December Events and Festivals in Pennsylvania
The holiday season has arrived, bringing with it crisp air, jovial gatherings, cozy evenings, and good cheer. Pennsylvania attractions and main streets are decked out in all things merry and bright, and are providing magical holiday experiences for adults and families alike. Don your winter warmest, and check out these events that are sure to get you in the spirit of the season.
To see a full list of the events and festivals happening this month, check out the visitPA events page.
1. Franklin Square Holiday Festival
The Franklin Square Holiday Festival, featuring the Electrical Spectacle Light Show with 50,000 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. 9 - Dec. 31
Where: Philadelphia (Franklin Square)
2. 47th Holly Bizarre
The Community Arts Center will be open seven days a 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 presents the Festival of the 3-D Christmas Trees, featuring seven trees designed and created by local artists.
When: Nov. 11- Dec. 17
3. Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Get into the holiday spirit by experiencing Christmas in Hershey. Start off the evening by exploring Christmas Candylane, where guests can enjoy all the wonders of the holiday at Hersheypark. Visit with Santa and his reindeer, sing along to some holiday tunes and enjoy hot roasted nuts while strolling through the amusement park. For those who want to stay warm in the car, check out Hershey Sweet Lights. This two-mile wooded driving path provides a twinkling journey where visitors can view more than 600 animated displays.
When: Nov. 10 - Jan. 1
4. Overly’s Country Christmas
Make a new holiday memory at Overly’s Country Christmas! Explore the Christmas Village filled with an array of old-fashioned traditions and treats, sing carols ‘round the bonfire, revel in the model train display, have your picture taken with Santa, take a horse-drawn wagon or sleigh ride, or shop for gifts in the General Store!
When: Nov. 17 - Jan. 1
Cost: $15 per vehicle
5. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is an award-winning Christmas light and music extravaganza unlike any show you've seen before. Tune in on your car radio and watch the magic unfold as you drive through hundreds of thousands of brilliant LED lights perfectly in sync. The journey ends at the kid-friendly Santa's Village.
When: Nov. 17 - Jan. 7
Cost: $25 per vehicle
6. Miracle of Christmas at Sight and Sound Theatre
Ring in the holidays with the largest faith-based live theatre in the country. Attracting nearly one million people from around the world each year, their top-class performance will surely put you in the holiday spirit! The Sight and Sound Theatre invites you to witness the story that is central to the season, brought to life with high drama, awe-inspiring special effects and live animals. Rejoice with the entire family as the true meaning of Christmas plays out right before your eyes.
When: Nov. 21 - Dec. 30
7. Hawley Winterfest
Hawley Winterfest is an event-filled weekend which is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Tour historic homes decorated for the holiday season, listen to carols by internationally acclaimed choral group The Virgin Consort, enjoy memorable culinary experiences and jazz performances, see ice-carving demonstrations, shop around town, and take the beer tour. There's so much to enjoy at this annual celebration!
When: Dec. 8-10
Where: Downtown Hawley
8. Magical Fireside Christmas
Everyone feels the magic of Christmas come alive during the Magical Fireside Christmas at Pocono Manor Resort & Spa. Walk through a winter wonderland boasting holiday light displays with a life-sized gingerbread house, Santa's Workshop full of holiday crafts for all ages, letter writing to Santa (each letter receives a return letter from Santa Claus), a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating, and more!
When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 25
Where: Pocono Manor
Cost: $10 for 8 tickets and $5 for 3 tickets
9. Christmas Magic—A Festival of Lights
Rocky Ridge County Park will present Christmas Magic: A Festival of Lights this holiday season. The park's half-mile walking trail will be lined with 600,000 LED lights to create seasonal displays. Visitors can also escape the chilly weather and enjoy the lights in the comfort of five heated pavilions located along the half-mile path. The Christmas Magic displays also include numerous special attractions throughout the run of the event, including Pet Night on Dec. 3 and several planned performances.
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 31
Cost: Adults, $10; Children (ages 4-12), $5; Children under age 4 - Free; Seniors (ages 60+), $9.
10. Kennywood’s Holiday Lights
Kennywood’s holiday feature transforms the park into an impressive winter wonderland with nearly every corner of the park featuring thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights. From the tree lighting and light shows at the lagoon to gingerbread house exhibits and live performances throughout the park, this one is sure to provide some much-needed holiday cheer!
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 23 & Dec. 26-30
Where: West Mifflin
Cost: $25 per vehicle
11. Christmas Light Show at Macy’s
Since 1956, the Grand Court in the Wanamaker Building has hosted a Christmas Light Show which revives the tradition of sugarplum fairies, dancing snowmen, and more with a 100,000-light show narrated by Julie Andrews and accompanied by the famed Wanamaker Organ. Between shows, visitors often tour the second floor’s vintage Dickens Village, a setup of animated dolls retelling A Christmas Carol; each free walkthrough ends in a chance to meet and get photos with Santa.
