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Day 1: Travel to Williamsburg, VA with a planned afternoon arrival and a tour of the Yorktown Victory Center. Hear accounts of Christmas and winter in the Revolutionary War encampments and glimpse holiday preparations on a 1780’s farm. Don’t forget to stop and try a roasted chestnut at the Christmas Market before you leave. Check into your hotel for a three night stay. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2: This morning is a special event “Breakfast with the Chefs.” It is an entertaining and informative morning offers us a holiday breakfast lessons with demo’s by renowned chefs, plus a chance to sample the results of those culinary and pastry demonstrations!
Next visit the Jamestown Settlement. Watch a Jamestown Settlement Holiday Film and take a guided tour that will compare English Christmas customs of the period with how the season many have been observed in the difficult early years of the Jamestown Colony. Before dinner we’ll light up your holidays with the award-winning Celebration in Lights, a two mile drive through Newport News Park that includes spectacular animated scenes. View whimsical toys, elegant swans, leaping reindeer, multicolored snowflakes and scenes from Virginia’s past portrayed in a kaleidoscope of dazzling color.
This evening journey back in time to experience Williamsburg Christmases of the past. Discover our colonial traditions and customs, find out about the first Christmas tree in Williamsburg, and learn how Colonial Williamsburg’s Christmas traditions came about. (B,D)
Day 3: This is a full day at Colonial Williamsburg. Your Admission ticket provides access to the Historic area’s exhibition sites, museums, trade shops and Revolutionary programming. See the elegant beauty of distinctive natural decorations, the holiday programming, delicious food, and festive music that make Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg unforgettable.
This morning features a walking tour in the Historic Area where you learn of the City’s history as first the Colonial Capitol, and it’s significance as American’s met here to discuss war. This tour will also focus on Holiday decorations as learn about the materials, construction techniques, and the traditions of the era. The picturesque building exteriors and streets are decked in holiday splendor during Christmas.
The afternoon provides you with a opportunity to shop in Merchants Square. This is an 18th-century style retail village with over 40 shops and restaurants. Visitors and local residents alike regularly experience the Square’s unique offerings in a setting of unrivaled beauty.
Late afternoon you may return to the hotel to relax before tonight’s grand event.
The Grand Illumination is an adaptation of a common practice during the 18th century, when ordinary citizens celebrated extraordinary events – major military victories, the arrival of a new colonial governor, or the birthday of the monarch – by firing guns and using fireworks. The festivities begin with a variety of traditional holiday entertainment – Fifes and Drums provide 18th-century holiday music, balladeers and musicians perform, church choirs sing carols and costumed performers present entertainment that would have been found in Williamsburg 200 years ago. There is also a magnificent fireworks display that takes place simultaneously at three locations in the Historic Area – Palace Green, the Magazine, and the Capitol. Candles are then lit in the public buildings, shops and homes.
Following the Illumination you enjoy a Colonial Dinner Celebration featuring a traditional meal, sumptuous desserts, and after-dinner cordials in surroundings an 18th-century traveler would recognize. (B,D)
Day 4: Morning of outlet shopping. Afternoon Departure for Home. (B)