Must-See Holiday Attractions in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s communities prepare for a Dickens of a good time with holiday festivities galore.
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With each community sporting its own collection of twinkling light displays, endless opportunities to visit North Pole characters, and scenes of jingling sleighs, chugging antique trains and festive melodies, Pennsylvanians know how to deck their halls. Here are just a few of many holiday attractions in Pennsylvania you won’t want to miss.

Skip to: Holiday and Lighting Displays, Holiday Shopping, Holiday Shopping, Attractions for Kids, Holiday Parades and Shows, Historical Celebrations

Holiday and Lighting Displays

Kraynak’s Christmasland
Hermitage, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Sept. 10–Dec. 31, 2014
Gain inspiration for your own holiday designs at Kraynak’s Christmasland, a 300-foot avenue featuring gussied-up artificial trees surrounded by adorable moving figures, before hitting the store’s toy- and gift-packed aisles. 

Koziar’s Christmas Village
Bernville, Dutch Country Roads
Nov. 2, 2014–Jan. 1, 2015
Koziar’s Christmas Village has been dazzling visitors with indoor and outdoor holiday displays for nearly 70 years. More than 500,000 lights garnish buildings and barns amid country scenery, glass buildings display intricately decorated scenes like “Christmas Beneath the Sea” and “Santa’s Post Office,” and a new handcrafted train treks through a miniature village.

Pearl S. Buck House Festival of Trees
Perkasie (Hilltown Township), Philadelphia & The Countryside
Nov. 11-Dec. 30, 2014
Trees designed by local interior designers, organizations and community members give this national historic landmark home a festive makeover. Take a one-hour interpretive tour of the beautiful displays; all proceeds from tours go toward the Pearl S. Buck House’s mission to provide opportunities to explore and appreciate other cultures and build better lives for children around the globe. 

Light Up Night
Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Nov. 21, 2014
Launch the most wonderful time of the year at Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night, a weekend featuring the Candlelight Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade, lighting ceremonies, live tunes from Pittsburgh entertainers and a memorable show from Zambelli International Fireworks. 

Trees of Christmas
Meadville, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Nov. 21–23 and 28–30, 2014
Exquisitely decorated pine trees adorn the rooms of the historic Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum for this biennial attraction hosted by the Meadville Garden Club. Enjoy commentary about the trees from a guide as you stroll through the historic home, built in 1843 by Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin. 

Overly’s Country Christmas
Greensburg, Laurel Highlands
Nov. 21, 2014–Jan. 1, 2015
A cozy bonfire, sleigh rides and a giant lighting display spread across 15 acres await visitors at Overly’s Country Christmas, an old-fashioned holiday village assembled and operated by nearly a thousand volunteers. All proceeds from the event go toward supporting at-risk families. 

Lakemont Park Holiday Lights on the Lake
Altoona, The Alleghenies
Nov. 21, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015
During the holiday season, Lakemont Amusement Park supplies 51 acres of mesmerizing animated lighting displays. Gaze at the lights in the comfort of your own vehicle and tune into Lakemont Park’s radio network to get in the spirit with classic Christmas melodies. 

Beaver County Festival of Trees
Fallston, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Nov. 27–30 and Dec. 5–7, 2014
Beaver County residents jazz up Christmas trees to display at Brady’s Run County Park Lodge. Each tree features a different theme, and all proceeds from the festival go toward providing scholarships, coats, shoes, summer camps and additional support for children under the care of the Children and Youth Services Agency of Beaver County. 

Longwood Gardens Christmas Display
Kennett Square, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Nov. 27, 2014–Jan. 11, 2015
Gorgeous themed floral displays, colorful fountains dancing to music and canopies of twinkling lights make a trip to Longwood Gardens during the Christmas season worthwhile. This year’s bird-inspired display includes trees decorated with feathered friends and scenes depicting avian-centered tales like The Ugly Duckling and The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. 

Christmas Light Show at Macy’s in Center City
Philadelphia, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Nov. 28–Dec. 31, 2014
A Philly tradition since 1956, the landmark Wanamaker building is swathed with more than 100,000 LED lights and accompanied by music from Wanamaker Pipe Organ, a national historic landmark. The Macy’s Grand Court Light Show inside the building delights both young and old with a four-story display of fanciful holiday images. Ride up the elevator to the third floor and take in the “Dickens Village,” a 6,000-square-foot tribute to A Christmas Carol with more than 100 fully animated figures. 

Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
Philadelphia, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Nov. 28, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015
University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum’s beloved attraction has model trains chugging through loops and tunnels surrounding 15 different rail lines on a quarter-mile track surrounding a miniature village sprinkled with Christmas magic. Look for Philadelphia’s landmarks in the village, exact replicas of the city’s buildings made completely from natural materials. 

Christmas Magic: Festival of Lights
York, Dutch Country Roads
Nov. 29–Dec. 31, 2014
More than 600,000 colorful lights brighten a half-mile walking trail in Rocky Ridge County Park. Along the route, view holiday scenes and stroll through five enclosed and heated pavilions, where you’ll discover food stands, a large train display and an encounter with Santa Claus. 

Boiling Springs Christmas Tree Lighting
Boiling Springs, Dutch Country Roads
Dec. 7, 2014
Residents of the quaint village Boiling Springs look on as a Christmas tree is illuminated and set afloat on the lake near Memorial Clock Tower. Santa even rows a boat across the lake to greet spectators — an extra-special treat for little ones.

Holiday Shopping

Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley
Nov. 21–Dec. 22, 2014
Bethlehem has no trouble living up to its Christmas City nickname, and the town’s holiday market is lauded as one of the best in the world. Peruse the booths of more than 125 artisans, who show off their best handmade goods and offer exclusive demonstrations of their crafts, and enjoy Bethlehem’s Old World holiday charm. 

Peoples Gas Holiday Market
Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Nov. 23–Dec. 23, 2014
Designed in the tradition of the northern European holiday markets and inspired by the original Christkindlmarkt dating back to 1545 in Nuremberg, Germany, the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Visitors can stroll through European-style wooden chalets while enjoying the musically choreographed display of 150,000 LEDs, including a 30-foot tree. 

Evergreen Holiday Wreath Making
Brookville, Pennsylvania Wilds
Nov. 22, 28, 29 and Dec. 3, 12 and 20, 2014
Create a holiday wreath that will make your neighbors green with envy at Quest Creek Herb Farm, where shrub masters will teach you how to trim and bend evergreen into the perfect wreath. 

Christmas Village
Philadelphia, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Nov. 27–Dec. 28, 2014
At Love Park in Philadelphia, more than 60 decorated wooden booths display European food, sweets and drinks, as well as international seasonal gifts, traditional German Christmas ornaments, jewelry and arts and crafts. Enjoy hot mulled wine, gingerbread and bratwursts, plus thousands of lights and the city’s giant holiday tree 

Christmas at Elizabeth Farms
Lancaster, Dutch Country Roads
Nov. 29, 2014
Head to Elizabeth Farms for horse-drawn wagon rides, a Santa’s workshop display, train room —and the opportunity to hand cut a green beauty from more than 200 acres of live Christmas trees. Gift of Lights, the farm’s newest attraction, gives visitors the chance to drive through more than a mile of lighting displays (open Nov. 15, 2014–Jan. 1, 2015). 

The Pennsylvania Christmas and Gift Show
Harrisburg, Dutch Country Roads
Dec. 3–7, 2014
More than 750 specialty vendors selling everything from Christmas ornaments and stocking stuffers to home décor and furniture pack the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex for The Pennsylvania Christmas and Gift Show, one of the largest holiday shows in the country. Enjoy train displays, visits with Santa — and the joy of getting all of your Christmas shopping done in one day. 

Harmony Museum WeihnachtsMarkt
Harmony, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Dec. 8–9, 2014
Harmony Museum’s Christmas Market boasts German and European imports, tasty German fare, Bavarian music and demonstrations by weavers, quilters and other artisans. When the sun goes down on Dec. 9, visitors can join in on caroling and watch the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Attractions for Kids

Christmas at Hersheypark
Hershey, Dutch Country Roads
Nov. 14–Dec. 31, 2014
Hersheypark is dressed in its knock-out holiday best at Christmas Candylane, where two million lights, more than 30 holiday-themed rides for all ages and a Christmas show provoke squeals of delight. Meanwhile, Hershey Sweet Lights features 600 illuminated and animated holiday displays  — all of which can be viewed from the comfort of your vehicle. 

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place
Langhorne, Philadelphia & the Countryside
Select dates, Nov. 22- Dec. 31
Smiles are contagious at A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place, where Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street gang are ringing in the holiday with family friendly rides, special shows and a frenzy of twinkling lights. Don’t miss visiting with Santa in the “Furry Workshop” and five new rides in Cookie’s Monster Land.

