Christmastime may technically be over, but in Williamsburg, VA, Christmas spirit is still plenty abound! I created this little Williamsburg winter day trip to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year a bit more. Oh, and Happy New Year!
- Extraordinary Cupcakes (30 minutes)
- Merchant’s Square and Ice Skating (1-2 hours)
- Christmas Town at Busch Gardens–best at night! (4-5 hours)
Stop 1: Extraordinary Cupcakes
1220 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188, https://www.extraordinarycupcakes.com/
If you saw my last post, you know how much I love this cupcakery! If you love mint flavors, try the January-only flavor: Miraculous Mint Cocoa. If you prefer coconut, go for their winter-long seasonal flavor: Gregarious German Chocolate (one of our favorites)!
Stop 2: Merchant’s Square
134 N Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185, https://www.merchantssquare.org
While you need to purchase a ticket to explore the rest of Colonial Williamsburg, entry to the Merchant’s Square area is free! Half the time, it’s pretty crowded, and the other half it’s not, but it’s a beautiful place to visit 100 percent of the time! Admire the decked-out colonial architecture, listen to the talented street musicians, and shop for souvenirs at R.P. Wallace & Sons General Store and The Christmas Shop. If you feel like showing off (or in my case, embarrassing yourself), head over to the Liberty Ice Pavilion. There’s a fee for admission and skate rental (if you didn’t bring any), but if you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie, this is your chance! For prices and hours, see here. If you’re hungry and sore afterwards, I recommend DoG Street Pub for dinner!
Stop 3: Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185, https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/christmas-town/
I saved the best for last (though those cupcakes are pretty good)! As many know, I could spend 24 hours at the park, but I think 4-5 gives you plenty of time to experience the best of what the park has to offer.
Since I haven’t visited Germany yet, I have to say that the pretzels at Beste Brezeln und Bier are the best I have ever had. Especially the homemade/jumbo pretzel… it’s just buttery layers of fluffy goodness. I also highly recommend not leaving the park before grabbing some hot cocoa from Festa Italia (Christmas Town is also home to the best cocoa ever). The line takes a while, but please trust me when I say it is worth it! This year the flavors are regular, mint, salted caramel, and peanut butter. I’ve never tried peanut butter, but we think that mint is the best! If you’re vegetarian, I have a guide to eating at the park here!
There are a LOT of lights. As soon as you step into the park, you’ll feel like you’ve dreamed yourself into a winter wonderland. However, I would have to say that the best lights are at Pompeii in Italy, the light show in front of Das Festhaus, the clock in Germany, Christmas Town Express (a train ride), and, of course the entirety of England (but you’ll definitely see this as England is the entrance/exit). The shows are also great—I only saw the Christmas edition of Celtic Fyre this year (which was amazing!), but Scrooge No More is also a favorite.
While not all of the rides are open during Christmas Town, many of the best ones are! If you’re a thrill-seeker, be sure to hop on Finnegan’s Flyer in Ireland and Apollo’s Chariot in Festa Italia. For the kiddos, you can find stop at Sesame Street Forest of Fun and spend some time at the Christmas-themed rides in Holliday Hills (Festa Italia). For a complete list of the rides that should be open, see here. If you’re a shopper, the Emporium in England and German Gifts in England have the best Christmas merchandise.