Pennsylvania Gets Lit for the Holidays

The lights at Koziar's Christmas Village in December 2017. (Shutterstock Photo/Helen89)

By Patrick Abdalla

November 25, 2020

The Keystone’s list of the biggest and brightest holiday light displays in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has many diverse landscapes. From the rolling hills of the east, the mountainous west, and the parking lot outside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, to back allies in Scranton. 

All of those regions will be lit up for the holidays. 

Here are some of the most popular holiday light display traditions in different areas of the state. You can take a boat tour, drive through your favorite amusement park, trek through woodlands, or stroll along streets in small boroughs. Keep an eye out for Mr. Claus and some of his friends. 

Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Philadelphia

Miracle on 13th Street

Residents on the 1600 block of South 13th Street in Philadelphia let their inner Clark Griswold shine with a glorious display of lights every night from Nov. 28 on. Drive or walk down the block at your leisure.

There is no admission fee.

Winter in Franklin Square

Take in festive lights, delicious winter treats, and endless holiday cheer at the historic Franklin Square Park. For the rest of this month, the completely free holiday event will display more than 100,000 twinkling lights and other seasonal attractions and festivities—including special giveaways.

The show is on display every evening through Dec. 31 (except for Christmas Day). Franklin Square Park is located at 200 N. 6th St. For more information, call (215) 629-4026‬.

Winter on Broad

The Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers and Flyers, gets dressed up for the holidays, with several light displays and the Mistletoe Marketplace. Get a photo with Gritty Claus for $15. Use it for your holiday cards.

Winter on Broad will be open through Jan. 3.

Admission is $32.50 per adult and $27.50 per child. You can buy tickets online.

Southeastern PA

Herr’s Christmas Lights Display

Drive through Herr’s corporate campus in Nottingham, Chester County, and see more than 600,000 bright holiday lights.

The display will be lit nightly through Jan. 2.

There is no admission fee.

Holiday Light Show at Shadybrook Farm

More than 3 million lights illuminate acres of farmland at Shadybrook Farm in Bucks County. You can drive through in your own vehicle or take an open air wagon ride (if the weather allows). Before or after your ride, you can enjoy s’mores, hot cocoa, and other tasty treats by one of the cozy campfires on the grounds.

The light show is open nightly through Jan. 10.

Wagon ride tickets are $15 per person on a value night, and $18 per person on a peak night. Drive-through tickets are $25 per car on a value night and $35 per car on a peak night if tickets are bought in advance, or $30 per car on a value night and $40 per car on a peak night if tickets are bought on the grounds. All tickets are timed.

Koziar’s Christmas Village

This holiday tradition has been an eastern Pennsylvania staple for three generations. More than 1 million lights are part of this impressive display that has been featured on “Today.”

The village is open from Thanksgiving through Jan. 2. Its hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 5 to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Admission is $12 per adult, $11 per senior adult, and $10 per child aged 4 to 10. Timed tickets are required for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. You can buy tickets online.

A brightly lit fountain at Longwood Gardens. (Courtesy of Longwood Gardens)

Longwood Christmas

See towering trees decorated for the holidays inside one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions. Don’t miss the Gardan Railway.

Longwood Gardens is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Admission is $30 per adult, $27 per senior adult, and $16 per child between the ages of 5 and 18. You can buy tickets online.

Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo

Elmwood Park Zoo’s Wild Lights returns this holiday season with new lights and decorative attractions. Take a stroll through “Oh Christmas Tree,” and be surrounded by a glistening forest, or visit with the zoo’s big cats in “Trail of the Jumping Jaguar.” Each night of Wild Lights features live entertainment, unique animal encounters, performances, holiday music, and a chance to see Santa. The zoo will also have food and beverages for sale.

Wild Lights is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on select nights through Dec. 30.

Timed tickets must be purchased in advance. Get more details from the zoo’s website.

Northeastern PA

Forest of Lights

Take a slow drive through more than a mile of twinkling forest lights.

The display at Tall Pines Players Club in Friendsville is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 30. It will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Admission is $25 per vehicle (with eight passengers) and $50 per vehicle (with nine to 15 passengers).

The Holiday House Scranton

The Culkin Family started decorating their house more than three decades ago with lights, cardboard figures and more. Pretty soon, people flocked to the alley behind their house. A live nativity scene, and pictures of childhood favorites have been added over the years. If you drive two blocks away, a half-dozen other houses have put up similar decorations.

The Holiday House, at 638 Moosic St., is lit up nightly until Christmas.

There is no fee to visit. 

Holiday Light Spectacular at Nay Aug Park

You won’t see Michael Scott or Dwight Schrute, but you will see Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, dinosaurs, and other light displays. You’ll even catch a mock “Electric City” sign.

The light display is open nightly through early January.

There is no fee to visit, but the organizers welcome donations.

