Top spots to safely see the holiday lights this year

Virginia News

Norfolk Botanical Garden holiday lights

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Wondering where you can safely see the holiday lights while getting into the holiday spirit this year? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of the top spots to check out the lights this season.

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On Saturday, Dec. 12 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., take a stroll along 2.25 miles of a socially-distanced, lighted trail with a few animated features along the way. Entrances and parking can be found at the Hampton Coliseum and Air Power Park. Admission costs $4 per person, and children ages 6 and under get in for free.

For more information, click here.

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Newport News


The Holiday Lights Tour will run from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly Nov. 26 until Jan. 1. Click here to see an online tour map for homes and businesses that are lighted for the holidays.

Click here for a list of Newport News holiday events.

City Center Fountain Plaza at Oyster Point

Step into a winter wonderland at the City Center Fountain Plaza with festive decorations and dazzling lights.

Every half hour, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., enjoy a show with lights and falling “snow” set to holiday music. The lights and decorations will be available from Dec. 5 until Jan. 1 and admission is completely free.

Deck the Hall

Check out the new holiday tree and décor in the lobby of Newport News City Hall and new exterior lights illuminating the building. The decorations will be up from Dec. 5 until Jan. 1.

Newport News ParkHoliday Light Stroll (Roll)

The two-mile drive-thru event will take place Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Newport News Celebration in Light at Newport News Park. The one-night event is drive-thru only and pre-purchased tickets are required. The official Celebration in Lights opens to the general public on Thursday, Nov. 26.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Newport News ParkCelebration in Lights

The city’s 28th Celebration in Lights holiday event opens on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 26. Newport News Park, at the intersection of Ft. Eustis Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue, will be transformed by over a million individual lights.

The display will be open each evening from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., through January 1, 2021. Admissions Monday through Thursday will be $12 per car and Friday through Sunday $15 per car. Additionally, tickets good for any night can be purchased in advance for $10 at the Newport News Visitor Center at Newport News Park.

For more information, click here.

NlightN Merry Everything

The Holiday Light and Sound Show takes place Dec. 5 until Jan. 1, 2021 nightly from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. The free event will be at Brook’s Crossing.

Port Warwick Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

The 2020 Port Warwick Holiday Tree Lighting celebration is expected to kick off in a big way. The event will be on Saturday, Nov. 28 with the tentative schedule posted here. The celebration will take place at William Styron Square in Port Warwick of Newport News.

The festive holiday event will have live holiday music and dance performers, the Holiday Marketplace, artists, food, cider, and hot chocolate!

Click here for the schedule and details.

Virginia Living Museum

From Nov. 27 through Jan. 2, the VLM will host its Nature Nights Holiday Lights event. Tickets cost $9 for members and $12 for non-members with ages 2 and under free admission.

The show will run from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Nov. 27 through Nov. 29
  • Dec. 3 through Dec. 5,
  • Dec. 10 through Dec. 12
  • Dec. 17 through Dec. 20
  • Dec. 26 and Dec. 27
  • Jan. 2

Purchase tickets here.

For more information, click here.

Winter Gingerland

From Nov. 3 until Dec. 31, the Denbigh Community Center will be dressed like a Gingerbread House. The free event runs 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. from Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Click here for more information.

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Battleship Wisconsin at the Nauticus

With the canceling of Nauticus’ Dickens’ Christmas Towne due to the pandemic, a new holiday tradition is about to hit Hampton Roads — “WinterFest on the Wisconsin.”

The Battleship Wisconsin decks will be transformed into a holiday experience for six-weeks beginning Nov. 21 and lasting until New Year’s Eve. Included in the decorations will be over 250,000-holiday lights, a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, and animatronic elves.

For more information, click here.

Grand Illumination

Norfolk will not be hosting the traditional Grand Illumination Parade this year, but the city plans to kick off the holiday season in a big way.

The illumination of the city’s skyline and other mini-activities — including a visit with Santa — will happen throughout the evening beginning on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. in Downtown Norfolk.

