Be Merry in Manassas and Prince William

Get into the holiday spirit in Prince William and Manassas. Visit any time during the winter season to see historic streets decked out in lights and hunt for that perfect gift at our boutiques.

Day One:

The first weekend in December is the traditional start of Merry Old Town for the Christmas tree lighting, sleigh rides, parades and a holiday history lesson. Arrive before 5 p.m. to enjoy holiday music, hayrides and ice-skating. Santa arrives by train at 6 p.m. to greet children and light the Christmas tree at the Manassas Museum. Enjoy dinner at one of many family owned restaurants in Old Town while enjoying the glistening lights.

Day Two:

The annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade is at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Or, head to Historic Occoquan for tea with Santa at 9 a.m. at the Pink Bicycle Tea Room. Once in Occoquan, visit The Golden Goose – a store dedicated to the holidays – grab lunch at a café and stroll the streets to see the holiday lights. Get ready for a holiday history lesson at Rippon Lodge, one of Prince William's oldest homes. Learn about the customs and traditions of Saint Nick and what the holidays were like during World War II. Holiday crafts, music and refreshments are available throughout the day.

Return to Old Town Manassas for sleigh rides, a photo with Santa and the merchant's open house with refreshments and entertainment. Don't forget to stop at The Things I Love, which will be decked out with 20-plus trees, each sporting a different theme. In the evening, visit Ben Lomond Historic Site, which features one of the few public slave quarters left in Northern Virginia. Learn how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays through living history vignettes and tours. Reservations suggested for this $10-a-person tour.

Return to Prince William & Manassas to visit a Civil War-era Santa at Leesylvania State Park, home of Lighthorse Harry Lee. Enjoy period music, costumed interpreters and light refreshments.

Attend a holiday concert at the 1875 Union Church at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre. Roast marshmallows by a fire and stop by the old courthouse for photos with Santa. In the evening, head to Historic Occoquan or Old Town Manassas for dinner and to see sparkling lights and decorated trees.