December 2, 2023‘Tis the Season: 13 Holiday Event Ideas in Lancaster City
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December is a great moment for Lancastrians to embrace their pride by attending a holiday event in Lancaster City, and for visitors to join us in celebrating the festivities! If you are looking for fun holiday events and activities for all ages, we have you covered with an extensive list of options for all.
1. “Red Rose” Menorah Lighting
The Jewish Community Alliance of Lancaster is holding its annual Menorah Lighting during the evenings of December 7th-14th to light the community menorah in Penn Square!
For more information regarding this event, click HERE.
2. Holiday Arts Market
For the first time, Ewell Plaza is having an outdoor Holiday Arts Market on December 8th from 5-8 pm. Come explore local holiday event hosted by Lancaster City artists! Featuring handcrafted pieces and sentimental artwork – you’re bound to find personalized gifts for friends and loved ones! That’s not all, Santa will also be in attendance, as well as Joe on the Go Coffee and Joe’s Fish Sandwiches.
Learn more about the artist line-up and other information HERE.
Also, don’t forget to participate in the Holiday gift basket raffle, valued at around $600! Special thanks to all the small businesses in Lancaster City that donated items.
3. Lancaster Shops Late
The City of Lancaster and Lancaster City Alliance proudly bring you Lancaster Shops Late! On December 8th from 5-8 pm, a wide range of shops and boutiques will be open late within the city. Walk through well-lit streets, and take advantage of the holiday deals that Lancaster City has to offer!
Take a look HERE for more information.
4. Santa In the City
One of Lancaster City’s favorite holiday events… Santa in the City! It has remained a longstanding tradition that Santa makes his way through Lancaster City to greet families, residents, and visitors. This year is especially exciting because Santa will not only be visiting the city but neighborhoods as well! This event is made possible by the Lancaster City Fire & Police Department – shout out to them for making it possible for Santa to greet every corner of the city on December 8th, 9th, and 16th!
Click HERE for more information!
5. Light up Southeast
The Community Actions Partnership of Lancaster County and Crispus Attucks Community Center is partnering with Visit Lancaster City to bring you Light Up Southeast! Join Lancaster City’s southeast neighborhoods as they set up decorative lights and displays throughout the South Duke Street Mall! The holiday event takes place at the Crispus Attucks Community Center on December 8th from 6-9 pm.
For more details, follow HERE
6. Breakfast with Santa
Santa is coming to the Lancaster Marriott in Penn Square on December 16th from 8:30-10 am! Bring the kiddos along for the special chance to share their Christmas wishes with Santa. Complimentary hot chocolate, pastries, and coffee will be provided on behalf of the Marriott.
For more details, HERE
7. Lancaster City Holiday Retail Trail
Fig Magazine created the Holiday Retail Trail as a way to encourage residents and visitors to support small businesses in the city. Pick up the Retail Trail Guide at the Lancaster City Welcome Center, Discover Lancaster Visitors Center, the November 10th edition of LNP, or in the winter issue of Fig! Take a journey down the retail trail from now till December 23rd.
Click HERE for more details.
8. Fulton Theatre
The Fulton Theatre has several shows and special events for the holidays. A few of their shows/events include:
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – playing until December 30th
Enjoy the classic story of the imprisoned Egyptian noble with the power to interpret dreams. The show will be like never before – drawing influences from “Cirque, famous magicians, and superstar performances”!
Holiday Cabaret – runs until December 23rd
This is the Fulton Theatre’s second annual Holiday Cabaret celebration! Each day in December until the 23rd, the Tell Studio Theatre on the 4th floor will be featuring a special guest performance in each show!
Peter Pan – December 2nd through December 23rd
The perfect show for children and adults alike. Take a journey through Neverland with Peter Pan, as he and the lost boys fight off Captain Hook!
Order tickets HERE for any of the shows/events.
9. Lancaster Museum of Art
The Lancaster Museum of Art has two-holiday exhibits that will run till mid-December:
New Works from Echo Valley Art Group – runs till December 17th, 2023, 4:00 pm
The Echo Valley Art Group was first established in 1945, with 25 members that use a wide range of “mediums and styles”. This year, three new members are joining for the first time in this year’s show!
Trees Galore: Sleigh Ride Together With You – runs till December 17th, 2023, 10:00 pm
In this year’s Tree Galore, the “Sleigh Ride Together With You” theme will feature donated artwork by local artists, a silent auction, a holiday gift shop, and museum décor inspired by the Sleigh Ride song! All silent auction proceeds directly benefit exhibitions, educational programs, and other related operations.
For more information, click HERE to find out more!
10. Christmas Spirit Light show at Clipper Stadium
The Christmas Spirit Light Show is a mile-long, synchronized drive through a winter holiday-themed light show. This is their 7th year of operation, and they are run by a family-owned business! Enjoy the hundreds of thousands of colorful lights from the comfort of your vehicle. Part of the proceeds will go to the Water Street Mission, a non-profit organization that provides aid to the homeless community in Lancaster.
Enjoy the light show from now till December 31st. It will be open Sunday-Thursday at 5:30-9:30 pm, and Friday-Saturday at 5:30-10:30 pm.
Pre-purchase tickets by clicking HERE!
11. Buchanan Yuletide Tour
Discover Yuletide at Wheatland, a guided tour that takes you through the Christmas evolution post-1868 during the Second Industrial Revolution. This tour highlights the festive traditions and innovations, such as the rise of electric tree lights.
Embark on the tour Monday-Saturday, 10 am-3 pm from now until December 30th. It is advised to pre-order tickets ahead of time, as they tend to sell out quickly and walk-ins are not guaranteed.
To learn more and order tickets, click HERE!
12. Historic Yuletide Rock Ford Tour
Historic Rock Ford brings to you their 18th Century Yuletide tours – featuring musicians Margaret Marsch on the harpsichord, and Faith Martin accompanying both the harpsichord and violin. Also look forward to the Historic Rock Ford Dancers performing English Country dancing on the first floor of the Hand Manison, and Members of the Warm Hearth Committee demonstrating 18th-century receipts/recipes over the fire in the Hand Mansion’s kitchen.
Tours will be held on December 27th and 28th (4 pm-6 pm and 6 pm -8 pm) and December 29th (2 pm -4 pm and 4 pm-6 pm). Please keep in mind that there is limited guest capacity, therefore advance ticket purchasing is strongly advised.
Click HERE to order tickets today!
13. Lancaster Public Library
Lancaster’s Public Library is hosting several different winter holidays, celebrating different cultures and customs in Lancaster!
Provided are a list of the Holiday Storytimes occurring in the Children’s Program Room:
- Chanukkah Storytime presented by PJ Library – December 11th at 4 pm, for all ages
- Christmas Storytime presented by Miss. Rachel – December 14th at 4 pm, ages 3 and up (registration required)
- Winter Solstice Storytime presented by Miss. Melissa – December 20th at 6 pm, for all ages
The Winter Solstice Storytime will include a poem, story, lighting candles, and an opportunity to go on the Terrace to look at the night sky on the Newtonian telescope!
- Kwanzaa Storytime presented by Lancaster African American Cultural Association – December 27th at 6 pm, for all ages
- Happy NOON Year Storytime presented by Miss. Shannon – December 29th at 11:30 am, for all ages
In addition to stories and activities, everyone will be counting down to the ‘NOON’ year!
Click HERE for the Library calendar.
There are so many holiday events in Lancaster City, it’s hard to pick just one. We at Visit Lancaster hope that residents and visitors have a joyous month of December, filled with good times and happy memories!