Top 5 Tuesday: Experience a Winter Wonderland in Colonial Williamsburg
Wondering when you should make your way to the historical town of Williamsburg? Well, we’re here to tell you that there’s no better time than the holiday season to come with your family and friends. You’ll make memories that don’t compare to the rest while experiencing this time of year here—just as the colonists would!
Williamsburg was recently named one of America’s Best Towns for the Holidays by Travel + Leisure. And it is here where you can enjoy ice skating smack dab in the middle of Merchants Square, festive shopping, holiday traditions and shows, delicious dining, and more.
Even though the weather is still fairly warm here, the festive atmosphere is getting us in the mood to turn our office radio to Yuletide tunes. But, don’t just take our word for it—get out there and enjoy the magic this destination has to offer during the holidays!
Test the Ice at Liberty's Ice Pavilion Skating Rink
Located on Duke of Gloucester Street, Liberty’s Ice Pavilion is the historic town’s first ice skating rink. And it’s only fitting that it be named after Colonial Williamburg’s first mascot, Liberty, who portrays George Washington’s dog. Strap on some ice skates, which you can rent for $3, and go around and around the 50-foot by 70-foot real ice rink to the sounds of popular holiday songs. There’s even a concession stand steps away where you can cozy up with your choice of coffee or hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies, warm pretzels, and popcorn.
The rink is open daily (including holidays!) until February 29, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon until 8 p.m. Admission to the rink is $10 for skaters 13 and older and $8 for skaters from 3 to 12.
Colonial Williamsburg's new ice rink.
Get out there on the ice for a fun and festive time!
The rink's namesake is Colonial Williamsburg's new mascot, Liberty.
Liberty's Ice Pavilion Concession Stand.
Don't pass up a photo opp next to the concession stand.
Purchase your tickets and pick up your rental skates right next to the ice.
Marvel at the Many Christmas Decorations in Colonial Williamsburg
The town during the holiday season features residents of nearly 85 homes in the historic area who join together to display traditional Christmas decorations. Popular traditional decor includes wreaths and swags, using pine, boxwood, Fraser fir, magnolia leaves, assorted fruits and berries, and dried flowers. You’ll also notice more than 1,200 electric candles illuminating the windows at dusk.
For a close-up of the jolly decor, be sure to take “The Christmas Decorations Walking Tour” in Colonial Williamsburg. Tickets must be purchased in advance at ColonialWilliamsburg.com or the Lumber House Ticket Office. You can also take a “Holiday Decorating Tips and Inspiration” tour, where you’ll learn about techniques for working with fresh fruit, greens, and other natural materials to recreate at home. Tickets can be purchased online at ColonialWilliamsburg.com or at the door of Hennage Auditorium.
Brave the Cold for Delicious Dining
Looking to explore the great dining options Williamsburg has to offer this holiday season and beyond? Step into some of our favorites: The Cheese Shop or Blue Talon Bistro.
The Cheese Shop is your go-to for a warm sandwich, soup, or a glass of wine or draft beer over lunch or a casual dinner. Your food order isn’t complete without a taste of the shop’s world famous house dressing!
Blue Talon Bistro offers patrons “serious comfort food” from traditional favorites to Chef David Everett’s original creations. Be sure to try the restaurant’s Parisian hot chocolate (with a homemade marshmallow on top!), known for being extremely rich and decadent during the cooler months. And if it happens to snow while you are there, head to the bar and enjoy a cup on the house!
Celebrate the Season at Busch Gardens Christmas Town
Known for being a popular amusement park in the area, Busch Gardens turns into a winter wonderland for Christmas Town, helping you celebrate the spirit of the season. From now until January 3, the park features holiday shows (and a new ice show: ‘Twas That Night™), dining, merry shopping opportunities, and a chance to step into Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. Warm up with a mug of Busch Gardens signature hot chocolate as you stroll through the park, and marvel at the more than eight million lights!
Go on a Holiday Shopping Extravaganza
Haven’t gotten your fill of shopping just yet? With more than 20 unique stores, you’re bound to find plenty of one-of-a-kind gifts or souvenirs during your visit in Williamsburg. Peruse Everything Williamsburg, The Shoe Attic, The Peanut Shop, and more in Merchants Square. Or stop in one of the area’s historic stores such as Market House, Post Office, or Tarpley, Thompson & Company.
Despite all the hustle and bustle this season brings, Williamsburg is sure to offer you and your family the opportunity to create an unforgettable holiday experience filled with merry memories!