Posted: 12/16/2020 | 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.

Events that have been cancelled for 2020

Ice Cream with Santa | Turkey Hill Experience
The Turkey Hill Experience is beautifully decorated to celebrate the season, including several themed Christmas trees. Kids ages 2-12, will create a holiday card that will be mailed to their special someone, sit and listen while Santa reads Christmas stories, make a Christmas craft, enjoy a special Christmas ice cream treat and one of Mrs. Claus' freshly baked cookies!

Yuletide at Rock Ford | Historic Rock Ford
Step back in time and celebrate an 18th Century Yuletide... this year's celebration will look different then year's past. Stay up-to-date on their website for more event information.

Find Your Belsnickle Christmas Tour | Throughout Lancaster County
The "Authentic B&Bs of Lancaster County" invite you to enjoy a tour of about 15 inns dressed for the holidays! Experience the beautiful homes and properties, enter to win a $325 giveaway, and find the "Belsnickle" at each inn. All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Dutch Winter Wonderland | Dutch Wonderland
Dutch Wonderland remains closed due to public health concerns.
Dutch Winter Wonderland is the perfect place to celebrate the season and create special memories that last a lifetime. Enjoy themed rides, share your wish list with Santa, enjoy tasty holiday treats, or watch our dazzling Royal Light Show featuring hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights that dance to your favorite holiday tunes.

Home For The Holidays | Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
The Railroad Museum of PA remains closed due to public health concerns.
Take a nostalgic glimpse at holiday rail travel. Meet costumed engineers, conductors, ticket agents, and passengers representing the past century and enjoy seasonal music, festive decorations, and more among our world-class collection of trains. Included in regular Museum admission.

Christmas with the Conductor | Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
The Railroad Museum of PA remains closed due to public health concerns.
The conductor calls all aboard for classic holiday stories in one of the Museum’s historic passenger coaches. Kids will also delight in creating their own seasonal take-home craft and receiving a small bag of goodies. Advance registration is required and is offered on a first come basis.

Holiday Home Tour | Strasburg Heritage Society
Enjoy festively decorated homes of historic Strasburg. The tour will showcase homes and churches with unique holiday decor from the 1700s to modern. The day will also include a public holiday market, food at the Holiday Pantry, a silent auction, and quilt raffle.

Country Christmas Village | Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum remains closed due to public health concerns.
Come warm your spirit and experience Pennsylvania German contributions to the celebration of the season as you tour decorated buildings and a Civil War winter camp, see traditional holiday foods prepared in the tavern, and meet "der Belsnickel." Children can make seasonal crafts to take home and families can enjoy wagon rides.

Days of the Belsnickel Lunch Tour | Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum remains closed due to public health concerns.
Your day starts off with a guided tour of the decorated village of Landis Valley, followed by a delicious lunch in the historic 1856 Landis Valley House Hotel. After lunch, you'll head to the Firehouse for a visit from the Belsnickel. Who's bad and who's good? No one knows but the Belsnickel.

Christmas Layout | Choo Choo Barn
Celebrate the holiday season as the Choo Choo Barn transforms Traintown USA to bring the magic of Christmas to its gigantic model train display.

Scootin with Santa | Strasburg Scooters
Santa has traded in his sleigh for a 50cc Scoot Coupe and leads the way through back roads of Lancaster County in search of the ever elusive " Amish Christmas Lights". We've fixed up our Scoot Coupes by extending the windshields to block the wind and added a small heater for extra comfort for you to join Santa as he travels over the brides and through the woods with exceptional views of the countryside, including Amish farms and schoolhouses.

Christmas at the Cloister | Ephrata Cloister
The Ephrata Cloister remains closed due to public health concerns.
Spend a few moments in quiet reflection with seasonal readings and holiday music in the 1741 Meetinghouse at the Ephrata Cloister.

Lantern Tours | Ephrata Cloister
The Ephrata Cloister remains closed due to public health concerns.
These special theatrical tours take you back in time to visit Ephrata Cloister as it may have appeared in the 1700s. Each year we offer a new story with a cast of junior and senior high school students playing the roles that bring history to life.

Holiday Dinner Theatre | Mount Hope Estate & Winery
At Mount Hope's Holiday Dinner Theatre, you will enjoy a 3-course meal while cast members visit with you in the Victorian Mount Hope Mansion. After dinner, traditional Christmas stories will be shared and carols will be sung. Seating is limited so get your tickets today! Dinners are held Fridays - Sundays & select weekdays through December 20, 2020.

Learn more about Lancaster County holiday traditions here!



kids in buggy with mini horses

Discover Lancaster

Guest Blogger

Send An Email