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December is here! Christmas is coming! Santa is everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
I love December so much. I always have, but especially these days because my son was born in the beginning of the month, so not only do we have Christmas at the end, but I have my favorite human to celebrate at the start of the month! It’s just overall the best month of the year.
I’m going to eventually write a post about how we celebrate my sweet December boy for anyone else who has a kiddo with a birthday so close to Christmas, but for today we’re going to focus on all of the festive happenings in my home, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Now, most people hear Lancaster County, PA, and think immediately that everyone is Amish. I am not Amish. I do not, nor have I ever, lived on a farm. I drive a car, not a horse and buggy. So on and so forth. If you’ve come to this post thinking you’re going to learn or read about the Amish, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Actually, I will say that I did see online that there is an Amish cookie tour, where you go to Amish family homes and taste cookies. That seems quaint and fun for out-of-towners, especially if you’re interested in the Amish culture.
We have done a few festive happenings so far, so I’m going to start with what we’ve personally done and then end with what we’re hoping to squeeze in.
Dutch Winter Wonderland
Price: At the door- $34.99 Online- $29.99 + a fee for parking
Dutch Wonderland Webpage
If you are from the area, I’m sure you’ve been to Dutch Wonderland. It’s by the outlets, Tanger and Rockvale, and is a theme park geared more towards smaller kiddos. My son is 4 and there was a lot for him to do, with a few roller coasters and rides he wasn’t tall enough for yet, so it is accommodating for older kids as well.
They have lights all over the park, park employees stationed around offering to take your photo which I love, and a ton of family-friendly rides and coasters.
Tanger Outlets Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt
This was so cute and so fun to do. It didn’t take us very long and my son loved finding all the “Chippy’s” that were hidden throughout the outlets.
We didn’t take any time to shop, so it will obviously take longer if you intend on shopping while doing the scavenger hunt.
You receive a booklet, which you mark down where you find the elves, but it also has activities and coloring pages inside. Then at the end, you head back to customer services and receive your prize, which is a festive Santa hat pop it!
Kozair’s Christmas Village
3 and under FREE, 4-10 $10, 11-64 $12, Seniors (65+) $11
Add $5 if you visit on a “Prime Night”, which are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Kozair’s Christmas Village Webpage
Okay, so this isn’t in Lancaster, this is in Berks County, BUT it is definitely a must-do if you’re in the area this holiday season.
This place is COVERED in gorgeous light displays, with so many amazing photo-ops.
It is a self-guided walking tour, so keep that in mind for younger or older members who might want to go along. My husband was unable to join us for this particular event because it is a lot of walking and he’s currently on crutches.
We went on a weeknight and it was still fairly full, but it was easily walkable and not too overwhelming.
They have a train set up outside, as well as another one in one of the buildings towards the end of the “tour”. They have shops throughout where you can purchase ornaments, hats, shirts, gloves, food and drink, and some other cute items.
Overall, this is one of my favorite “local” Christmas attractions. It’s just so festive and amazing.
Christmas Spirit Light Show at Clipper Stadium
Christmas Spirit Light Show Webpage
We did this drive-thru last year, and while we will probably skip it this year, it was a nice, smaller-scale light show.
It is really wonderful to load everyone up in the car and be able to drive through, stay in the warm car, and still enjoy all the lights.
Holiday Tasting Tour at Kitchen Kettle Village
Holiday Tasting Tour webpage
This is not something I’ve done yet, and I actually haven’t been to Kitchen Kettle Village before. But one of my friends was just there and enjoyed it, and I love the sound of the self-guided “tasting tour”, so I will be trying to squeeze this in this year.
If not the tasting tour, I will be making it over there to check it out with my son at some point this month.
Hershey’s Sweet lights
Online $22.15, Door $39.15
Hershey’s Christmas webpage
We have been here before and it is always amazing. So many lights and really festive.
We will probably not be doing their Christmas Candylane option, because like I mentioned previously, my son is 4 and Hershey Park tends to be geared towards older kids/teens/adults with their rides. I’d be willing to take him in the Spring or Summer, but I’m not dragging him through there in the cold.
We have been to Christmas Candylane before as well, and it is definitely a good time. So if you have older kids or are just wanting to go yourself, I’d recommend it as worth it.
The Sweetlights drive-thru is just a great option for us with our 4 year old and also for my husband who is currently unable to do a lot of walking.
Meet Santa at Park City Center
Santa photos at Park City webpage
This is the real Santa, I don’t care what anyone says. He’s the real deal.
Now, there are cheaper options when it comes to getting pictures, but I love this particular Santa and we also have the tradition of seeing him on my son’s birthday, and I’m a sucker for traditions and a good Santa pic.
There are plenty of other places to see Santa in Lancaster Co., but if you want to see the real one, you’ve gotta go to Park City.
So there’s my list for my favorite festive Lancaster Christmas functions.
Have you ever visited Lancaster County? Or is it on your travel bucket list?
I do love Lancaster, and if you’ve never visited, it’s worth it at least once. Especially if you’re one of those people who want to see the Amish and the horse and buggies.
Let me know what local festive functions you’re attending in your hometown this year!