Gettysburg offers visitors a range of holiday experiences

Vanessa Orr

Music is a great part of the holidays in Gettysburg, along with the tree in Lincoln Square.

No matter where you are, the holidays are a special time of year. But some destinations, such as Gettysburg, Pa., take extra care to make these occasions even more magical.

The town is home to a host of events that begin on Nov. 21 and last through New Year’s Eve.

Music is a great part of the holidays in Gettysburg, along with the tree in Lincoln Square.
Music is a great part of the holidays in Gettysburg, along with the tree in Lincoln Square.

Santa holds a Meet and Greet every weekend through Dec. 19 at the Outlet Shoppes in Gettysburg, and families can take a ride on the Tannenbaum Train to pick out their special trees in nearby New Freedom, Pa. Craft shows, candlelight Christmas tours, and free carriage rides are held throughout the season, and there are many opportunities to enjoy all of the delicacies this time of year has to offer from downtown cookie walks to holiday luncheons hosted by the Lodges at Gettysburg to a Christmas feast at the Fairfield Inn.

If your holiday isn’t complete without hearing from Tiny Tim, mark your calendar for the week of Dec. 6 — starting that Wednesday, actors adorned in classic period costumes will be presenting the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol at the Majestic Theater. “Now in its second year, this is just a beautiful, beautiful production,” said the theater’s Jeffrey Gabel. “It’s very true to the Dickens’ story, and is sure to put you in the spirit of the season.”

The show, which includes professional theater actors from the Totem Pole Playhouse and children and amateur performers from the community, will run on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:00pm, and on Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm. Ticket prices range from $20 for students to $36, and group tickets are also available.

Gettysburg TIny Tim
The Majestic Theater presents A Christmas Carol, complete with Scrooge and Tiny Tim.

Holiday house tour

If you’d like to enjoy the history and architecture of the area while also celebrating the season, make plans to attend the 19th annual Holiday House Tour, sponsored by the Inns of the Gettysburg Area. Ten properties are featured on the tour, including Christ Lutheran Church, the Historic Gettysburg Adams County House, the Daniel Lady Farm, the Lightner Farmhouse, James Getty Hotel, Swope Manor, Inn at Herr Ridge, the Dobbin House, the Baladerry Inn, and South Central Community Action Programs.

“It’s a full-day event that starts with a special tour of the Dobbin House from 9:00 to 11:00am, and ends with a performance of Songs and Stories from a Civil War Hospital at Christ Lutheran Church at 8:00pm,” explained Judy Caudill, owner of the Baladerry Inn. “Each location will be offering a different food and drink made especially at that property, and all of the money we raise will benefit SCCAP, whose chef is also preparing a special snack for guests.”

Visitors staying at any of the IGA’s member inns that weekend can take the tour for free; otherwise, admission is $15 per person.

“Whether you’re coming in as part of a bus tour, or for a family visit, there are so many things to do in Gettysburg over the holidays,” said Gabel, adding that many organizations in the area, from merchants to innkeepers to nonprofits, are working in partnership to provide visitors with the best guest experience. “You can tour the battlefield, which is beautiful in the wintertime, take in a performance, enjoy lunch or dinner at one of our amazing restaurants, and spend time shopping for holiday gifts at our unique stores. It’s a magical place to experience the season.”

Insider tip: Gettysburg is also a great place to ring in the New Year, so make your reservations now.

For a comprehensive list of things to do in Gettysburg over the holidays, visit the events page at destinationgettysburg.com or call 800-337-5015.

Gettysburg gets all dressed up for the holidays, especially around Lincoln Square.
Gettysburg gets all dressed up for the holidays, especially around Lincoln Square.

 

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