Celebrate Christmas in Yorktown!
The holiday season is filled with special community traditions in Historic Yorktown. It’s a time for friends, family, and neighbors to safely gather together to eat, shop, and create lasting memories. From modern celebrations like the Tree Lighting and Christmas Market on Main Street to period programming like Christmastide in Virginia and Viking Yuletide—there are special events taking place all December long. Make merry and plan your next visit today.
Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday, Dec. 4 | 7:30 p.m.
Location: Riverwalk Landing - Yorktown Waterfront
This community tradition goes all the way back to 1945. That's the year that Reverend Claud G. Barkley, Pastor of Yorktown Baptist Church, and staff from the County Clerk's Office decorated a cedar tree that stood at the corner of Main and Ballard Streets. The York County Historical Committee works hard to keep this ritual going year after year. The tree that is used today is a 20-foot artificial commercial "Giant Everest Fir" placed at Riverwalk Landing.
Guests will be entertained by the TRADOC Arsenal Brass Band at 6:30 p.m., followed by a performance from the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 7 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m., immediately followed by a virtual message from Santa Claus! The Freight Shed will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for the public to write holiday cards to military personnel and Santa. During the event, the public is asked to practice social distancing and wear masks. To register for this free event, please visit Eventbrite. Please note, there will be no programming or procession this year at Victory Monument. If you have questions, please call York County Parks & Recreation at 757.890.3500.
Christmas Market on Main
Saturday, Dec. 5 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
Sunday, Dec. 6 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Historic Main Street
Whether you're searching for a holiday gift for family and friends or as a treat to yourself—you’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main Street!
This is one of the most anticipated Yorktown events every year! Close to 60 vendors will line the street in a socially distanced set-up - selling everything from local art like paintings, jewelry, and photography to breads, sweets, and other goodies. Get your greenery and Christmas wreaths too!
The Town Crier will ring in the market at 10 a.m. followed by a performance from The Fifes and Drums of York Town to open the market. Santa Claus will station himself on York County's first fire truck to greet the crowd. Expect musical entertainment and caroling to add to the festive atmosphere. It simply doesn't get more Christmas than this!
Vendors, artists, and food trucks will once again line the street in a socially distanced set-up selling everything from local art (including ornaments) to seasonal foods to greenery and Christmas wreaths. Expect musical entertainment to add to the festive atmosphere and a special ice carving demonstration.
We are taking important precautions to keep our customers and vendors safe amidst COVID-19 concerns, including required spacing between booths and a setup to avoid congestion in typically high-traffic areas. Shoppers are asked to follow the signs and designated arrows on site to keep folks moving in the same direction. If the event reaches capacity, an entry line will form on Ballard Street.
All vendors and staff are required to wear face coverings when interacting with customers who are less than 6 feet away. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up as you enter, as well as signs stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted to shop at the market.
Saturday Dec. 5 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 6 | 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Watermen’s Museum
Once you’re done shopping at Market on Main head down to the Watermen's Museum for their FREE Viking Yuletide Program! During this family-friendly event, you can learn about the ancient Norse influences on modern Christmas culture; enjoy demonstrations of traditional crafts and sport; play games and participate in the Althing in a Viking-era encampment; and enjoy a proper Victorian display! Odin and St. Nicolas will also be on site for photos. The Museum’s special programming will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is co-hosted by the Society of Amateur Vikings for General Reenactment.
Cookies with Santa
Sunday, Dec. 6 | 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Gallery at York Hall – Main Street
The Gallery at York Hall is excited to once again host this special event – with a few modifications this year due to COVID-19. Children and parents can stop by to wave to Santa, drop off pre-made wish lists for the North Pole, grab a to-go goodie bag with a cookie, and do some holiday shopping as well! The Gallery at York Hall is filled with local one-of-a-kind art in all mediums.
Parents and grandparents are still encouraged to bring their own cameras to this family event but are reminded that children will have to stand in front of Santa in a designated area. Though six feet away, the big guy in red will still be wearing a mask as an added precaution. Adults and children who are old enough (over the age of five) are also asked to wear masks as they enter York Hall. We thank you in advance for your consideration and cooperation during this fun, community tradition.
Saturday, December 12 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Riverwalk Landing – Yorktown Waterfront
The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off in Yorktown! Browse the market for chowders and soups; baked goods, including an assortment of cakes, breads, brownies, fudge, and cookies; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and seasonal art! NEW this year – don’t miss a festive live ice carving demonstration! Don your most festive attire to march in our Toyland Parade – a short loop around Riverwalk to celebrate the holiday season.
Christmastide in Virginia
December 19 - 31
Closed Christmas & New Years Day
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Experience Colonial Virginia holiday traditions with interpretive programs, cooking demonstrations, and musical entertainment.
Celebrate this holiday season with historical festivities December 19-31 at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown during "Christmastide in Virginia."
The museums have made adjustments to operations and access to outdoor living-history areas and gallery exhibits so that families can enjoy the museum experience while following new safety protocols and social-distancing procedures. The museums' films and immersive indoor gallery exhibits are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the outdoor living-history areas are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, hear accounts of Christmas during the war in the re-created Continental Army encampment while learning about winter military camp life for a Continental Army soldier. Discover how the quartermaster secured supplies for troops and the winter months ahead, and cover your ears as costumed historical interpreters demonstrate the firing of artillery. On the Revolution-era farm, visitors can compare 18th-century Christmas traditions with those of modern times, deck the halls of a clapboard farmhouse, and observe preparations for a holiday feast in the kitchen and over an open hearth.
