[Updated October 17, 2023]
Christmas in Virginia is truly a magical time for residents and visitors alike.
From the small towns of Southwest Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountain towns around the Shenandoah Valley to Virginia Beach and the historic sites near DC, every area of the state offers countless holiday attractions.
The only problem is that the holiday season seems to pass so quickly, trying to make time to visit all the festive Christmas attractions can seem overwhelming!
From Charlottesville and Galax to Norfolk, Roanoke, and Williamsburg, there are myriad cool Christmas light shows in VA to choose from.
Read on for our guide of the 15 Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Virginia, including Busch Gardens, Natural Tunnel State Park, the Wisconsin Battleship, and more.
Christmas Lights in Virginia Guide
- GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (Richmond VA)
- Richmond Tacky Lights Tour (Richmond VA)
- WinterFest at Kings Dominion (Doswell VA)
- Illuminate Light Show at The Meadow Event Park (Doswell VA)
- Bull Run Festival of Lights (Centreville VA)
- Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna VA)
- Garden of Lights at Norfolk Botanical Garden (Norfolk VA)
- Winterfest on The Wisconsin (Norfolk VA)
- Holiday Lights at The Beach (Virginia Beach VA)
- High Country Lights (Galax VA)
- Buchanan Festival of Lights (Buchanan VA)
- Christmas Farm (Boones Mill VA)
- Illuminights Winter Walk of Lights (Roanoke VA)
- Luminary Nights at Natural Bridge State Park (Natural Bridge VA)
- Boar’s Head Resort Winter Wander Trail of Lights (Charlottesville VA)
- Christmas in The Valley (Woodstock VA)
- The Pinnacle Speedway In Lights (Bristol VA)
- Busch Gardens Christmas Town (Williamsburg VA)
- Christmas Lighting of The Tunnel at Natural Tunnel State Park (Duffield VA)
- Danville Community Light Show (Danville VA)
Christmas Lights in Richmond VA
1. GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
1800 Lakeside Ave, Henrico VA • (804) 262-9887
Sponsored by Dominion Energy, the 2023 GardenFest of Lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a great place to kick off your holiday season.
This season’s theme is “Rhythms of Nature,” with inspiration coming from area’s natural beauty.
This creative Christmas light display will feature more than a half-million sparkling lights cascading over natural elements, including their 20-foot Christmas tree.
In addition to the light displays, visitors can expect the return of favorites like the Kelleher Warming Fire, model trains in the Kelly Education Center, and student-decorated Christmas trees.
Advance reservations are required, so make sure to book your tickets before visiting.
2. Richmond Tacky Lights Tour
Richmond VA • (804) 213-2330
There’s an easy way you can tell that Richmond VA natives are full of holiday cheer.
Many of them spend countless hours every year planning and decorating weird, wild Christmas light displays in order to be part of the Richmond Tacky Lights Tour.
These drive thru Christmas lights in Richmond can be enjoyed by people from all over, with helpful digital maps available online.
Or you can reserve a seat on the official Tacky Lights Tour bus, if you want to just sit back and enjoy the lights.
The lights you’ll see are so over-the-top, two of the homes have already been featured (and taken home a prize!) on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight competition!
READ MORE: The 10 Best Christmas Tree Farms in Virginia
Christmas Lights in Doswell VA
3. Kings Dominion WinterFest
16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell VA • (804) 876-5000
Various parts of the theme park are transformed into spectacular holiday attractions, including a 300-foot-tall Christmas tree that’s built upon their iconic Eiffel Tower attraction.
In addition to some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in Virginia, WinterFest has one of the area’s largest ice-skating rinks, live music and theatrical productions, the WinterFest parade, and lots of tasty treats to enjoy.
They also have a wide selection of shops selling arts and crafts and other souvenirs to help you check items off your Christmas shopping list.
4. Illuminate Light Show at The Meadow Event Park
13111 Dawn Blvd, Doswell VA
Billed as “Virginia’s largest drive-thru Christmas light and music show,” the Illuminate Light Show at The Meadow Event Park is another attraction to add to your Virginia Christmas to-do list.
