Twinkling holiday light displays open this week in Hampton Roads

Hannah Ruhoff/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS

While remnants of Halloween jack-o-lanterns are still being cleared from porches, sleigh bells are already beginning to ring across Hampton Roads.

Twinkling holiday lights will be strung up in Norfolk and Williamsburg this week, kicking off six weeks of holiday celebration leading up to the new year. Three Hampton Roads light displays opening this week are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Winterfest on the Wisconsin

The Nauticus’ Winterfest on the Wisconsin kicks off 7 p.m. Wednesday for its third annual holiday display. The historic battleship will light up downtown Norfolk’s waterfront with more than a million twinkling lights Wednesdays through Sundays until Jan. 1.

Guests will be able to marvel at the enchanting lights as they explore the Wisconsin. The event will also feature tree lighting ceremony on the fantail of the battleship each night.

For an additional fee, guests can also enjoy hot chocolate and cookies with “Captain Claus” in the Wardroom at select times Friday through Sunday during November. Nauticus will also host community nights onboard the battleship throughout November, with discounted tickets for military members and veterans, first responders and Norfolk city employees.

Visit the WinterFest website for more information.

Garden of Lights

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens will host its annual Garden of Lights beginning 5 p.m. Friday. Hosted in partnership with Dominion Energy, the light display will be open nightly from 5-9 p.m. through Jan. 1.

The “garden aglow” spans approximately 175 acres and 60 holiday-themed dazzling gardens.

Those interested in visiting the gardens are encouraged to reserve tickets online. Limited walk-up tickets will be available with an additional fee. The garden is located at 6700 Azalea Garden Road in Norfolk.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens will be transformed into “Christmas Town” beginning Friday. With over 10 million twinkling lights, it is one of the largest holiday displays in North America.

Park attractions to ensure everyone is in the holiday spirit will include Santa’s workshop, a fireside feast, holiday shows and live music.

Visit the Busch Gardens Christmas Town event page for ticket pricing. The theme park is located at 1 Busch Gardens Boulevard in Williamsburg.

Check the Daily Break the week of Nov. 21 for more holiday events.

Caitlyn Burchett,