Cold weather and warm drinks. Decked halls and trimmed trees. Cheerful music and colorful lights. Christmas time is here again! Whether you want to take your family to visit Santa, participate in Christmas-themed events, or find your perfect tree, Lancaster, PA has it all.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It can also be one of the more stressful times of the year. Between the shopping, cookie-making, holiday parties, and family gatherings, the holiday season can be over in the blink of an eye—and all of a sudden you realize you never stopped to enjoy it!
Take a break from all the hustle and bustle and enjoy the many merry and bright happenings of Christmas in Lancaster County.
Christmas Spirit Light Show at Clipper Magazine Stadium
Enjoy this one-of-a-kind Christmas light display from the comfort of your own vehicle. As you journey through their mile-long track, you will be immersed and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of color-changing lights, animated and dancing in harmony with your favorite Christmas classics that you access through their radio station.
- Open November 25–December 31
- Sunday–Thursday; 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
- Friday–Saturday; 5:30 p.m.–10:30p.m.
Koziar’s Christmas Village
Help Koziar celebrate their 75th season! Step inside Koziar’s Christmas Village and bask in the beauty of a valley glowing with over a million Christmas lights.
- Open November 5–January 1
- Check website for times as they change as the season progresses
A Christmas Light Winter Wonderland at Refreshing Mountain
If you’re looking for more adventurous ways to see lights, make your way to Refreshing Mountain. Zipline or swing your way through the lights or challenge yourself with multiple light-filled obstacles. For your less adventurous family members, climb atop the observation deck, visit the wildlife center, or take a stroll through their newly expanded walk-thru donation area. No matter what, there is a wide variety of ways to see the lights!
- Thursdays–Sundays, November 25–January 15
- 4:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Hershey Sweet Lights presented by T-Mobile at Hersheypark
A winter wonderland awaits at Hershey Sweet Lights! Enjoy nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays from the comfort of your car as you drive through 2 miles of wooded trails.
- Select dates November 11–January 1
- 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Christmas Light Drive-Thru at Stone Gables Estate
Celebrate the traditions and true meaning of Christmas with your loved ones from the comfort of your vehicle. Experience a 3-mile Christmas Light Drive-Thru which features over 600,000+ brilliant LED lights.
- Select dates November 25–December 30
- Tuesday–Thursday; 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
- Friday–Saturday; 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Herr's Christmas Lights Display
This free drive-thru light display is open from dusk to dawn! Drive through their corporate campus and take in the sight of over 600,000 dazzling lights.
- November 23–January 2
- 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Mayor's Tree Lighting
Visit downtown Lancaster for the tree lighting! Enjoy live entertainment, see the arrival of Santa, and view the magical tree lighting.
- November 25
Santa Express at Stone Gables Estate
Enjoy a magical and narrated train excursion and Christmas experience through the center of Stone Gables Estate on the Harrisburg, Lincoln & Lancaster Railroad. Sing along with favorite Christmas tunes, light up when Santa makes a surprise visit, and enjoy a stop at the North Pole in the Engine House.
- Pre-Registration ONLY: All tickets must be purchased online before visiting.
- Friday, November 25
- Saturdays, November 26 and December 3, 10, 17
- Monday–Friday December 19–23
Breakfast with Santa at Country Barn
Enjoy a Farm-to-Fork buffet breakfast in an historic barn. After breakfast, Santa and his elves will be there to hear your Christmas wish list. Have your photo taken with Santa, which is included with every adult ticket!
- November 26, 27
- December 3, 4, 10, 11
- Seating Times: 9:00 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m.
- All tickets must be purchased in advance.
Cookies with Santa at Dutch Wonderland
Enjoy delicious cookies and exclusive time to share your holiday wish list with Santa! Guests must have an admissions tickets to Dutch Winter Wonderland AND Cookies with Santa to attend this event.
- Saturdays from November 26–December 17
Santa's Trains at Strasburg Railroad
The Strasburg Railroad offers many Christmas-themed trains during the holiday season. You have TWO opportunities to see Santa!
Santa Claus Limited
This is their regular 45-minute steam excursion, but with Santa Claus on board! Running Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the day. The property is decorated for Christmas.
Santa’s Paradise Express
Santa himself will climb aboard the historic steam train to greet families as they travel down the tracks to Paradise, PA and back. As a special treat, children ages 11 and under will receive a gift from Santa and his helper during this 45-minute steam train ride. (multiple cars to choose from, including a brunch car!)
- Saturdays and Sundays, November 19–December 24
Santa in the City
The Lancaster City Bureaus of Fire and Police will escort Santa through Lancaster City as he visits downtown and the neighborhoods.
- December 8 , 10, and 17
Scooting With Santa
Santa has a new mode of transportation! Join Santa as he leads the way through the back roads of Lancaster County, PA in a 50cc Scoot Coupe.