From November 17 thru December 31, 2023, visitors can explore this Doswell VA Christmas attraction to see hundreds of thousands of colorful lights illuminating the night sky.
After finishing the drive-thru Christmas light display, visit Santa’s Village for sweet treats, bouncy houses, an electric reindeer, and, most importantly, Santa Claus!
The 2023 tickets for the Illuminate Light Show are $30 per car (up to 9 people). Pricing for larger vehicles and other details can be found on their website.
Christmas Lights in Northern Virginia
5. Bull Run Festival of Lights
7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville VA • (703) 631-0550
From November 10, 2023 to January 11, 2024, Nova Parks in Centreville VA offers holiday illumination fun and festivities. Buying tickets online will save you $10 per vehicle (under 15 occupants).
The annual Virginia Christmas light display features 2.5 miles of Xmas lights to enjoy from the comfort of your own vehicle. Visitors are encouraged to turn off their headlights and allow their magical holiday displays to guide you.
Once you’ve made it through the Bull Run Festival of Lights show, stop by the Holiday Village and enjoy a warm campfire and some obligatory s’mores. There’s also lots of holiday-themed merchandise that makes great Christmas gifts.
If that’s not enough, there’s also a Christmas fair running until January 1, and it will be open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
6. Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna VA • (703) 255-3631
Open nightly from November 10, 2023 through January 7, 2024, the Winter Walk of Lights at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is an incredible way to celebrate Christmas in Virginia.
Countless shimmering Christmas lights illuminate the half-mile path through the Botanical Gardens, which is stroller- and wheelchair-friendly. Twinkling trees and other light displays celebrate nature and other holiday themes.
There’s an ice skating rink to make your Winter fun all the more magical, and carolers to bring the holiday atmosphere alive. They’ll also have local vendors selling all sorts of great Christmas gift options.
After you wander through the Christmas light displays, you can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, pretzels, funnel cakes, and/or a s’more to cap off the night.
Note that as of December 8, Winter Walk of Lights tickets are only available online.
Christmas Lights in Norfolk VA
7. Garden of Lights at the Norfolk Botanical Garden
6700 Azalea Garden Rd, Norfolk VA • (757) 441-5830
For over 25 years, the Botanical Garden has been producing award-winning light displays, taking home the title of “Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights” from USA Today for multiple years.
It was also named “one of the best holiday light shows in the country” by Forbes.com.
The Garden of Lights celebration gives visitors a chance to walk through the Norfolk Botanical Garden and see it covered over a million cool Christmas lights.
This is a timed entry event, so book your tickets in advance to ensure you get your preferred time slot. Ticket prices range from $10-$15 for children to $15-$25 per child/adult, with discounts for members and military.
READ MORE: The 20+ Best NC Christmas Events
8. Winterfest on The Wisconsin Battleship
1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk • (757) 664-1000
On select dates from November 10, 2023 thru January 1, 2024, holiday enthusiasts can take in colorful Christmas lights while exploring the historic Wisconsin Battleship.
Winterfest on The Wisconsin features over 1 million lights, and includes new 2023 attractions such as NATO’s Passport to the Holidays, live entertainment at Mistletoe Marina, and a puppet version of A Christmas Carol.
There will also be a Lighted Sailboat Parade taking place along the Elizabeth River.
For an extra charge, visitors can add The Santa Experience, a reserved meet-and-greet with Captain Claus that includes hot chocolate and a special reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Tickets to Winterfest on The Wisconsin cost $14.50 for children and $18.50 for adults.
Christmas Lights in Virginia Beach VA
9. Holiday Lights at The Beach
2nd Street & The Boardwalk at Virginia Beach VA • (757) 385-7873
The lights on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car. Guests drive through a mix of nautical and classically themed light displays while listening to Christmas music on their car stereo.
The dramatic backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean really brings the bright lights to life, including dancing crabs, “festive fish,” and Santa’s elves! Their 40-ft Christmas tree. is another email eye-popping highlight.
Tickets for these Virginia Beach Christmas lights must be purchased ahead of time in order to accommodate everyone, with timed entries helping to manage the flow.
