Christmas in Virginia Beach is a magical time filled with festive events and winter activities that promise to make the season unforgettable. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with planning the perfect holiday celebration, fret not! 

This blog post is your ultimate guide to the top activities and events in the area. 

Dive in and discover the best ways to soak in the festive spirit and make lasting memories.

Heading – Catch the holiday lights at Norfolk Botanical Gardens

You'll be spellbound by the Christmas lights display at the Botanical Gardens!

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Step into the enchanting Norfolk Botanical Gardens this festive season and immerse yourself in the Garden of Lights. As you stroll through the garden, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing display of lights that bring the holiday spirit to life. 

This annual event voted as one of the top botanical garden holiday lights in the country, is not just a visual treat but also supports the garden’s mission of connecting people to nature. 

Planning to visit? Choose your preferred date and arrival time from their calendar, and be part of this unforgettable experience. 

Whether you’re with family or friends, the Garden of Lights promises a magical evening for all.

Dates: November 10th to December 31st 2023.

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Link: Visit the event page

Heading – Enjoy Holiday Lights at the Beach

BayPort Credit Union boardwalk holiday lights are a real treat!

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The Virginia Beach oceanfront transforms into a winter wonderland with the BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach. 

As you drive along the boardwalk, you’ll be enchanted by jumping fish, musical crabs, and a Surfing Santa, all illuminated against the backdrop of the moonlit Atlantic Ocean. 

Special fixtures pay homage to the region’s Armed Forces community, and a 40-foot dancing-light Christmas tree stands as a centerpiece. 

The event runs from November 17 to December 31, with advance ticket purchase required. 

Ensure you don’t miss out on this festive spectacle that promises a delightful experience for families and friends alike.

And after enjoying the lights, consider dining at one of the seafood restaurants in Virginia Beach for a complete experience.

Dates: November 17th to December 31st 2023.

Link: Visit the event page

Heading – Stroll through and shop at the Virginia Beach Christmas Market

Get your holiday shopping done at the Virginia Beach Convention Center's Christmas market!

The Virginia Beach Convention Center comes alive with the spirit of the holidays during the Annual Virginia Beach Christmas Market. 

Visitors can explore the offerings of over 175 artisans from more than 20 states. This renowned market, voted among the top 200 in the U.S., showcases a diverse range of handmade arts, crafts, and unique Christmas collectibles. 

Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift or festive decor, the market promises a treasure trove of delights. 

Dates: November 24th to 26th 2023.

Link: Visit the event page

And for those who deeply believe in supporting local, don’t miss the Small Business Saturday event on November 25th at 4401 Virginia Beach Boulevard, near IHOP. 

It’s a wonderful opportunity to complete your festive shopping while uplifting the community.

Heading – See if you can Escape2Win!

Bond with loved ones during Christmastime at our escape room on Cleveland Street!

That may or may not be from a Christmas special escape game…

Looking for a unique twist to your holiday festivities? At our Virginia Beach escape room, Escape2Win, we offer an immersive experience that’s perfect for families, friends, and coworkers. 

Dive into thrilling scenarios, from deciphering clues in a haunted house to solving mysteries in outer space. 

Our escape rooms are designed to challenge your wits, foster teamwork, and provide an unforgettable bonding experience. 

Planning a wintertime corporate event? Check out these Christmas team-building options!

And the best part? We have hand-curated our offerings to ensure diverse themes, ensuring there’s something for everyone. 

Whether you’re a seasoned escape artist or a first-timer, join us and see if you have what it takes to win! 

Dates: We’re open every day of the week, barring Tuesday.

Link: Visit the home page

Heading – Sign up for a gingerbread house competition at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

Test your gingerbread house skills at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum!

Fancy your gingerbread house-making skills? Or looking for Christmas activities for kids?

Then you should definitely sign up for the 3rd Annual Virginia Beach Gingerbread House Competition and Exhibit! 

From November 25 to December 30, 2023, the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum will showcase gingerbread creations from enthusiasts of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. 

Participants can let their creativity shine, with no specific theme to adhere to, ensuring a diverse and enchanting display. 

The museum itself is located inside the historic de Witt Cottage, offers free admission and is open for viewing from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

And for those looking for an extra sprinkle of holiday cheer, don’t forget to take your Photo With Santa on Saturday, December 9th, from 11 AM till 2 PM.

Dates: November 25th to December 30th 2023.

Link: Visit the event page

Heading – Visit the Christmas Village at Busch Gardens

The Busch Gardens in Williamsburg transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the Christmas season. 

The park is adorned with over ten million twinkling lights, making it one of the largest light displays in North America. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere with attractions like the Polar Pathway: Spectacle of Lights, Celebration of Lights at O’Tannenbaum, and heart-warming shows such as the all-new Wisemen and the returning favorite, ‘Twas that Night. 

For those looking to meet the jolly old man himself, Santa’s Workshop awaits, along with other classic experiences like the Christmas Town Express. 

Special events tailored for children include Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland and a Holiday scavenger hunt. 

