miss the appearances of Santa and other classic Christmas characters for your holiday cards and scrapbooks!

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center: Holi-Rays. Fridays & Saturdays in December. (December 3-18). Enjoy a magical evening in our Holi-Ray wonderland under the sea.


Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Christmas Town: Park-goers can check out the Christmas Town on select dates from November 12 through January 2.

Greater Williamsburg Christmas Parade: Sunday, December 5th at 5 PM. With the new evening start time, the Chamber encourages participants to decorate floats with holiday lights and spectators to adorn light-up accessories.  This year’s theme, Joy to the World, reminds us that there are so many reasons to celebrate—coming together as a community being one of them.

Christmas Decorations Walking Tour. Enjoy a guided look at Colonial Williamsburg’s picturesque building exteriors and streets decked out in holiday splendor. Discuss the materials and construction techniques of these traditional holiday decorations.

Grand Illumination: December 3-5, 10-12, & 17-19. Join the Colonial Williamsburg community as we celebrate the holiday season with three Grand Illumination weekends, December 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19. Yuletide entertainment will include favorite holiday traditions, as well as heartwarming new additions to the festivities. On Friday evenings, join the new Procession of the Yule Log and enjoy holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Saturday evenings will include a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, glorious music, and a joyful appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks displays over the Governor’s Palace and Capitol building.

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