December Events and Festivals in Pennsylvania

Do you feel the holiday magic in the air? We can’t deny the enchanted feeling we always get this time of year. From glowing gaslit streets to decked-out downtowns, December in Pennsylvania is perfect for the Happy Traveler with a jaunty spirit! The jolliest season is quickly approaching — let’s see the sights! 

To see a full list of the events and festivals happening across the state this December, check out visitPA Website.

1. Franklin Square Holiday Festival

The Franklin Square Holiday Festival, featuring the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show with 75,000 lights set to music, makes this park a twinkling spectacle during the holiday season. Festivities abound as well, including #FranklinSquareFridays, Saturdays with Santa, Seasonal Sounds on Sundays, rides, and yummy treats that are served in the comfort of warm tents or by the beer garden’s toasty fire pits.

When: Nov. 15-Dec. 31

Where: Philadelphia (Franklin Square)

Cost: Free 

2. 48th Holly Bizarre

The Community Arts Center will be open all week featuring handcrafted items from more than 50 local craftsmen and artisans. Visitors will find wreaths, jewelry, pottery, woodworking, and textiles, plus confections and nuts. Additionally, the center will present the Festival of the 3-D Christmas Trees, featuring seven trees designed and created by local artists.

When: Nov. 10-Dec. 24

Where: Johnstown

Cost: Free

3. 37th Annual Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas

The streets of Jim Thorpe bustle with the sounds and joy of the Christmas season this time of year. The decorations, cozy accommodations, sounds of the trains and carolers, and relaxed strolling through downtown are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. The town’s annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting, Christmas play, Historic District Ghost Walks, mansion tours, and Gingerbread house contest are just a few of the Christmastime activities visitors can enjoy.  

When: Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16

Where: Jim Thorpe

Cost: Varied

4. A Gettysburg Christmas Festival

Kick off the holidays with A Gettysburg Christmas Festival. Stroll through the themed streets of downtown for six distinct experiences with activities suitable for the entire family. Sip glitzy 1920s-era libations, make your own ornaments, enjoy a free carriage ride, and watch live ice carving.

When: Dec. 1

Where: Gettysburg

Cost: Free, pay as you go

5. Dickens of a Christmas

Rekindle the old-fashioned Christmas spirit as Wellsboro’s streets transform into an early Victorian marketplace during the 35th annual Dickens of a Christmas. Enjoy entertainment from street musicians and carolers dressed in period costumes and catch a glimpse of the antiquated holiday wonderland featuring a horse-drawn wagon and special train rides. The festival ends with Saturday night’s tree-lighting ceremony.

When: Dec. 1

Where: Wellsboro

Cost: Free

6. Schoolhouse Craft Festival

There's no better way to get into the festive spirit than shopping at the 29th annual Asbury Woods Schoolhouse Craft Festival. Browse handcrafted items from local and regional artisans, which make for unique gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

When: Dec. 1-2

Where: Erie

Cost: $5 for adults and children; free for children ages 10 and under

7. Christmas in Our Hometown

Whether visiting from just around the corner or making the trek far from home, there is nothing quite like feeling at “home for the holidays” at Christmas in Our Hometown in picturesque Tunkhannock. Enjoy horse and buggy rides, hear the joyful sounds from street carolers, and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

When: Dec. 1-2

Where: Tunkannock

Cost: Free

8. Bellefonte Victorian Christmas

Take a journey back in time to experience a Christmas of the past at the 35th annual Bellefonte Victorian Christmas. Stroll through the streets alongside ladies in traditional dress riding in horse-drawn carriages and gentlemen in top hats greeting the visitors, catch a candle lighting ceremony, take walking tours and horse-drawn buggy rides, and enjoy live music.

When: Dec. 7-8

Where: Bellefonte

Cost: Free

9. Christmas on Main Street

Did you know Wellsboro saved Christmas during World War II? Discover the momentous story at the 3rd annual Christmas on Main Street. Meander through the city’s gaslit Main Street, ride the trolley, and visit 24 displays of historic ornaments made locally in the early 1940s. Make sure to snap a photo with Santa before you turn in for the night!

When: Dec. 7-9

Where: Wellsboro

Cost: Free

10. Hawley Winterfest

Deck the halls at Hawley Winterfest, an event-filled weekend sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Sightsee historic homes decorated for the season, listen to carols by the internationally-acclaimed Virgin Consort, enjoy memorable culinary experiences and jazz performances, see ice-carving demonstrations, shop around town, and warm up with a beer tour.

When: Dec. 7-9

Where: Hawley

Cost: Free

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