“Pip: the Mouse Before Christmas” Puppet Show
Allentown, Lehigh Valley
Nov. 28, 2014–Jan. 3, 2015
Come see Pip the Mouse save the day after Santa gets stuck in a chimney on the night before Christmas at Allentown’s “Pip the Mouse: the Mouse Before Christmas” puppet show. The show is now housed at the Liberty Bell Museum at historic Zion’s Church, where the original stage and audio soundtrack have been lovingly restored 

Life-Size Gingerbread Houses
Scotrun and Skytop, Pocono Mountains
December 2014
Hansel and Gretel-worthy gingerbread houses grace the floors of Great Wolf Lodge and Skytop Lodge during the month of December. Constructed with love with more than 3,000 eggs, about 100 pounds of chocolate, nearly 1,400 pounds of sugar and tons of other sweet ingredients, the houses are designed to accommodate guests for meals. Donations go to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters charity.

Holiday Parades and Shows

“It’s A Wonderful Life” Festival and Parade
Indiana, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Nov. 21, 2014
Indiana, the birthplace of Jimmy Stewart and the Christmas Tree Capital of the World, pays tribute to “It’s a Wonderful Life” with a parade, free showings of the film at the Indiana Theater and tons of warm and fuzzy fun, including marshmallow roasting and tree lighting. 

Scranton Jaycees Santa Parade
Scranton, Upstate PA
Nov. 22, 2014
Scranton’s Santa Parade is a welcome invasion of elaborate floats, dance groups, marching bands, and of course, ladies and gents in St. Nicholas garb. After the parade, discover fantastic shopping at downtown Scranton’s stores. 

Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas
Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley
Dec. 1–6, 2014
Don’t miss tapping along to all of your favorite holiday tunes at Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Orlando, who performed for 20 seasons in Branson, will also perform greatest hits from his 50-year career and might even be joined by Santa for an extra-special routine.

Holiday Train Rides

Christmas Express at Kiski Junction Railroad
Schenley, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Nov. 15 and 22, 2015
Celebrate the season with a scenic locomotive ride beside the Kiski River. Kids can devour hot chocolate and cookies and bring their letters to Santa, which Kiski Junction Railroad will gladly mail out for free. Be sure to make a reservation — seats on this charming winter ride fill up fast! 

Santa’s Paradise Express
Ronks, Dutch Country Roads
Nov. 28–Dec. 21, 2014
As the Strasburg Railroad’s Paradise Express travels to the town of Paradise and back, perks like storybook readings of holiday classics and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus facilitate an unforgettable experience for children. 

Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad Santa Train
Titusville, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, 2014
Join Santa and his North Pole entourage on a wintertime rail excursion through Oil Creek State Park. Soar through snow-covered valleys, listen to serenades from local choirs and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies at Perry Street Station upon your return.

Historical Celebrations

An Eisenhower Christmas
Dec. 1–31, 2014
See how the Eisenhower family decorated their home for Christmas during the 1950s and ’60s at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. From the life-sized Santa Claus on the porch to the  dining table set for Christmas dinner, the re-created decor exhibits the first family’s love for the holidays. 

Christmas in Our Hometown
Tunkhannock, Upstate PA
Dec. 5–6, 2014
Adopt Tunkhannock as your home for the holidays at Christmas in Our Hometown, where the city’s historic buildings serve as the background for horse and buggy rides, ice sculptures, street carolers and live Christmas scenes. 

Bellefonte Victorian Christmas
Bellefonte, The Alleghenies
Dec. 12–14, 2014
Gentlemen in top hats and ladies dressed to the nines in their Victorian best mingle with visitors during this “gentle and merry” weekend of holiday fun in Bellefonte, where you’ll find tea parties, Victorian home tours and themed holiday bashes. 

A Dickens of a Christmas Victorian Celebration
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Wilds
Dec. 5–6, 2014
Charles Dickens himself might even get a kick out of this annual celebration, which pays tribute to A Christmas Carol. Highlights include 175 food and craft vendors dressed in Victorian garb, lighting of the giant Christmas tree and performances by The Dickens Players, a group of strolling artists. 

Reenactment of Washington’s Christmas Day Crossing
Washington Crossing, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Dec. 25, 2014
Grab a history lesson in between holiday feasts at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The dramatic Christmas Day re-enactment of George Washington’s crucial 1776 river crossing includes 200 men dressed in Continental Army uniforms, four replica vessels and an inspiring speech from General Washington himself.

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