7 Must-See Holiday Attractions in Pennsylvania
Dickens troupe for Bellefonte Victorian Christmas. Photo by Central PA CVB
‘Tis the Season!
Pennsylvania is known for its hometown holiday celebrations. Here are seven that are worth a visit!
7 Must-See Holiday Attractions
Located in the heart of historic Lancaster County, Elizabeth Farms is the area’s largest live Christmas tree farm. In operation since 1758, the farm features more than 200 acres of live Christmas trees. A free horse-drawn wagon ride, complete with sleigh bells, will take you through fields of Fraser Firs, Douglas Firs, Canaan Firs, Concolor Firs and Colorado Spruce. Santa’s workshop, hot refreshments, a train room and festive holiday displays—including a reproduction of eight original 1950s-era New York City Bloomingdale’s Holiday Window Displays.
For two days in Central Pennsylvania, downtown Lewistown hosts the annual Festival of Ice. Old-fashioned carriage rides take visitors past walls of magnificently sculpted ice, interactive ice sculptures and more than 40 individual blocks of sculpted ice. Highlights include the Crazy Parade and Chillin’ 4K run/walk road race. Free kids crafts, live music in the Historic Courthouse and St. John’s and St. Mark’s Churches, indoor craft booths, photos with Santa and other special displays.
The streets of Jim Thorpe bustle with the sounds and joy of the Christmas season. Festive decorations, cozy accommodations, sounds of the trains and carolers and relaxed strolling through downtown convey a holiday spirit. The town’s annual Christmas parade and tree lighting, Christmas play, Historic District Ghost Walks and Gingerbread House contest are just a few of the activities visitors can enjoy. The mansions are decorated for the season and open for tours.
Since 1992, the Boiling Springs Civic Association has lit the small town of Boiling Spring into a magical, picturesque Christmas village. Hundreds of luminaries line the lake, and crowds gather near the Gazebo to watch Santa Claus row his boat across the lake to greet the children. A Christmas tree that is set afloat near the Memorial Clock Tower is lit, and even on the coldest days, the warmth of the town and the people make this night one of the more memorable holiday experiences.
Tunkhannock, on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in the Endless Mountains region on the Susquehanna River. Friday kicks off with a tree lighting, horse and buggy rides, trolley rides, ice carvings, entertainment, living windows and other entertainment, including street carolers, hot chocolate, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. A full weekend of festive activities.
Take a journey back in time to Christmases of the past at the annual Bellefonte Victorian Christmas. Stroll alongside ladies in traditional dress riding in horse-drawn carriages and gentlemen in top hats greeting visitors. Ring in the season and turn on the holiday cheer with a variety of Victorian traditions, including tea parties, home tours and much more. Train rides and Festival of Trees round out the weekend.
Started in 1987, the market is the oldest outdoor Christmas market in the U.S. The event takes over a large portion of downtown Mifflinburg, with over 100 huts featuring many vendors and entertainment that celebrates the German heritage of the community. Past highlights include Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy, Doctor Zither, traditional Bavarian dances, Children’s Lantern Parade, magician Brent Kessler, marionette shows and internationally-known singer/songwriter KJ Reimensnyder-Wagner.