Sneak Peek: Grand Illumination Week

There is so much more than this going on this week: meditation, ice skating, trivia, Home Alone, $5 yoga, Christmas lights, Christmas carols, free dance lessons, a lighted boat parade, and more! Seriously, check the calendar for more things to do. For the top highlights, check below:

Friday- 5pm- Merchant’s Square

Featured Event this Week! (I will be there, come join!)
A Christmas Carol

A Williamsburg Christmas classic! The Virginia Theatre Machine brings its witty production of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” performed in less than 30 minutes. Free! See the calendar for more showings (in general, Fridays at 5, and Saturdays and Sundays throughout the day.

Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 5pm-  Williamsburg United Methodist Church (full disclosure- my church!) FREE

Handel’s Messiah

Sunday 4pm- Post Theater, Fort Monroe

FREE Holiday Symphony Concert by the Hampton Roads Philharmonic


Ok, so this one’s a little further than 30 minutes from Williamsburg, but I’ll be playing, and this is my blog, so I get to post about it 🙂 For recordings of our orchestra check our Facebook page. We’ll be playing a bunch of Christmas music, the Nutcracker Suite, and “Gloria” by John Rutter.

Grand Illumination– Sunday (Dec 7) 4:45-7:30 pm

Grand Illumination

I can’t not mention this–the annual crowding of Duke of Gloucester Street complete with lots of musical acts in the afternoon and topped off by colonial-style fireworks.

I hope you all have a great week! I didn’t mention it above but there’s also the Christmas parade this weekend (Saturday at 8:30am), like a million concerts and don’t forget the indie movies at the Kimball. Lots of free and low cost things to do in Williamsburg this week and weekend, so y’all have a great time!

Sneak Peek: Thanksgiving Week

For many of us, we will spend this week traveling, eating, and talking to relatives we haven’t seen since last year. But, for the days you’re in town, here are some cool things to do right here in Williamsburg:


Featured Event This Week! 
(in other words, I will be there covering it for the blog, so come join if you want)

Trivia at Green Leafe – 8pm

Green Leafe

An oldie but a goodie. Questions are all written and hosted by local trivia buffs and the questions can be pretty hard- but hey, why do trivia if it’s not challenging? Usually there are 5 rounds: the 4th round is a picture round (you get a sheet of paper with pictures on it and have to identify the item/character/etc) and 5th round is a music round- hear the song, name the artist and title of the song. Also- Green Leafe runs burger specials on this night, they are $5 or $6. Fries are extra, though.

Wednesday and Friday, and then every day for awhile

Iceburg Skate Rink

Iceburg Skate Rink

Ice skating! (click on the link above for hours) I’ve heard it’s a synthetic rink, FYI . . .
Daily Admission (includes Skate Rental)
Child 5 and under: FREE
Youth 6-17 and Senior 55+: $5 for residents/ $7 for non-residents
Adult: $7 for residents/ $8

Thursday (and Friday and Saturday)

Food and Feasts of Colonial Virginia


Now, I have never been to this, but I have always wanted to go! Best of all, it’s FREE for Williamsburg/JCC/York County residents (bring your driver’s license with your address on it):

Long before microwaves, electric stoves and refrigerators, food was prepared in clay pots and iron kettles over hot coals and preserved by smoking, salt curing and pickling. This Thanksgiving holiday, explore foodways of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia during “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” a three-day event beginning on Thanksgiving Day.

If you have been, please leave a short review in the comments- thanks!


Traditional Music for St. Andrew’s Day – 3pm


Scottish fiddle and guitar music by some of this area’s best traditional musicians (John Turner is awesome, if you haven’t heard him). With your Good Neighbor Pass, this *should* be $6 (regular price $8).

Also, Merchant’s Square will be positively hopping this weekend with things to do so- if you are raring to go for Christmas in Williamsburg, go and check out the market, all the pretty greenery and red ribbons, and the “A Christmas Carol”-in-a-box. If you are not ready for Christmas? Stay away- you’ve been warned!

