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HOLIDAY LIGHTS & PARADES

Million Bulb Walk

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Through December 14

4-9 PM Nightly

www.NBGholidays.org 

 

Olde Towne Holiday Open House & Crafters’ Market

Portsmouth Cultural Center/High Street

November 22

www.portsvaevents.com 

 

34th Annual Grand Illumination Parade

Downtown Norfolk

Saturday, November 23

www.holidaysinthecity.net 

 

Holiday Lights Merry Mile

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

November 22 through December 31

www.LiveOnTheAtlantic.com  

 

5th Annual Yule Log Bonfire & Christmas Market

December 7, Noon to 8 PM

Town Point Park

www.festevents.org 

 

Ghent Holiday Tree Lighting & Caroling

December 6, 6:30 PM

Blair Middle School/Colley Ave.

www.ghentnorfolk.org 

 

Dominion Garden of Lights

Norfolk Botanical Garden

December 15-31

5:30-10 PM Nightly

www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org 

 

Holiday Parade at The Beach

December 7

15th to 25th Street on Atlantic Avenue

5:30 PM

www.liveonatlantic.com 

 

Downtown Hampton Lighted Boat Parade

December 7, 6-9 PM

Downtown Hampton Waterfront

www.downtownhampton.com

 

Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination

December 8, 3-7:30 PM

www.colonialwilliamsburg.com 

 

Barks & Bulbs

Norfolk Botanical Garden

January 3-4

www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org 

 

HOLIDAY CHILDREN/FAMILY

 

Dickens Christmas Towne

November 23 through December 31

Nauticus/Half Moone Cruise Terminal

www.dickenschristmastowne.com 

New entertainment highlights this holiday season. Gingerbread men walk, nutcrackers talk, and a juggling “jack-in-the-box” will have you jumping out of your seat!  Magic and acrobatics are all part of the show – welcome to Fergus & Foggs’ Toy Emporium!

An eccentric inventor has created the most amazing vehicles your family has ever seen.  Fantastical cars. A flying bike. Even an airship. This season Dickens’ Christmas Towne proudly presents the wondrously extraordinary inventions of Professor Martin Picklepants. RANDY THE PLAIN-NOSED REINDEER makes his Dickens’ Christmas Towne debut, and he’s got plenty to say.

 

Winter Wonderland: Coleman Collection

November 23 through December 31

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

All the magical moving figures and holiday music once a tradition at Coleman’s Nursery and preserved and presented in a warm setting.   

 

A Magical Cirque Christmas

November 30

Ferguson Center

www.fergusoncenter.org

The producers of Broadway’s smash hit “The Illusionists” have brought together the world’s greatest entertainers for a spellbinding and incredible new holiday production – A Magical Cirque Christmas.

 

“Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Presented by Virginia Rep on Tour

November 30

The American Theatre

www.theamericantheatre.org

Kick off the holidays with the charming musical adaptation of Clement Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”

It’s 1823 and Moore, along with a jubilant cast of characters, comes to life as he struggles to write a Christmas poem. Eventually, the loving and joyous images he conjures inspire the famous poem’s creation. Jolly Santa, reindeer on the roof, dancing sugarplums and other colorful characters bring this delightful story to the stage for a new generation. What better way to celebrate the season than with the giddy anticipation of Christmas morning?

 

Christmas at the Sandler Center

Presented by Virginia Voices International

December 5

Sandler Center

www.sandlercenter.org

This production will include fun-filled Christmas tunes, Christmas carols, the Elf on the Shelf, dancers, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a 60-voice choir, a nativity scene and much more. This Christmas show will be one to remember.

 

“A Storyland Christmas”

Presented by Masterworks

December 6

Harrison Opera House

www.sevenvenues.com

Back by popular demand, Masterworks is presenting “A Storyland Christmas” for the ninth year. Familiar nursery rhyme and storybook characters must deal with the constant negativity from “The Crooked Man” (Mayor Miserly) who despises Holiday Cheer. Join Old Mother Hubbard and her children as they journey from the Storybook Village, to the Sweet Shop & all the way to the Toy Shop on a delightful adventure to show Mayor Miserly the wonders of Christmas.

 

Hurrah for the Holidays

December 13-15

TCC Roper Center

www.hurrahplayers.com

Guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit is the annual production of Hurrah for the Holidays; a joyful celebration featuring all the best of the season – music ranging from your favorite classic standards to popular modern day hits. With renowned Lisa Wallace kick-line dancers, a 6 foot dancing snowman, and a few festive surprises – it’s an event for the entire family.

