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Our family loves visiting Kings Dominion during the Christmas season. And that’s because we love the WinterFest event!
This holiday festivals offers fun themed shows, special activities, great shopping opportunities, and some delicious treats. And you can’t forget about the gorgeous Christmas lights! The Doswell, Virginia theme park really is transformed into a beautiful holiday wonderland. We love walking around and taking in all of the breathtaking sights.
In this 2021 WinterFest guide, we go over the fun things to do at Kings Dominion to celebrate Christmas. We’ll also give you some advice if you’re planning a trip to the Richmond area.
Shows & Entertainment
There are a number of fun holiday shows at WinterFest. In fact, there are really too many to watch all in one day! Check out these options to see which ones would be most enjoyable for you and your family or friends. And if you’ll be visiting WinterFest more than one day, you can decide beforehand which show or shows are a top priority.
Cool Yule Christmas
This high energy show, located across from the Eiffel Tower, is full of fun Christmas songs, including some more recent favorites as well as classic hits. Even a little rain doesn’t stop these talented performers! Choose from three performances: one at 6:00 PM, at 7:00 PM, or at 8:00 PM.
You can also see a video of a performance from 2019 here:
And from 2021 here:
Tinker’s Toy Factory
This kid friendly show features Tinker and the rest of Santa’s elves as they work to create the perfect gifts for Christmas morning. Tinker wants to continue to make classic traditional favorites (like wooden trains and teddy bears), but the new lead elf is pushing technology. And if this sounds too serious for you, don’t worry. This energetic and colorful show has a happy ending!
You can watch Tinker’s Toy Factory at PEANUTS™ Showplace. The showtimes are 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 PM.
Charlie Brown’s Christmas Spectacular
Enjoy fun with the whole PEANUTS gang in this Broadway-style show. If you enjoy singing, dancing, beautiful costumes, and PEANUTS characters like Snoopy and Lucy, you won’t want to miss this. And as a bonus, it’s indoors at the Kings Dominion Theater. On colder nights, this is definitely appreciated!
The showtimes for this Charlie Brown musical production are 5:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM.
Blitzen’s Brass Band
The seasonal hits performed by these musicians are sure to get your toes tapping! This rowdy brass band stops by WinterFest Way at 5:15 PM, 6:15 PM, and 7:15 PM.
At this interactive entertainment spot on International Street, you can give encouragement to Murray the Moose. You see, Murray wants to join Santa’s Sleigh Team. But he’ll need to convince Rudy Reindeer from Reindeer Services during a job interview!
WinterFest Wonderland Parade
The WinterFest Wonderland Parade is full of so many holiday favorites. You can see some favorite Christmas characters (like Jack Frost and Santa Claus), gingerbread men, beautiful floats, singers, dancers, and more!
You can view the parade from the following locations in the park:
- Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza
- Elf Village
- International Street
- Tinsel Town
- WinterFest Way
It starts at 9:00 PM each night.
WinterFest Tree Lighting Spectacular
At 5:15 PM, things really get started at WinterFest! That’s when the tree lighting takes place. There will be singing and dancing, a countdown by the audience, and then Snoopy will “plug in” the lights on the tree! Seeing the Eiffel Tower and International Street lit up by hundreds of thousands of dazzling lights is definitely a sight to behold.
Do you love 1950s music? Then you should watch the Mistletones, an a cappella trio wearing vintage attire and singing classic tunes. They perform in Tinsel Town every hour on the half hour, starting at 5:30 PM and ending at 9:30 PM.
Sounds of the Nativity
Listen to beautiful traditional carols that tell the story of Christmas. This manger setting even includes a stable of live animals! You can find this in Toy Soldier Alley. Performance times are 5:15 PM, 6:15 PM, 7:15 PM 8:15 PM, and 9:15 PM.
Talented a cappella singers perform in front of the beautifully decorated Old Virginia Christmas Gazebo. These singers, dressed hoop skirts, wood shawls, top hats, and coat tails, sound amazing! They perform on the hour starting at 5:00 PM. The last performance is at 9:00 PM.
