The Most Wonderful Time of the Year in Williamsburg

newtonzimmermanby Dakota Newton, Class of 2018, and Liesel Zimmerman, Class of 2018

For most of the year, Williamsburg, VA is just a nice place to live. During the holidays, it is magical! Though finals inevitably keep students busy for most of the month of December, Williamsburg sure knows how to make our spirits merry and bright! It’s a balmy 65 degrees, yet the entirety of Colonial Williamsburg is trimmed with evergreen garland and old-fashioned fruit wreaths, and at night every window glows with candlelight. Colonial residents eagerly welcome visitors and share their holiday customs, creating an appreciation for new and old traditions.

christmas carolThe shops and restaurants on Duke of Gloucester Street and Merchant’s Square are filled with the endless bustle of cheerful Christmas shoppers. There are caroling groups and live music provided by the undergraduate W&M music students. A local theatre group has a clever stage-in-a-trailer from which they perform a two-person show of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” throughout December.

New this year is “Liberty’s Ice Pavillion,” located near the William and Mary Bookstore. You can rent a pair of skates and glide around the ice rink, and just after dark you can enjoy the strings of  shining lights overhead as you skate. Best of all, all of these attractions are within walking distance from the Law School, so students can take much-needed study breaks.

The shops at Merchant’s Square stay open late, so you can sneak into Wythe’s Candy Shop and grab a well-deserved treat. Or you can just stroll through the old colonial settlement and enjoy the lights with friends. On Saturdays, there is a wonderful farmer’s market in the morning with vendors from all over the Hampton Roads area.

grand illuminationThe holiday season kicks off with the Williamsburg Christmas Parade and the amazing fireworks display of the Grand Illumination, Hundreds gather in Colonial Williamsburg to see the Governor’s Palace light up in the legendary pyrotechnic show.

At any time of year, visitors to the Yankee Candle Flagship Store can enjoy the Yankee Holiday Park, where it snows every four minutes! People can browse through the selection of hundreds of ornaments and decorations while a night sky twinkles above them. In the middle of the room a bridge crosses over an iced-over pond, and lighted Christmas trees surround the landscape, making it the perfect location for a Christmas card photo!

Just a short drive from campus is Busch Gardens, which transforms into Christmas Town each December. Carolers sing for guests and fill the air with Christmas cheer. Dozens and dozens of Christmas trees shine brilliantly in the night, creating a true winter wonderland as visitors get to go from ride to ride. Patrons can even visit the North Pole and see Jolly Old Saint Nick himself. It’s a wonderful opportunity for law students to get out of the library and experience a bit of Christmas magic.

Though Williamsburg has indescribable charm year-round, there is just something about the holidays here that truly makes it the most wonderful time of the year!

To learn more about our student bloggers, click here.