There is a lot to love about Christmas in Harrisburg, Hershey, and the surrounding area. Without a doubt, there are enough holiday events and activities to do in the region to keep anyone busy.
Whether you want to enjoy the beauty of Christmas lights, do a little shopping, or sit back and listen to festive music, there’s no reason to be a Grinch this holiday season.
(All dates are for the 2021 holiday season)
Hershey Sweet Lights
Few things go together better than the holiday season and the Sweetest Place on Earth, and each year, Hershey, Pennsylvania, turns itself into a fantastic destination for the season. One of the highlights of any visit to Hershey at Christmas is Sweet Lights.
Hop in your car and drive through this festive attraction. Along the way, you’ll see 600 illuminated and animated displays that are sure to delight.
In 2021, Hershey Sweet Lights is open from November 19 through January 2. For more information, check out our full review of Hershey Sweet Lights.
Christmas at the Capitol
The Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg comes to life during the holiday season. In addition to a beautiful tree inside the rotunda, the Capitol also is host to a variety of musical concerts throughout the month of December. Stop by and enjoy a free concert by local schools and singing groups in the rotunda and marvel at the beautiful tree.
While tours of the Pennsylvania Capitol are recommended for a great overview of the building and its history, although tour sizes are currently limited so booking online is recommended.
Christmas Magic in York
Christmas Magic: A Festival of Lights is a festive holiday attraction in York. Open from November 26 through the end of 2021, this half-mile walking trail through Rocky Ridge County Park is sure to put you in a festive mood. Featuring more than 600,000 lights, the trail passes by animated scenes, heated pavilions, and much more.
Live music is offered throughout the event and children can visit with Santa. For more information, click here.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Hersheypark comes to life during the holiday season with decorations, special shows, and much more. More than 5,000,000 lights are displayed throughout the park, creating a festive environment for those wanting to hop on the many open rides. Don’t miss Santa and his reindeer, the holiday lights show, and their delicious hot chocolate during Christmas in Hershey.
Christmas Candylane is open weekends from November 12 through January 2, 2022. Find out more in our full review of Hersheypark Christmas Candylane.
Holiday Open House at the Model Railroad Club of York
While it’s not specifically a holiday-themed attraction, the Model Railroad Club of York always opens its doors to the public for regular open houses during the holiday season.
In 2021, the club was open on select dates from late November through mid-January. Visitors can enjoy their 2,700-foot layout that features nearly a quarter-mile of miniature railroad track. Enjoy the many scenes that highlight Pennsylvania railroading in the 1960s and 1970s.
For more information, visit the club’s website.
Christmas Movies at Majestic Theater in Gettysburg
Want to watch a classic Christmas movie in a classic setting? The historic Majestic Theater in Gettysburg will be showing “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas” on select dates this holiday season.
While in town to see the movies, stroll through downtown Gettysburg to enjoy the beautiful lights, great dining, and festive shopping.
For more information on how to see these classic movies at this historic theater, visit the Majestic’s website.
Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville
Koziar’s Christmas Village is one of the top things to do a Christmas in Pennsylvania. Sitting about an hour from the city, this winter wonderland is well worth the drive to see. This farm in the middle of rural Berks County features more than a million holiday lights glistening in the cold winter air.
Stroll through the Christmas village enjoying festive music, a variety of scenes, model railroads, and much more.
Koziar’s is open from November 6 through January 1. For more information on this amazing holiday attraction, check out our full review of Koziar’s Christmas Village.
Christmas at Italian Lake
Italian Lake is one of the most beautiful spots in Harrisburg, and on December 11, they will be hosting their annual tree lighting celebration.
Come out and enjoy the festive atmosphere as the evergreen trees surrounding the lake are lit for the holiday season. While there, enjoy carols, holiday treats, and more.
Find out more information on their website.
Trail of Lights at Country Creek Farm in Chambersburg
Located about an hour south of Harrisburg along I-81 you’ll find Trail of Lights at Country Creek Produce Farm near Chambersburg. This farm is open for a variety of seasonal events but their holiday event is incredibly fun, especially for families.
At this spot, you’ll find a half-mile walking trail with nearly 100 festive light displays, campfires, and a live nativity scene. There is also a large play area for kids with giant slides. a bounce pad, zip lines, and more. There’s even a petting zoo.
The farm also sells a variety of food and drinks during the event, including some of the best apple cider donuts I’ve ever had.
Find out more information in our review of the Trail of Lights.
New Year’s Eve in Harrisburg
End the holiday season on a high note by celebrating New Year’s Eve in downtown Harrisburg. Enjoy live music in a festive environment at FNB field on City Island, a new location for 2021, before the dropping of the strawberry at midnight rings in 2022.
Of course, Harrisburg isn’t the only place in the area that features a New Year’s Eve drop. Other great choices include the pickle in Dillsburg, the sled in Duncannon, the rose drops in York and Lancaster, and many more.
Looking for even more things to do this holiday season? Check out our top Christmasy things to do in Pennsylvania, the most festive towns in PA, our top picks for Christmas events in Philadelphia, the best holiday attractions in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, our favorite ways to experience Christmas in Lancaster County, and the best Christmas lights in Pittsburgh.