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A Group Of People Sitting On A Bench In Front Of A Christmas Tree
A Group Of People Walking On A Bridge
Winter Wander light display
A Man And Woman Standing In A Field Of Grass With Lights In The Background

Winter Wander

Virginia's Premier Wintertime Getaway

Opening Night: Friday, November 22, 2024

The beauty of light and the whimsy of nature intertwine harmoniously at the Boar's Head Resort Winter Wander Trail of Lights. Experience the nature of our rolling landscape during this illuminated lakeside stroll as an extraordinary palette of colorful illuminations blanket the natural surroundings for a magical show of lights like no other.

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This year’s Winter Wander Trail of Lights is destined to be the most astonishing since its existence. Our team has been working diligently since the close of last year’s event to bring multiple new additions that will transform this year's Winter Wander Trail of Lights into the most spectacular winter “wanderland” in all of Virginia.

View What's New!

Looking for an overnight stay? 

Guests who book the overnight Winter Wander stay package will receive luxurious accommodations, tickets for each night to the Winter Wander trail of lights and an exclusive Winter Wander keepsake. An overnight stay also comes with premium VIP access to Winter Wander! Unlike daily ticket holders, overnight package guests receive unlimited access to the event and are not restricted to a single entrance time. VIP overnight guests are also granted the exclusive ability to bypass the ticket lines and can enter and leave the show at their convenience. 

Christmas in July Savings: Starts July 8, 2024

Our Christmas in July promotion brings early discounts on stay packages and season passes. Use this link to view season pass rates or click below to book your stay now and secure a balcony room with a view of the lights. 

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What is Winter Wander? 

The Winter Wander is a predominantly hard-surface trail that circles nearly one-half mile around Heritage Lake behind the main hotel at Boar’s Head Resort. Guests will experience multiple Instagram-worthy moments as thousands of festive lights illuminate the rolling landscape. With an “easy” trail rating, this unique pathway is truly built for all walks of life.

Location and Parking

The Winter Wander is staged behind the main hotel at Boar’s Head Resort. For driving directions, use: 200 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Parking for the Winter Wander is free, and one of our smiling staff members will be on location to direct you to a nearby parking space or you can view the parking map online.  We look forward to seeing you at our Charlottesville holiday lights experience!

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There are multiple magnificent stops along the wander trail. Click below to learn more about each illuminated experience.

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New for 2024

Winter Wander has several all-new attractions for this season. Use the link below to see what's new this year!

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The Mill Room

The legendary Mill Room restaurant will be available for dinner during the Winter Wander, but reservations are required.

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Book Your Stay Package

Guests who book this package will receive luxurious accommodations, tickets for each night to the Winter Wander trail of lights and an exclusive Winter Wander keepsake. An overnight stay also comes with premium access to Winter Wander! Unlike daily ticket holders, overnight package guests receive unlimited access to the event and are not narrowed to a single entrance time. Ask about our premium rooms when booking that allow guests to view the entire light show from the cozy comfort of their own balcony.

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The Market - Food, Drinks & Merchandise

Your journey will end in the historic Hearth Lounge with a family-friendly nightcap around a roaring fireplace. Warm your body with an assortment of winter-worthy food and drink options as you take time to explore vendor booths that complement your walking tour. Step outside to enjoy the ambience of our patio where you’ll find a toasty outdoor fire pit as you bask in the reflections that twinkle across the lakeside waters.

Visit Santa's Mill

The jolly one himself takes time off from his toy making to visit the Winter Wander Trail of Lights each evening until 9 p.m. through Dec. 24. Stop by Santa's Mill in The Market to pass along your wish. Santa visits are complimentary, but there is an additional fee for photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause.

  • First 4x6 photo print: $20
  • Additional 4x6 prints: $10
  • Digital file: $30
  • Digital file & one 4x6 print bundle: $40

*No personal photography with Santa, including cell phones. 

Celebration Packages

Bring your special celebration to Winter Wander! Our team can assist in building a unique experience as you celebrate an engagement, anniversary, birthday, retirement or any event you wish to commemorate with us! Packages are $250 for the general public or $200 for resort guests and include the following:

  • Two tickets to Winter Wander.
  • A Winter Wander team member to help you plan, execute and personalize your celebration, including taking photos if desired.
  • Front-of-line access to Santa, including one digital file and one printed photo with Santa.
  • Reserved table, fire pit (gas or wood burning) or swing along the trail for one hour (additional hours available for purchase).
  • One bottle of house wine (red, white or sparkling) or a bucket of six Winter Wander beers.
  • One hour of ice skating and skate rentals for two.

These packages are available nightly at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.The general public can add this on while purchasing tickets online. Hotel guests can reserve their experience by emailing Kevin: 

Plan for the Weather

The entire first half-mile of your wander is outside, so please dress appropriately. This is a rain, snow or shine event. Winter Wander will close only for extreme inclement weather, and any closures will be posted to our resort Facebook page.

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Walking Distance & Trail

The entire Winter Wander loop around Heritage Lake is approximately one half of a mile in total distance and relatively flat. The trail has been upgraded since our first year and is an outdoor hard-packed surface that is compatible with most strollers and wheel chairs. Although the trail is not rugged, we do recommend wearing a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Boar’s Head is a pet-friendly resort, but pets are not permitted to walk the trail during the event. Only legally registered service animals (not comfort animals) are permitted. Although, your K-9 companion isn't totally out of luck. Check our nightly featured events for our annual SPCA weekend when all dogs are welcome to sniff and stroll the trail.

Groups of 20 or More

If you are looking to make Winter Wander a group outing for your workplace or large group, we’d like to assist. Alongside ticket discounts for large groups, we also have services available for meeting space, group dining and more. Contact our group sales department for more information. 

Email us for more information or call (434) 972-2227.

Frequently Asked Questions

We look forward to hosting you at this year's Winter Wander Trail of Lights. To learn more about the logistics, location and all the fun you'll have during your wander, view our "frequently asked questions" page. 


Thanks to Our Sponsors

Boar’s Head Resort is proud to have Sheehy Lexus of Richmond, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau and Z95.1 as the official sponsors for this year's Winter Wander. 

Z95.1 picks you up with today’s variety at home, at work or in the car. As one of C'ville's finest listening experiences, stay tuned to this station for updates about this year's Winter Wander festivities and activities. 

Z95.1 – Listen Online | Visit Charlottesville | Sheehy Lexus