Posted: 05/28/2021 | by Discover Lancaster

Lancaster County Christmas & New Year's Events

The Holiday season in Lancaster County is full of themed attractions and fun events for young or old to enjoy.

As part of your planning during this time, please call or check the website & social media of these properties for their most current operational information.

Explore light displays, a holiday-themed amusement park and so much more! Maybe you’ll see the Jolly Ol' Elf himself! Check out the full list of events with dates below, and plan to enjoy a holiday that is something truly special. And when it's time to ring in the New Year, do it Lancaster County style with a celebration in Downtown Lancaster, at one of the small town celebrations, or with a show.

Christmas Events

Weekend Winter Wonderland | Downtown Lancaster
The City of Lancaster will kick off the holiday season with the Weekend Winter Wonderland, December 4th & 5th, 2020. Get in the holiday spirit with Santa’s arrival to the city, mobile holiday performances, and more throughout the weekend! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s Tree Lighting ceremony will not take place.

Lancaster Shops Late | Downtown Lancaster
The annual Lancaster Shops Late night is Thursday, December 10th, 2020! Lancaster Shops Late is a night where retailers are encouraged to stay open into the evening, bringing visitors downtown to dine and of course, shop! There will be roaming entertainment, and warm beverages & treats at select locations.

Christmas Spirit Light Show | Clipper Magazine
Christmas Spirit Light Show is an exciting, one-of-a-kind Christmas light display that you and your loved ones will enjoy from the comfort of your vehicle. As you journey through our 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.

Santa and Goats | Amish Farm and House
Baby goats and hot cocoa, need we say more? Join us on December 19th, 2020 to take pictures with Santa and his ‘elves’. After taking pictures with our goats, enjoy fun family activities on our farm. This event is free and open to the public. We encourage you to bring the whole family- pets included!

Amish Christmas Cookie Tour | Amish Farm and House
Visit three Amish homes to enjoy homemade cookies. As you know, many Amish homes do not open their homes to strangers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The tour guide will drive you through the true back roads of Amish Country and introduce you to three Amish families. You'll spend about 25 minutes with each family, enjoy their company and cookies! You'll leave with cookies and a handwritten recipe to take home and try. Tours are held at 2:00 p.m. on Fridays, Nov. 27th- Dec. 18th, 2020 and 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Nov. 28th- Dec. 19th, 2020.

Kitchen Kettle Christmas | Kitchen Kettle Village
Whether you venture out and brave the cold or prefer the warmer climes of the great indoors - winter at Kitchen Kettle Village is a wonderland filled with exciting and unexpected things to do, see and experience. Enjoy holiday family fun with Santa and friends! Partake in a scavenger hunt around the village and be sure to bring your wish list to share with Santa. Tickets to the event include a meal voucher, festive bakery box, contactless photo opportunities and more! Foodies: don't miss out on the festive family tasting tours November 27th - December 18th, 2020. Tickets include storytelling with Mrs. Claus and Yummie, holiday gift bag, special tastings and so much more!

Santa's Paradise Express | Strasburg Rail Road
Ride the rails with Santa and his helpers! Santa himself will climb aboard and visit with families as they travel down the tracks. At the station, children are invited to listen to storybook readings of holiday classics aboard a heated stationary caboose and will be charmed with rides aboard the Tinsel Trolley, a self-propelled motorcar.

Night Before Christmas Train | Strasburg Rail Road
Sparkling skies, warmth from a potbelly stove, smells of freshly baked cookies and magic in the air. This special train recreates the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve. A reader dressed in a Victorian nightshirt and cap will read Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem, The Night Before Christmas, as passengers enjoy cookies and milk while the train rolls along. At the station, children are invited to listen to storybook readings of holiday classics aboard a heated stationary caboose and will be charmed with rides aboard the Tinsel Trolley, a self-propelled motorcar.

Christmas Tree Train | Strasburg Rail Road
Start a new holiday tradition and ride aboard the Christmas Tree Train to Leaman Place Grove where you can choose a locally grown, fresh-cut Frasier or Douglas Fir and have the tree delivered by steam on a flatcar back to the station. At the station, children are invited to listen to storybook readings of holiday classics aboard a heated stationary caboose and will be charmed with rides aboard the Tinsel Trolley, a self-propelled motor car.

Christmas Tree Trolley | Strasburg Rail Road
Santa and his chief elf are stepping out of their busy workshop to take a very special trolley ride aboard the Strasburg Rail Road this Christmas season! Make your child’s visit with Santa an especially unique memory to be cherished for a lifetime.

Breakfast with Santa | Country Barn
Enjoy a buffet breakfast in our historic barn, snap a photo with Santa and enjoy more fun on the farm with Giant Slides, Mini Tractor Rides, Christmas Crafts and an Elf Scavenger Hunt in the Barnyard Kingdom after breakfast!

Yuletide at Wheatland | LancasterHistory
Tour President James Buchanan’s Wheatland virtually this year for Yuletide at Wheatland! Join a tour guide, in real-time over Zoom, to traverse the festively decorated halls and rooms of the 1828 mansion. From the comfort of your home, learn about the public and personal life of James Buchanan through the lens of Yuletides and traditions past. From Yuletide menus and meals to how Christmastime was celebrated during the Civil War, viewers will learn how Buchanan and his family experienced Yuletide in the mid-1800s.

Christmas Lights & Ziplining | Refreshing Mountain Adventure Center
Enjoy the Christmas Lights Experience at Refreshing Mountain. With twice as many lights, there 8 miles of Christmas lights displayed. Drive through the Christmas light displays or zipline through the spectacle. For a complete immersive experience stay in a cozy Christmas-y cabin suites.

Christmas Drive-Through Light Show | The Star Barn Village
Starting November 27, 2020 at 5 - 8 p.m., every Friday and Saturday except Christmas and New Year’s Day, enjoy a 2-mile drive with a plethora of Christmas Lights throughout the property including a CD of Christmas music and the Christmas Story.

Christmas Village | Bird-in-Hand Village
Gingerbread cookies and carriage rides, caroling and Santa Claus - Join us for a very special event to celebrate the Christmas season – and 50 years of Smucker Family hospitality. Snap pictures of your family with Santa and decorate gingerbread cookies, enjoy a carriage ride around the village, take home holiday balloons for the kids and make a special craft together, And inspire imagination with kids’ face painting.

Annual Open House | Mount Hope Estate & Winery
Saturdays & Sundays in December, visit Mount Hope Estate & Winery for their annual open house. Tour the beautifully decorated mansion, sample and purchase wine and spirits and shop unique crafts and gifts at the Merchant Marketplace.

Christmas Candylane | Hersheypark
Be dazzled by 5 million lights twinkling throughout Hersheypark. Enjoy your favorite coasters and rides and visits with Santa and Hershey Characters. Explore Hershey’s Chocolatetown in the winter for the first time ever!

New Year's Eve Events

Ring in the New Year with us here in Lancaster County! There are many celebrations throughout the county to take part in, including live bands, street performers and games for the kids. Festivities begin early enough for the whole family to enjoy, so even the little ones who won’t be awake to count down to midnight can partake in the excitement and fun of New Year’s Eve in Lancaster.

NYE in Downtown Lancaster | Binns Park
Like many traditions, New Year’s Eve in Lancaster City will look a little different this year. The night will feature the Red Rose countdown and a fireworks finale at midnight! Fireworks will go off from Hand Middle School in Southeast Lancaster City and Thomas Armstrong Blvd. in Northwest Lancaster City. There will be no live concert this year. Event is free and open to the public.

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