 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Presented by Hurrah Players

December 14

TCC Roper Center

www.hurrahplayers.com

Based on the popular book by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the funny, heartwarming, and mildly irreverent story of what happens when a church play is hijacked by six of the ‘absolutely worst kids in the history of the world’. A holiday tradition for 28 years, this event is presented with Happy Hanukkah, My Friend; a short program celebrating the Festival of Lights. Sharon D. Cook of Norfolk returns as Guest Director for this production.

 

“Too Many Santas”

Presented by Children’s Theater of Hampton Roads

December 14

Zeiders American Dream Theatre

www.thez.org 

Join CTHR this December for a brand-new holiday production! Help Wanted: ‘The United Nicks’ is looking for a creative, hardworking, and fun-loving individual to be a part of their Holiday Team.

 

HOLIDAY THEATER & DANCE

 

“A Grand Night for Singing”

Presented by Virginia Musical Theatre

November 22-24

Sandler Center

www.sandlercenter.org

Considered by musical theatre historians to be the greatest musical theatre writers of the 20 th century, A Grand Night for Singing is an elegant, tuneful and funny revue of familiar and not so familiar numbers from the Rodgers & Hammerstein repertoire. Five amazing singer/dancers will pay homage to the R&H songbook with such standards as “This Nearly Was Mine,” “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” “Some Enchanted Evening”, and “Hello, Young Lovers,” to name just a few of the familiar and hummable melodies that will be presented with a live orchestra. Running the gamut from emotionally thrilling to comedic, this production is sure to be A Grand Night for Singing. Directed by Lindsay Eure.

 

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

November 29

3 PM & 7 PM

Sandler Center

www.sandlercenter.org

This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. 

 

“A Christmas Carol”

Presented by Virginia Stage Company

November 29 through December 22

www.vastage.org

Virginia Stage’s most popular production continues its tradition at the Wells Theatre. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey through time with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future as he learns about redemption, kindness, and compassion. Filled with music and mirth, this timeless play is recommended for all ages and is fun for the whole family to enjoy.

 

Black Nativity”

December 5-8

Norfolk State University Theatre

www.nsutheatre.com 

This award-winning, roof-raising, gospel infused, soulful musical recounts the birth of Christ and is NSU Theatre Company’s holiday gift to Hampton Roads. Ring in the holiday right with this amazing cast of actors, singers, dancers and more.

 

“The Nutcracker”

Presented by Richmond Ballet

December 6-8

Chrysler Hall

www.sevenvenues.com

Tchaikovsky’s brilliant ballet score comes to life for this magical collaboration between Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Heralded as “perfect” by The New York Times, Stoner Winslett’s The Nutcracker returns to Chrysler Hall for the 7th consecutive year. From a battle beneath the branches of a mystical Christmas tree, to a winter white forest, and then off to a far-off kingdom of delectable sweets, this dazzling production is sure to bring joy to everyone’s December.

 

“Holidivas: A Holiday Cabaret”

December 12-15

Zeiders American Dream Theatre

www.thez.org

This will be the fifth annual HOLIDIVAS cabaret at The Z. This show is tailored to the performers and features a diverse selection of holiday music for a heartwarming yet hilarious evening with plenty of nostalgia. Directed by Lindsay Eure. 

 

“The Santaland Diaries”

Presented by Virginia Stage Company

December 12-21

Wells Theatre

www.vastage.org

This irreverent holiday comedy returns to Virginia Stage for its third go-round on the Wells Theatre stage. Based on the memoir of award-winning comedic author David Sedaris, this one-man show recounts his days as a struggling writer working to make ends meet as one Santa’s Elves at Macy’s Department Store. Drunken Santas, flirtatious actors, and aggressive parents abound. 

 

“The Nutcracker”

Presented by Ballet Virginia International

December 20-22

Sandler Center

www.sandlercenter.org

Join Ballet Virginia for “The Nutcracker” and experience the beauty and wonder of this breathtaking ballet classic. Ballet Virginia’s professional company members will dance lead roles alongside our region’s finest young dancers in this dreamy and entertaining production. Once again, Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score will be performed live by Symphonicity, the symphony orchestra of Virginia Beach.

