Williamsburg, Virginia, is rich in American history, making it an intriguing place for visitors year-round. The Williamsburg Christmas Market adds an extra layer of charm to this already attractive destination.
In this guide, I’ll provide all the essential details for your 2023 visit, including confirmed dates, opening times, locations and what to look out for in terms of local specialties.
Christmas in Williamsburg is noted for its historical backdrop, where modern celebrations intersect with historic traditions.
Williamsburg Christmas Market 2023
The blend of European village atmosphere and local culture sets apart the Christmas market in Williamsburg.
Located on Court Street, adjacent to Bicentennial Park and behind the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, the market features 32 wooden chalets showcasing an array of goods.
In addition to shopping, you can enjoy photo opportunities with Santa, live entertainment, gluhwein, craft beers, Christmas music, and fire pits.
Local restaurants also provide a variety of market food, making for a comprehensive holiday experience.
Dates and Location
Williamsburg Christmas Market dates: Thursday to Sunday: 24th November to 23rd December 2023.
Location: Bicentennial Park.
Opening times: Thursday: 11am to 6pm. Friday: 11am to 7pm. Saturday: 10am to 7pm. Sunday: 11am to 6pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Santa: Yes, Santa is available for photos.
Ice skating: No, but you can skate nearby at Liberty Ice Pavilion.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, but plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Local artisan crafts; unique colonial atmosphere; festive food indulgence; enchanting carriage rides; quintessentially Williamsburg Christmas spirit.
Recommended tour: Christmas walking tour.
Specialities: Spiced gingerbread; hot cider; roasted chestnuts; colonial-inspired recipes; traditional Virginia ham.
Where to stay: Williamsburg Inn is a highly-rated hotel, not far from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Williamsburg Christmas Market
Staying near Bicentennial Park gives you easy access to the Christmas market and other seasonal attractions. The area is well-connected, allowing you to explore Williamsburg without hassle.
For a comfortable stay in a convenient location, I recommend the Williamsburg Inn, situated close to the market.
Location of Williamsburg Christmas Market
Christmas in Williamsburg
This video will give you an introduction to the Christmas market in Williamsburg.
To broaden your Christmas market experience beyond Williamsburg, I recommend exploring my guide to the best Christmas markets in the United States, a handy resource to plan the festive part of your trip.
Christmas Specialties in Williamsburg
Gluhwein: The Williamsburg Christmas Market serves warm, spiced wine that originates from Germany. It is a seasonal special that combines red wine with various spices like cinnamon and cloves. It’s a favourite for keeping warm while exploring the market.
Craft Beers: Local breweries contribute to the market with their unique beers. Ranging from light to dark, these are excellent for both casual sips and deeper exploration into American craft beer culture.
Roasted Chestnuts: A staple in Christmas markets, vendors roast chestnuts. They fill the air with their nutty aroma and offer a warm, simple snack ideal for winter.
Gingerbread Cookies: Another classic, gingerbread cookies are available in various shapes and sizes. Often adorned with festive decorations, they make for both a tasty treat and a delightful gift.
Hot Chocolate: Expect creamy hot chocolate stands dotted around the market. They serve it traditionally, and it’s perfect for children or those who prefer non-alcoholic hot drinks.
Apple Cider: A beloved American classic, the apple cider here is often served hot. It’s made from freshly pressed apples and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Local Restaurant Fare: Dishes from local restaurants are also on offer, giving you a chance to sample the regional cuisine. It’s a good way to try a variety of foods without committing to a full restaurant visit.
Smoked Sausages: Several stalls serve smoked sausages, grilled to perfection. These often come in a bun with a choice of condiments like mustard and sauerkraut.
Pretzels: This German classic also makes an appearance. Usually offered with various dips, pretzels provide a filling and satisfying snack.
Seasonal Pastries: Alongside the regular bakery items, look out for seasonal pastries that make a one-time appearance for Christmas. These range from fruit-filled tarts to nut-studded pies.
Assorted Nuts: Various stalls have a selection of nuts, often candied or spiced. They’re convenient for munching while you wander around the market.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Colonial Replicas: Miniature cannons, tricorn hats, and porcelain dolls dressed in period costumes are among the colonial replicas you’ll find. Vendors focus on accuracy and often provide information about the historical significance of each item. Great for history enthusiasts.
Quilts: Hand-stitched and highly detailed, these quilts are made by local artisans. They often feature intricate designs and natural materials, making them both a practical and beautiful gift.
Handcrafted Wooden Toys: Traditional wooden toys are available, often carved by local craftsmen. They range from simple blocks to intricate puzzles and make for enduring, meaningful gifts for children.
Christmas Ornaments: Ornaments here range from the traditional to the locally inspired. Themes often include colonial figures, local flora and fauna, and iconic Williamsburg landmarks.
Specialty Teas: A nod to the colonial past, a few vendors offer specialty teas. They include blends known for their historical significance as well as modern infusions.
Spices and Herbs: Packed in small jars or sachets, local spices and herbs make for practical stocking fillers. They’re ideal for anyone looking to add some flavour to their kitchen.
Fine Chocolates: Handmade chocolates are a delight for the senses. At Williamsburg Christmas Market, they come in assorted boxes or individually, allowing you to sample or gift a variety of flavours.
Antique Maps and Prints: For the history buff, there are stalls that sell antique maps and prints of Williamsburg and its environs. They offer a tangible connection to the past, often complete with historical annotations.
Cookbooks: Regional cookbooks offer an array of traditional and modern recipes. Authored by local chefs or culinary historians, they make an excellent gift for the food enthusiast in your life.
Visit Williamsburg is an invaluable tool for navigating Williamsburg, as it provides a wealth of information for visitors, including tips, events, and detailed local insights to help enhance your stay.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Williamsburg at Christmas.
Choose Accommodations with Renewable Energy: Williamsburg is home to many eco-friendly hotels, like the Williamsburg Inn, that utilises renewable energy sources. By opting to stay at these places, you’re actively supporting the shift towards cleaner energy solutions.
Reduce Food Waste: When visiting the Christmas market, consider ordering smaller portions to ensure you can finish your meal.
Support Ethical Consumption: Seek out local artisans at the Christmas market for your holiday shopping. By purchasing locally made products, like the colonial handicrafts or Williamsburg soaps and candles, you’re supporting the local economy and reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance shipping.
Opt for a Sustainable Diet: Try the vegetarian options available at the Christmas market food chalets. Dishes like Virginia Peanut Soup and roasted chestnuts are not only delicious but also require fewer resources to produce than meat-based options.
Use Sustainable Transport: Williamsburg is a compact and pedestrian-friendly city. Opt to explore on foot or by bicycle, both excellent sustainable alternatives to car travel. If you need to travel longer distances, consider using the local bus system, which provides comprehensive coverage of the city.
The Williamsburg Christmas Market 2023 dates are Thursday to Sunday: 24th November to 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas market takes place in the historic city centre of Williamsburg, Virginia. You’ll find the market on Court Street, adjacent to Bicentennial Park and behind the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
The Williamsburg Christmas Market opening times are Thursday: 11am to 6pm. Friday: 11am to 7pm. Saturday: 10am to 7pm. Sunday: 11am to 6pm.
Yes, many of the historic sites in Williamsburg remain open during the winter months. This includes the Colonial Williamsburg area, where you can experience the city as it was in the 18th century.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Williamsburg, VA, United States. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.