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Christmas In Colonial Williamsburg

Updated on April 4, 2014

Enjoy A Colonial Christmas

Experience Christmas the old fashioned way in historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Colonial Williamsburg is a great family destination any time of year, but it's best in December when the town's buildings are beautifully decorated for Christmas.

Along with enjoying the wonderful holiday decorations, you will also experience the rich history that Colonial Williamsburg is famous for.

Wreath by Tobyotter
Wreath by Tobyotter

Holiday Decorations at Colonial Williamsburg

One of the most popular winter activities in Colonial Williamsburg is walking through town to see the beautiful wreaths, swags and other holiday decorations.

You can walk around on your own or take a guided tour that explains the materials used, how they're made and the stories behind each wreath.

Fruit & Pine Cone Christmas Wreath by Tobyotter
Fruit & Pine Cone Christmas Wreath by Tobyotter

Did the colonists decorate this way for Christmas?

No. Christmas celebrations were very simple in colonial America, usually only marked by a special dinner. Decorating with wreaths and window candles at Christmas time started much later in America.

These traditions have been beautifully incorporated into life at Colonial Williamsburg. The wreaths and other decorations are all hand made using materials (fruit, shells, feathers, etc) that would have been available to the Virginia colonists.

Learn More About Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg - Books on Colonial Williamsburg decorations

Recommended Reading Before You Visit

Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg
Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg

A wealth of beautiful pictures and information about touring Colonial Williamsburg, this guide will help you plan your trip and relive the experience when you return home.

 

Have You Visited Colonial Williamsburg at Christmas Time?

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Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Visit

  • Be Prepared to Walk - There is a lot to see in Colonial Williamsburg, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Try to plan out your route in advance to minimize backtracking.
  • Dress for the Weather - Williamsburg in December is typically mild with highs in the 50s. Check the latest forecast with WeatherBug.
  • Research Special Offers - The official Colonial Williamsburg hotels usually offer package rates that include the exhibit admissions. Check the official site for details.
  • Make Dinner Reservations Early - Reservations fill up quickly for the on site restaurants.
  • Take At Least One Guided Walking Tour - They're very informative, fun and give you a deeper understanding of colonial life in Williamsburg. The guides are knowledgeable and able to answer any questions.
  • Check The Daily Events List - There are different events going on each day. These include court sessions, town meetings, famous speakers and demonstrations of colonial life. Catch one of Thomas Jefferson's speeches if possible. The daily events are published in the brochures available at the visitor center or you can check the online calendar.

Colonial Williamsburg Photo Credits

Except where otherwise noted, all Colonial Williamsburg photos are used under Creative Commons from their respective owners via Flickr. Owner info can be found by clicking on the photo to view their Flickr page.

Governor's Palace at Christmas copyright and used by permission of Mac33.

Wreath by Tobyotter, used under Creative Commons.

Fruit & Pine Cone Christmas Wreath by Tobyotter, used under Creative Commons.

Thanks for visiting!

Please share your thoughts of Colonial Williamsburg during the winter holidays.

Living History

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    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I've only been to Williamsburg in summer, and that was many years ago. I'd love to see the town lit up and decorated at Christmas time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've been to Colonial Williamsburg twice, but alas, neither time was during the holdiays. I would love to visit during Christmastime. Colonial Williamsburg is one of the most interesting places I've ever been.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      I used to visit Colonial Williamsburg as a child, but never went at Christmas time. Wonderful place.

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      Love Colonia Williamsburg. Been there many times and coming again soon. Your topic is more important than mine. Virginia Tomorrow.

    • profile image

      slotowngal 5 years ago

      Williamsburg is a family favorite vacation spot for us! We've been there in every season, including in December. Great advice about booking far ahead if you want to eat a holiday meal in one of the taverns; also book ahead if you want to stay at Colonial Williamsburg's hotels. There are many seasonal concerts featuring a wide variety of musical genres - definitely don't miss them! great lens, angel blessed.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      We've been there twice but never at Christmas. Maybe that's a good thing since it our favorite place to visit when we cross the country.

    • profile image

      ezpostcard 6 years ago

      must be a wonderful experience spending Christmas at Williamsburg. Thanks for sharing about this place and advance Merry Christmas!

    • profile image

      MySnellvilleBlog 6 years ago

      I've always wanted to visit but never have

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg must be fantastic! I've never been to Williamsburg, but my mother was an all-time fan. My folks retired to Florida from New York many years ago and for the next 15 years made annual pilgrimages back & forth between NY and FL (summering in NY - wintering in Florida). On EVERY trip, mom had to stop at Williamsburg! She never tired of it. It was her very favorite place. Guess it's time I made my own trip! Lensrolled to my Empty-Nester's Christmas Trip.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Very nice lens! Merry Christmas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Since Williamsburg is my hometown, I totally love this lens!! :)

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Nice! I would really love to go visit Williamsburg and experience the old-fashioned Christmas. I will share this lens to my family and propose that we visit this place.

      Thanks for all the information and tips you've shared. Hope you could visit my lenses as well.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I love Williamsburg and this lens was a good reminder that I need to go again.

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Great lens. Colonial Williamsburg is on our to do list. Thank-you for all the info and tips.

    • profile image

      slotowngal 8 years ago

      Thank you so much! Our family is spending Christmas at Williamsburg this year. We can't wait to enjoy an old fashioned holiday away from the usual busyness.

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      i enjoyed lookind at all the Xmas decorations pictures.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      wonderful lens and decorations. Seems I had a pretty idea for my Christmas deco now. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have been coming faithfully each year since moving to Virginia in 2001. It is amazing the originality produced year after year. Somehow, it doesn't feel like the Holidays until my visit and the whole feeling of Williamsburg steps you out of the hectic pace of TODAY, and takes you back to a slower pace of life. Everyone seems happier and friendlier, too!

    • NicholeB LM profile image

      NicholeB LM 9 years ago

      What a beautiful lens! Oodles of stars for you!