 

The Nutcracker

Presented by Virginia Regional Ballet/Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra

December 21

Ferguson Center

www.fergusoncenter.org

Virginia Regional Ballet is privileged to perform Tchaikovsky’s’ holiday classic, The Nutcracker. From founder and Artistic Director Heidi Robitshek, this cherished Tidewater tradition performed for more than 35 years in Williamsburg now comes to the Ferguson Center. Professional and company dancers featuring guests from the American Repertory Ballet dazzle audiences, bringing Klara’s journey to life. Join us in celebrating this magical ballet filled with holiday charm and cheer. 

 

HOLIDAY CONCERTS

 

A Very Postmodern Christmas

November 27

Chrysler Hall

www.sevenvenues.com

This holiday season, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox will take the same originality, wit, and virtuosic musical performances that have garnered them over 1 billion views on YouTube to revitalize the idea of a Christmas tour itself, in their multi-city “A Very Postmodern Christmas” tour.  The tour will feature PMJ’s rotating retro collective of show-stopping vocalists, dancers, and instrumentalists as they mashup timeless holiday classics and today’s pop hits in the “vintage” styles of 20s hot jazz, doo-wop, and Motown that have brought the group international acclaim. Put simply: it’s the holiday show equivalent of Bing Crosby singing “Little Drummer Boy” with David Bowie.

 

A Motown Christmas

December 2

Sandler Center

www.sandlercenter.org

A Motown Christmas stars The Motown Experience, a world-class vocal group comprised of past and present members of Motown’s most legendary groups including The Temptations, The Miracles, The Capitols, and more. Their soulful groove will combine greatest hits with holiday classics in this family-oriented show. Combining their trademark harmonies and dazzling choreography, there is no question as to why this is what made Motown the music of generations. 

 

A Debby Boone Christmas

December 7

The American Theatre

www.theamericantheatre.org

Celebrate the season with three-time Grammy winner Debby Boone! This holiday concert celebrates the 30th anniversary of her album Home For Christmas, which includes “Silver Bells,” “Christmas Time is Here,” “White Christmas” and other yuletide favorites. There’s no better way to kick off the holidays!

Boone skyrocketed to the top of the charts in 1977 when “You Light Up My Life” became one of the biggest songs in history. It catapulted the singer into the spotlight, and she’s continued to sing and perform around the country throughout her 40-year career.

 

Dave Koz & Friends Christmas

Featuring Melissa Manchester, Jonathan Butler & more

December 7

Ferguson Center

www.fergusoncenter.org

More than two decades ago, Grammy nominee Dave Koz – a nice Jewish boy – launched his first-ever Christmas tour. Now fans and families across the country await his arrival with the kind of anticipation formerly reserved for St. Nick himself, earning the saxophonist extraordinaire the nickname “Santa Koz.” The concert will feature fresh renditions of Christmas classics as well as a Chanukah medley and hits from the artists’ respective catalogs.

 

A Celtic Family Christmas

With Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy

Presented by Virginia Arts Festival

December 7

Attucks Theatre

www.vafest.org

Step lively into the holidays with this irresistible family show! The musical traditions of Canada’s Cape Breton Island embrace the region’s Scottish heritage and the rich traditions of Celtic music—and one of Cape Breton’s most famous attractions is the musical couple of award-winning fiddle virtuoso Natalie MacMaster and her dazzlingly gifted fiddler husband, Donnell Leahy. Add to that five of their musically gifted children and you’ve got a fiddling, step-dancing, singing celebration like no other! This rollicking show blends familiar Christmas songs with classic Celtic tunes, welcoming you to the MacMasters’ own Christmas party, filled with warmth and joy.

 

Virginia Chorale: “We Sing Noel”

December 7, First Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach

December 8, Christ & St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Norfolk

www.vachorale.org

Organist Kevin Kwan joins the Chorale for Benjamin Britten’s monumental cantata Rejoice in the Lamb, one of the 20th century’s most popular works for choir and organ. Favorite seasonal anthems and familiar carols round out this holiday program.

 

Holiday Pops Concert

Presented by Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra

December 7-8

Kimball Theatre

www.williamsburgsymphony.org

A seasonal tradition for the entire family, The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra presents their annual Holiday Pops Concerts, during Grand Illumination weekend at the Kimball Theatre.

 

Winter Classics & Holiday Favorites

December 8

The American Theatre

www.theamericantheatre.org

Christmas bells are ringing and so much more when HRP brings to life beloved holiday, film and classical compositions — not to mention a special guest appearance by the Golden Baton raffle winner. You won’t want to miss this fan-favorite program for the whole family.

