NEWPORT NEWS—Beginning Thanksgiving Day and extending through New Year’s Day, the City of Newport News lights up with the Ferguson NlightN Holiday Event Series. Pronounced “enlighten,” this series, sponsored by Ferguson, includes three main events—the classic Celebration in Lights at Newport News Park, the magical Lights at the Fountain at City Center, and the art and technology focused ARTech Lights at Brooks Crossing—along with additional events throughout the city.
November 25-January 1, 5:30pm to 10pm nightly
Newport News Park
$12 per car Monday–Thursday; $15 per car Friday–Sunday; $75 per bus every day
Celebration in Lights is two miles of dazzling holiday light displays set amongst the beautiful woods and waterways at Newport News Park. Now in its 29th season, the event has grown each year and has more than one million lights creating holiday and fanciful scenes. New this year are magical trees, candy-themed display pieces, additional deer displays, and 3D trees.
Nightly light show, December 4–January 1, 5pm to 9pm
Holiday Tree Lighting & Festivities, December 4, 5pm to 8pm
City Center at Oyster Point; free admission, free parking
Lights at the Fountain is a holiday experience of lights, decorations, and magical falling snow set to music around the City Center at Oyster Point five-acre fountain plaza. Delighting all ages is a special ten-minute synchronized light show playing every half hour from 5pm to 9pm, incorporating a 42′ intelligent, color/pattern changing tree, 55 wrapped perimeter trees around the fountain, and a festive soundtrack for a fully immersive experience. On December 4, the holiday tree lighting and opening festivities will fill City Center with entertainment, an ice sculpting exhibition, seasonal gift vendors, carnival games, food vendors, children’s activities, and more.
Nightly light show, December 4–January 1, 5pm to 9pm
Festivities, December 10, 3:30pm to 8:00pm
Brooks Crossing; free admission, free parking
An animated light and sound show displays on the holiday tree at ARTech Lights nightly from 5pmto 9pm every half hour, with synchronized music and seasonal décor throughout the area. On December 10, enjoy special hands-on “techtivities” from 3:30pm to 8:00pm where children are immersed in a variety of STEM-related activities provided by Jefferson Lab, Newport News Shipbuilding, and the Innovation Lab at Brooks Crossing. To go along with the “techtivities” will be food and beverage vendors, a DJ, “silent disco,” a bonfire and a skating rink, which will also be open on December 11 and 12.
Here’s a list of other holiday activities happening throughout Newport News:
Gnome for the Holidays, Denbigh Community Center, December 4–January 1
The Denbigh Community Center is being transformed with a snow gnome mural, festive holiday décor, crafts, lights, and more, all ready for family photos and selfies! Free family film 6pm to 8pm on December 10 featuring Snow Buddies, a hot cocoa bar, and popcorn.
Holiday Frost, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, December 10, 4pm – 7pm
With the theme Holidays In Outer Space, this year’s event features a Martian candy story, “Moon Room” with Apollo 8, games, Star Wars characters and giveaways. The event is free, but reservations for timed entries are required and can be made online.
For more information on the Ferguson NlightN Holiday Event Series, visit www.nnva.gov/NlightN or call 757-926-1400.
In addition, there will be several holiday events that will happen at various Newport News historic sites. Celebrate the season by visiting with Santa, adorning a grapevine wreath, taking a historic holiday tour, and much more. Activities include:
- Historic Tours of Lee Hall and Endview: December 3 through 31—Take a stroll down memory lane with a visit to Endview and Lee Hall Mansion, both decorated for the season with period-appropriate holiday décor. Guided tours of the sites offer a glimpse of common holiday customs.
- St. Nick at Endview: Thursday, December 2 and Friday, December 3 from 5pm to 8pm—This long-standing holiday tradition provides private family photo opportunities with St. Nick in Endview’s historic interior. A wrapped present for each child participating is requested along with a can of food for the local food bank. Admission is $5 per child. Reservations are required by calling 757-887-1862 or emailing email@example.com.
- Deck the Depot: Wednesday, December 1 at 6pm—Join the Friends of the Lee Hall Depot to make merry decorating the station’s interior and enjoy light refreshments. At 7pm, Foundation President Kenneth Jones will present a special rail heritage program, “The Silver Fleet under the Palms,” highlighting passenger train travel in Florida prior to the era of Amtrak.
- Rocking Around the Depot Christmas Tree: Saturday, December 4 and Saturday, December 11 from 10am to 4pm—Enjoy holiday décor and model trains. The Tidewater O Gauge Association will operate a large interactive layout that kids of all ages can enjoy.
- Ho Ho Ho – Santa at the Depot!: Saturday, December 18 from 10am to 4pm—The Hampton Roads O Scale Club will operate a large interactive layout that kids of all ages can enjoy while creating crafts. Santa will be there from 1 to 4pm and light refreshments will be served.
- Natural Wreath Making Workshops at Endview: Saturday, December 4 from 10am to noon, and 1:30pm to 3:30pm; Tuesday, December 7 from 10am to noon—Adorn a grapevine wreath with period embellishments at this popular workshop. The $15 fee includes the wreath and all materials plus a guided, holiday-themed tour of Endview. Reservations are required and can be made online, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 757-888-3371 ext. 304.
For more information or to make reservations for St. Nick and the wreath workshops, visit www.newportnewshistory.org/events or call 757-888-3371. A complete list of events and programs at Newport News historic sites is available online.