- Saturdays and Sundays, December 3 - 18
National Christmas Center (Stone Gables)
Until its permanent home is ready, you can now enjoy seeing over 18,000 square feet of nostalgic Christmas décor in lights, trees, stores, and more at the interim National Christmas Center which is housed a short distance from Stone Gables Estate. Seventeen-foot-tall, real-life buildings with artistic architectural features depict the streets of Columbia, Pennsylvania as they were in the 1950’s.
- Thursdays–Saturdays, starting November 25–December 30
- 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Christmas Dinner and a Show at The Star Barn (Stone Gables)
Add a little more “merry and bright” to the Christmas season and enjoy dinner and live Christmas music in the historic Star Barn. The Star Barn will be festively decorated for the season, showcasing a large Nativity, Christmas trees, and more.
- Thursday and Friday, December 15 and 16: Singer, songwriter, producer, and recording artist, Marty Rotella
- Tuesday and Wednesday, December 20 and 21: World-renowned Irish tenor, Mark Forrest
- Wednesday and Thursday, December 28 and December 29: Lancaster County’s Perfect Harmony, featuring vocalists Kat Prickett, Sarah Poague, and Ric Zimmerman.
- Visit website for information about times
The Christmas Village (Stone Gables)
Make it a Christmas to remember at The Christmas Village at Stone Gables Estate. Enjoy the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of Christmas as you stroll the market and visit historic barns and other structures at Stone Gables Estate, each beautifully decorated for Christmas.
- Friday–Saturday, November 25–26
- Saturdays, December 3, 10, 17
- 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Star Barn Nativity Workshop (Stone Gables)
Join artists Karen Loccisano and R. Michael Palan as they celebrate this Christmas season by creating an original, cut-and-folded-paper, traditional, German Putz-style version of the Star Barn Nativity.
- One day only!
- Saturday, November 26, 9:30 a.m. OR 1:30 p.m.
Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark
Decorated with over 5 million lights, celebrate the holiday season at the sweetest place on earth. Enjoy select holiday rides and coasters, and visit Santa and his reindeer (November 19–December 24). Learn more about Hershey at a festive tree-lined trail at The Boardwalk.
- Select dates November 11–January 1
- 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Winter Wonderland at Dutch Wondeland
Visit the park as it is transformed into a Winter Wonderland! You can enjoy over 20 rides and attractions, meet Santa, and marvel at thousands of holiday lights!
- Select dates November 19–January 1
- 3:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Christmas on the Farm at The Country Barn
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas on the Farm at Barnyard Kingdom! The Country Barn will have giant slides, fire pits, barnyard animals, trikes, a straw pyramid, elf scavenger hunt, hedge maze, and more! Train rides to their Christmas Tree Fields (on a real train!) for U-Cut Trees are included with your admission!
- November 26, 27
- December 3, 4, 10, 11
Night Before Christmas Train at Strasburg Railroad
Enjoy a Christmas story train ride. This special train recreates the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve. Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem, A Visit from St. Nicolas (better known as ''Twas the Night Before Christmas), comes alive as the train rolls along.
- December 2, 8–11, and 15–23
Polar Bear Express at Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad
Hop aboard the Polar Express and take a trip to remember to the North Pole. The Conductor shares a special Christmas story with the children. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train with a gift for every child (infant through 11 years).
- Saturdays and Sundays, November 27–December 18
Christmas Village in Bird-in-Hand
Visit Bird-in Hand for two days of good food and family-fun activities to ring in the Christmas season!
On Friday, December 9, you can meet Santa, visit and take photos with live reindeer, enjoy a s’mores bonfire starting at 5:00 p.m., get a head start on holiday gift shopping at our local stores, and dine onsite or purchase dinner to go from Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord or Bakery & Cafe.
On Saturday, December 10, enjoy visits with Santa in his sleigh, mail letters to Santa, holiday balloons for the kids, kids' glitter tattoos and sand art making, caroling along with the cast of A Christmas Tree Ship, and carriage rides around the village. Enter to win tickets to their holiday show and other local attractions, stay for lunch at the cafe, or purchase items to go.
- Friday, December 9; 3:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, December 10; 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
The 2022 Christmas Show: Home for the Holidays at American Music Theater
American Music Theatre’s 2022 Christmas Show: Home for the Holidays opens on the joyous gathering of family and friends who celebrate with song, dance, and holiday traditions. Next, they'll take you to Santa’s Candy Factory where you’ll be transported to a dream world of bright colors and Candy Elves! Finally, you’ll join them at a “midnight” candlelight service for some songs of worship, traditional carols, and the powerful, harmony-filled rendition of “O Holy Night.”
- Select days and times in November and December
Elf the Musical: Dutch Apple Dinner Theater
If you like smiling, and smiling is your favorite, you are not going to want to miss this! A musical based on the movie, Elf! Elf introduces us to a young orphan named Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag of gifts and was transported to the North Pole. Raised by elves his entire life, Buddy doesn’t know he is actually a human. When his enormous size and poor toy-making ability cause him to face the truth, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.
- November 18–January 8
Holiday Shows at Fulton Theatre
Their largest dance show of the season! Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming musical is brought to dazzling life onstage.
