Christmas in Lancaster, PA

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to see what that means.

For good, old fashioned holiday magic, there’s no place like Christmas in Lancaster, PA! There are so many things to do in Lancaster County in December.

Enjoy the quiet peace of an Amish Christmas or go holiday crazy at massive light displays.

With so many things to do in Lancaster, PA in December, it makes a perfect holiday getaway.

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy the magic of Christmas in Lancaster, PA!

Though, PRO TIP: The fun starts in November.

Horse and buggy ride through the countryside is part of Christmas in Lancaster PA
Photo credit:

Dutch Winter Wonderland

Dutch Winter Wonderland is the original Pennsylvania Dutch attraction to make Christmas in Lancaster, PA such a big deal.

For decades, families have celebrated Christmas in Lancaster, PA at the Dutch Winter Wonderland.

This amusement park transforms into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, seasonal music and special treats. Of the things to do in Lancaster County in December, Dutch Winter Wonderland is especially popular for families with young kids.

New this year is a special puppet show called “A Chris-Mouse Carol” filled with original songs and a whole lot of holiday drama. And, Santa will be ready to greet the kids at Santa’s cabin, of course.

For even more fun, Merlin’s Magical Forest will be decorated with thousands of lights for an immersive light show to delight the whole family.

  • ADDRESS: 2249 Lincoln Highway E, Lancaster, PA
  • HOURS: Weekends starting the weekend before Thanksgiving, and December 26-January 1, 2024. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Tickets: A variety of ticket options are available online (currently offering Halloween Hauntings tickets, and Christmas holiday tickets are not yet on sale). You can also purchase parking online.
Christmas in Lancaster, PA has fun for the whole family, starting with Dutch Winter Wonderland!
Photo Credit:

Koziar’s Christmas Village

Technically, this is not one of the things to do in Lancaster, PA in December since Koziar’s Christmas Village is in nearby Berks County. But, it’s a popular attraction nearby, and many people who come for Christmas in Lancaster, PA include a trip to Koziar’s, so we are including it here.

Open weekends in November and daily from Thanksgiving to January 1, Koziar’s Christmas Village at 782 Christmas Village Road in Bernville is a true Christmas wonderland in Lancaster County, PA.

In its 76th season, Koziar’s Christmas Village is an outdoor winter wonderland featuring more than one million twinkling lights that draw visitors from across the world. Eleven indoor displays with shopping, food and a magnificent indoor train display provide an opportunity to warm up as you wander the grounds.

Of course, Santa will be there to hear each kid’s Christmas wish.

  • MAP DIRECTIONS: Click here for WAZE
  • HOURS: Open Weekends in November, and daily from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Saturdays in December are the most crowded, so go another day if you can.
  • PRICE: $12 for ages 11+, $10 for ages 4-10. Under 4 is free. Senior and military discount available.
Video of Koziar’s Christmas in nearby Berks County, PA

Light Displays in Lancaster County

Christmas in Lancaster County, PA is a truly magical time.

Most every small town has a holiday light display and Christmas tree lighting event to delight even the most curmudgeonly among us.

Check here for the complete list of Christmas light displays in Lancaster County, PA.

The Christmas Cookie Tour

The Amish Farm and House Christmas Cookie Tour begins November 24th and runs weekends through December.

This incredibly popular tour includes a bus tour of Lancaster’s Amish area, a guided farmhouse tour and a self-guided farm tour with cookies and treats to enjoy. The tour lasts 2.5-3.5 hours.

This is one of the most popular things to do in Lancaster County in December. And, each tour is limited to 14 participants, so tickets sell out quickly.

  • ADDRESS: 2395 Covered Bridge Road, Lancaster, PA
  • HOURS: Offered weekends from Thanksgiving through December.
  • PRICE: $54.95 ages 12+, $38.95 ages 3-11, and $11.95 ages 0-2. For young children please bring car seat or booster seat.