Christmas Lights in Galax VA
10. High Country Lights at Felts Park
601 South Main Street, Galax VA • (336) 756-7529
The High Country Lights celebration features over 200,000 twinkling Virginia Christmas lights, and runs from November 24, 2023 thru January 1, 2024. Best of all, admission is totally free!
Starting nightly at 6PM, visitors can park and watch a stunning light show choreographed to Christmas music.
Afterwards, you can get into the Christmas spirit with by visiting Santa, eating something tasty from various food trucks, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, and/or taking advantage of the park’s many selfie spots.
Christmas Lights in Roanoke VA & Nearby
11. Buchanan Festival of Lights
Buchanan Town Park, 485 Lowe Street, Buchanan VA • (540) 254-1212
Running from November 28 through December 27, 2023, the inaugural Buchanan Festival of Lights is designed to become an annual Christmas event. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to help expand future light displays.
They offer drive-through Christmas lights on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-9 PM, and on Sundays from 5-8 PM. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays they offer a walk-through experience from 5-8 PM.
There are thousands of twinkling lights adorning all the trees and buildings in the town’s park. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself in holiday cheer, especially during a romantic getaway.
If you’re in Buchanan VA on Christmas Eve, don’t miss their Christmas Eve Luminaries. This beautiful tradition started in 1985 as a thank-you to those who sent water to the town’s people when their supply dwindled due to flooding.
12. Christmas Farm
7051 Back Creek Rd, Boones Mill VA • (540) 986-5281
Head to Christmas Farm in Boones Mill VA this holiday season and you’ll be blown away by hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights all curled and coiled into images of your favorite Christmas symbols and characters.
See if you can spot the Grinch, candy canes, elves, trees, stars, and Santa Claus, all made out of fantastic lights.
The Christmas Farm is open daily from 5:30 to 10 PM after Thanksgiving and all through Christmas, and guests are admitted free of charge.
Visitors can enjoy the holiday music and festive illuminations from the cozy comfort of their own car. The farm also holds a bonfire party with classic campfire treats.
You might even get a glimpse of jolly Ol St. Nick himself! Check their website to find out the dates and times when Santa might stop in for a visit.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Staunton VA
13. Illuminights Winter Walk of Lights at Explore Park
56 Roanoke River Parkway Road, Roanoke VA • (540) 387-6078
Roanoke is one of our favorite mountain towns in Virginia, and Christmas is a great time to visit.
Illuminights Winter Walk of Lights is one of our favorite Virginia light displays, with over 650,000 dazzling lights and several brand new attractions coming for the 2023-24 season.
Guests can take a leisurely stroll down a half-mile wooden path, which is lined by some of the coolest Christmas lights in Roanoke VA.
While you’re there, you can also roast a marshmallow on the campfire, go Christmas shopping at the Artisan Market, and enjoy other family-friendly activities as well.
All proceeds from this beloved VA light show benefit local non-profit organizations.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA
14. Luminary Nights at Natural Bridge State Park
6477 South Lee Highway, Natural Bridge VA • (540) 291-1326
Even if you’ve visited Natural Bridge State Park before, you’ve never seen it like you will if you visit on December 8, 9, 15, and 16, 2023.
From 5 to 9 PM on these nights, the State Park’s Cedar Creek (which runs beneath the incredible rock bridge) will be completely illuminated with beautiful lanterns.
Every nook, cranny, and crevice on the natural attraction will be lit up in magical wonder. Festive lights and roaring fires will make this December extra special, with the beautiful surroundings all lit up for the holiday season.
After you walk through the illuminations, head back to the pavilion, sit back, and warm your bones around one of the campfires. For Sunday night horse carriage rides along Cedar Creek Trail, make a reservation by calling (540) 254-0795.
Christmas Lights in Charlottesville VA
15. Boar’s Head Resort Winter Wander Trail of Lights
200 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville VA • (434)-296-2181
Presented by the University of Virginia at the Boar’s Head Resort, the Winter Wander Trail of Lights is one of the best places to see Christmas lights in Charlottesville VA.