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 31
12. 12 Shops of Christmas Tour
A unique shopping adventure featuring 12 wonderfully festive, off-the-beaten-path shops. Set up like a home or garden tour you will travel from place to place in your own vehicle enjoying the amazing holiday decorations. The stores are offering unusual gift ideas, valuable coupons, door prizes, games, gifts, refreshments and plenty of Christmas spirit. The stores are in the New Holland, Intercourse, Smoketown area. No need to rush as tickets are valid from the time of purchase until Dec. 9.
When: Nov. 30-Dec. 9
Where: Lancaster County
13. 36th 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. 1-3, 9-10, 16-17
Where: Jim Thorpe
14. Holiday Light Spectacular
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — including at Nay Aug Park! Cruise through and enjoy this spectacular light show and annual holiday display presented by the City of Scranton. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted!
When: Dec. 1-Jan. 2
15. An Eisenhower Christmas
Experience President Dwight “Ike” and Mamie Eisenhower’s holiday decorations in their Gettysburg home. Welcoming visitors is a brightly-lit, candy cane-covered Christmas tree illuminating the room and surrounded by presents. A life-sized Santa Claus enlivens the casual atmosphere of the Eisenhower’s porch while, in the kitchen, gifts of sugar cookies and plum pudding await the arrival of the Eisenhower grandchildren.
When: Dec. 1-31
Cost: $9/Adult, $5/Youth, Children 5 & Under - Free
16. Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar
This holiday season, support local artists in Philadelphia while you check off items on your holiday shopping list at the Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar in Kensington. Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland as you sip on hot cocoa, munch on holiday cookies, and peruse unique, local artwork and crafts. The farm at Greensgrow will be bursting with evergreen swags, fresh-cut PA grown holiday trees, and more for your winter décor! Items at the bazaar include fine art, crafts, gifts, jewelry, ceramics, wood working, accessories, green gifts, and bath and body products.
When: Dec. 2-3 & 16-17
17. Candlelit Christmas at Old Bedford Village
Break away from the hassle of shopping and parties and immerse yourself in the splendor of an 18th century frontier Christmas. All the buildings are warm with the soft glow of candle light and the fireplaces are crackling. Step in to any of the homes or tiny shops and stoke your Christmas morale with fresh smells and friendly smiles. At the village tavern, old recipes become new favorites while gingerbread and snicker doodles fresh from the town’s bakery and soothing hot cider are sure to please your taste buds.
When: Dec. 2 & Dec. 9
Cost: Adults $10 children $8, Age 5 & under - free
18. Victorian Christmas
Take a journey back in time to Christmases of the past at the 34th 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. This weekend-long Christmas celebration includes a candle lighting ceremony, walking tours, horse-drawn buggy rides, holiday displays, and concerts.
When: Dec. 8-10
19. Christmas Tree Ship
It’s almost that time for Santa and his reindeer to dash onto the U.S. Brig Niagara! Light up the night at the Erie Maritime Museum for the 13th Annual Christmas Tree Ship. Each year, this free event’s doors open to families in Erie and the surrounding areas for a night full of holiday crafts, letters to Santa, carolers, a chance to hear the story of the "real" Christmas Tree Ship, and so much more!
When: Dec. 9
20. Mifflinburg’s Christkindl Market
Mifflinburg's version of an authentic Christmas Market, inspired by the 700-year-old traditional German Christkindl Market, or Christ Child Market, is a festive event prepared by various churches, organizations, schools, and residents. For three days, Mifflinburg's Market Street is lined with festive outdoor huts featuring unique handmade crafts and traditional Christkindl treats.
When: Dec. 14-16
21. Little Buffalo Christmas Walk
The Little Buffalo Christmas Trail is brought to you by Little Buffalo State Park, in conjunction with The Friends of Little Buffalo. Meet Santa in the woods and enjoy the thousands of lights and holiday displays located along this quarter mile trail in the park's East Picnic Area. Enjoy live music at the stage, hot chocolate, and cookies sold by local 4-H groups in the warming hut.
When: Dec. 17-23
22. Annual Washington Crossing Reenactment
Each December, thousands gather on the banks of the Delaware River to watch the reenactment of General George Washington’s daring Christmas Day river crossing. During this family-friendly event, several hundred reenactors in Continental military dress listen to an inspiring speech by Washington and then row across the river in replica Durham boats. The reenactment is held each year on December 25 at 1 p.m.
When: Dec. 25
Where: Washington Crossing
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