Wednesday, December 10, 2014

20 Great Reasons to Visit Pennsylvania during the holiday season

1. Santa’s Secret Garden at Hershey Gardens
Hershey, Dutch Country Roads
Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 2014
At Hershey Gardens’ sparkly event, children are greeted with Christmas elves, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the chance to partake in craft projects.

2. Old Time Christmas
Jim Thorpe, Pocono Mountains
Dec. 5-7, 13-14, 2014
Lights, wreaths and other festive embellishments amplify the beauty of Jim Thorpe’s Victorian architecture. At Old Time Christmas, visitors can enjoy a live nativity, strolling carolers and musicians, train rides with Santa, a gingerbread house contest and more.

3. Holiday Trolley Rides
Scranton, Upstate PA
Santa on the Trolley, Dec. 13-14 and 20-21, 2014
Learn about Pennsylvania’s electric railway history, and reserve a ride with Santa aboard one of the museum’s antique trolleys for superb photo opportunities; advanced booking is recommended.

4. Historic Church Tour
Meadville, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Dec. 19, 2014
Meadville’s beautiful churches are dressed their holiday best for this church tour, which includes St. Agatha’s Roman Catholic Church, Unitarian Universalist Church, First Baptist Church, Christ Episcopal Church and the Stone United Methodist Church. The tour also includes insight from pastors on the churches’ historical significance.

5. “The Christmas Schooner”
Waverly, Upstate PA
Dec. 19-20, 2014
Love, loss and the spirit of Christmas are all themes in Waverly Community House’s “The Christmas Schooner,” the story of a Michigan shipping captain who braves the deadly winter weather to bring Christmas trees to homesick German-American families in turn-of-the-century Chicago.

6. B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert
Indiana, Pittsburgh and Its Countryside
Dec. 20, 2014
The popular B.E. Taylor’s Christmas Concert, an evening of holiday music for all ages, returns to the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. Don’t miss the pre-concert program starring choirs from local high schools. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 35th annual Renda Broadcasting Teddy Bear Fund Drive.

7. Toy Train Exhibit at Fort Hunter
Harrisburg, Dutch Country Roads
Through Dec. 21, 2014
Passenger and freight trains and even Thomas the Tank Engine are displayed amid a miniature layout of Central Pennsylvania communities. Complete with lights and sounds, the exhibit at Fort Hunter’s Centennial Barn is a satisfying outing for every member of the family.

8. Wiehnachtsmarkt
Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley
Weekends, Through Dec. 23, 2014
Wooden huts selling seasonal treats, gifts and knick-knacks heighten the charm of Bethlehem’s historic downtown shopping district at Wiehnachtsmarkt (pronounced vy-nokts-markt), an open-air Christmas Market. Warm your stomach with a bratwurst and some German gluhwien or warm mulled wine.

9. Christmas in Lititz
Lititz, Dutch Country Roads
Various events in December
Lititz, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Traveler in 2013, supplies exquisite holiday scenes. Visit downtown Lititz to see shops and restaurants exhibit their festive spirit with lights and displays, or take a Christmas candlelight tour of the Johannes Mueller House, the home of an 18th-century tradesman and his family.

10. Christmas in Ligonier
Ligonier, Laurel Highlands
Various events in December
The residents of Ligonier, a town known for maintaining its colonial charm, host a variety of festivities. Stroll through the illuminated Diamond, a beautiful park located at the center of town, or take a holiday candlelight tour of the Compass Inn Museum, a restored 1799 stagecoach stop.

11. Christmas in Gettysburg
Gettysburg, Dutch Country Roads
Various events in December
Gettysburg hosts an assortment of history-infused holiday happenings. Tour the former home of President Dwight Eisenhower and his family, which will feature Christmas decorations from the 1950s and 1960s, or the Shriver House Museum, which will be decorated for a Christmas in 1860s. Or head to historic Lincoln Square on Dec. 12 for the annual Gettysburg Tuba Carol Fest, where tuba players from near and far unite to play Christmas carols.

12. First Night State College
State College, The Alleghenies
Dec. 31, 2014
The family-friendly event in downtown State College offers more than 30 performances, including shows from musicians, comedians and jugglers, ice sculpture displays, ice skating, carriage rides and the 5K Resolution Run.

13. Media’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
Media, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Dec. 31, 2014                                                                                                                       
Media, a borough near Philadelphia, boasts a miniature Times Square on New Year’s Eve, featuring a midnight ball drop and live music from Philly Gumbo.

