Top 30 Things to Do this Winter in Lancaster
A wonderful mix of holiday cheer and indoor fun for your winter trip to Lancaster.
Winter brings a wonderful mix of holiday cheer, indoor adventures, and wholesome events that are enjoyable for families and couples alike. 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.
Be sure to verify hours of operation and services offered at this time. Many attractions have developed virtual ways to experience the fun! Check out our round-up of things to do from home!
1. Strasburg Rail Road
All aboard for a beautiful ride through the countryside. Strasburg Rail Road takes families and train-lovers alike on a 45-minute ride on their steam locomotive, and it’s just as beautiful in the winter. If you’re in town for the holidays, their holiday-themed trains add an extra dose of holiday cheer to your visit.
2. Snow Tubing
When the temperatures dip below freezing and the snow starts falling, AvalancheXpress opens for snow tubing & ice skating fun! Kids of all ages will love this snowy adventure, complete with ice skating and hot chocolate afterwards.
3. Holiday Shopping
Whether you’re shopping for the perfect holiday gift or treating yourself post-holiday, small businesses and boutiques are plentiful in towns like Lititz, Strasburg, Intercourse, Adamstown and Downtown Lancaster. Make your list, check it twice, and enjoy a day of supporting small businesses.
4. Hands-On Learning
If cabin-fever starts to set in, get ready for hands-on fun and learning at Hands-on House and Tiny Town. Both offer children a plethora of ways to learn through playing, and are perfect of children 10 and under.
5. Visit the Outlets
6. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
Nothing beats a chilly day like a warm cup of coffee and a cozy café. Lancaster is home to over 70 coffee shops to choose from, including one that’s serving up the best coffee in Pennsylvania (according to Food & Wine Magazine), Passenger Coffee. Many are also serving up tasty café bites to pair with your latte of choice. Order for take-out or get a gift card!
7. Get Crafty
Get in touch with your artistic side with pottery painting or a canvas painting class. The PotteryWorks offers pottery pieces that can be painted any way you please. Order your pottery and paint online to create a masterpiece from the comfort of your home. If you prefer more of a class setting, Painting with a Twist holds in-person and virtual canvas painting classes that guide aspiring artists step-by-step through a painting that they can proudly hang in their home afterwards.
8. Science Fun
For kids that are into science, hop on over to Lancaster Science Factory and North Museum of Nature & Science. Lancaster Science Factory focuses on physical science and chemistry, while North Museum is all about nature, space, and animals. Spend some time outdoors at the Lancaster County Park for one of their nature activities!
9. Craft Beer & Breweries
Winter ales are on tap at local breweries, so stop by to try a few of our favorites. Order take-out or get a gift card for future use!
10. Bed & Breakfast
If you’re just looking to get away, cozy up by a fire, and read a good book – book your stay at a Lancaster Bed & Breakfast. You’ll be treated to some much needed relaxation, along with amazing amenities and delicious breakfast after a good night’s sleep.
11. Cooking Classes
Learn some new cooking skills with a Zest Cooking Class or at the Baker’s Table. The Zest Cooking School offers a plethora of classes, ranging from sweet treats to romantic dinners. For those with a sweet tooth, the Baker’s Table holds a Gingerbread Workshop in the winter to get creative with candy. Get cooking with Olde Square Inn in Mount Joy - you'll join Nancy, the Innkeeper in learning how to cook various dishes each Friday. From shortbread & frittata to blueberry muffins, you don't want to miss out on these wonderful treats!
12. Mud Sale
Mud Sale season begins at the end of February – perfect for your end-of-winter getaway to Lancaster. Grab your boots and head to one of these annual auctions, where you’ll find everything from quilts and antiques, to shrubbery and lawn equipment. If you’re just there to spectate, there’s plenty of tasty PA Dutch cuisine to enjoy as well.