Let Us Help You Check Off Your Shopping List!
Still deciding what gifts to get your friends and family? Let us help you check off that shopping list! Yorktown is brimming with unexpected ideas for everyone on your wish list. Your support of local shops, galleries, and restaurants is also a gift to our small business owners!
Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters has the coffee connoisseur covered! Shop for gift baskets, tea, coffee, and even stocking stuffers of special holiday flavor bags available closer to Christmas. You can get some for him, some for her, and some for you! The Yorktown Colonial Historical Blend was developed after research of coffee varietals that were available in Colonial America to bring you a true taste of American history.
Sunday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day
December 4: Open 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (grab hot chocolate and treats before the Yorktown Tree Lighting!)
Open Christmas Eve 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
The Gallery at York Hall has truly one-of-a-kind gifts made by local and regional artists. If you love Christmas ornaments, you definitely need to check out their collection! You'll find 18th-century and Yorktown-inspired adornments as well as niche themed designs to fit special interests. Shop for paintings, books, quilts, pottery, stained glass, and so much more!
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m.
Closed November 25 and Thanksgiving Day
Open Black Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Open Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Black Dog Gallery is your one-stop shop for handblown glass ornaments and their signature scallop and oyster wreaths that make perfect additions to any beach house or friend in your life who loves the ocean! Gifting a special picture to a grandparent this year? You'll find Antique Print Fragment Photo Frames to showcase those beautiful memories.
Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday & Monday by appointment only
Closed Thanksgiving Day
Open Black Friday 1-4 p.m.
Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Open New Year's Eve 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There’s lots to explore at Patriot Tours and Provisions! We absolutely love their "Virginia is for Lovers" merchandise featuring t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, hats, beanies, and more. They also sell lawn ornaments, garden flags, and pirate-themed toys for kids.
Starting week of November 9: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through remainder of 2020
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day
Is it jewelry she’s wanting? Viccellio Goldsmith has endless options for presents that sparkle. You can't go wrong with a piece from their stunning selection of bracelets, pendants, and earrings, which are all part of their Yorktown Collection.
Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday & Monday by appointment
Closed Thanksgiving & Black Friday
Open Christmas Eve 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Closed December 25-28
Open New Year's Eve 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Closed January 1-4
Auntie M’s American Cottage has unique and fun gifts for almost anyone on your list. You'll find various ornaments including pewter variations and oyster shells branded with Yorktown. The shop specializes in their line of Folk Art Christmas Collectibles which are a unique addition to anyone's decorating setup.
Open Thanksgiving 12-3 p.m.
Open Black Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Open December 26-December 30 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Open New Year's Eve 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed January 1-January 14
Open daily January 15-end of February 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Yorktown Bookshop is your one-stop shop for the avid readers and antique lovers on your list. Owner Allen Sylvia specializes in unique vintage items, such as rare or hard-to-find books and first editions. He also has an incredible assortment of militaria and maritime, presidential, and historical items.
Daily 12-6 p.m.
Open Black Friday 12-6 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day 12-6 p.m.
Open New Year's Eve 12-6 p.m.
Closed New Year's Day
The Watermen’s Museum Gift Shop has a wide variety of nautical and seaside gifts and home décor. Think ships in a bottle, Christmas children's stories, tea towels, ornaments, oven mitts, platters, and more.
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.; closed Mondays
Open Black Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed for the season starting at 5 p.m. on December 23
Spring reopening set for 10 a.m. on April 1, 2021
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Gift Shop is overflowing with special finds for the history lover in your family. Consider a wax and seal set to give your Christmas cards a special Yorktown touch before you drop those envelopes in the mail. You'll also find a wide selection of books based on history, clothing, ornaments, kids games, and other unique gift ideas.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Closed Christmas and New Year's Days
On the Hill Gallery showcases original designs by very talented local artists. We love searching for all the unique and beautiful ways they showcase our signature purple Yorktown Onions. You'll find paintings, photographs, wreaths, ornaments, and other Christmas figurines.
Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Open December 5 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and December 6 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open November 25 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Open Black Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open Christmas Eve 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Closed remainder of 2020; will reopen around the second weekend in January
Finally, we think it's always in good taste to give a gift to a local restaurant!
- Ben & Jerry’s (Daily 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 9 a.m. opening on Nov. 14, Nov. 21, Dec. 5 & Dec. 12. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.)
- Carrot Tree (Holiday hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Mondays. Open November 25 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and Thanksgiving order pickups. Closed Thanksgiving. Open Christmas Eve 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and holiday order pickups. Closed Christmas Day.)
- Larry's (Breakfast 7-10:30 a.m with a limited menu between 10:30 and 11 a.m.; lunch/dinner 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving)
- Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters
- Riverwalk Restaurant
- Umi Sushi
- Water Street Grille (Thanksgiving Dinner starts at 11 a.m. with the last reservation at 6:45 p.m. No large parties over 14 people. View menu here.)
- Yorktown Pub