Epic Norfolk Events and Christmas Lights You Can’t Miss

Make this year’s holiday spectacular by taking advantage of the many Norfolk events that are happening this year plus our favorite Christmas lights in Hampton Roads and beyond.

You can make it an all-day event by participating in the daily happening at local malls, town centers and parks, followed by evening tree lightings and parades. Wrap it all up with an evening of scenic drives through Christmas lights galore.

Below you will find a list of many of the best Norfolk events and light displays in Virginia.  Create a schedule for yourself, check their websites for any last-minute changes, and be dazzled by these holiday events.

Norfolk Events
credit Visit Norfolk

Events in Norfolk, VA

Grand Illumination Celebration and Holiday Kick-off

  • Address: Downtown Norfolk – Granby Street
  • Date: weekend before Thanksgiving, 4pm-7pm
  • Website

Come out and watch the Norfolk skyline light up with festive lights. Head to Granby Street and catch the falling snowflakes on your tongue as you walk by enjoying Christmas in Norfolk, Virginia.

Holiday Train Exhibit at Selden Market

  • Address: 208 E Main St, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Dates: Weekend before Thanksgiving through December 20th (days and times may vary)
  • Website

Grab the kids and visit this FREE event inside of Selden Market, one of our favorite places to shop Norfolk’s emerging small business and grab a snack to munch on as we watch the trains. After you see the model train exhibit, enjoy the live music by The Rhythm Project and grab a picture with Santa.

Holiday Puppy Parade on the Elizabeth River Trail

  • Address: Pagoda & Oriental Garden, 265 W Tazewell St, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Date: Saturday before Thanksgiving at 6pm

Walk along the Elizabeth River Trail with or without your dog and enjoy this holly jolly dog parade as pups of all shapes and sizes strut their festive Christmas lights and attire.

Norfolk Events
credit Norfolk Botanical Garden

Dominion Energy Garden of Lights

  • Address: Norfolk Botanical Gardens, 6700 Azalea Garden Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518
  • Dates: Mid-November through the first weekend in January, 5:30pm-10pm
  • Website
  • Cost: Must pre-purchase tickets online.
    • Sunday – Thursday – $25 – members $35 – nonmembers
      • Military, Dominion Electric employees, and Norfolk City Employees – $5 off
    • Friday – Saturday, November 25 – 26, and December 20 – 26
      • $30 – members $40 – nonmembers
    • Limos, buses, and vans – $60

Drive through the millions of lights that set the gardens into a twinkling frenzy of delight. Watch the dolphins leap, flowers grow, and the battleship fire its cannons. Don’t miss out on the moon and starlight over the bridge, out favorite spot to look up during the holidays in Norfolk, VA.

The Adams Family Lights

  • Address: 2061 Colane Road, Norfolk, VA 23502
  • Dates: throughout the holiday season
  • Website

Bring your chair or sit in your car and watch this nightly syncopated light display in one of Norfolk’s neighborhoods. This is a private property, so please respect their decor and lawn while you enjoy the joy this family loves to bring to the season.

Norfolk Events
credit MacArthur Center

MacArthur on Ice

  • Address: 300 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Dates: Weekend before Thanksgiving through mid-January, 10am-10pm
  • Website

Go ice skating in downtown Norfolk among the festive holiday lights at MacArthur Center Green. Reservations are required. Tickets include ice skate rentals.

Norfolk Events
credit MacArthur Center

Santa at MacArthur Center!

  • Address: 300 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Dates: weekend before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, 11am-7pm
  • Website

Santa visits will look a little different this year at MacArthur Center, but be no less magical. Pop in for a contactless, in-person Santa experience. While guests will not be able to sit on Santa’s lap or be allowed to hug Santa in 2020, he will still be in the photos and be able to chat with children to hear their wishes… with a little extra space in between each other.

Norfolk Events
credit Visit Norfolk

Ornament Spectacular at the Chrysler Museum of Art

  • Address: 1 Memorial Pl, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Dates: mid-November through the first weekend in January, 10am- 11:30pm and 1:30pm- 5pm on select days
  • Website
  • Cost: $48 – members $60 – non-members

Make your own colorful blown-glass heirloom with the help of the Perry Glass Studio Team this holiday season. Create a unique ornament when you mix colors with the help of the instructor. You even get to inflate your ornament with a special compressed air device. There is no better way to make a personalized gift for the ones you love.

Grab more things to do in Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Events
credit Visit Norfolk

Hunter House Victorian Museum

  • Address: 240 W Freemason St, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Dates: now through December 19th
  • Website

Jump back in time when you visit this historic Victorian house/museum that tells the story of life in the late 19th and early 20th century through the lens of the everyday experiences and artifacts left by the Hunter Family. The Hunter House Victorian Museum is decorated for the holidays throughout the season, with holiday tours and special tea events on select dates.

The Great Hermitage Holiday

  • Address: Hermitage Museum and Gardens, 7637 N Shore Rd, Norfolk, VA 23505
  • Date: Friday, December 4, 2020 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Cost: $10 – members, $12 – nonmembers
  • Website

Make the season festive by enjoying a holiday concert and art demos in the outdoor gardens. Food trucks and complementary Sweetwater Cuisine desserts will also be onsite.

Stop back for a Christmas ornament making workshop, including ceramic and origami Christmas ornaments for your own tree or to give as gifts this year.

Norfolk Events
credit Visit Norfolk

Town Point Holiday Market

  • Address: Town Point Park, Waterside Drive
  • Date: First Saturday in December, 12pm – 8pm
  • Website

Head to the park and enjoy a holiday event brought to you by Norfolk Festevents, which includes the Town Point Holiday Market. Pop into the market for unique and local crafts by regional makers.

Stick around to say hello to Santa and enjoy FREE hot chocolate. Seasonal craft beer, mulled wine and other holiday treats will also be available for purchase. A free movie screening will start to play around 6pm as the sun sets and the other festivities wind down.

NEON Holiday Market

  • Address: The Plot, 776 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Date: First Saturday in December, 12pm – 4pm
  • Website

Enjoy the live music of local acoustic musicians, shop for handmade art and wares from local artisans. There is no better way to shop local and support the community than when you check out the NEON Holiday Market.

Norfolk Events
credit Visit Norfolk

WinterFest aboard the USS Wisconsin

  • Address: 1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Dates: Weekend before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve
  • Website

Celebrate the holiday season with a safe, new experience aboard the Battleship Wisconsin that includes these awesome events:

  • Dazzling walk-through light trail with over 250,000 lights
  • Special tree lighting ceremonies (5:30PM & 7:00PM)
  • Interior “WinterFest” tour of the Battleship Wisconsin
  • Santa sightings + elves
  • Live entertainment
  • Lighted sailboat parade (6:15PM on Saturdays ONLY)
  • Holiday beverages + delicious bites

Train Rides with Santa at the Zoo

  • Address: 3500 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23504
  • Dates: Saturdays in December, 10am-2pm
  • Website

Santa takes over as the Train Engineer every Saturday until Christmas when you hop aboard Train Rides with Santa at the Virginia Zoo. Every rider will receive a holiday treat, and photos are highly recommended.

Start planning how to get from DC to Norfolk this holiday season

Looking for a Norfolk hotel? Check out a few of our favorites!

Still need more options? Search for a great deal on Booking.com!

Our Favorite Airbnbs in Norfolk, VA

While you may not get the pool, these Airbnbs give you plenty of space for the whole family. You can also save money by making meals in your full kitchen at these Superhost properties.


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