1 Christmas at Stone Gables Estate | Through December 30
Stone Gables Estate
Get in the holiday spirit at Stone Gables Estate, which will be hosting a variety of ongoing events this December. Stroll through the Christmas Village (December 3, 10 and 17) and enjoy fun activities and delicious treats. Enjoy a narrated train excursion on the Santa Express (December 17, 20-23) as it travels through the property. Their 3-mile Christmas Light Drive-Thru, featuring over 800,000 lights, will be open Tuesday-Saturday through December 30 (except Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve). Stone Gables is also home to the National Christmas Center, which is one of the largest collections of Christmas memorabilia in the world. The National Christmas Center will be open Thursday-Saturday through December 30 (except Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve). Tickets are required for all events and can be pre-purchased on their website. Information: stonegablesestate.com/public-events or 717-902-9791.
2 Christmas Spirit Light Show | Through December 31
Clipper Magazine Stadium
Enjoy hundreds of thousands of color-changing lights from the warmth of your car as you journey around a mile-long track. Tune into their radio station and watch the lights dance to Christmas classics. Tickets (per vehicle) can be pre-purchased online or at the entry booth. In addition to the light show, you can also enter the stadium to enjoy Christmas Tree Lane, where 100 decorated trees will represent local nonprofits. Purchase votes for your favorite trees and each vote will count as a donation to that tree’s charity. Visitors can also enjoy photos with Santa, caroling and festive food and drinks. Reindeer will even make an appearance on December 16th! Information: christmasspiritlightshows.com.
3 Terre Hill Christmas in the Park | December 2-4
Terre Hill Community Memorial Park
Christmas lights will fill Terre Hill Park along with food, activities, vendors, entertainment, free children’s crafts, live ice carvings, horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa and more. Stroll through the walking trail to enjoy over 100 hand-made light decorations, as well as music and a live nativity. Also, visit with community organizations and browse vendors with holiday themed items in the Christmas Village. Certain activities and admission to the lighted walking trail require a small fee. Tickets for the lighted walking trail can be pre-purchased online. Parking and admission are free. Hours are 5-9 p.m. each night. Information: terrehilldays.com/christmas-in-the-park or 717-445-4581.
4 Christmas in the Park | December 2
Lititz Springs Park
Celebrate the holiday season at the band shell inside Lititz Springs Park with a unique holiday performance, the lighting of the Christmas tree, a carol sing and a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Featured performers will include the Warwick High School Concert Choir and Encore Dance Center. The free event starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts around 30-40 minutes. Donations will be accepted for the upkeep of Lititz Springs Park. Information: lititzspringspark.org/christmas.
5 Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration | December 3
Historic Manheim Square
Manheim’s historic square will be filled with music from local performers and caroling, food vendors and more as the town celebrates the start of the holiday season. The festivities kick off at 4:30 p.m. Be sure to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to Toys for Tots, as well as non-perishable food items for the Manheim Food Pantry. Information: manheimbic.org/event/tree-lighting-celebration or 717-665-2133.
6 Winterfest | December 3
Downtown Mount Joy
During Winterfest, Main Street in Mount Joy will be shut down and filled with activities for the whole family to enjoy, including live music from Big Boy Brass, food, vendors and more. Santa and Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf, Cindy Lou Who, The Grinch and Scrooge will all be making appearances. Kids can also go on the Downtown Elf Hunt, which features 36 elves hidden throughout downtown businesses. Winterfest will start at 4 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Information: mainstreetmountjoy.com/events or 717-653-4227.
7 The Marietta Candlelight Tour and Carriage Rides | December 4
Marietta Restoration Associates hosts one of the oldest, continuous holiday walking tours in Pennsylvania. From 11 a.m.-7 p.m., stroll through eight private homes and historical buildings decorated for the holidays. Tickets can be purchased in advance for a reduced rate ($20) but may also be purchased on the day of the tour for $25. Free parking and a convenient shuttle service will be available. In addition to the tour, Santa and Mrs. Claus will light the community tree outside Old Town Hall at 5 p.m. Lancaster Recumbent and McCleary’s Public House will also be sponsoring carriage rides from Benchfield Farms from 1-8 p.m. Rides are $25 per carriage if purchased by December 3 or $30 for walk-up purchases. Carriages comfortably accommodate up to four people. Pick-up and drop-off are located at Lancaster Recumbent. Carriage Ride Information: lancasterrecumbent.com/event/holiday-carriage-rides or 717-553-5834. Tour Information: mariettarestoration.org or 717-426-4048.
8 Christmas Village | December 9-10
Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Café
Enjoy two days of fun, food and family festivities in Bird-in-Hand. On Friday from 3:30-7:30 p.m., meet Santa, take pictures with his reindeer and enjoy a s’mores bonfire starting at 5 p.m. On Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., mail your Christmas wishes to Santa, participate in crafts, meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen, enjoy Christmas carols and more. The first 75 children to arrive on Saturday will receive a free gift. Also, enjoy holiday shopping throughout the weekend at Bird-in-Hand businesses, as well as at the Vintage Revival Market that will be hosted by Mod*ish both days from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Information: bird-in-hand.com/event/christmas-village or 717-768-8271.
9 Santa’s Workshop | December 10
Garden Spot Fire Rescue
Hosted by Misfits On A Mission Relay For Life Team, this makers market will feature unique gifts for everyone on your list, delicious food and raffle prize drawings. Santa will also be in attendance from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Proceeds from the day will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. They will also be collecting donations for Speranza Animal Rescue. Receive a free raffle ticket when you donate any of the items they have listed here. Information: Facebook or 717-354-2656.
10 Gifts That Give Hope | December 11
Farm & Home Center
The 15th-annual Gifts That Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair offers opportunities to donate to local nonprofits in the name of loved ones (known as alternative gifts), as well as purchase ethically and sustainably sourced gifts from businesses with charitable backgrounds. For each alternative gift purchased, they will give you a greeting card, envelope and gift insert which describes the donation you purchased in your friend or family member’s honor. The fair will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Information: gifts-that-give-hope-lancaster.square.site.
11 Holiday Extravaganza | December 18
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
U Street Media and LAACP Lancaster are partnering to spread some holiday cheer at their second-annual Holiday Extravaganza. This family-centered event will feature free haircuts, toy and bike giveaways, music, story time, food and much more. 12-4 p.m. Information: Eventbrite.
12 New Year’s Eve | December 31
If you are looking for a fun way to ring in the new year, Lancaster City and Ephrata will be hosting celebrations. The Red Rose Drop will once again return to Downtown Lancaster! The celebration will begin at Binns Park at 8:30 p.m. and will feature live music and fireworks. Find more information at visitlancastercity.com. Ephrata will host its first-ever New Year’s Eve celebration from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. The Square in Downtown Ephrata will feature live music, dancing in the streets, fireworks and confetti, as well as a secret surprise. There will also be food, non-alcoholic beverages, a beer garden, activities and more. For details, visit mainspringofephrata.org.
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