The holiday season is here, and if you are hoping to feel merry and bright, Gettysburg is the place to be. Gather your family and friends and plan a December getaway to Gettysburg to experience everything the holiday season has to offer. Here are 12 ways to get in the holiday spirit in Gettysburg!
Visit Lincoln Square and Downtown Gettysburg
Gettysburg’s historic town center – Lincoln Square – is a must-see during the holiday season. Stroll the streets and take in all of the charm as you admire the brightly lit Christmas tree and holiday decor throughout town. Tackle your Christmas shopping list and shop locally by stopping into Gettysburg’s many downtown shops and boutiques along your way.
Attend A Gettysburg Christmas Festival
The downtown will be even more festive during A Gettysburg Christmas Festival in early December. Take in the holiday food, fun and entertainment of Reindeer Games in Lincoln Square, the Winter Wonderland on Steinwehr Avenue, and Santa’s Central Depot on Baltimore Street.
Skate the Day Away
New to Gettysburg this year is a synthetic ice rink just in time for the holidays! A 1,055-square-foot synthetic ice rink will be placed on Steinwehr Avenue from mid-November until right after the New Year. You may bring your own ice skates, or there will be several pairs available for rental. Bring the family for an evening of winter fun, or stroll hand-in-hand with your sweetheart.
Shop at The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg
If you still have some Christmas shopping to do, The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg is the place to be. Not only will you find a wide variety of shops, you’ll also find dazzling Christmas lights, a Christmas tree decorating contest, free carriage rides and visits with Santa throughout the holiday season.
Experience Historical Holiday Fun
This is Gettysburg, after all. Several historic sites host special holiday events throughout the season. Check out an Eisenhower Christmas at Eisenhower National Historic Site. Mamie Eisenhower loved to decorate for the holidays, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you tour the house and admire the original and recreated decorations throughout the home. Learn about the 19th century Christmas traditions of the Shriver family at the Shriver House’s Five Christmases event.
Stay in a Bed & Breakfast
The Gettysburg area is home to many bed & breakfasts and inns, and the holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy those cozy accommodations. Whether you want to stay downtown or in the Adams County countryside, you’ll find many inns beautifully decorated and ready to welcome guests for the holidays.
Catch a Show at the Majestic Theater
More than 60 actors, singers and dancers spread holiday cheer through their inspiring performance of ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Charles Dickens’ timeless tale is brought to life at Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater throughout the month of December.
Visit The Christmas Haus
You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped inside a German village shop while browsing the authentic décor at the Christmas Haus. A variety of ornaments, miniatures, nutcrackers, wood carvings and more that have been imported from German artisans are on display. Visit their stores in downtown Gettysburg or in nearby New Oxford to pick up a few holiday gifts or to just admire their impressive selection.
Take a Carriage Ride
How cozy does this sound – a horse-drawn carriage, hot cocoa, blankets and the ones you love. Feel like you’re in a winter fairy tale with a festive ride through Gettysburg this December. You can enjoy holiday carriage rides with Horse Tours of Gettysburg or at The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg throughout the month.
Tune Into Holiday Music
One of Gettysburg’s greatest holiday events – the annual Holiday Tuba Carol Fest – takes place mid-December and welcomes tuba players from around the country to join together to play Christmas carols on historic Lincoln Square. It’s a magical performance that brings a crowd together to sing holiday tunes.
Pick Your Own Christmas Tree
In Adams County, we have pick-your-own experiences throughout the entire year. We have strawberries, blueberries, apples and other fruit to pick through the spring, summer and fall. In winter, we have pick-your-own Christmas trees! Just outside of town in the Adams County countryside, there are many opportunities for visitors to find that perfect Christmas tree to take home with them. When you found your tree and you’re on your way home, stop at one of Adams County’s countryside markets for some other holiday goodies to take with you.
Each year, 1,400 holiday wreaths are placed on the graves in Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery, as part of the Sgt. Mac Memorial Foundation’s ongoing effort to honor veterans through the National Wreath Project. Visit the cemetery this holiday season to view the wreaths and honor those who sacrificed for our freedom.