 

Chris Tomlin Christmas

December 8

Ferguson Center

www.fergusoncenter.org

Chris Tomlin has sold millions of albums, streamed billions of tracks, spawned 15 No.1 radio singles and has been awarded multiple RIAA Gold and Platinum certifications, a list of Grammy, Dove, Billboard Music and American Music Awards, and is touted by TIME Magazine as “the most often sung artist anywhere.” On any given Sunday, tens of millions in churches across the globe sing songs from Chris’ rich, worship-focused catalog. His benchmark anthems include “At the Cross (Love Ran Red),” “Our God,” “How Great is our God,” and his latest No.1 single “Good, Good Father” was Recording Industry Association of America certified Gold after spending 15 weeks atop the Billboard Top Christian Tracks Chart.

 

Annual Holiday Concert: “Peace on Earth”

Presented by Tidewater Winds

December 9

Sandler Center

www.tidewaterwinds.org

“Peace On Earth” features Maestro John Brewington’s 55-piece professional Concert Band and guest artists the Regent University Singers.  The Tidewater Winds is one of the country’s few professional, non-profit concert bands performing repertoire ranging from Sousa Marches to Big Band. Our Holiday concert features a variety of repertoire and an uplifting message of peace and hope through music!.

 

Christmas with the Nelsons

December 12

The American Theatre

www.theamericantheatre.org

Third generation Matthew and Gunnar seamlessly weave together songs and stories from their showbiz family, along with their own chart-topping Billboard Christmas singles. This heart-warming multi-media live concert features quick humor, soaring sibling vocals and state-of-the-art big screen video that pays tribute to their legendary father, Ricky Nelson, as well as their grandparents Ozzie and Harriet.

 

Stephen Coxe & Friends

December 13

Christ & St. Luke’s Church

 www.christandstlukes.org

Stephen Coxe, Scott Crissman, Bianca Hall, Kathryn Kelly, Kevin Kwan, Jeff Phelps, and Keaton Whitehurst present a program of vocal and chamber music spanning several centuries.

 

Holiday Pops

Presented by Virginia Symphony Orchestra

December 13, Ferguson Center

December 14, Harrison Opera House

December 15, Sandler Center

www.virginiasymphony.org

There’s no better way to lift your spirits than with seasonal songs and traditional carols delivered in full sound and spectacle by the Virginia Symphony, the inspirational voices of Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and special guests. Holiday Pops will have all the magical elements you’ve come to expect —high energy, familiar carols, and lots of holiday warmth.

 

The Soul & Spirit of Christmas with CeCe Winans

December 14

The American Theatre

www.theamericantheatre.org

Heart and Soul. Joy and Love. Powerhouse vocalist CeCe Winans delivers all that and more in this holiday concert that will have you on your feet by evening’s end! Winans’ dynamic presence has graced stages around the world as she reimagines gospel with the captivating sounds of pop, country and R&B. Winan’s recent album, Something’s Happening! A Christmas Album, packs plenty of familiar tunes, including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Feliz Navidad.” 

 

Beautiful Music, Ugly Sweaters

Presented by Virginia Beach Chorale

December 14

Sandler Center

www.sandlercenter.org

Let the beautiful music of the holidays remind you of the joy of the season in Virginia Beach Chorale’s production of “Beautiful Music, Ugly Sweaters.

 

Rev. Horton Heat’s Holiday Hayride

December 14

The Vanguard

www.thevanguard757.com

Rockabilly great Rev. Horton Heat brings his electrifying holiday show to The Vanguard with special guests Voodoo Glow Skulls and Dave Alvin. 

 

“A Holiday Quartet”

Jae Sinnett’s Zero to 60 Quartet

December 14

Zeiders American Dream Theatre

www.thez.org

A delightful evening of jazzy holiday classics along with Sinnett’s original tunes including those from his group’s new album, “Just When You Thought…” 

 

“Jingle Bell Jam”

Presented by Virginia Symphony Orchestra

December 15

Sandler Center

www.virginiasymphony.org

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s stopping by to be a part of the VSO’s ever-popular Jingle Bell Jam! Celebrate the magic of the season with an afternoon that showcases the music of the holidays performed by the best talent in Hampton Roads. 