For more information on the evening’s events, click here.

NEON Holiday Market

TThe NEON Holiday Market returns for the sixth year with local, creative shopping in the district in December.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon until 4 p.m., the event will have live music, food trucks, hot drinks, handmade goods, and local arts with over 30 vendor booths set up. The festivities will be at 776 Granby Street in Norfolk at the city’s gathering space, the Plot.

For more information, click here.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

The Norfolk Botanical Garden announced that while the walk-thru “Million Bulb Walk” is canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns, additional drive-thru nights have been added to Dominion Energy’s “Garden of Lights.”

Tickets for the annual holiday light show went on sale Thursday, Oct. 1. The drive-thru light event will be displayed nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, until Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.

For more information, click here.

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Join the city for the 35th Annual Grand Illumination of the skyline in Olde Towne Portsmouth Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. While the parade is currently canceled, the event lines up to begin shortly after Norfolk’s Grand Illumination. For additional information, click here.

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Festival of Lights

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department announced that while the 2020 Suffolk Holiday Parade is canceled due to the pandemic, residents can celebrate the holiday spirit at the inaugural Suffolk Festival of Lights.

There will be over 35,000 bulbs at Sleepy Hole Park located at 4616 Sleepy Hole Road. The free drive-thru holiday light display will be open November 20 at 5:30 p.m. through December 30 at 9:30 p.m. The display will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Read more here.

Virtual Holiday Grand Illumination

Suffolk will kick off the holiday season in a grand way with a virtual holiday tree illumination scheduled for this week.

On Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., tune in to the City of Suffolk YouTube channel to view the Grand Illumination as the city lights its 32-foot tree! Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson and a Hand Bell Choir performance will be live to celebrate the occasion.

Click here for more information.

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Virginia Beach

Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewing Co. will be hosting its 3rd Annual Grand Illumination event at the end of November. The free festivities will happen on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. at the Farmhouse located at 1805 Kempsville Road in Virginia Beach.

There will be live music, holiday décor, special beer releases, and even a chance to pick up your Christmas tree for this year!

Click here for more details.

JEB Little Creek-Fort Story – Military

Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story MWR will be hosting its annual Holiday Tree Lighting & Concert the first week of December for military and family.

The show kicks off Friday, Dec. 4 at the Gator Theater located at 3504 Gator Boulevard Building 3104. Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be an outdoor tree lighting ceremony and Santa’s arrival. Then, at 7:30 p.m., the U.S. Fleet Forces Band Holiday Concert begins in the auditorium.

For more information, click here.

Kampgrounds of America

KOA and TK Lighting Company brings the community a musical drive-thru called The Lights Of Christmas Virginia Beach. The show is open nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Nov. 13 through Dec. 31 at 101 KOA Lane in Virginia Beach (the entrance is off Prosperity Drive).

For admission information, click here.

Virginia Beach Oceanfront

The annual Bayport Credit Union Holiday Lights event is back at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. You can catch the light show from Friday, Nov. 13, until Jan. 3. It begins on 2nd Street and runs through 22nd Street, stretching about a mile long. You’ll have to purchase a ticket online ahead of time, which will be scanned on mobile devices to limit contact.

For prices and times, click here.

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Busch Gardens confirmed Wednesday that the amusement park will be increasing its capacity for the Williamsburg Christmas Celebration event that begins this week.

The special event will take place on select dates from Nov. 13 to Jan. 2, 2021, with eight of the park’s villages and 15 roller coasters open in addition to the Christmas lights and entertainment. The park’s train will also be open.

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Historic Yorktown is the place for friends, family, and neighbors to safely gather together to eat, shop, and create lasting memories this holiday season.

For the entire month of December, special traditions will fill the community. Everything from the Tree Lighting and Christmas Market on Main Street to programming like Christmastide in Virginia and Viking Yuletide.

Click here for a full list of events, dates, and times.

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This list will continue to be updated as we learn about more local ways to celebrate the holidays.

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