Holly Jolly Trolley
When the Holly Jolly Trolley makes a stop in Tinsel Town, you’re in for a treat! You’ll see brightly costumed performers singing favorite holiday songs. And there are some guest interactions as well. Showtimes are 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 8:00 PM.
Four Drummers Drumming
These four energetic drummers, dressed as toy soldiers, will delight with festive beats and fresh rhythms. You can enjoy this on International Street at 5:00 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM.
A PEANUTS™ Guide to Christmas
This is an interactive show and sing-along that’s ideal for young children. Popular PEANUTS characters like Charlie, Lucy, and Linus discuss seasonal topics, like how to give the perfect Christmas gift and the meaning of Christmas for them. Catch this at the PEANUTS Playhouse at 5:30 PM, 6:30 PM, or 7:30 PM.
WinterFest offers some special seasonal dining options. Here are some highlights.
Classic Christmas Café
At this indoor restaurant at Candy Cane Lane, you can enjoy traditional holiday menu items like hand-carved turkey, smoked country ham, cornbread, candied yams, and more. You can find out more in this full review of the Classic Christmas Cafe.
If you love hot dogs, you’ve come to the right place! And you can even try the all-new Christmas Corndog. This is a good option if you’d like to eat something that feels more like a “main course” before you enjoy some of the many delicious sweet treats available at WinterFest. This dining location can be found in Old Virginia Christmas.
Build your own burrito at this restaurant located on International Street!
Grain & Grill
There’s a lot to enjoy at this new dining experience at International Street. You get a protein, a side item, and one of several toppings. And your choices include great options like hand-carved steak, crispy hoisin pork topped with Asian garlic barbeque sauce, garlic and herb chicken, and more. Plus, for guests 21 years and older, there’s a patio bar with signature cocktails, wine, and craft beer.
Jack Frost’s Liquid Libations
Craving something sweet and chocolate-y? Jack Frost’s Liquid Libations features a hot chocolate bar with great holiday flavors and a variety of toppings. You can also pick up a few holiday cookies to go with your hot chocolate! You’ll find this on International Street.
Prancer’s Festive Funnel Cakes
Celebrate the holidays with a unique funnel cake. Your choices include a Candy Cane Funnel Cake or a Gingerbread Funnel Cake! You can also order hot apple cider or hot chocolate at this International Street location.
Other Dining Options
Other places to eat include:
- 11 Pipers Piping Pizza
- Belsnickel’s Beer & Wine
- Vixen’s Fixins
- Blitzen’s Burgers
- Prancer’s Pizza
- The Parched Pig Piping Pint
- Tinker’s Twisted Pretzels
- Comet’s Cones & Cream
- Dancer’s Snack Shack
- Cupid’s Cookies and Cocoa
- Ebenezer’s Spirits
- Sugar’s Cake Factory
- Prancer’s Snack Shack
- Blitzen’s Snack Nook
Shopping at WinterFest
If you’re looking for something truly unique – either to buy for yourself or for a special Christmas gift – you definitely should stop by Artisan Alley!
This is a fun outdoor market in Old Virginia Christmas that is full of talented local vendors. You can browse through fabulous handmade goods (like wooden signs, bags, and jewelry). And they really do make excellent Christmas presents. You won’t have to worry that your gift is identical to someone else’s!
But you don’t have to stop there. If you like shopping, we recommend checking out the other stores open at WinterFest. You’ll find some wonderful souvenirs – and some absolutely gorgeous Christmas themed items as well. It’s even worth popping inside to check out the displays!
Here are those stores:
- Simply Christmas
- North Pole Mercantile
- Home for the Holidays
- Sugar Plum Sweets
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
Clearly, it’s not easy to get bored at WinterFest! But there are still more fun things to do. Let’s go over some of those experiences.
Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Cookie Decorating
Your family can decorate Christmas cookies with Mrs. Claus! This is sure to be a memorable experience. You’ll need to pay an additional fee, which includes 4 sugar cookies and materials for decorating.