13. Cozy Dining
Warm up by the fire as you indulge in a tasty dinner. For those chilly nights, make a reservation at one of Lancaster’s restaurants with fireplaces for a memorable, cozy dinner. If you're not ready to dine inside, check out how a few of the downtown restaurants have created special ways to dine outside this winter.
14. Historic Rock Ford
Experience memories of Christmases past as you go back in time at Historic Rock Ford. Enjoy yuletide cheer from the 18th century with self-guided tours.
Make your way to a museum when it’s too cold to be outside. Lancaster is home to museums for every interest – from trains and cars to art, clocks & watches and industry. Be sure to call ahead or visit the museum website for up-to-date operating protcols.
16. Farmers Markets
Wander the aisles of our great farmers markets for fresh produce and delicious handmade delicacies. Even in the winter, there are vegetables and fruits being harvested, especially hearty root vegetables.
17. Local Distilleries
Get in the holiday “spirit” with locally made whiskey. Stoll & Wolfe in Lititz and Thistle Finch Distillery in Downtown Lancaster are concocting craft cocktails made with their locally made whiskey, gin and vodka. Swing by for taste after a day of holiday shopping or while catching up with friends post-holiday.
18. Lititz Ice Walk
The 2021 Lititz Ice Walk takes place February 12th - 20th. Instead of one weekend, the event will be spread out over a week and a half, with rotating sculptures placed throughout the town! Stop by the event and order at one of the local restaurants, peruse the quaint shops and boutiques and enjoy the masterfully crafted ice sculptures!
19. Spa Day
The cold, dry air can do a number on your skin, so it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a spa day. Your skin and nails with thank you as you pamper yourself this season.
20. See a Show
It may be chilly outside, but the theatres in Lancaster are nice and warm. It’s the perfect time to catch a show – whether it’s one of the many Christmas shows offered around the county or a toe tapper to start the New Year. Find upcoming shows here! Be sure to check out your favorite theatre's website for streaming options while temporarily closed.
22. Indian Echo Caverns
Even winter is a great time to visit Indian Echo Caverns, as the caverns are always 52 degrees. Explore these geological wonders during their 45-minute tour.
23. Ring in the New Year
Ring in the New Year with a Lancaster County tradition – the Red Rose Drop. You’ll be treated fireworks and the dropping of the iconic "Lancaster rose".
Catch the magestic snow geese migration at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, occuring in late February to early March. The Middle Creek Visitors Center has been closed in response to COVID-19. This closure applies to the Visitors Center only; public access areas and trails remain open for public use and recreation.
25. Rock Climbing
Get active this winter with indoor rock climbing at Spooky Nook Sports and trampoline bouncing at Sky Zone. Both activities are great for kids when cabin fever sets in, or for adults looking to try a new form of exercise.
26. Ice Cream in Winter
Fun can be tasty, especially in Lancaster. Get the scoop on ice cream making at Turkey Hill Experience, and even get the chance to create your own ice cream flavor. If salty snacks are more your style, head to Julius Sturgis for a pretzel twisting tutorial and to learn more about the oldest commercial pretzel bakery in America.
27. Arcades & Laser Tag
Ready for a round of laser tag or to tear around a go-kart track? Gather the family and head to Carlisle Sports Emporium (great for older kids) or Go ‘N Bananas (perfect for the little ones). Both spots features arcade games galore, along with activities like laser tag, bumper cars, ropes courses, and go-karts.
A tour is a great way to spend an afternoon, while learning about element of Lancaster’s community. Find hidden gems on with LoKal Experiences, ride in a horse and buggy at Aaron & Jessica's or take a virtual tour of George's Furniture & Woodshop.
Prepare for colder days ahead with a handmade Lancaster County quilt. They’re both warm and beautiful, making for a great gift as well.
30. Live Music
Catch some live music with friends while toasting to another great holiday season. You’ll find fantastic craft cocktails, live bands, jazz music, and good vibes at the bars in Lancaster.
31. Special Events
Celebrate the holidays with special events in Lancaster.