Take in winter festivities at Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens

From holiday performances and light shows to rides, Rudolph and Santa, “Christmas Town” offers joy for family members of all ages.

Courtesy of Busch Gardens

Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens, named the world’s most beautiful theme park by the National Amusement Park Historical Association, sports more than 8 million twinkling lights this time of year as part of their annual “Christmas Town” celebration.

Should you wish to venture out and visit North America’s largest light display before it closes on Jan. 1ticket prices vary—here’s what you need to know about its signature attractions.

Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland
New to Christmas Town this year is Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, where families can meet the famous red-nosed reindeer alongside his friends Clarice, Bumble (The Abominable Snowman) and Yukon Cornelius.  In addition to a photo op, guests can enjoy a screening of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer enhanced by special effects, hot chocolate and cinnamon buns. And where there are reindeer, a sleigh helmed by Father Christmas can’t be far behind.

The Polar Pathway
Busch Gardens’ “Escape From Pompeii” ride transforms into a dream-like castle dripping with lights. Icy waterfalls cascade from the palace before leading guests into the “Polar Pathway,” a twinkling, tree-lined path with balsam aromas and a river of lights.

Courtesy of Busch Gardens

Santa’s Workshop
What usually serves as Busch Gardens’s “Curse of DarKastle” ride will now serve as Santa’s Workshop, an upgrade to his previous meet-and-greet venue. Here, little ones can take pictures with Santa and drop off their wish lists.

This year’s Christmastown features five live performances and a light show called “O’ Tannenbaum” at their 50-foot Christmas tree. “Gift of Harmony,” mixes traditional Christmas songs with today’s favorites in an a cappella show while Christmas past, present and future find life in “Scrooge No More!” Other shows include “‘Twas That Night,” an ice-show designed with the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas in mind, the musical “Deck the Halls” and “Gloria!” which tells the story of the first Christmas takes place in Ireland’s Abbey Stone Theater.

Most of Busch Gardens’s rides remain open for Christmas town, with options for thrill-seekers and smaller guests alike. Verbolten, an indoor-outdoor roller coaster, and the new wooden InvadR roller coaster will remain open (weather permitting) for older adrenaline junkies, while those looking for a more relaxing ride can take in 80-foot views of the park’s lights via Skyride. Some kid-friendly selections include The Little Balloons, The Little Gliders, Reindeer Run and more.