14. New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop
Dillsburg, Dutch Country Roads
Dec. 31, 2014
Dillsburg puts a pickled-vegetable spin on the traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop with its annual event, which includes the drop of a giant pickle at midnight on the square followed by fireworks. A smaller pickle, “Lil’ Dill,” will be dropped at 7pm in conjunction with Ireland’s midnight and to provide entertainment for family members who have an earlier bedtime.

15. Silvester New Year’s Eve Celebration
Harmony, Pittsburgh and Its Countryside
Dec. 31, 2014
This family-friendly event celebrates Harmony’s German roots with 6 p.m. fireworks to recognize midnight in Germany, a pork and sauerkraut dinner and bleigiessen, the tradition of examining the shape of melted lead after it is dropped into water to predict fortunes for the upcoming year.

16. Little Elves Workshop at The Hershey Story Museum
Hershey, Dutch Country Roads
Select dates, Through Jan. 1, 2015
Santa’s helpers bring their workshop to The Hershey Story Museum, where kids can roll, cut, decorate and package their own chocolate clay ornaments.

17. Gingerbread House Competition and Display
Lahaska, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Through Jan 3, 2015
Peddler’s Village’s annual competition and display features lovingly crafted gingerbread cottages, barns, houses and reproductions of famous buildings.

18. Pennypacker Mills Tour
Schwenksville, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Through Jan. 4, 2015
Exquisite Victorian decorations and historical demonstrations highlight tours of this richly decorated mansion inhabited by Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Pennypacker in the early 1900s.

19. Trains, Trees and Gingerbread
Hamburg, Dutch Country Roads
Through Jan. 31 2015
Christmas trees featuring railroad-themed décor, elaborate gingerbread train stations and an impressive model railroad with modern and vintage locomotives make the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum a worthy stop for the whole family.

20. Waterfront Winterfest
Philadelphia, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Through Mar. 1, 2015
Blue Cross RiverRink hosts Waterfront Winterfest, a pop-up winter garden and waterfront village featuring holiday lighting, shopping containers repurposed as retail shops, a bar and restaurant, and fire pits with rustic seating. 

Information provided by VisitPa.com  
The Official Tourism website for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

