There is no better place to spend the holidays than Norfolk. From a parade through downtown and into the New Year, the lights, the sights, and the sounds of the Holidays in the City season provide unforgettable activities for the whole family to enjoy.  

31st Annual Grand Illumination Parade
November 21
7:00 p.m.
Free & Open to the Public
The festivities begin on Saturday, November 21st at 7:00 pm with the 31st Annual Grand Illumination of the downtown skyline. The lighting of the skyline signals the start of Hampton Roads’ most cherished event, the Annual Grand Illumination Parade. Spectacular floats, marching bands, giant balloons, dancers and Santa himself will delight spectators with glowing décor as they parade through downtown Norfolk. Visit>> 

Dickens’ Christmas Towne
November 21 – December 27
Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center (lower level)
Tickets at Nauticus

Experience a magical Victorian village filled with strolling carolers, Father Christmas, sweet treats, an impressive train display and family-focused holiday activities and crafts. Visitors can also enjoy live music, theatrical performances and a traditional English meal in the newly built Wren’s Pub. This season, Virginia Stage Company actors will perform vignettes in various locations inside Dickens’ Christmas Towne, as well as on the main stage. Visit>>

MacArthur on Ice and the Winter Carnival at MacArthur Center
November 21 – January 18
This holiday season, there’s no place like MacArthur Center, which comes alive with holiday fun and entertainment, from the annual outdoor ice skating tradition MacArthur on Ice, to the all-new outdoor Winter Carnival. Hampton Roads’ premier shopping destination, MacArthur Center, is also the place for an exciting winter extravaganza.

Pagoda and Garden LightFEST
November 21 – December 31
The Annual Pagoda & Garden LightFest featuring over 40,000 sparkles of friendship glowing in the Garden & Pagoda nightly. This event opens with the Grand Illumination on November 21. Visit>>

Dominion Garden of Lights
November 26 – December 31
5:30 – 10:00 p.m. Nightly
Don’t miss a Hampton Roads holiday tradition. Bring your family and friends to the 20th annual light show extravaganza for a magical holiday experience. During this event, our garden is transformed into a winter wonderland where you can enjoy a 2-mile drive through a million sparkling lights bringing the four seasons to life. Visit>>

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
December 9 – 24
It wouldn’t be the holidays without Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Virginia Stage Company. Ebenezer Scrooge and his travels with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future reawaken the spirit of Christmas in all of us. This timeless tale remains a heartwarming tradition for many Hampton Roads families as they celebrate the season in the festively decorated Wells Theatre. Visit>>

The Nutcracker
December 4 – 6
Chrysler Hall
Stoner Winslett’s The Nutcracker, heralded as “perfect” by The New York Times, returns to Chrysler Hall to celebrate the holiday season. From the opening notes of Tchaikovsky’s famous overture, the Richmond Ballet performers will instantly whisk you into the warm, candlelit drawing room of the Silberhaus family, buzzing with celebrations of Christmas. Visit>>  

Hurrah for the Holidays
December 11 at 7:00 p.m., December 12 & 13 at 3:00 p.m. 
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
A joyful celebration featuring all the best music of the season – from your favorite classic standards to popular modern day hits. With the renowned precision kick-line dancers, a 6-foot dancing snowman, and a few festive surprises – it’s an event for the entire family. Visit>>

Holiday POPS: Home for the Holidays
December 12
2:30 PM & 8 PM

Harrison Opera House
Conducted by Robert Shoup, VSO Chorusmaster/Staff Conductor, our holiday performances have become a locals’ favorite at year’s end. 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. Visit>>

Holiday Brass
December 18
7:30 PM

TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
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. Conducted by Dr. Paul Bhasin, Director of Wind Studies at Emory University in Atlanta and former Director of Bands at the William and Mary School of Music. Visit>>

Handel's Messiah
December 19
8:00 PM

Harrison Opera House
Experience the greatest story ever told with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin Rous returns to conduct the Messiah of the season. Featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus and vocal soloists. Visit>>

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 12 at 7:00 p.m.
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
Based on the popular book by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the funny and heartwarming story of an unlikely group of kids who learn the true meaning of Christmas. A holiday tradition in Hampton Roads, this one night only event is presented with Happy Hanukkah, My Friend, a short program celebrating the Festival of Lights. Visit>>

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas In Vienna
December 20
Harrison Opera House

With a history six centuries in the making, the famed Vienna Boys Choir delights audiences across the globe with their purity of tone, distinctive charm and a diverse, crowd pleasing repertoire that encompasses Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, beloved pop songs, holiday favorites and medieval chant. Visit>>