Student performers make the
season bright at Busch Gardens

11/27/2011  | 
field trip destination

Thanksgiving break is barely over, but your excited students already have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. And who can blame them? Christmas is the most magical time of the year, and there’s no better way to experience it than with a trip to Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration.
Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, this immersive holiday experience transforms the world’s most beautiful theme park into a winter wonderland of beautiful lights, live music and fabulous decorations. From one-of-a-kind shopping and dining opportunities, to new holiday shows and a spectacular 50-foot Christmas tree, Christmas Town features fun for all ages around every corner. 

Plus, your students can help us make the season bright. Each year, we invite school choirs, bands and musical groups to perform live at Busch Gardens. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide the soundtrack of the season from the balcony of Das Festhaus. Your student can showcase their skills with 10 to 12 minutes of holiday music. Then, as your group concludes with ‘O Tannenbaum,’ our iconic 50-foot Christmas tree will come alive with lights. It’s not only a tree-lighting spectacular, it’s a way to teach your students the thrill of live performance and the joy that music can bring to the lives of others. 

And we promise it won’t be the only unforgettable—and educational—experience of the night. Because Christmas Town highlights the holiday traditions of six European countries, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to discover a new culture. Start by stepping into the pages of a Charles Dickens’ novel in England, where a bustling town square is decked with classic greenery, red bows and glowing candles. Listen to carolers in Victorian dress, or enjoy a live show in the Globe Theatre.  

Then you’ll arrive in Scotland, where Clydesdale horses and Scottish blackface sheep roam under starry skies. Learn more about Scottish traditions, and warm up with a glass of wassail before climbing aboard Busch Gardens’ classic steam train for a journey around the park. Nearby you’ll find one entrance to Flight of Lights, the popular sky ride that provides beautiful panoramic views. Or continue on into Ireland, where bright green shamrocks greet you. Gather in Abbey Stone Theatre for a live performance featuring beautiful choral harmonies and a full live orchestra. 

In France, students will discover a contemporary twist on the season—an ice-themed world of pink and purple hues, complete with magical falling snow. It’s also home to a live penguin exhibit, perfect for classes learning about animals and their habitats. Then experience New France, where a traditional country Christmas features rustic decorations and an evergreen forest. Students can explore their artistic side by hand-dipping candles or designing custom pottery.

And even high school students will find themselves enchanted in Oktoberfest, where Santa’s Workshop features books and art objects from the jolly old elf’s jaunts around the world. Germany also features our enormous 50-foot light-animated Christmas tree, with computerized lights that dance and change color during special evening light shows. It’s also home to Das Festhaus, where you can gather for a traditional holiday feast and live musical show. 

As your students walk toward the golden glow of Italy, they may wonder just how many lights can be found in Busch Gardens. Do they have a hypothesis? If placed end-to-end, how far could the strands of light stretch? Then let them in on an amazing-but-true secret: This year, Christmas Town features 5 million lights—an amount that could reach all the way to Philadelphia. 

While the main focus of Christmas Town is the holiday experience, it wouldn’t be a trip to Busch Gardens without our incredible rides. Several of our most popular attractions will remain open, including the world’s tallest and fastest inverted steel roller coaster Alpengeist. Take a holiday vacation in Ireland, where our high-tech simulator ride Europe in the Air takes you flying past landmarks like Stonehenge in England, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Colosseum in Rome. Or dare to brave the heights of Mäch Tower, the massive drop spire that looms 240 feet above the earth. It’s brand new for 2011. 

Love Busch Gardens during Christmas? You’ll love what we have in store for 2012. Spring marks the return of our Launch Into Physics event, with engaging live science shows and an opportunity for students to test their knowledge of forces like momentum, acceleration and g-force on our world-class thrill rides. Scheduled for April 20 and 27; May 4, 11, 18 and 25; and June 1 and 8, come see what happens when Busch Gardens transforms into an enormous physics laboratory.
Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration opens November 25 and will continue, on select days, through December 31. For more information on schedules, musical performance opportunities and special group discounts, visit or call 800-343-7946.
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