At the beginning of 2017, my family spent the weekend in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and we had such a wonderful time. I was kind of kicking myself for not visiting sooner. It’s really not all that far from home for us, and beyond the rich history there is so much fun to be had.
The holidays are a particularly great time to visit Gettysburg, which has become a top Mid-Atlantic destination for a holiday getaway. The town, with history and the spirit of the season blended so perfectly together, is transformed into a winter wonderland experience for visitors looking to embrace the holiday cheer with small town hospitality. Below are a bunch of great ideas to take a break from the holiday hustle and enjoy time with your loved ones in a really cool town.
Tour Historic Homes
Celebrate like it’s 1860 at the Shriver House. From Thanksgiving weekend through the month of December, the Shriver House Museum is offering “A Civil War Christmas” which includes a candlelight tour of the Christmas-decorated museum to learn how the Shriver family prepared for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Similarly, the Eisenhower National Historic Site, a former presidential home, is decorated for a 1950s-style Christmas in the styling of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower throughout the month of December. The house will be full of decorations, a kitchen full of cookies and a dining room set for Christmas dinner. This month-long celebration includes a holiday reception with cider and cookies Saturday, Dec. 10.
If you’re not yet in the holiday spirit, you will be after the first weekend of December.
On Dec. 2, businesses all along Steinwehr Avenue will be decorated and offering special activities, events, products and discounts all day. There will be free carriage rides from the Victorian Carriage Company, a brass band and, of course, Santa Claus himself. End the day along the streets of historic downtown Gettysburg for the annual Olde Getty Place Christmas Parade.
Theater and Music
What has become a favorite holiday tradition and celebrated by thousands of theatergoers, the timeless tale of redemption of the human soul, “A Christmas Carol,” returns to Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater. The show will run Friday through Sunday, Dec. 8-17, with a final show on Monday, Dec. 18.
The same weekend of opening night is another spectacular show you won’t want to miss, the annual Holiday Tuba Carol Fest on Dec. 8. Tuba players from all over the country come to Gettysburg to play Christmas carols as their deep and rich sounds spread throughout Lincoln Square.
Holiday House Tour
On Dec. 9, the Holiday House Tour will give guests a chance to walk through some of Gettysburg’s historic homes, inns and properties which are decorated for the holidays. Visitors will be able to sample specialty dishes and local wines.
Get Your Christmas Tree
In addition to the many festive events Gettysburg offers to guests, Adams County is an ideal place to gather the family to pick a fresh Christmas tree to take home. There are many Christmas tree farms throughout the county side, many offering special holiday events, wagon rides and a chance to cut down your own Christmas tree.
Make It A Weekend Away
Gettysburg has many accommodations from holiday travel including hotels, bed and breakfasts and inns – many of which offer winter getaway packages. The already charming, quaint inns and bed and breakfasts become event cozier during the holiday season.
We stayed at the Wyndham Gettysburg when we went which is a lovely hotel.
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.
National Wreath Project
In addition, through the National Wreath Project, more than 1,600 wreaths will be placed on the gravesites across Soldiers’ National Cemetery.
New Year’s Eve Celebration
The season caps off with a New Year’s Eve Celebration in Lincoln Square. Throughout the evening, revelers will enjoy great food, entertainment and finally, fireworks over the iconic Gettysburg Hotel.
Learn More and Plan Your Trip
Visit the official Destination Gettysburg website to get more ideas on what to do on your trip. They actually have a whole winter trip planner right here! We can’t wait to go back and enjoy some of these holiday events!