From cherished model train and gingerbread displays and dreamy winter gardens to New Year’s Eve traditions involving giant pickles and rousing entertainment, Pennsylvania’s holiday celebrations provoke ear-to-ear grins. 
1. Santa’s Secret Garden at Hershey Gardens
Hershey, Dutch Country RoadsDec. 5-6, 12-13, 2014At Hershey Gardens’ sparkly event, children are greeted with Christmas elves, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the chance to partake in craft projects. 
2. Old Time ChristmasJim Thorpe, Pocono MountainsDec. 5-7, 13-14, 2014Lights, wreaths and other festive embellishments amplify the beauty of Jim Thorpe’s Victorian architecture. At Old Time Christmas, visitors can enjoy a live nativity, strolling carolers and musicians, train rides with Santa, a gingerbread house contest and more. 
3. Holiday Trolley RidesScranton, Upstate PASanta on the Trolley, Dec. 13-14 and 20-21, 2014Learn about Pennsylvania’s electric railway history, and reserve a ride with Santa aboard one of the museum’s antique trolleys for superb photo opportunities; advanced booking is recommended. 
4. Historic Church TourMeadville, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes RegionDec. 19, 2014Meadville’s beautiful churches are dressed their holiday best for this church tour, which includes St. Agatha’s Roman Catholic Church, Unitarian Universalist Church, First Baptist Church, Christ Episcopal Church and the Stone United Methodist Church. The tour also includes insight from pastors on the churches’ historical significance. 
5. “The Christmas Schooner”Waverly, Upstate PADec. 19-20, 2014Love, loss and the spirit of Christmas are all themes in Waverly Community House’s “The Christmas Schooner,” the story of a Michigan shipping captain who braves the deadly winter weather to bring Christmas trees to homesick German-American families in turn-of-the-century Chicago.
6. B.E. Taylor Christmas ConcertIndiana, Pittsburgh and Its CountrysideDec. 20, 2014The popular B.E. Taylor’s Christmas Concert, an evening of holiday music for all ages, returns to the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. Don’t miss the pre-concert program starring choirs from local high schools. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 35th annual Renda Broadcasting Teddy Bear Fund Drive. 
7. Toy Train Exhibit at Fort Hunter
Harrisburg, Dutch Country RoadsThrough Dec. 21, 2014Passenger and freight trains and even Thomas the Tank Engine are displayed amid a miniature layout of Central Pennsylvania communities. Complete with lights and sounds, the exhibit at Fort Hunter’s Centennial Barn is a satisfying outing for every member of the family. 
8. WiehnachtsmarktBethlehem, Lehigh ValleyWeekends, Through Dec. 23, 2014Wooden huts selling seasonal treats, gifts and knick-knacks heighten the charm of Bethlehem’s historic downtown shopping district at Wiehnachtsmarkt (pronounced vy-nokts-markt), an open-air Christmas Market. Warm your stomach with a bratwurst and some German gluhwien or warm mulled wine. 
9. Christmas in LititzLititz, Dutch Country RoadsVarious events in DecemberLititz, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Traveler in 2013, supplies exquisite holiday scenes. Visit downtown Lititz to see shops and restaurants exhibit their festive spirit with lights and displays, or take a Christmas candlelight tour of the Johannes Mueller House, the home of an 18th-century tradesman and his family. 
10. Christmas in LigonierLigonier, Laurel HighlandsVarious events in DecemberThe residents of Ligonier, a town known for maintaining its colonial charm, host a variety of festivities. Stroll through the illuminated Diamond, a beautiful park located at the center of town, or take a holiday candlelight tour of the Compass Inn Museum, a restored 1799 stagecoach stop. 
11. Christmas in GettysburgGettysburg, Dutch Country RoadsVarious events in DecemberGettysburg hosts an assortment of history-infused holiday happenings. Tour the former home of President Dwight Eisenhower and his family, which will feature Christmas decorations from the 1950s and 1960s, or the Shriver House Museum, which will be decorated for a Christmas in 1860s. Or head to historic Lincoln Square on Dec. 12 for the annual Gettysburg Tuba Carol Fest, where tuba players from near and far unite to play Christmas carols. 
12. First Night State CollegeState College, The AllegheniesDec. 31, 2014The family-friendly event in downtown State College offers more than 30 performances, including shows from musicians, comedians and jugglers, ice sculpture displays, ice skating, carriage rides and the 5K Resolution Run. 
13. Media’s New Year’s Eve Ball DropMedia, Philadelphia and the CountrysideDec. 31, 2014                                                                                                                        Media, a borough near Philadelphia, boasts a miniature Times Square on New Year’s Eve, featuring a midnight ball drop and live music from Philly Gumbo. 
14. New Year’s Eve Pickle DropDillsburg, Dutch Country RoadsDec. 31, 2014Dillsburg puts a pickled-vegetable spin on the traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop with its annual event, which includes the drop of a giant pickle at midnight on the square followed by fireworks. A smaller pickle, “Lil’ Dill,” will be dropped at 7pm in conjunction with Ireland’s midnight and to provide entertainment for family members who have an earlier bedtime. 
15. Silvester New Year’s Eve CelebrationHarmony, Pittsburgh and Its CountrysideDec. 31, 2014This family-friendly event celebrates Harmony’s German roots with 6 p.m. fireworks to recognize midnight in Germany, a pork and sauerkraut dinner and bleigiessen, the tradition of examining the shape of melted lead after it is dropped into water to predict fortunes for the upcoming year. 
16. Little Elves Workshop at The Hershey Story Museum
Hershey, Dutch Country RoadsSelect dates, Through Jan. 1, 2015Santa’s helpers bring their workshop to The Hershey Story Museum, where kids can roll, cut, decorate and package their own chocolate clay ornaments. 
17. Gingerbread House Competition and DisplayLahaska, Philadelphia and the CountrysideThrough Jan 3, 2015Peddler’s Village’s annual competition and display features lovingly crafted gingerbread cottages, barns, houses and reproductions of famous buildings. 
18. Pennypacker Mills TourSchwenksville, Philadelphia and the CountrysideThrough Jan. 4, 2015Exquisite Victorian decorations and historical demonstrations highlight tours of this richly decorated mansion inhabited by Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Pennypacker in the early 1900s. 
19. Trains, Trees and GingerbreadHamburg, Dutch Country RoadsThrough Jan. 31 2015Christmas trees featuring railroad-themed décor, elaborate gingerbread train stations and an impressive model railroad with modern and vintage locomotives make the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum a worthy stop for the whole family. 
20. Waterfront WinterfestPhiladelphia, Philadelphia and the CountrysideThrough Mar. 1, 2015Blue Cross RiverRink hosts Waterfront Winterfest, a pop-up winter garden and waterfront village featuring holiday lighting, shopping containers repurposed as retail shops, a bar and restaurant, and fire pits with rustic seating. 
- See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/20-ways-celebrate-holidays-pa-towns?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=December+2014+Enews#sthash.cl9WdMHq.dpuf

1 comment:

  1. If I ever get a chance to tour the east coast like I want to, I hope it is during the Christmas season, after reading this post, Isabelle.

    ReplyDelete