- November 17–December 31
A Christmas Carol
The Fulton has reimagined this timeless classic. Coldhearted Ebenezer Scrooge encounters spirits of Christmases past, present, and future to discover loves and lives he has neglected.
- November 26–December 23
Join the Fulton this holiday season for a special cabaret experience, starring the talented voices and performances of Jeffrey Coon, Matthew Hydzik, Charis Leos, Katie Sina, and a different Special Guest at each performance!
- December 1–December 18
Kitchen Kettle Village
Whether you venture out and brave the cold or prefer the warmth of indoors, winter at Kitchen Kettle Village is a great place to experience the holiday season. Take in the aromas of freshly baked seasonal treats, wander through the Village to see the decorations, and pick up a few Christmas gifts along the way.
- Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26
- Saturdays, December 3, 10, and 17
Visit their website for a more detailed schedule of their special holiday events.
Visit Elizabeth Farms for all sorts of holiday fun. You can cut down your own tree, take wagon rides, have fun in the interactive animal area, enjoy the junkyard playground, eat delicious homemade desserts, shop the gift shop, snap a photo with Santa, and so much more!!
- Opening weekend: November 19
- Closed Monday and Tuesday
- Various House Wednesday–Sunday
- Pictures with Santa: 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Amish Christmas Cookie Tour—Amish Farm and House
Interact with Amish families in their homes and learn about their heritage while sampling homemade cookies. Leave with new friends and memories to last a lifetime. You’ll walk away with an appreciation of another culture, along with recipes and cookies to take home and enjoy.
- Fridays and Saturdays, November 18–December 23
- Departures at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
- Reservations are required.
Oh, Christmas Trees
Christmas Tree Train at Strasburg Railroad
Travel by authentic steam train to Leaman Place Grove, where you can choose a pre-cut Fraser Fir tree and have it delivered back to the station. Once at Leaman Place Grove, guests have approximately one hour to choose and purchase that special Christmas tree. The staff will bale it and you can watch it being loaded on their heritage freight car while enjoying a roaring campfire and the sound of Christmas carols.
Seating is limited, so guests are encouraged to purchase tickets early.
- Fridays and Saturdays, November 25–December 3
Pick out and cut down your tree! The staff will get it ready for you and assist with transportation and loading it into your car. They do have pre-cut trees if you’re looking for a faster, easier option.
- Saturdays starting November 26; 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Market open Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
Fresh, pre-cut Fraser and Douglas Fir trees of all sizes will be available for browsing every day with inventory always being updated. Sizes range from 6-foot to 14-foot trees, and each section will be marked according to the size of the trees. Staff onsite will assist with tagging and baling the trees for easy pickup.
- Starting on November 19
- Hours of operation change day to day, so visit website for more information
- Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Frey’s Greenhouse has what you need to deck your home for the holidays. You will find freshly-cut Pennsylvania-grown Fraser and Douglas Fir trees, ornaments, wreaths, and lush greens in boxwood, pine, and fir.
- Monday–Saturday; 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Frog Hollow Evergreens
Frog Hollow Evergreens is a small Christmas tree farm. Their usual selection of trees includes Canaan Fir, Douglas Fir, and Concolor Fir. All trees are priced the same, regardless of size or variety. The total cost per tree is $60.00. That’s it, no hidden costs!
- November 19–December 18 (Closed on Thanksgiving Day)
- Thursday–Sunday; 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
- Closed for rain
Heritage Tree Farm
At Heritage Tree Farm, you will be able to choose and cut down your own tree! They have Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, and Blue Spruce trees to choose from. While you're there be sure to stop in and do some shopping at the Christmas Shop. Depending on the day, you may be able to enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides!
- Friday and Saturdays, November 25–December 23
- NEW this year! Due to shortage of trees, choose and cut is by appointment ONLY.
- Pre-cut trees do not need an appointment.
Hunt’s Christmas Trees
This family-owned and family-run Christmas tree farm has been helping people find that perfect tree in the Lancaster area since 1979. Once you choose your Christmas tree, you can cut it yourself or their team is always happy to help cut it for you! Hunt’s is pet-friendly, so bring the whole family! They also have a wide selection of fresh-cut trees to choose from in their “indoor forest.”
- Opening November 19 (Closed on Thanksgiving Day)
- Black Friday; 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
- Sundays–Thursdays; 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Fridays; 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m.–7:00p.m., pre-cut trees only)
- Saturdays; 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
We hope this guide to Christmas activities in Lancaster helps you and your loved ones enjoy a festive, memorable, and joy-filled holiday season! Merry Christmas!
Written by Amanda Witherow
Amanda is the Marketing Coordinator at McLennan Contracting. She and her husband, Alex, have a son and one cat. (Hoping to add a dog to the family in the future!). Amanda is also a health and fitness coach and enjoys spending time in her gym. When she isn’t working or working out, she enjoys going on family walks/hikes, reading, bingeing TV shows, healthy baking, adventuring to new parks with her little man, and watching him explore and grow.