Snow Flake Lake Ice Skating
Did you know that you can go ice skating in front of the Eiffel Tower… in Virginia? At WinterFest, you can enjoy ice skating on Snow Flake Lake! Please note that this experience requires an additional fee, which covers the skate rental and a 90 minute session on the ice.
Keep your eyes open – you never know who you might run into! Over 30 fun holiday and WinterFest characters will be roaming the parks. These include Snowflake and Tinsel (Jack Frost’s nieces), Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy, and even three Christmas ghosts haunting Scrooge.
Make magical memories on a carriage ride down WinterFest Way! This is fun for friends, family, or date night. Please note that this is not included with admission – an additional fee is required.
WinterFest Snow Globe
Step inside a WinterFest themed snow globe! This giant snow globe makes an excellent setting for a fun holiday photo.
Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree Lot
Help Charlie and Linus find the perfect Christmas tree that “just needs a little love”! You’ll come across that iconic tree once you make your way through the Christmas tree maze. And you’ll get a chance to get a photo with said tree, as well as with Charlie and Linus!
Coke Polar Party
Get your photo taken with the beloved Coca-Cola polar bear! There’s also a 30-foot-tall inflatable Coca-Cola Santa holding a bottle of Coke. This is all located at, fittingly, Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza.
North Pole Post Office
Also at Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza, your child will have a chance to write a letter to Santa! And what’s more, Santa’s elves will be on hand to send the letters to Santa via a special pulley system.
Sally’s Christmas Crafts
Kids ages 12 years and younger can make their own Christmas tree ornament! Each child will receive a bag of craft supplies to use for their creation. And at the end, they can hang them on Sally’s WinterFest tree or take it home for their own tree. This all happens at Charlie Brown’s Christmas Town.
St. Nick’s Pics
Get that perfect family photo with Santa Claus himself! Santa’s WinterFest home is located at Old Virginia Christmas. An extra fee is required for this activity.
Every 15 minutes, you can experience a snow fall, complete with colorful changing lights. This is all thanks to Jack Frost, so you’ll need to head to Jack’s Frost Zone for the snow show.
Jack Frost’s Igloo Village
WinterFest is so much fun. But sometimes, it can get really cold! If you want to warm up, not to mention relax, consider renting a high-end igloo from Jack Frost. Each igloo can accommodate a group of four (or more, for additional charges, up to a maximum of eight). You’ll get concierge services for food and beverage delivery. You’ll also get a WinterFest souvenir hot chocolate mug! The cost for this starts at $129 plus taxes and fees.
So of course you’ll love all the holiday extras at WinterFest. But what about your favorite Kings Dominion rides?
Don’t worry! You’ll still be able to enjoy the following attractions:
- Twisted Timbers
- Great Pumpkin Coaster
- Charlie Brown’s Wind Up
- Kite Eating Tree
- Lucy’s Crabbie Cabbies
- Sally’s Sea Plane
- Snoopy’s Space Buggies
- Bad Apple
- Blue Ridge Tollway
- Flying Eagles
- Wave Swinger
- Flying Ace Balloon Race
- Linus Launcher
- PEANUTS 500
- Snoopy’s Junction
- Woodstock Whirlybirds
Kings Dominion Christmas Vacation
Do you want to travel to the Doswell, Virginia area to visit Kings Dominion WinterFest during the holiday season?
Our family enjoys staying at Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Doswell (Kings Dominion). It’s across the street from Kings Dominion, which makes it so convenient! And the hotel itself is reasonably priced and includes a free breakfast. We have always had a great time staying there. We go into more detail about the hotel here.
If you’re planning a longer trip, consider traveling to Williamsburg to enjoy Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg! We have done this in the past (most recently, this month). Like with WinterFest, at Christmas Town you can enjoy beautiful holiday lights, live entertainment, and fun rides. We have 10 tips for visiting Christmas Town here. And we recommend saving money with a Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens combination ticket.