Amish Buggy Rides

Popular year round, Amish buggy rides are an especially magical attraction in winter. No surprise, they’re one of the most popular things to do in Lancaster County in December when the countryside is blanketed in snow.

Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides at 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike in Bird-in-Hand, PA is quite popular with visitors.

Offering a number of tours, many of which sell out far in advance, choose the one that most interests you. Each tour is a different price, so check the website for prices and dates. Reserve December tours in advance as they do sell out.

  • The Country & Cookie Tour lasts about 30 minutes and passes through a number of Amish farms, still plowed by horses. Many of the farms offer cookies and other treats for sale during the tour.
  • The Farm Tour lasts about 60 minutes and takes you on a more in-depth tour of an Amish farm where you’ll see an Amish barn, meet the farm animals and see the farm at work. Learn about Amish customs along the way.
  • The Back Roads and Baked Goods Tour is the most in depth tour, lasting about 90 minutes. Your personal guide will lead your horse drawn carriage through tranquil farmlands, past a historic flour mill, and make a stop at a genuine Amish store with petting zoo, playground and delicious Amish-made food.

Christmas Candlelight Tours in Lititz

For two evenings, December 8 and 9, the Moravian town of Lititz, Pa hosts its popular Christmas Candlelight Tours. For old fashioned nostalgia, this is one of the best things to do in Lancaster County in December.

The tour includes a 40 minute guided tour of the Johannes Mueller House and will also learn about 18th Century Moravian customs.

For an old fashioned Christmas experience, this one is hard to beat.

  • ADDRESS: 145 East Main Street, Lititz, PA
  • HOURS: December 8 and 9, 2023. Ticketed event with scheduled tours each evening.
  • TICKETS: Click here to purchase (for specific tour). Tickets are $8 each, and they sell out early.

A Christmas Carol at Dutch Apple Dinner Theater

From November 17 to December 30, get into the spirit of Christmas in Lancaster, PA with a live stage show.

The holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol,” will be performed at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater in Lancaster. Two ticket options are available: dinner and performance or performance only.

There’s also a matinee option. An advantage of choosing the matinee is you can follow the dinner theater experience with one of the evening winter light displays throughout the county.

  • ADDRESS: 510 Centerville Road, Lancaster, PA
  • HOURS: Vary.
  • TICKETS: Prices vary by ticket type. When purchasing, you will select your table and seat for dinner and the show.

Magic and Wonder Holiday Dinner Theater Shows

Offering two shows this holiday season, the Magic and Wonder Theater is another fun place to celebrate Christmas in Lancaster, PA.

The theater is located in the nearby town of Paradise.

The first show is “Winter Wonderland,” running from November 8 to December 30. Here you’ll experience the wonder of the North Pole as toys come to life in Santa’s Magical Workshop all while remembering the real reason for the season. The show incorporates comedy, acrobatics and magical illusions the whole family will enjoy.

The second show is “Holly Jolly Jukebox,” an upbeat show featuring rock and roll renditions of all your holiday favorites. Get ready to clap your hands and sing along with the singers and dancers at “Shirley’s Soda Shop.”

Tickets to these shows include dinner, which is served 90 minutes before show time.

Magical holiday shopping experiences

For the best Christmas shopping in Lancaster, PA head to Kitchen Kettle Village at 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike in Intercourse.

The holiday festivities begin Thanksgiving weekend and continue through December 16th.

Live music on Saturdays makes Kitchen Kettle Village even more festive.

Other activities include dinner and stories with Mrs. Claus at the Kling House Restaurant, Christmas caroling, scavenger hunts, free food tastings, and, of course, a visit with Santa.

Or visit the Norman Rockwellian villages of Lititz and Ephrata to shop for hand crafted gift items.

jam and preserve tasting at Kitchen Kettle Village, part of Christmas in Lancaster, PA
Photo Credit Discover Lancaster (used with permission)
  • ADDRESS: 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA
  • HOURS: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Closed Sundays.

