Merry and Bright!

Merry and Bright!
A bonfire blazes at Landis Valley Museum as revelers gather a safe distance away.
Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum's annual bonfire takes place tonight

Up Next

Today, December 9

  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Dr. Houping Liu, forest entomologist with the PA Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources, will talk about the Eastern hemlock tree and hemlock woolly adelgid management. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Learn at Lunchtime info and registration).
  • Candlelight Tours (in-person); Friday and Saturday, 3-6 pm; Pennsbury Manor
    • Candlelight tours of the Manor House will be offered at 3, 4, and 5 pm. Regular admission charged. Reservations are encouraged but not required. Also offered Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17 (Candlelight Tour info).
  • Holiday Bonfire (in-person); 6-8 pm; Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
    • This annual event features a festive bonfire, music, refreshments, and good cheer. The event is free; please bring a non-perishable food item for the Lancaster County Food Hub (Holiday Bonfire info).

Saturday, December 10

  • Adult and Children's Holiday Workshops (in-person); 10 am-Noon; Pennsbury Manor
    • Separate workshops for adults and children (age 5-12) will run simultaneously. Adults will learn to make several types of ornaments (materials included in $35 workshop fee). Children will decorate gingerbread cookies, create a gnome ornament, and enjoy storytime with Father Christmas (pay what you wish - $10 donation suggested). Call 215/946-0400 to reserve for either or both (Pennsbury workshop info).
  • Home for the Holidays (in-person); 10 am-4 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Enjoy the museum's exhibits and historic trains along with festive decorations, Yuletide music, Santa, and costumed interpreters. Shop for gifts in the Whistle Stop Shop and sample cookies and hot chocolate in the lobby (while supplies last). Artist-in-residence Nadine Charlsen will be at the museum Saturday and Sunday. Included in regular admission (Home for the Holidays info).
  • Holidays at Hope Lodge & Colonial Tavern (in-person); 11 am-4 pm; Hope Lodge
    • Enjoy a self-guided tour of the mansion with holiday decorations and music by members of the Ambler Symphony Orchestra (noon-2 pm). Tickets are $8 for ages 12 and up, free for members and children younger than 12. Purchase tickets at the door or online via Eventbrite. For an additional charge, visitors age 21+ can also taste seasonal craft beers from Round Guys Brewing Co. (Holidays at Hope Lodge tickets).
  • Santa in the Shay (in-person); Noon-3 pm; PA Lumber Museum
    • Santa will be in the cab of the historic Shay locomotive to listen to holiday requests and pose for pictures. In the museum program room, make your photo into an ornament, enjoy cookies and cocoa, and shop the holiday bazaar. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for youth; members get in free (Santa in the Shay info).
  • A Homestead Holiday (in-person); Noon-4 pm; Daniel Boone Homestead
    • Learn how the families who lived at the Homestead celebrated Christmas in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Young visitors can enjoy a visit and photo with Santa. The Homestead Carolers will be singing throughout the historic area (Homestead Holiday info).

Monday, December 12

  • SOLD OUT Christmas at the Cloister (in-person); Monday and Tuesday, 6:30-8 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Spend a few moments in quiet reflection with seasonal readings and music in the historic Saal. Two programs each night, one starting at 6:30 and the other at 8:00. Seating is limited. As of Wednesday, there were tickets still available for 8 pm performances both nights; no tickets sold at the door (Christmas at the Cloister tickets).

Wednesday, December 14

  • Homeschool Program (in-person); 10-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • This month's program is about Wetlands in PA and will use two of the museum's exhibits as learning stations. Cost is $10 per person ($3 for members); at least one paying adult must accompany each family group (Homeschool program info and registration).
  • Ornament Workshop (virtual); 6:30-8 pm
    • This virtual workshop will teach you how to make two different ornaments using festive paper and fabric. $10 fee includes materials; you can pick them up at the Visitor Center (Virtual Ornament Workshop info).

Thursday, December 15

  • Curiosity Kids (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Join us as we discover the holiday traditions that were celebrated during the 1970s and 1980s. Play with toys and games of the era and create your own retro holiday ornament. For grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Space is limited, so please sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info).

Friday, December 16

  • Late Nite with the Belsnickle! (in-person); 7-9 pm; Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
    • Holiday-themed crafts, PA Dutch traditions, a visit with Belsnickle, and an adult beverage. Must be at least 21 to attend. Event is rain or shine; dress for the weather, including shoes appropriate for walking the site. Tickets are $40 (Late Nite info and tickets).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Meet Belsnickel (in-person); Saturday, Dec. 17, Noon-2 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Belsnickel is a PA Dutch tradition, sort a grumpy version of Santa Claus. Children will go on a scavenger hunt, make a craft, have a snack, and find out if they're on Belsnickel's naughty or nice list. Come and go as you please during the two-hour program. Admission is free, but registration is required (OEV Belsnickel registration).
  • Putz'n and Brutz'n with the Belsnickle! (in-person); Saturday, Dec. 17, 1-3 pm; Landis Valley Vilage & Farm Museum
    • This family-friendly event includes a walking tour, making a punched tin ornament, light refreshments, a visit with the Belsnickle, and more. The program will be held rain or shine, so please dress for the weather with appropriate shoes. Tickets are $30 for people age 8 and up, $20 for ages 3-7. Space is limited, and reservations are required (LVM Family Belsnickle event).
  • Lantern Tours (in-person); Tuesday, Dec. 27, thru Friday, Dec. 30, 6-8 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • This theatrical style program is led by the Student Historians, local high school students who take on the roles of people from history as the story unfolds in selected historic buildings. This year visitors will join Mrs. Fahnestock as she plans the wedding of an Ephrata Sister and a young man working for the Brothers. This light-hearted look at the past will provide enjoyment for the entire family. Advance tickets are required: $12 for adults, $9 for ages 6-17 (Lantern Tours info and tickets).
  • Winter Day Camp (in-person); Wednesday, Dec. 28, and Thursday, Dec. 29, 9 am-Noon; Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
    • Campers age 5 to 11 will explore Christmas and winter themes through old and new children's books and related activities. Sign up for both days or just one. Registration closes Tuesday, Dec. 20 (Winter Day Camp info & registration).


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