Everyone please travel safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you! Especially my fabulous followers!

6 Reasons Williamsburg’s Farmers Market is the Bomb Diggity

I have a confession: I have been known to spend hours (HOURS) at the farmers market. Why? Because the farmer’s market (at least our Williamsburg Farmers Market) is THE BEST place to spend a Saturday morning ever! Here’s why:

1) The People Watching

Satisfied shoppers buy from KelRae Farms in Toano!
Above: Satisfied shoppers buy from KelRae Farms in Toano

This is probably one of my favorite activities. When you go, see how many of these you can spot:
– Older ladies with fancy market baskets filled to the brim with organic produce
– Small dogs being either a) pushed in a stroller or b) carried in a basket
– Families with little kids doing their shopping as a group (cuuuute!)
– Dog fights/ altercations
– Dogs sniffing each others’ butts
– Cute dogs, old dogs, big dogs, little dogs, just DOGS!
– CW employees in costume
– Somebody pulling a wagon full of produce
– Groups of students going from stall to stall looking for free samples

2) The Free Samples

Chefs from the Williamsburg Lodge restaurant, Traditions, steep up some yummy stuff for a soup
Chefs from the Williamsburg Lodge restaurant, Traditions, steep up some yummy stuff for a soup

You know you’re not above those students.  The following stalls usually have samples, but be respectful- the vendors are there for their livelihoods, so don’t ask for samples if you already know you’re not going to buy anything, OK?

– Chef’s Tent- always free! local chefs come in and make something really good using things available at the market. It’s over on the south side of the square between the Cheese Shop and the Wythe Candy shop.
Goats R Us (flavored goat cheeses- lavender, chocolate, black pepper, all sorts)
– an occasional vineyard, like Hague, or Saude Creek– yes you can SAMPLE WINE IN THE MORNING isn’t Williamsburg great?!?
Fresh Crunch (pickled stuff)
Belmont Peanuts

3) The Vendors

I think a lot of ladies do.
I think a lot of ladies do.

They are for real farmers. Or cheesemakers. Or whatever. And they are all super nice people! At the WFM, it’s required that the person selling is the person that produced the product. So go ahead, ask all your questions about recipes, growing seasons, and how those darling chickens are doing. This is their passion, so they will love talking about it with you!

4) The Music

The Blue Notes
Don’t let their cuteness fool you- they rock out.

There’s almost always some kind of live music at the market, and since it’s live music, the musicians are probably local, ergo: there are talented local musicians at the market. This week, it’s The Blue Notes, a group of teenagers (!) who play classic blues standards. I’ve heard everything from a cappella groups to smooth guitar tunes to folksy-music.  The fact that there are so many talented people in a relatively rural area really impresses me.


Beautiful peppers (in November!) from Amy's Garden
Beautiful peppers (in November!) from Amy’s Garden

Of course, there’s oodles of beautiful rainbow chard, weird and ugly winter squashes, and tomatoes of every hue and shape– but there’s also grass-fed meats, honey, eggses, and prepared foods like pastitsio made by real authentic Greek ladies, and pastries made by a French bakery, and pies, and more pies, and even popsicles. SO MUCH GOOD FOOD!

6) The Energy

The market buzzes with activity, and it’s one of my favorite things about it. Let me tell you a little story . . .

When I first moved to Williamsburg, I didn’t have a car. And it was winter. I would get home and it would be dark and I didn’t feel safe going around at night so I’d be stuck in my apartment until the weekend. But you know what was on the weekend? The farmers market! Every market Saturday I would get on my bike and ride down to the square. I was just so excited to be where everybody else was, where the action was- it was honestly the highlight of my week. And it’s one of the main reasons I still love it- I feel like I’m part of a community. I hope you feel that way, too!

Rainbow Chard from Zamora's produce
Rainbow Chard from Zamora’s produce

I’d love to hear what your favorite parts of the market are- if you’d like, leave a comment!

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