'Tis the Season for Discovering Christmas in Lancaster, Pa.


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(Lancaster, Pa.) “Home for the holidays” is a heartwarming tradition this time of year, so be sure to make time for Lancaster, Pa., this season. After all, we’re “home” to American Christmastime traditions like the first Christmas tree, delicious springerle holiday “picture cookies,” and the mischievous Belsnickle – the Pennsylvania Dutch version of Santa Claus who gives coal to kids who’ve been naughty, not nice.

Of course, there’s more than just festive history that makes Discovering Christmas in Lancaster something truly special. We’ve also got fantastic holiday shows, great shopping deals, and unique seasonal attractions.

After the more muted colors of harvest time, there’s a merry beauty to the spirited colors of red, green, silver, and gold splashed across the Lancaster countryside, its towns and villages, and Lancaster City.

The pure joy of the season shines through in classic Yuletide tales and lively holiday songs ringing out from a multitude of theatres, like the true spirit of the season captured by Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre’s Holly Jolly Christmas (now through Dec. 31), or the seasonal extravaganza that is the American Music Theatre’s 2016 Christmas Show (now through Dec. 30).

Colorfully-lit shops twinkle in the crisp air, full of holiday treasures and hand-crafted presents. Get good deals and great memories with an old-fashioned Christmas shopping trip to our artisans and Amish craftsmen, town and village Main Streets, brand-name outlet stores, and fresh country markets.

You can also explore the holiday spirit of the area via “Scootin’ with Santa” tours through Amish farmland from Strasburg Scooters on selected December dates, or by enjoying beautiful homes & a prize search with the Authentic B&Bs of Lancaster County’s Belsnickle Christmas Tour, Dec. 3-4.

Decorated visitor attractions celebrate the sheer fun of Christmastime, as well as our Pennsylvania German seasonal heritage. Warm up to Landis Valley’s Country Christmas Village (Dec. 3-4), amuse yourself with great rides, entertainment, and other seasonal festivities at Dutch Winter Wonderland (now through Dec. 30), explore 15 different scenes from Yuletide days past and present at the National Christmas Center, or revel in the holiday atmosphere on one of the Christmas Trains at the Strasburg Rail Road (now through Dec. 17).

And don’t miss out on Lancaster City for the Holidays, starting with the unique fun of the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Tuba Christmas on Black Friday evening, Nov. 25, and thereafter centering ‘round Penn Square, where you’ll find our community Christmas tree, visits with Santa in the Lancaster Marriott (Fridays 6-9pm & Saturdays 10am-3pm through Dec. 17), and horse-drawn carriage rides (6:30-9:30pm on Dec. 2, 9, and 16), as well as special shopping hours at our distinctive city retailers.

Lancaster is a wonderful blend of urban style and rural splendor, with many rich cultures, from the Amish to the arts. Travelers can take in our vibrant downtown city life – with galleries, great dining, specialty shops, and live music – and explore surrounding towns and villages to get a sampling of the heritage, food, craftsmanship, and attractions for which Lancaster is famous. Visit us at www.DiscoverLancaster.com.

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