The beloved attraction illuminates the beauty of the nature, highlighting the rolling landscape and picturesque lake views with twinkling holiday lights.
On select nights from November 17, 2023 thru January 6, 2024, guests can walk the half-mile trail around Heritage Lake.
The short hiking trail takes guests through a variety of sections, including the Trout House and Dogwood Alley.
Food and drink vendors will also be available, including pizza from Popito’s Pizza Truck, kettle corn from It’s Poppin Time, and adult beverages from the inside or outside bars.
Christmas Lights in Woodstock VA
16. Christmas in The Valley at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds
300 Fairground Rd, Woodstock VA• (540) 459-3867
The drive thru Christmas lights in Northern Virginia are clearly the main attraction here, but it’s also a great place to get some Christmas shopping done.
You can visit the Christmas Village Exhibit Hall for baked goods, artisan crafts, freshly roasted nuts, and unique handmade items.
Details for the 2023 Christmas season will be announced soon. Check out the Fairground website for dates and details on how to purchase tickets to this annual Christmas event in Virginia.
Christmas Lights in Bristol
17. The Pinnacle Speedway In Lights
151 Speedway Lane, Bristol VA • (866) 415-4158
We believe the Pinnacle Speedway in Lights deserves an honorable mention, offering Bristol Motor Speedway visitors much more than a thrilling race.
During the holiday season, guests are guaranteed to see a spectacular Christmas light show– in the form of 3+ MILLION lights around the racetrack– with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Speedway Children’s Charity.
You can also ride carnival-style rides and eat delicious Bristol food in their Christmas village after seeing the lights on “The World’s Fastest Half Mile,” making this annual event a great addition to your family’s Christmas traditions list.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Boone NC Christmas Tree Farms
Christmas Lights in Williamsburg VA
18. Busch Gardens Christmas Town
1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg VA • (757) 229-4386
Busch Gardens is billed as “The World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park,” and Christmas is a wonderful time to experience the ever-popular theme park.
The annual Busch Gardens Christmas Town celebration featured more than 10 million twinkling lights. But these extravagant Christmas lights in Williamsburg VA are just the beginning of the holiday magic on offer.
Guests can also visit Santa’s Workshop, take a ride on the Christmas Town Express, see the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas ice skating show, and take a spin on more than 20 different roller coasters and other rides.
Ranked as “one of North America’s largest holiday displays,” Christmas Town is open on select dates from November 11, 2023 thru January 8, 2024. So you have plenty of time to soak up the Christmas spirit!
Christmas Lights in Duffield VA
19. Christmas Lighting of The Tunnel at Natural Tunnel State Park
1420 Natural Tunnel Pkwy, Duffield VA • (276)-940-2674
Located in Scott County, Virginia, the historic Natural Tunnel State Park offers a one-of-a-kind Christmas experience.
While it’s not your typical Christmas light show, the Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel is a unique experience that also supports Virginia State Parks.
On November 24, visitors to the park can ride the chair lift down to the tunnel, enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate, and join in on classic Christmas carols as you count down to the lighting.
Guests can also enjoy classic Christmas stories told by period-dressed characters from the year 1775, presented by the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association.
The cost of admission is $5 for the chairlift, and $5 for parking.
Christmas Lights in Danville VA
20. Danville Community Light Show at Ballou Park
760 W Main St, Danville VA • (434) 857-3384
From December 7-23, 2023, Ballou Park in Danville VA hosts the Danville Community Light Show.
Families, local businesses, and non-profit organizations spend time every year creating special holiday displays for the entire community to enjoy.
The admission price for the drive thru Christmas lights is $10/car, and $20/mini bus or passenger van. As you enjoy the colorful lights, take note of your favorite display to cast your vote for Best in Show Award at the end.
Each display creator has selected their favorite non-profit organization, and monetary donations will be made to the winner of the competition.
At the end of the Christmas light show, head over to Santa’s Village for a visit with Santa and some delicious holiday treats! –by Molly Frazier & Emma Gallagher; lead image via Canva