Though Christmas has come and gone, there are numerous opportunities for families in the Fredericksburg area to make the most of holiday fun, whether by viewing brilliant light displays, visiting immersive holiday villages or even warding off zombies. See a full list of post-holiday activities below:
Kings Dominion’s WinterFest, which includes the festive transformation of the Eiffel Tower, family activities and artisan village, will remain open past Christmas Day. After Dec. 26, the park will be open from 4-10 p.m. The festival will last through Jan. 1.
“The second guests walk through the gates for WinterFest they are completely immersed into the holiday season,” said Maggie Sellers, Kings Dominion public relations manager. “Guests are greeted by a stunning view of the park’s iconic Eiffel Tower, which has been converted into a 300-foot tall Christmas tree, millions of lights, holiday activities and dozens of shows. Some can’t-miss experiences include ice skating on the park’s fountain, which has been transformed into a 22,000-square-foot ice rink, and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus in her kitchen.”
A New Year’s Eve party is set for Dec. 31, which will feature a balloon drop and early countdowns for kids, dance parties and a celebratory fireworks show at midnight.
Busch Gardens’ annual spectacular Christmas Town has more than 10 million lights on display, live shows that include musicals and figure skating, rides and roller coasters and chances for people young and old to visit Santa Claus and Rudolph.
The iconic holiday festival, established in 2009 according to Cindy Sarko, communications lead for Busch Gardens Williamsburg, lasts until Jan. 5.
“A Christmas Town experience is personal for each of guest,” Sarko said. “Some love sharing the beauty of the park with family and friends or one of the many holiday menus while enjoying a show or riding attractions during the winter months. One constant comment from guests is that Christmas Town is their place to create holiday memories and start new traditions.”
Magical light displays and happy memories are close to home at the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. The Illuminate Light Show is happening through Dec. 31.
The drive-in light show can be viewed from inside one’s vehicle. The 1 million lights on display synchronize to music.
At the end of the display, visitors have a chance to shop for numerous holiday items and gifts at Santa’s Village, which has moved to a new location at Amazing Farm Bureau Center.
Families are only a short drive away from dazzling holiday lights and brilliant designs at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens’ Winter Walk of Lights in Vienna.
The half-mile trail, accessed on foot, is illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights. The asphalt-paved trail is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
Better put on those hiking shoes sooner rather than later. The brilliant displays will only last until Jan. 5.
In Richmond, Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden promises brilliant displays and walkways to last through Jan. 6. This year’s theme, “Magic in the Air,” celebrates all things that fly.
Beth Monroe, the garden’s public relations and marketing director, recommended that people arrive early, as this is often one of the busiest times of the season.
“People can come to GardenFest as early as 4 p.m. and we recommend it,” she said. “That’s also a great time to watch the sun set and the lights start to twinkle.”
Because traffic decreases after 8:30 p.m., Monroe said people can also get great views from 8:30 p.m. to the show’s closing time at 10 p.m.
A special New Year’s Eve Family Frolic is set to include a parade and live music.
A unique and visually stunning exhibit, based on the aurora borealis or northern lights, is now on display at Artechouse in Washington, D.C., until Jan. 5.
The exhibit, “AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights,” blends art and technology and brings visitors into a series of rooms where they enter a winter world that includes forests, cave and reindeer.
With an expansive Christmas maze, a Christmas market and ice skating trail with brilliant lights at every turn, there is no shortage of exciting activities to try at Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
This year is the first that Enchant Christmas, running until Dec. 29, has been featured in D.C.
“After overwhelmingly popular events in Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, Canada; and Dallas, Texas, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Nationals and to bring Enchant Christmas to Washington, D.C. This is our first event on the East Coast, and we are thrilled to introduce the larger-than-life display to the community,” said Kevin Johnston, founder of Enchant Christmas. “Enchant is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience ... the lights, the sounds, the entertainment, the entire experience aims to wrap people in the holiday spirit. Every year I look forward to the awestruck faces as guests walk toward the maze for the first time. It is hard not to crack a smile when you see young and old in wonder—and that is what Enchant is all about.”
ZooLights is a free event that is never one to miss. The event takes place nightly at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., sans Dec. 31, until Jan. 1.
A new feature of ZooLights this year are animal lanterns, bringing additional magic and guiding the path with beautiful lighting.
What could seem so diametrically opposed to the twinkling lights and cozy fireplaces associated with the holiday season than a zombie invasion and paintball?
Yet that’s exactly the mission of Zombie Escape, a thrilling and interactive experience at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg.
This holiday-themed Zombie Escape enables visitors to work in teams and shoot paintballs to ward off zombie elves, who are dead set on reaching Santa Claus.