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Winter Wander at Boar's Head returns with more lights and new ice rink

Now in its third year but quickly becoming a holiday tradition, the Winter Wander has returned to Boar’s Head Resort just outside of Charlottesville.

From now through Jan. 6, the parkland at the resort will be dotted with thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights: in the trees, on the ground, falling from the branches like raindrops stuck in time, cascading over the uneven landscape. There’s even a Tunnel of Lights, for the romantics and selfie-lovers out there.

And this year there will be even more lights than in years past and one new addition: an ice skating rink.

That last note will come as welcome news to anyone who has missed Main Street Arena, the city’s permanent ice skating rink razed five years ago to make way for the CODE Building on the Downtown Mall.

“Rain or shine, hot or cold, our rink is always ready for you to glide, spin, and twirl to your heart’s content,” Boar’s Head said in a statement announcing the news.

The 40-by-50-foot rink is not a typical ice skating rink; in fact, it isn’t even real ice.

“Made from unique plastic polymer, this synthetic rink encapsulates the feeling of skating on a frozen body of water,” Boar’s Head said. “Lace up some skates and glide along a synthetic-surfaced ice rink to celebrate winter, even when the temperatures don’t drop to icy-cold conditions.”

The rink isn’t the only new addition this year. There will also be plenty of additional lights and effects along the half-mile Winter Wander trail.

“Wanderers making their way through the main entrance at this year’s event will be greeted by a 12-foot tall boar-faced nutcracker and an all-new illuminated archway.”

Other additions and upgrades include:

New larger lanterns in Dogwood Alley for more photo opportunities.

Additional lights and motion adorn the pathway through Serenity Way.

Last year’s new feature, Fountain of Dreams, now has ground lights with new motion.

And the Instagram-worthy Tunnel of Lights now has a second companion tunnel

As in previous years, journeys through the Winter Wander-land will end at the Boar’s Head Hearth Lounge where a market has been set up and food, drink and merchandise is for sale. Santa himself will be in attendance every evening until 9 p.m. now through Christmas Eve, which is understandable, given it’s his busiest day.

Tickets are available online at Adults pay $20, children ages 4 through 12 pay $10 and children 3 and under enter free. There is a $3.50 fee on all transactions and a $5 change fee on all ticket transfers.

In addition to standard nightly ticket sales, there is special $10 pricing for all tickets for the following nights:

This coming Sunday.

Dec. 30.

And Jan. 5-6, the final two days of the Winter Wander.

During the ticket purchasing process, customers must select a half-hour time slot. Tickets will reflect that time slot. All guests must enter during the selected 30-minute window.

Access to the ice skating rink is included for season ticket holders and comes at an extra fee for regular Winter Wander admission. Skate rentals can be purchased at the rink, or skaters can bring their own skates.

For those interested in making Winter Wander a group outing for the workplace or club, there are discounted tickets available for groups of 20 or more. Boar’s Head also offers meeting space, group dining and other options.


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