November Brings Holiday Celebrations, World-Renowned Performances, a Dash of Frivolous Fun and Culinary Events to the Coastal City

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (Nov. 4, 2014) Virginia Beach kicks off the holiday season in style, hosting a plethora of events to get travelers in the spirit, including the introduction of the City’s new Oceanfront Ice Park and the return of McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach. November will also see incredible performances by the Moscow Ballet and Blue Man Group, a wacky Mr. Potato Head exhibit at the Virginia Aquarium and a culinary cheese class that will teach tips on how to be the host with the most.

OCEANFRONT RESORT AREA

Battle the Yuletide Bulge The holidays can be a rough time for the waistline. Virginia Beach is helping visitors get a head start on fighting the imminent onslaught of holiday sweets and treats with two offerings in November, starting with  the Race for Breath 5k Run/Walk (Nov. 1). Runners will race along the city’s iconic oceanfront boardwalk in honor of lung cancer patients and survivors, supporting the event’s beneficiary, Free to Breathe. Those looking to blend fitness with fun can head to the city’s first ever Oceanfront Ice Park on Rudee Loop (Nov. 26 – Feb 1, 2015). Travelers can take in stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean while skating the 7200- square-foot ice rink, winning a prize at the holiday carnival or checking out the park’s other events and activities. Admission with skate rental will be $12 for individuals or $45 for family groups of up to five people.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Virginia Beach will welcome back one of its most popular annual holiday festivities, McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach (Nov. 21 – Jan. 3, 2015), a winter staple on the oceanfront that welcomes more than 30,000 families a year. Children of all ages can take in the three-mile spectacle of nautically-themed holiday lights with the accompaniment of a selection of holiday music narrating the light show of festive fish, frolicking dolphins, surfing Santa and more. The “fanta-sea” of lights is sure to dazzle and amaze travelers visiting Virginia Beach. One of the classic and most beloved characters, whom many children hope to find under their tree, can be found at the Virginia Aquarium for a limited time. Children can join The Adventures of Mr. Potato Head (now through May 10, 2015) on interactive adventures that will take them from the ocean’s depths to outer space and great odysseys in between. Young adventurers can help repair the S.P.U.D. space station and search for life on the planet Neptato, explore the ocean with “Jacques Coustato” or join an archaeological dig to solve the secrets of King Tato's lost vegetable kingdom for a fun-filled day of exploration and imagination. Parents can get an early start on their shopping list at the 33rd Annual Virginia Beach Christmas Market (Nov. 28-30), named one of the “100 Best Classic and Contemporary Craft Shows in the United States.” A $7 fee grants three days’ admission to browse the works of more than 250 artisans from 25 states offering fine arts, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, wood crafts, toys, photography, fiber arts and Christmas collectibles. It’s a great place to start the hunt for unique one-of-kind Christmas gifts, personalized stocking stuffers or a stunning decor for the holidays.

TOWN CENTER

Virginia Beach’s downtown shopping and nightlife hub, Town Center, will kick off the holidays at Light Up the Town (Nov. 22) with the arrival of Santa Claus and the illumination of a 30-foot Christmas tree. Join the free family-friendly festivities, which include visits with Santa, a laser light show, carolers, balloon artists and more. As always, pups are welcomed!

Sandler Center Celebrates the Season This month, the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts will host a Taste of Home Cooking School’s 4 the Love of Cheese (Nov. 2) culinary class, an afternoon of foodie fun all about cheese, just in time for the year’s busiest season for entertaining. Attendees can sharpen their hosting skills and sample cheeses from Abondance to Zamorano, get tips on cooking and techniques for creating the best platters, as well as pairing wine and beer. Attendees will surely be the host with the most at their next holiday gathering.  Sandler Center will also host performances by two wildly acclaimed acts in November, beginning with the Blue Man Group (Nov. 7-8). The three-man group is as famous for their blue-and-bald look as for their unique performances combining music, technology and comedy to create a form of entertainment that defies categorization but has been described by critics as "innovative," "energetic" and "wildly entertaining." The only way to truly understand Blue Man Group's global popularity is to see the show for yourself. For one night only, visitors can take in one of the classics, Moscow Ballet: The Great Russian Nutcracker (Nov. 28), with a performance that The New York Times has called a “Knock Out!" Find out why Russia considers it’s ballerinas among its national treasures as  Tchaikovsky's master score, with a touch of magic, breathes life into an ensemble of puppets, Matrushka Dolls and, of course, nutcrackers. To learn more about visiting Virginia Beach during the holidays and the city’s year-round offerings or to request a complimentary vacation guide, contact the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau by calling 1-800-VA-BEACH.