10 Pennsylvania towns that really get in the Christmas spirit


By Ashley Adams

December 6, 2023

Still not in the holiday mood? A visit to any one of these Pennsylvania towns will fix that. Events are happening this weekend through Christmas Eve.

Feeling a little bah humbug this holiday season? There’s nothing like stunning displays of lights, Christmas villages, carolers, and more to evoke the joy and wonder of the holiday season.

Starting this weekend and continuing through Christmas Eve, many Pennsylvania towns will transform into Christmas wonderlands that go above and beyond to showcase their holiday spirit.

If you need a little jump start to get you in the Christmas spirit, check out any one of these towns across the state that will be sure to put you in the mood for Santa Claus.


This Centre County town is holding a Victorian Christmas celebration this weekend that includes 60 decorated Christmas trees, a gingerbread house contest, strolling musicians, and plenty of opportunities to meet Santa.

Various events are planned from Friday through Sunday at different locations. Check out the town’s website for more information.


It’s been known as the Christmas City since 1937. Travel + Leisure has named its Christkindlmarkt one of the best holiday markets in the US. It takes place every weekend through Dec. 17. Located at the PNC Plaza at SteelStacks, the market hours are Thursdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


This town in Lancaster County is so cute that it appears in four Hallmark Christmas movies! Ephrata hosts a “Jingle Bell Tour” — a trolley ride or self-guided tour of decorated homes and businesses — this Friday and Saturday.

The tour on Friday is for families and will begin and end at Ephrata Church of the Brethren on Crescent Avenue. Tours start at 5:30 p.m. and happen every half hour until 8 p.m. Cost is $15 per person.

The tour on Saturday is for adults and will begin and end at the Old Republic Distillery Tavern on Dutchland Avenue. Tours start at 6 p.m. and happen every hour until 9 p.m. Cost is $18 per adult.


The Hawley Winterfest is a wonderful way to start your holiday celebrations this weekend. The streets of this small town in Wayne County shine bright with twinkling lights as visitors stroll through local shops to complete holiday shopping, make crafts at the local library, or explore the town on a horse-drawn carriage. There is also a beer tour, artisan marketplace, and other events happening throughout the weekend.


Jimmy Stewart, star of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” was born and raised in this town in Indiana County. Visitors can watch the film and see a special exhibit about it at the Jimmy Stewart Museum during the annual “It’s a Wonderful Life” festival happening on Fridays until Dec. 15.

Jim Thorpe

Nestled among the Pocono Mountains, the town throws an Olde Time Christmas celebration during the first three weekends of December. Visitors can enjoy shopping in the downtown shops and enjoy live music. Check the website for more information about times and locations of events.


This historic town in the Susquehanna River Valley is a cozy borough that is home to the oldest outdoor Christmas market in the US. Each holiday season, locals and visitors peruse the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market for a taste of the German holiday tradition. Located on Market Street, the market is open Dec. 14 from 4:30 to 9 p.m., Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


The City of Brotherly Love is filled with the Christmas spirit this time of year that you can experience at two different holiday-themed marketplaces.

A Christmas Village at Love Park is an amazingly authentic German-style Christmas market featuring vendors selling everything from art to food, giving you the opportunity to do some holiday shopping within a festive environment. The market is open now through Christmas Eve.

Across the street, you can also explore the Made in Philadelphia Market, which features items from all local vendors. There is also an ice skating rink, a Ferris wheel, and a light show. This market is open now through Jan. 1.


Downtown Pittsburgh is festive and fun at the annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market where you can browse outdoor wooden chalets brimming with unique gifts and holiday experiences filled with international flair and local charm. Enjoy live music as you stroll through an illuminated Market Square now through Dec. 24.

Market hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Activities sure to fill you with the Christmas spirit will be happening in Wellsboro this weekend during the town’s annual Christmas on Main Street. Stroll along the gas lit Main Street while shopping for gifts and enjoying the picturesque town. You can also visit 30 displays of historic ornaments made locally in the early 1940’s and learn how Wellsboro saved Christmas during World War II.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.



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