10 Great Things to Do in Pennsylvania in December

Please do your best to limit your travels around PA during this time. If you decide to travel, please check the status of the places you are going. Some places around the state are temporarily closed or have changed their hours. We will not be updating individual articles to note these changes. Stay safe and wear a mask!

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, sample delicious beers, and celebrate the new year.

Check out our list below and start planning your travels around Pennsylvania in December.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something at no additional cost to you.

(Article updated on November 11, 2019, for events in December 2019.)

The First Commonwealth Bank It’s a Wonderful Life Festival in Indiana, PA – Through December 15 [Sponsored]

Things to do in Pennsylvania in November: Its a Wonderful Life Festival
The First Commonwealth Bank It’s a Wonderful Life Festival continues this December. (Photo used courtesy of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau)

The First Commonwealth Bank It’s a Wonderful Life Festival continues through the month of December in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Downtown Indiana comes alive with visits with Santa Claus, a walk through Bethlehem, caroling, a 32ft live Christmas tree, great gift shopping, and delicious dining.

During the month, you can see the new exhibits at the Jimmy Stewart Museum and visit a local Christmas tree farm to take home your perfect tree and trimmings.

For more information, visit WonderfulLifeFestival.com.

Christmas Village in Philadelphia – December 1-23

The Christmas Village in Philadelphia, PA
The Christmas Village in Philly is an amazing place to visit in December.

I’ve been to many Christmas markets in PA, but few have been as fun or authentic as the Christmas Village in Philly, which is one of my favorite things to during Christmas in Philadelphia.

Held each year in Love Park, this Christmas Village features dozens of vendors, live performances, a giant present you can walk through, tons of local food, and much more.

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.

Dickens of a Christmas in Wellsboro – December 5-6

Wellsboro, one of my favorite small towns in Pennsylvania, comes alive during the first weekend of December. 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.

Steel City Con in Monroeville – December 6-8

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.

For more information, visit the convention’s website.

Firebird Festival in Phoenixville – December 7

The Firebird Festival in Phoenixville is one of the most unique annual festivals held in the Philadelphia suburbs. 

The event features an afternoon pub crawl, street performers and other live entertainment, and many great vendors. 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.

Crossing Reenactment in Washington Crossing – December 8 and December 25

Reasons to visit PA in December: Washington's Crossing of the Delaware
See a reenactment of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware this December.

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 host a dress rehearsal on December 8 that is open to the public.

For more information, visit WashingtonCrossingPark.com.

Mifflinburg Christkindl Market in Mifflinburg – December 12-14

Reasons to visit PA in December: Mifflinburg Christkindl Market
The Mifflinburg Christkindlmarkt is one of Pennsylvania’s most authentic Christmas markets.

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.

Winter Light Spectacular at the Lehigh Valley Zoo – All December

The Winter Light Spectacular is a great thing to do in PA in December.
The Winter Light Spectacular will be returning to the Lehigh Valley Zoo in 2019.

Every December, the Lehigh Valley Zoo turns into a winter wonderland during the Winter Light Spectacular.

Featuring more than a million lights along a half-mile path through the park, the Winter Light Spectacular is one of the most festive places in and around Christmas City USA. Along the trail, you might spot the Grinch or even a favorite character from the movies.

For more information, check out our full article on the festive Winter Light Spectacular.

Holiday Train Display at the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum in Gibsonia – All December

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 or check out this review from Discover the Burgh.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in PA – December 31

Things to do in December in PA: New Year's Eve Fireworks
Celebrate the new year at one of the many New Year’s Eve celebrations in Pennsylvania.

Ring in 2020 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 is weird things dropped on New Year’s Eve, making our celebrations here all the more unique. There are also great celebrations all around the state, but one of my personal favorites is to spend New Year’s Eve in Philly.

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!

Do you have an upcoming event you think should be included in a future monthly edition? Click here for more information and to submit your event.

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