 

Holiday Brass

Presented by Virginia Symphony Orchestra

December 18, St. Bede’s Catholic Church, Williamsburg

December 19, Chesapeake Conference Center

December 20, Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts

www.virginiasymphony.org

The bold sounds of the Virginia Symphony brass section ring in the holidays with a blast! Experience the festive sounds of the season in a concert filled with wit, virtuosity, and the glorious music of the holidays—featuring the VSO brass and percussion sections in an all-new program. You’ll enjoy music from a variety of styles that have made this concert a new holiday tradition.

 

Handel’s Messiah

Presented by Virginia Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

December 19, Regent University

December 20, First Baptist Church, Newport News

December 21, Harrison Opera House

www.virginiasymphony.org

As legend has it, divine inspiration may have played a hand in Handel’s 1741 composition of what has become his most famous work. Not only did he write the massive score in just over three weeks’ time – there is a long-held story that the popular “Hallelujah” chorus was itself inspired by a vision of heaven and its angels revealed to Handel as he wrote it. 

 

Vienna Boys Choir: “Christmas in Vienna”

Presented by Virginia Arts Festival

December 20, Harrison Opera House

December 21, Colonial Williamsburg Lodge

www.vafest.org 

Audiences and critics worldwide have praised the gifted singers of the Vienna Boys Choir for their celestial voices, rapturous harmonies, pure tone, irresistible charm, and, above all, a wide-ranging repertoire spanning centuries. Season after season, the sound is unique, with new young voices to discover, and fresh new harmonies to savor.

 

Holiday Brass & Brews

With Virginia Symphony Orchestra

December 21

Zeiders American Dream Theatre

www.thez.org

A festive mix of holiday brass music and beer tastings supplied by local breweries. 

 

VARIOUS HOLIDAY EVENTS

 

Sweater Party

November 27, 6-10pm

O’Connor Brewing Co. 

www.oconnorbrewing.com 

Wear your ugliest sweater for a chance to win our ugly sweater competition & win a prize!  Featuring live music by The Sweater Band and delicious vegan food by Bumbling Bee by Cast Iron Catering. Plus, we’ll have a new DRAFT ONLY small batch release of Gourd Of The Rings Pumpkin Ale. 40 brown-sugar-roasted pie pumpkins went into this insanely tasty brew.

 

44th Annual ODU Madrigal Banquet

December 6

Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

The holiday sights and sounds of the French Renaissance are paired with a feast and drink. 

www.oduartstix.com   

 

Dickens After Dark

December 6, Fireside Roast & Toast

December 20, Push Comedy Club Night

Nauticus

www.dickenschristmastowne.com

During these adult-focused evenings, enjoy specialty cocktails, craft beer favorites, delicious food and adult holiday fun. A roaring bonfire, roasted marshmallows and hand-crafted cocktails are the ingredients to a successful Friday night December 6.  Enjoy a S’mores cook-out, specialty cocktails, and delicious dishes from Wren’s Pub. On Dec. 20, join the gang from Push Comedy Club on the Nauticus main stage as they present “The Unusual Suspects:  A Christmas Carol.”  This talented group of improv professionals rely on the audience to create a hilarious “whodunnit” storyline based on Dickens’ classic tale.

 

Pancakes, Paws, and Santa Claws at the Virginia Zoo

December 7, 8-10am

Virginia Zoo

www.virginiazoo.org 

Eat breakfast with Santa, meet Zoo animal ambassadors, make a craft, enjoy all-day Zoo admission and children get to take home a lasting memento of them and Saint Nick. 

 

Chelsea Business District Open House

December 7

Businesses in Chelsea offering discounts, entertainment and fun to kick off the holiday season.

 

Holiday Artisan Market

December 7

Commonwealth Brewing Co.

Kick off your holiday shopping and support your local artists and craftsmen at Commonwealth’s 5th Annual Holiday Market. Shop from more than 20 local vendors for all of your holiday gift needs. The Coop will be serving up their delicious burritos and Bennet Wales will be serenading you all afternoon.

 

Tacky Sweater Run & Pictures with Santa 

December 8 

Smartmouth Brewing Co

www.smartmouthbrewing.com

Tacky Sweater Run & Pictures with Santa all in one place. 

 

Krampusnacht

December 14

Smartmouth Brewing Co

www.smartmouthbrewing.com 

During the Christmas season in Central Europe, folklore has it that the Krampus (a horned half-goat, half-demon) punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. This Bavarian folklore comes to life in Norfolk on Saturday, December 14, as the Krampus sit upon his throne at Smartmouth.