We all have our own holiday traditions. For some, the Christmas season doesn’t officially start until Christmas carols start playing non-stop on the radio. For others, the initial appearance of that mischievous elf on the shelf signals the beginning of the holiday season. Here are 10 enchanting Christmas activities in Pennsylvania to get your holiday season started.
1. Peddlers Village – 2400 Street Road, New Hope, PA 18931
Embrace the holiday spirit at Peddlers Village's annual Christmas Festival, slated for December 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Christmas Festival features a Santa Parade (1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday), live entertainment, and the annual gingerbread house display and competition. After getting into the holiday spirit, finish Christmas shopping at the nearly 60 shops or grab dinner at one of the village restaurants.
2. Dickens of a Christmas Festival – Wellsboro, PA 16901
Journey back to the life and times of Charles Dickens with a trip to Wellsboro for the annual Dickens of a Christmas Festival, set for December 3 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Dickens of a Christmas Festival will include a variety of activities, including strolling musicians, craft vendors, food vendors, Dickens characters, and an evening Peace Walk.
3. Christkindlmarkt – ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015
What better way is there to celebrate the holiday season than with a visit to Bethlehem, commonly known as Christmas City? Bethlehem holds the annual Christkindlmarkt, a vibrant celebration of the Christmas season featuring local artisans and retailers, foods vendors, performers, and visits from St. Nicholas himself. Christkindlmarkt will be held from November 25 to 27, December 1 through 4, December 8 through 11, and December 15 through 18.
4. Christmas in Glen Rock – Glen Rock, PA 17327
Enjoy a holiday tradition in Glen Rock since 1848 when you visit the quaint town for a performance by the famous Glen Rock Carolers, who perform throughout the Christmas season.
5. Sesame Place – 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA 19047
Channel your inner child for a Christmas visit - with your kids, grandkids, or friends - to A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place. Greet your favorite characters - Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird - from Sesame Street as you view the spectacular Christmas light displays. Visit Santa's Furry Workshop, sing Christmas carols aboard the Sesame Place Furry Express, and play games with Lightning the Reindeer. A Very Furry Christmas is set for weekends through December 18 then from December 26 through January 1, 2017.
6. The National Christmas Center – 3427 Lincoln Highway, Paradise, PA 17562
Enter a magical Christmas wonderland when you cross the threshold into the National Christmas Center Family Attraction & Museum. Stroll through the classic displays - 1950's Woolworth 5 & 10, Christmas World, Santa's North Pole Workshop and Reindeer Barn, and a Pennsylvania Christmas - that will take you straight back in time. Then visit with Santa before you peruse the gift shop to pick up Christmas presents. The National Christmas Center is open all year around.
7. Christmas Village in Philadelphia – JFK Plaza, 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Celebrate the Christmas season with a visit to Christmas Village in Philadelphia, which runs from Thanksgiving Day until Christmas Eve this year. Christmas Village, a replica German Market, features over 80 wooden cottages inhabited by vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, ornaments, and other unique items. Indulge in popular European drinks, foods, and candies during your visit.
8. Strasburg Express Rail Road – 301 Gap Road, Ronks, PA 17572
Climb aboard Santa's Paradise Express at the Strasburg Express Railroad. Santa will be on hand to meet, greet, and give children (11 and younger) a special gift. Kids can hand Mrs. Claus their personal Christmas letter to Santa, which will be answered by the jolly fella himself. The Paradise Express sets off every weekend through December 18.
9. Rockhill Trolley Museum – 430 Meadow Street, Rockhill, PA 17249
Santa's also waiting for your visit at the Rockhill Trolley Museum. The Polar Bear Express runs every Friday and Saturday through December 10 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sip on hot chocolate and munch on cookies, included with the price of admission, as you pass the spectacular Christmas light displays along the trolley tracks.
10. Kitchen Kettle Village – 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville, PA 17529
Finish your Christmas shopping at the old-fashioned Kitchen Kettle Village, home to more than 40 shops and restaurants. Visit between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve to experience a truly unique Christmas experience. Dine with Mrs. Claus at the Kling House Restaurant or have breakfast with Santa at the Kettle Cafe. Enjoy live entertainment and countless special events throughout the Christmas season at Kitchen Kettle Village.