Virginia Beach Area Activities and Events to Celebrate the Holiday Season


christmas at the beach 

Virginia Beach and surrounding communities are host to numerous holiday events and activities for the entire family. Go on a drive along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk under twinkling festive lights, make a drive to Colonial Williamsburg for a historic celebration, or join thousands of others on a Santa Run. Plan your holiday vacation in Virginia Beach and swap snow for sand.

Holiday Lights at the Beach

November 22 - December 31, 2019

Sunday - Thursday: 5:30 - 10 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 5:30 - 10 p.m.

BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights Merry Mile starts November 22 along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk kicking off the season with vibrant and colorful lights. This drive-through light show features festive beach-themed lighting complete with fish, musical crabs, and nautical decor. You’ll also get to hang out with Santa and his elves and visit the 40-foot-tall Christmas tree right on the beach.

Holiday Parade at the Beach

December 7, 5:30 - 9 p.m.

Head to Atlantic Avenue for the Holiday Parade at the Beach on December 7, 2019. Watch as nearly 100 different floats make their way between 15th Street and 25th Street, including massive balloons, motorcycles, fire trucks, performance groups, marching bands, animals, and, of course, Santa Claus. This event is free to attend and is great for all ages!

Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler and Rudolph's 1 Mile

December 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Get in the holiday spirit at the Surf-n-Santa 5-Miler race where you get to run through the festive Holiday Lights Merry Mile once the sun has gone down. This race starts at 4:30 p.m., and the course is flat and fast along the oceanfront. Stay for the post-race party where all of the participants over 21 years old gets a Samuel Adams beer and soup. The kiddos can also get in on the fun at the 1k, and all the kids will get a light-up Rudolph nose.

In 2016, participants broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Santa Claus Run.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Located about an hour away, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg puts on one of the largest Christmas light displays in the U.S. It’s worth the drive! Christmas Town features more than 10 million lights throughout the park, regularly scheduled holiday shows, and a holiday train. Meet Rudolph and his closest friends at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland.

The Sandler Center

Throughout the Holiday Season

The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of holiday events starting November 29, 2019. You can see a classic performance of the Nutcracker, a Motown Christmas, Jingle Bell Jam, Holiday Pops!, and more. The Nutcracker is performed by the Moscow Ballet and Ballet Virginia throughout the holiday season.

38th Annual Virginia Beach Christmas Market

November 29 - December 1, 2019

Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m, Sunday 1 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Virginia Beach Christmas Market is the place to go for gifts for the entire family. Located at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, this show features more than 250 fine artists and crafters from all over the country. Pick up pottery, jewelry, wood working, toys, photography, stained glass, and more. Whether you’re shopping for gifts or for Christmas decor for your home, you’ll find it here. This market has received numerous accolades over the years, including the rank among the Top 100 Best Classic and Contemporary Craft Shows in the U.S.

Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination

December 8, 2019

On December 8, the Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg is a massive display of fireworks and performances honoring the 18th century way of celebrating major events. This unique day starts with decorations throughout the Historical Area, and also features musical performances and an ending fireworks display from the Capitol, the Magazine, and the Palace.

Plan Your Winter Getaway in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is the perfect place to plan your holiday getaway. Escape the cold and head to the beach this winter with the family. All of our Virginia Beach vacation rentals are located in Sandbridge, which is a small coastal community with pristine beaches in a secluded setting.

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