Yuletide at Wheatland

One of the hidden gems of Christmas in Lancaster, PA is Yuletide at Wheatland.

This is the historical home of US President James Buchanan.

From November 20 to December 30, Yuletide at Wheatland shows the President’s home all decked out for Christmas during the early Industrial Revolution, as the home would have been when his niece and nephew, Harriet Lane and James Buchanan Henry, would have known it.

Generally less crowded than other attractions, this is a great place to visit for a nostalgic, relaxed Christmas outing with the family.

  • GPS ADDRESS: 230 North President Avenue, Lancaster, PA. (NOTE: This is the address to use for parking at Wheatland. The home’s physical address is closed to traffic.)
  • HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. NOTE: Tours begin on the hour.
  • TICKETS: $17 for ages 14+, $8 for ages 6-13, and a family pass is $40. Discounts for museum members.

Candy Canes & Cocoa on the Campus of History

Another special event offered at President James Buchanan’s Wheatland is the Candy Canes & Cocoa event for children.

Designed for families and children ages 10 and under, this one day program is offered on Saturday, December 16.

Kids will hunt for candy canes across the Presidential Campus of History. They’ll also learn about Yuletide traditions, make a holiday craft to take home and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.

This is a very popular event that sells out every year, so purchase tickets early. They go on sale in late October.

  • GPS ADDRESS: 230 North President Avenue, Lancaster, PA. (NOTE: This is the address to use for parking at Wheatland. The home’s physical address is closed to traffic.)
  • DATE: Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
  • TICKETS: (2022 prices) $5 for kids and parents are free.

Festive Train Rides on the Strasburg Rail Road

The Strasburg Rail Road is a popular attraction year round, but it’s an especially magical place to celebrate Christmas in Lancaster, PA.

Take a train ride with Santa. Enjoy a special holiday dinner ride. Or, take the train to get your Christmas tree.

For things to do in Lancaster County in December, these popular train rides through the snow-covered countryside are sure to entertain kids and kids at heart!

One of the most popular attractions at Christmas in Lancaster, PA, we highly recommend you purchase tickets early!

Christmas in Lancaster, PA at Strasburg Rail Road. Christmas train with snowy foreground and Christmas lights
Photo Credit:

Rock Ford Yuletide

As Christmas in Lancaster, PA draws to a close, there’s one last celebration to enjoy.

At historic Rock Ford, aka the General Edward Hand Mansion, you can enjoy a colonial Yuletide to close out the year. Experience 18th century customs at this home, which was built in 1794.

The event also includes cooking demonstrations and period dancing set to live music.

One of the few things to do in Lancaster County in December, this event is scheduled between Christmas and New Year’s. Attending it is a great way to extend the holiday feeling.

You can also take a self-guided tour of the mansion and grounds. Please note, this is a historic, two-story house and is not accessible.

  • ADDRESS: 881 Rockford Road, Lancaster, PA
  • DATES and TIMES: Offered December 27-29, this is a two-hour ticketed event beginning at 4:00 p.m. each day.
  • TICKETS: $15 for adults, $12 for youth, with discounts for seniors and museum members.

Hotels and Lodging in Lancaster, PA

For Christmas in Lancaster, PA you have lots of hotel and other lodging options, from quaint country home stays to inexpensive chain hotels to luxury accommodations in the heart of Lancaster, there’s lots to choose from.

We provide this map for your convenience to make planning your holiday getaway easy!

Because there are so many things to do in Lancaster County in December, this is a popular family getaway. Schedule lodging early to get your preferred accommodations!

Christmas in Lancaster, PA is something special. The snow covered countryside is serene, while the charming towns remind us of a simpler time. Impressive light displays, great shopping and a variety of hotel and lodging options make planning a Christmas getaway easy and personal.

Lancaster is easy to get to from Harrisburg International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. You can also take Amtrak to Lancaster.


Please save this post to your holiday ideas boards to remember for later!

Christmas in Lancaster PA