“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” And Busch Gardens Christmas Town is twinkling with lights and holiday cheer. Now through January 8, 2023 the park has been transformed in to a winter wonderland. In addition to the usual roller coasters and rides; guests are treated to spectacular seasonal shows, live holiday music, festive foods and over 10 million sparkling lights.
The holiday’s are always an extra special time of year. The kids are off from school, and everyone is taking off work to enjoy extra quality time. The stress of everyday life seem to melt away as we bond over traditions. Things like baking cookies, cuddling on the couch while watching Christmas movies and making special visits to see relatives become priority. It’s the perfect time to take a winter weekend getaway. Our family has visited Christmas town as a holiday tradition for the past 10 years. Christmas Town is our favorite place to visit to get into the holiday spirit. Through our years of experience, I hope to share some helpful tips and reasons for why you won’t want to miss a trip to Williamsburg this year!
THINGS TO SEE & DO
CHRISTMAS TOWN EXPRESS: – All Aboard! This is the Christmas Express! Riding the train around the park is always fun for kids. However, it’s even more exciting during Christmas time! Enjoy the view of over a million Christmas Lights on display as you ride around the park listening to holiday music. During normal season the train is a mode of transportation around the park. However, during the holidays the train ride takes you on a trip around the park departing and arriving in New France.
DAS FEST HAUS– Germany is one of our favorites spots. Before entering Das Fest Haus be sure to stop and admire the spectacular light show O’ Tannenbaum. This majestic 50-foot Christmas tree changes colors and dances to holiday music. It’s also the perfect spot to snap a family photo. Be sure to come hungry when you get to Das Fest Haus. Grab some festive food and watch the show “Up on the Haustop” as you refuel! This years show is upbeat and full of modern-day Christmas classics that everyone will want to sing along with.
CATCH A SHOW- There are so many amazing shows available at Christmas town. This year the following shows are available this season: “Scrooge No More!” at the Globe Theater, “Celtic Fyre: Christmas Celebration” at the Royal Palace, “Up On the Haustop” at Das Fest Haus and “O’Tannenbaum” at Fest Haus Plaza, “Onto Us” in Italy, “Twas That Night” ice skating show in France. All the shows at Busch Gardens are amazing! There are so many shows to see it is hard to fit them all into one day. We usually pick 2-3 performances to see, that way we still have time for rides.
LEAVE TIME FOR RIDES- I’m always amazed at all the rides that are open during Christmas Town. My boys love spending a great bit of time in Sesame Street Forest of Fun. In this section is a great kids coaster called Grover’s Alpine Express. Thrill seekers daring to defy gravity will enjoy riding the rollercoaster Tempesto or the InvadR. For rides that young children can ride alone be sure to visit Italy and check out Davinci’s Little Glider and Little Balloons. The Kinder Karussel (carousel) and Der Autobahn (bumper cars) in Germany are always another big hit.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE- There’s more than lights, rides and shows at Christmas Town though. There are a lot of really cool shops and believe it or not the food options are pretty amazing too. Your options include; Dickens Tavern in England, Ireland’s Grogan Grill, Trappers Smoke House which smells heavenly as you walk through New France, Das Festhaus where you can watch Deck The Halls while you eat, Dashers Diner in Holiday Hills or Marco Polo’s Market Place where you can watch Gift of Harmony while enjoying a warm meal.
NEW THIS YEAR- Santa’s Fireside Feast presented by Coca-Cola is new this year. Gather around the majestic castle as Santa recounts a classic Christmas story as elves prepare a scrumptious all-you-care-to-eat meal and Mrs. Claus dazzles the dining room with holiday cheer. Also New is Father Christmas. Snap a photo with Father Christmas in England’s Kidsington Palace.
- Tickets- Consider purchasing a “Bounce Pass” which will allow you to bounce between Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens Christmas Town for three days. Keep in mind you still have to pay for parking. Be on the look out Groupon sometimes has discounts. Busch Gardens also offers specials so check in on their site frequently.
- Rides– I love that when you enter the park you can have your child’s height checked. The park lists all the rides they can go on independently or with a chaperone. Use the skyline as fast transportation around the park. Be sure to take the Skyline ride at night so you can see the holiday lights twinkling from above! See the Busch Gardens site for a full list of seasonal rides and a park map
- Shows– Seeing a show is a great way to keep the kids entertained while staying warm.
- Dining– The price range for food and beverage are typical for an amusement park. One thing to keep in mind is that you can purchase refillable cups for fountain drinks and even hot cocoa. Since Busch Gardens is a family friendly park they do allow Snacks from outside the park. We usually pack a few water bottles and snacks for the kids but enjoy dinner at one of the dining halls.
- Festive Feasting– In addition to the traditional food offered at Busch Gardens Christmas Town such as the Santa’s Fireside Feast and Trappers Smokehouse there are also food trucks scattered throughout the park this year. There’s a amazing truck near the entrance to the Lochness Monster. We got Firecracker Shrimp and Parmesan Truffle Fries which were heavenly. And there was no line the day we went!
- Lights– Take time to view the lights displays around the park; be sure to stroll through the “cascade” of lights down the Polar Pathway and Peace on Earth display as you cross the bridge that leads from German to Italy.
- Dress for the weather– I think one of my biggest pieces of advice is to dress in layers. We usually dress the boys in layered warm clothing with a coat, hat and gloves. A few shows and Das Festhaus are indoors, mostly everything is outdoors. Most years when we’ve been it is deceivingly warmer during the day but drops in temperature drastically at night. There are warming stations that you can keep an eye out for too! We’ve gone during heat waves where it feels like spring and other years it feels like visiting the north pole. If you go on a colder day, consider bringing hot hands heat packs for your pockets and a extra blanket for the little one in the stroller.
- Stroller– You can bring your own stroller with you; as there are plenty of places to park and ride. However, if you don’t want to hassle with loading a stroller on the train or skyline you can rent a stroller. This way you can park the rented stroller in the designated spots and grab a new one in the next area. They are inexpensive and fit two kids, plus your gear! Since there is a lot of heavy walking you will find little ones can get tired.
- Read The Playful Parents Guide: Everything you need to know about visiting Busch Gardens with kids
Dates: Select dates November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Hours: Vary by day check BG Calendar
Address: 1 Busch Gardens Boulevard, Williamsburg, VA 23185
***The Playful Parent does not receive payment for featuring attractions. All opinions are my own; I like to share experiences and information so that parents have resources on fun family outings. Discounted or complimentary tickets are an advantage but not a requirement. The Playful Parent is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates learning through play and promotes family bonding, all information and photographs are intellectual property of TPP. I hope that these tips help with your planning so that you have a great time during your next Busch Gardens Williamsburg Visit! Thank you for reading…Play, Learn, Grow!***