With “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” right around the corner, Gettysburg is gearing up for the holiday season. The town, with history and the spirit of the season blended so perfectly together, is transformed into a winter wonderland experience you won’t want to miss. If you’re looking for a place to get into the holiday spirit, look no further than Gettysburg.
Christmas Tree Lighting
The annual Christmas tree lighting in Gettysburg’s historic Lincoln Square kicks off the holiday season. Visitors and local residents alike gather to welcome in the season with light refreshments, carolers, an appearance from Santa Claus and an abundance of holiday cheer.
“A Civil War Christmas” at the Shriver House
Celebrate the holiday season 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 home to learn how the Shriver family would have prepared for Christmas in the 1860s.
An Eisenhower Christmas
During this time of the year, former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower always made sure her and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Gettysburg retirement house was decorated for Christmas. In that same spirit, Eisenhower National Historic Site is decorated in the stylings of Mamie complete with mistletoe, wreathes, poinsettias, candy canes galore and a brightly lit Christmas tree among other holiday decorations for An Eisenhower Christmas experience. Throughout the month of December, the kitchen is full of cookies and the dining room is set for Christmas dinner as it would have been when the Eisenhower’s were hosting their children and grandchildren. This month-long celebration includes a holiday reception complete with cider and cookies.
Victorian Christmas on Steinwehr Avenue
Step back into the Victorian era as businesses all along Steinwehr Avenue will be decorated and offering special activities, events, products and discounts throughout the day for a Victorian Christmas celebration. There will be free carriage rides from the Victorian Carriage Company, a brass band and, of course, Mr. Claus himself. Stop by the children’s workshops at the various stores on Steinwehr Avenue, and catch live music and living historians demonstrating Christmas in the Civil War.
Olde Getty Place Christmas Parade
End your day at the Victorian Christmas with the annual Olde Getty Place Christmas Parade. Parade goers will be able to sing Christmas Carols, enjoy a variety of bands, floats, dancers and a special appearance by Santa.
Holiday Tuba Carol Festival
The annual Holiday Tuba Carol Festival is a spectacular show you won’t want to miss. Tuba players of all ages travel to Gettysburg from all over the country every year to play Christmas carols in Lincoln Square. Sing along to your favorite Christmas classics as the deep and rich sounds of the tubas reverberate through the square.
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
What has become a favorite holiday tradition celebrated by thousands of theatergoers? The timeless tale of redemption of the human soul, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. This holiday performance returns to Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater running until mid-December.
Holiday House Tour
The historic homes that line the streets of Gettysburg are picturesque anytime of the year, but it’s truly special to see them decorated for the holidays. The Holiday House Tour, put on by the Inns of the Gettysburg Area, gives visitors a chance to walk through some of Gettysburg’s historic homes, inns and properties which are warmly decorated for the season. In addition to seeing these properties like you haven’t seen them before, samples of specialty dishes and local wines will be offered during the tour.
Pick your own Christmas tree
Just outside of town in the Adams County countryside, there are many opportunities for visitors to find that perfect Christmas tree to take home. Many of the farms brimming the outskirts of Gettysburg offer special holiday events of their own for visitors to take part in.
Ring in the New Year
There are many places around Gettysburg that will help you bring in the New Year the right way. Swing by the New Year’s Eve Celebration in Downtown Gettysburg where there will be music, entertainment and family activities through the night that will conclude with a spectacular firework display over Lincoln Square. You can also Ring in the New Year at Liberty Mountain Resort. They will be offering late-night skiing and snowboarding until 1 a.m. with their own firework show at midnight. Check out these New Year’s packages to make it a getaway to remember!
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 experiencing all that Gettysburg has to offer during this special time of the year.
A full calendar of holiday events with dates and times can be found at www.destinationgettysburg.com.