Marlins celebrate Christmas early

Featured Image: Gingerbread men and actors accompany the Copeland Queen School of the Arts float to interact with guests. Lily Reslink | Marlin Chronicle

Blue lights dangle from trees in the Botanical Gardens to give guests an immersive experience as they stroll. Mikayla Moscatelli | Marlin Chronicle

Botanical Gardens

  • Each year, starting early November and ending Dec. 31, the Botanical Gardens have their Walk the Garden Aglow event. Prices range from $20 to $25 per person depending on if it is a “value” or “premium” night. The Gardens provide Bear House Coffee every evening and have served Duck Donuts from Wednesday through Sunday since Nov. 24. The lights fill the entire park, and the walk takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour, depending on if you take constant stops for pictures. The lights end up showing a beautiful creation and unique set up that will have everyone wanting more. 

Busch Gardens

  • Busch Gardens brings Christmas to all individuals early, serving sweet Christmas fun for everyone. Christmas Town is open from Nov. 10 through Jan. 7. While having numerous setups exclusive to Christmas, the park still has a few rides being operated. Christmas Town is a special place to go with family, friends and significant others to spend time together and enjoy the holiday season. Most days, they are open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., but starting the week before Christmas their hours change to 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Fridays and Sundays, they are open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. through the whole month of December, and on Saturday they are open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Christmas Day, they have special hours from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. for those who enjoy an active day with their family. 


Christmas Parades

  • The Norfolk and Virginia Beach Christmas parades are fun to do before heading home for the semester. While this year’s festivities have both passed, they are good to keep in mind for next year. Many individuals crowd the Oceanfront to witness the spectacle, with just about 100 parade units making their way down Atlantic Avenue covered with giant balloons, marching bands and much more. This year, the 37th Annual Grand Illumination Parade took place in Downtown Norfolk. Each year, they have a different theme; this year was Gingerbread dreams. Just like the Virginia Beach parade, they have marching bands, dance performances and many walking units that help keep everyone on their feet. Both parades include an appearance from the big man himself, Santa. 


By Mikayla Moscatelli