We predict that holiday fun and reindeer games will blanket the region in weeks ahead. So, here's a road map to help you navigate through the blizzard of mirth and the avalanche of good cheer.
May your bells forever jingle and your sleigh never get snagged in bridge or tunnel traffic.
The Christmas Express. Dec. 11-14. 6:30-9 p.m. with additional Saturday times from 5:30-9 p.m. An interactive, walk-through, holiday adventure in York County. The 40-minute journey includes exquisite sets and costumes, live animals, tasty treats, dramatic re-enactments, music, dancing and loads of interactive Christmas fun. Wheelchair and single stroller accessible. Northside Christian Church, 1300 George Washington Memorial Highway, York. Free, but tickets must be reserved in advance at http://www.northsidecc.org. 757-595-5890.
"A Christmas Carol." Virginia Stage Company. Times vary. Dec. 6-22. Wells Theatre, Monticello Avenue and Tazewell Street, Norfolk. $33-$50. 757-627-1234. http://www.vastage.com.
"Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star." Nov. 27 and Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Abbitt Planetarium, Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News. Experience the journey of the Magi in the planetarium theater. Times vary. Daytime shows $4 plus museum admission, $2 for members. Evening shows $3 for museum members, $6 for general public. The museum is closed Dec. 24-25. http://www.thevlm.org. 595-1900.
"Laser Holidays." Nov. 27-Dec. 31. Abbitt Planetarium, Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News. Featuring classic holiday favorites such as 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'Jingle Bell Rock' along with a dazzling display of colorful, animated light. For daytime shows, cost is $4 plus museum admission, $2 for museum members. Evening shows are $6 for the general public, $3 for members. The museum is closed Dec. 24-25. http://www.thevlm.org. 595-1900.
Celebration in Lights, Nov. 28-Jan. 1. Newport News Park, at intersection of Fort Eustis Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue. The park is transformed by more than 800,000 lights creating animated holiday and fanciful scenes. This year's event will feature more "light tubes" which create the effect of falling snow, more lighted arches and refurbishment of displays with energy-efficient LED bulbs. 5:30-10 p.m. daily. $10 per car, $60 per bus. http://www.nnparks.com. 926-1400.
Christmas Town, Williamsburg. 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on weekends through Dec. 8. On Dec. 13, the park begins daily operating hours through Dec. 31. Busch Gardens' annual holiday extravaganza boasts 6 million twinkling lights, three live shows, a 50-foot-fall Christmas tree, and dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus, among other delights. Tickets are $30 a person. buschgardens.com/va.
Santa's House. The Woman's Club of Newport News, 461 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., across from Riverside Regional Medical Center. Families can enjoy music and puppet shows, see Santa's bedroom and train sets, visit with Mrs. Claus in her kitchen and, of course, visit with Santa Claus. The days and times for the event are Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sundays, Dec. 8 and 15, from 1-5 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 13 6-9 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. 968-5808.
A Colonial Christmas. Dec. 1-Jan. 5. Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. Offers a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions with interpretive programs and, from Dec. 26-31, musical entertainment of the period. A Jamestown Settlement holiday film and guided tours compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. At the Yorktown Victory Center, hear accounts of Christmas and winter in Revolutionary War encampments and glimpse holiday preparations on a 1780s farm. A combination ticket to both museums is $20.50 for adults and $10.25 (ages 6-12). Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $16 adults, $7.50 (ages 6-12), and to the Yorktown Victory Center, $9.75 adults, $5.50 (ages 6-12). Children under 6 are free. Online holiday tickets and packages with other Williamsburg area attractions are available. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Jamestown Settlement is on State Route 31 in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg. The Yorktown Victory Center is on Route 1020 in Yorktown. http://www.historyisfun.org. 1-888-593-4682 toll-free or 253-4838.
Centuries of Christmas at Berkeley Plantation. 12602 Harrison Landing Road, Charles City. Dec. 7-Jan. 1. Berkeley Plantation will offer special Christmas tours during the holiday season. The elegant 1726 mansion will be decorated with fresh greenery from Berkeley's gardens. Berkeley Plantation is halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg off scenic Route 5. The cost is $11 per adult; $6 per child, ages 6-12; $7.50 per youth, ages 13-16. http://www.berkeleyplantation.com. 1-888-466-6018.
McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach. Through Jan. 1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk from 2nd Street to 33rd Street. Take a shiny journey into nautical, holiday and adventure lands – all along the Virginia Beach boardwalk. Festive fish, jumping dolphins, frolicking porpoises – all in bright, colored lights against the clear night-time sky, are the stars of the show. 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Monday-Thursday, $12 per car. Friday-Sunday and holidays, $15 per car. http://www.BeachStreetUSA.com. 757-491-SUNN.
Dominion Garden of Lights. 5:30-10 p.m. nightly Nov. 28-Dec. 31 Norfolk Botanical Garden, 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk. The garden is transformed into a winter wonderland where visitors can enjoy a two-mile drive through a million sparkling lights. $15 per car Monday-Thursday, $20 per car Friday-Sunday. norfolkbotanicalgarden.org. 441-5830.
"Winter Wonderettes." Showstoppers Productions. 2 and 7:30 p.m. In this musical revue, the cast sings holiday favorites at the annual Harper's Hardware Holiday Party. Kimball Theatre, Merchants Square, Williamsburg. $22 general admission, $20 seniors, military and students. 1-800-HISTORY.
Holiday Traditions. Virginia Handbell Consort. 6 p.m. Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church, 1024 Harpersville Road, Newport News. Free-will offering. 757-456-1312. http://www.virginiahandbellconsort.com.
Celtic Women: Home for Christmas — The Symphony Tour. 7 p.m. Concert Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts, Christopher Newport University, Newport News. $64-$89. Fergusoncenter.ticketforce.com. 855-FERG-TIX.
Dean Shostak's Crystal Carols. 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Shostak performs on the glass armonica. Kimball Theatre, Merchants Square, Williamsburg. $8. 800-HISTORY.