Gettysburg, PA is a quintessential town when it comes to celebrating the Holiday Season. This charming and historic town will transform into a winter wonderland, welcoming visitors to what has become a top Mid-Atlantic destination for holiday getaways.
Steeped in history, the town’s heritage blends perfectly with the spirit of the season, creating an inviting experience for visitors looking to embrace holiday cheer. We adore Gettysburg and have yet to visit during the Holidays. This year we will finally put an end to that; as we are heading back to spend a weekend in December.
“Everyone feels at home during the holidays in Gettysburg,” said Norris Flowers, President of Destination Gettysburg. “Gettysburg features small town charm and friendly faces, making it an ideal getaway for those looking to feel the warmth of the season.”
This year the holiday season kicks off Nov. 25, with the lighting of the Christmas tree that stands all season long in the heart of town – Gettysburg’s historic Lincoln Square. All are invited to come together with the local residents and welcome the season with an evening of carolers, cookies, hot cocoa and an appearance from Santa. This sounds like an event in a Hallmark Christmas movie, doesn’t it?
The second weekend in December is a particularly special time to experience the holidays in Gettysburg. The festive weekend starts early on Wednesday, Dec. 8, with the opening performance of “A Christmas Carol,” at downtown Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater. The production will run Wednesday through Sunday, Dec. 8-18. The 21st annual Holiday Tuba Carol Fest will take place on Friday, Dec. 9, when tuba players from all over the country gather on Lincoln Square to captivate guests with the deep and delightful sounds of the tubas, performing classic Christmas carols.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, from noon to 5 p.m., the 20thannual Holiday House Tour will give guests the once-a-year chance to take self-guided tours of some of Gettysburg’s most historic homes, inns and properties decorated for the holidays. I think this is the event I am most looking forward to experiencing, the simple and classic decorations are certainly my favorite.
Many historic homes open their doors throughout the entire holiday season including the Shriver House for the annual Candlelight Christmas Tour, taking place Thanksgiving evening and Saturdays, Nov. 26 through Dec. 17. Guests are welcomed into the historic home of the Shriver family, where they learn what life was like for the family of four during Christmastime in the 1860s, through stories and historic decorations.
Join the Eisenhowers for Christmas in Gettysburg’s presidential home of the first family, Dec. 1-31. Guests will experience the holidays just as the 34th president and first lady did in the 1950s – the decorations, holiday music and Christmas traditions passed onto generations of the Eisenhower family. The Eisenhowers’ own Christmas nativity scenes and holiday dishes are on display this year at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.
At the Jennie Wade House, visitors can get a glimpse into the life of an 1860s family during the holidays with Christmas programs running throughout the month of December as well as special “Scary Ghost Stories and Tales of the Glories” program on Saturdays throughout the month.
Get a taste of the holiday season in Gettysburg with the Feast of Christmas dinner at one of America’s oldest inns, The Historic Fairfield Inn, Dec. 10 and 17, or can take part in a Christmas Dinner with General and Mrs. Lee at the Farnworth House Inn, Dec. 16. For a unique holiday food experience, try Savor Gettysburg Food Tours’ Good for the Soul – Comfort Food Tour, Dec. 11, or Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm & Market’s Ladies Holiday Tea, Dec. 10.
In addition to taking in the many festive events that Gettysburg has to offer, Adams County is an ideal place to gather the family to pick a fresh Christmas tree to take home. The countryside is brimming with Christmas tree farms, many offering special holiday events, wagon rides and cut-your-own Christmas tree experiences.
“Whether you’re looking to start new traditions or continue old ones, Gettysburg has so much to offer during the holiday season,” said Flowers.
Gettysburg is home to many cozy accommodations including hotels and historic bed and breakfasts and inns, many offering winter getaway packages to guests. Gettysburg features dozens of holiday events and highlights throughout the entire month of December including musical and theatrical performances, crafting events and seasonal specials at many area restaurants, shops and hotels. The streets of downtown Gettysburg are a welcoming scene all season long – lined with festive lights, evergreen wreaths with red bows and classic decorations to be enjoyed while taking in all that Gettysburg has to offer.
A full calendar of holiday events can be found here. I will be visiting for the Holiday Season December 9-11, be sure to follow along.