Without a doubt, December is one of my favorite months of the year. With the holiday season in full swing, there are many fantastic things to do during Christmas in PA.
However, just because it’s the holiday season, that doesn’t mean that all of this month’s events are holiday-related. This month also offers the chance to see historical reenactments, enjoy the outdoors, and celebrate the new year.
Check out our list below to uncover some of the best things to do in Pennsylvania this December.
(Article updated on November 11, 2022, for events in December 2022.)
Christmas Village in Philadelphia – Through December 24
I’ve been to many Christmas markets in PA, but few have been as fun or as authentic as the Christmas Village in Philly, which is one of my favorite things to do during Christmas in Philadelphia.
Held each year in Love Park from mid-November through Christmas Eve, this Christmas market features dozens of vendors, live performances, a giant present you can walk through, tons of local food, and much more. There are even themed events each weekend during the season.
It’s worth noting, however, that this event can get very busy on weekends, so, if possible, visit on a weekday.
For more information, check out our full review of the Christmas Village in Philadelphia or check out the market’s website.
Cascade of Lights in New Castle – Select Days in December
The Cascade of Lights, one of northwestern PA’s best drive-through Christmas light displays, will be delighting visitors again this year.
Open on Thursdays-Sundays throughout the month, this display takes over New Castle’s Cascade Park with a large variety of fun and unique holiday displays.
For more information, check out our full review of the lights.
Dickens of a Christmas in Wellsboro – December 2-4
Wellsboro, one of my favorite small towns in Pennsylvania, comes alive during the first weekend of December and you can walk through this quaint downtown as it transforms into a Victorian holiday scene straight from a Dickens novel.
In addition to costumed reenactors, visitors can also browse vendor stands, listen to live music, see a performance of “A Christmas Carol”, experience the community’s tree lighting, and much more.
For more information, visit the event’s website.
Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival in Oaks- December 3
If you love craft beer and cider, there’s nowhere better to visit this December than the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks for the Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival.
During the event, there will be more than 150 craft beverages that can be sampled, as well as an ugly sweater contest and meet and greets with Santa himself.
For more information and tickets, visit the festival’s website.
Mifflinburg Christkindl Market in Mifflinburg – December 8-10
Every year, the small central PA borough of Mifflinburg hosts its annual Christkindl Market. Based on the markets held every year in Germany, the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market is one of the most authentic German Christmas markets in Pennsylvania.
The event features live music, dozens of vendors selling authentic German food and many handmade goods, and much more.
Unfortunately, the market is only held one weekend a year, which can make it kind of busy, but it’s well worth braving the crowds to experience.
Find out more at OldChristkindl.com.
Steel City Con in Monroeville – December 9-11
The Steel City Con returns to the Monroeville Convention Center near Pittsburgh this December. One of the largest comic cons in the country, this convention features a plethora of great activities for fans of pop culture.
The event’s 100,000 square feet of space includes autograph opportunities with dozens of celebrities, Q&A sessions with some of your favorite actors, and much more. Dozens of celebrities are appearing during the 2022 event including Chevy Chase, Christie Brinkley, and Elijah Wood.
For more information, visit the convention’s website.
Firebird Festival in Phoenixville – December 10
The Firebird Festival in Phoenixville is one of the most unique annual festivals held in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The event is held just outside of town and features an evening of fun with performers, vendors, and more. Late in the evening, the highlight of the festival takes place, when the giant wooden phoenix is lit on fire and burns in front of revelers.
For more information, check out the event’s website.
Delaware Crossing Reenactment in Washington Crossing – December 25
One of the most well-known events of the Revolutionary War was Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas day in 1776. Each year on the anniversary of the event, Washington Crossing Historic Park hosts a reenactment of this legendary event with reenactors crossing the cold river towards New Jersey.
If you don’t want to head out on Christmas Day, they will be hosting a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 11 that is open to the public. Known as the First Crossing, this event costs a few dollars (the Christmas Day Crossing is free) and includes a variety of events throughout the day.
For more information, visit WashingtonCrossingPark.com.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations in PA – December 31
Ring in 2021 at one of the many New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout Pennsylvania. Communities both big and small get in on the fun with fireworks, live music, and much much more.
Pennsylvania also leads the world in weird things dropped on New Year’s Eve, making our celebrations here all the more unique.
I’ve had a chance to check out New Year’s Eve celebrations in several places throughout the state, including in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and they are always a ton of fun. So, make sure to check and see if somewhere near you is having a festive event to ring in 2022.
Holiday Train Display at the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum in Gibsonia
There are many railroad events and activities around the holiday season, but one of the best is the Holiday Train Display at the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum near Pittsburgh. While the display itself isn’t holiday related, it is only open to the public from early November through mid-January, making December the perfect month to visit.
The main display is a recreation of the railroad journey during the 1950s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cumberland, Maryland. This is the route that the Great Allegheny Passage travels today, making this a must-see display for those that have spent time on this fantastic rail trail.
For more information, visit the museum’s website.
Looking for other things to do in Pennsylvania? Check out our list of things to do in Pennsylvania in November and our list of things to do in PA in January. Also, check out our list of the most festive towns in Pennsylvania.
Do you know of any great things to do in Pennsylvania in December? Let us know in the comments section below!
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4 thoughts on “10 Great Things to Do in Pennsylvania in December”
This topic is great. You may want to check out the Christmas Magic – Festival of Lights at Rocky Ridge County Park Near York, PA. We walked through the light display last year and loved it.
That’s another great spot. I have a whole article about Christmas Magic if you search the site.
Did you ever see the the Christmas lights at Lakemont Park in Blair County?
I did. They are great!