Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

By: Carlie Morton

If you are new to the 757 or just visiting for the holidays, there are so many fun things to do with your friends, family and/or significant other! As a local, I chose my personal favorite things to do during the holidays that will guarantee amazing memories when you leave.

  1. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens is BEAUTIFUL. The entire park is tastefully decorated and illuminated with lights so there is something new to see during your entire visit.  Although some of the rides are not open, a select few of the bigger coasters will stay running as well as the smaller rides. One of my favorite things to do is take the sky tram, which is a cart that slowly ziplines you across the park, so you can get a birds-eye-view of the entire light show. There are also shows with dancing and singing which are put on by incredibly talented dancers and actors.  I would highly recommend scheduling at least one show into your Busch Gardens trip. The whole experience is unforgettable and you will leave with the holiday spirit.

  1. Christmas Light Walk at the Botanical Gardens

My first time going to the light walk at the Botanical Gardens was last year and I will now be returning each holiday season! The walk is a mile and takes around 40 minutes total, but you are able to go back through as many times as you want. The path is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers but the Botanical Gardens also offers accommodations through the mobility shuttle which you can request Monday-Thursday by calling visitor services. The Botanical Gardens are already beautiful on their own but as you walk through, the light show makes the experience 10x prettier.  Each “section” has a different theme of lights for the holidays as well as botanical themed ones.  This experience was peaceful and captivating; I never wanted to leave!

  1. Outdoor Ice-skating at the Macarthur Center

Every year I go to the outdoor skating rink at Macarthur with my friends. Although small, this is a great place to bond with whoever you go with and have a good laugh. You can rent skates and choose how long you want ice time. I personally like to bring my own ice skates so I don’t have to rent them! You can also see how many slots are filled up if you don’t want to go at a busy time, which is usually the weekends.  Make sure to sign up for a time slot in advance just in case there isn’t availability at the time you walk up. Enjoy Christmas music and hot chocolate while skating in the winter weather!

  1. Christmas lights at the Oceanfront

The Virginia Beach lights at the Oceanfront is a fun late night activity for you and all your friends and family!  Hop in the car and head down to the boardwalk with your favorite Christmas music playing. The city of Virginia Beach illuminates the entire boardwalk with a light show and fun animatronics to put you in the holiday spirit from the comfort of your PJs and car. It is so fun to drive on the boardwalk and look at the amazing lights while supporting your city.

  1. Winterfest at Nauticus

Located in downtown Norfolk, Winterfest is located on a battleship that has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland. There are multiple light shows and “plays” to watch while enjoying holiday beverages and getting some shopping done. The event I really enjoyed was the “A Christmas Carol” where the entire inside of the ship was themed to the book and you could watch little shows as you walked through as well. There is an event at Nauticus for everyone whether it be holiday lights, plays, an immersive walk, or shopping!

I hope you all get a chance to do some of these fun holiday activities and have just as much fun as I did!

Hi! My name is Carlie and I am from VA Beach, VA! I am a freshman at ODU and am so excited to be apart of HerCampus this year.