The event runs on select dates from November 10 through January 7. While enjoying the festivities, guests can also indulge in culinary delights and complete their holiday shopping at the park’s various shops. 

Whether you’re seeking thrilling rides or heartwarming holiday shows, Busch Gardens offers a memorable experience for all ages.

Dates: Select dates from November 10th 2023 to January 7th next year. And if you’re planning ahead, check out New Year’s Eve things to do as well.

Link: Visit the event page

Heading – Attend Planes, Trains, And Santa! at the Aviation Museum

From Santa pictures to  charitable donations - it's all happening at the Aviation Museum!

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Celebrate the holiday season at the Aviation Museum with the annual “Planes, Trains, and Santa” family event.

Every day, at 9:00 AM., Santa makes a grand entrance in a vintage airplane, giving the reindeer some well-deserved rest. 

Capture a heartwarming photo with Santa, marvel at the vintage airplanes, and enjoy the hangar filled with trains, courtesy of the Tidewater Division of the National Model Railroad Association. 

Kids and adults can both engage in model railroading, and there are fun activities like making pom-pom ornaments, holiday propeller pinwheels, and even holiday cards for service members overseas. 

And finally, In the true spirit of Saint Nicholas, who used his wealth to help the less fortunate and is believed to be the inspiration for Father Christmas, the museum, in collaboration with the Marine Corps Reserves, collects donations for Toys for Tots. 

Dates: November 24th to 26th 2023.

Link: Visit the event page

Heading – See holiday shows at the Sandler Center

Catch various classic performances - including one where you can join in too - at the Sandler Center.

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The Sandler Center in Virginia Beach is renowned for its world-class performances, and the holiday season is no exception. 

This December, the center is set to host a series of captivating shows that promise to immerse attendees in the festive spirit. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store:

  • Christmas at the Sandler Center (Friday, Dec 8): Virginia Voices International and the Bella Dancers present a vibrant celebration, taking you on a festive journey reminiscent of a holiday parade.
  • A Classical Christmas (Saturday, Dec 9): The Virginia Beach Chorale returns to serenade the audience with timeless Christmas carols, ensuring an evening filled with classical charm.
  • Ballet Virginia’s “The Nutcracker” (Friday, Dec 15 to Sunday, Dec 17): Dive into a world of dreams with Ballet Virginia’s rendition of this classic, accompanied by the live music of Symphonicity.
  • The Gatlin Brothers: Country & Christmas (Wednesday, Dec 20): Grammy-winning trio Larry, Steve, and Rudy Gatlin light up the stage with their iconic hits and festive favorites.
  • The 41st Annual Messiah Sing-Along (Saturday, Dec 23): Join Symphonicity in this unique concert where the audience takes center stage, singing the choral sections of Handel’s Messiah.

And that is by no means a complete list – check their events calendar for more seasonal offerings! Whether you’re a fan of classical ballet, country music, or choral masterpieces, the Sandler Center has got you covered this holiday season.

Heading – Breakfast with Santa

Who WOULDN'T like to have brekkie with Father Christmas?

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The King’s Daughters are hosting a delightful “Breakfast with Santa” at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott on November 18, 2023, from 10 AM to 1 PM this festive season. 

The event promises a morning filled with joy as attendees can enjoy live holiday performances, engage in children’s activities, and marvel at an interactive train display. 

What’s more, there’s a silent auction featuring trees, gingerbread creations, and unique gifts. 

Attendees also have the heartwarming opportunity to create a handmade gift to send to a patient at CHKD.

Every ticket includes a buffet breakfast and ensures a memorable digital photo with Santa for each child. 

Beyond the festivities, this event has a value of its own as it benefits the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. 

Date: November 18th 2023.

Link: Visit the event page

Heading – Go on the 2nd Annual 12 Bars of Christmas Crawl®

Sometimes, all you need for a merry Christmas is a round of "Cheers"!

Join the festive fun at the 2nd Annual 12 Bars of Christmas Crawl® in Norfolk on Saturday, December 16th, 2023, from 12 pm to 8 pm. 

This adults-only event offers exclusive drink specials across multiple bars, themed games, and a lively costume contest. 

Don your holiday attire, mingle with fellow revelers, and remember to celebrate responsibly. It’s the perfect way to add a spirited twist to your holiday celebrations!

Date: December 16th 2023.

Link: Visit the event page

We hope you have a fantastic Christmas in Virginia Beach

Get started with your Christmas planning!

Virginia Beach offers numerous festive season attractions, from the mesmerizing Garden of Lights at Norfolk Botanical Gardens to unique escape room adventures with us. 

Whether you’re looking to shop at the renowned Virginia Beach Christmas Market, attend captivating shows at the Sandler Center, or simply enjoy a delightful “Breakfast with Santa,” there’s something for everyone. 

We trust our blog has provided the inspiration and information you need to kickstart your holiday planning. 

So, embrace the festive spirit, explore these wonderful events, and create cherished memories with your loved ones. 

Here’s wishing you a joyous and memorable Christmas in Virginia Beach!

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