South Central PA

Christmas Magic at Rocky Ridge County Park

Bask in the glow of more than 100,000 Christmas lights as you trek through Rocky Ridge County Park, in York County.

The light display is open through Dec. 31, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

Admission is $5 per person over the age of 4. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance; you can get them online.

Christmas Spirit Light Show at Clipper Magazine Stadium

Drive a mile-long track decorated with hundreds of thousands of color-changing lights. Tune your radio to the Christmas Spirit Light Show’s radio station, and watch in wonder as the lights blink and change color in time with some of your favorite Christmas tunes.

The display is open through Dec. 31, except for Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 2, Dec. 7, and Dec. 14. Hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The light show is set up at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster.

Admission is $20 per vehicle with up to eight passengers, or $30 per vehicle with nine passengers or more. You can buy tickets online in advance.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Clare House, a Lancaster-based program that provides housing and support services for mothers and children facing homelessness.

Holiday Lights at Dutch Wonderland

Hundreds of thousands of lights make whimsical scenes along a 1.5 mile trail through Old Mill Stream Campground in Lancaster County. When you reach the end of the trail, you can stop at the Dutch Wonderland castle for hot cocoa and a socially distanced photo with Santa.

Holiday Lights will be open Dec. 2-31, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. daily.

Admission is $15 per standard vehicle and $20 per large van Sundays through Thursdays, and $20 per standard vehicle and $25 per large van on Fridays and Saturdays. You can save $5 if you book your ticket online. Dutch Wonderland season pass holders save 50%.

Stone Gables Estate Christmas Lights Drive-Thru

Drive through 2.6 miles of spectacular Christmas lights at Stone Gables Estate in Elizabethtown. The holiday light display features more than 600,000 brilliant LED lights that decorate the trees, and depict scenes from the birth and life of Jesus Christ.

The display is open from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, except Christmas and New Year’s Day. It is also open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 17, 21-24, and 28-31.

Tickets are $20 per vehicle with up to eight passengers and $30 per vehicle with more than eight passengers if you buy tickets in advance online or pay in cash at the gate. Tickets are $22 per vehicle with up to eight passengers and $33 per vehicle with more than eight passengers if you pay with a debit or credit card at the gate.

Central PA

Some of the lights on Candylane at Hersheypark. (Courtesy of Hersheypark)

Hersheypark Christmas Candylane

Sweeten up your holidays with a trip to Hershey’s holiday light show. You’ll experience more than 600 lighted displays through Jan. 3.

Admission is $22.15 per car and $42.15 per van. Learn more or reserve tickets online.

Holiday Lights on the Lake at Lakemont Park

More than 1 million lights brighten more than 50 acres in this park. Attendees can drive through, exploring different holiday scenes and displays along their ride.

The light show is open from 6 to 10 p.m. daily until Jan. 3.

Admission is $13 per car, $25 per commercial van, and $30 per bus.

Joy Through The Grove

Knoebels is adding a holiday light display to their events schedule starting on Friday, and running through Jan. 3.

The display is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. It will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Admission is $15 per car Mondays through Thursdays and $20 per car on weekends, and $30 per large-sized vehicle (with 9-12 passengers) nightly.

North Central PA

Candy Cane Lane

Since 1957, the houses on Summer Street in Duboistown, just outside of WIlliamsport, have been lit up for the holidays.

The lights are on every night through early January.

There is no fee to visit.

Southwestern PA

Christmas Light-Up in Clinton

Take a 1-mile drive in the woods, surrounded by thousands of Christmas lights coordinated into different scenes.

The display is open from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 3.

Admission is $10 per car.

Pittsburgh Zoo Lights

Drive through the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium at night and see light displays while following an audio tour. Your adventure will include favorite characters, Christmas carols and more.

The display is open through Jan. 3.

Admission is $40 per member vehicle, $60 per non-member vehicle. All tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Drive through more than 2 miles of holiday light displays at the Big Butler Fairgrounds in Butler County, and watch as the lights twinkle and change color in time with music playing from Shadrack’s radio station. The show features large LED light displays of the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” but with a twist.

The display is open through Jan. 3, including holidays. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. nightly, and the display stays open later on Saturdays and Sundays.

Admission is $25 per vehicle with fewer than eight people Sundays through Thursdays, except Dec. 11-27; $30 per vehicle with fewer than eight people all days Dec. 11-27 and Fridays and Saturdays; $50 per activity van, limo, or mini-bus; $100 per tour bus or school bus. You can get tickets online in advance or at the gate.

Northwestern PA

Presque Isle Lights

Drive a 13-mile loop through Presque Isle State Park and see glittering light displays mixed with the natural beauty of the park on the lake.

To save energy, all of the lights are LEDs, and solar generators will power the lights in parts of the park that don’t have electric utilities.

The lights will be on from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5-6, Dec. 11-13, Dec. 18-20, Dec. 25-27, and Jan. 1-3.

Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Trees of Light Boat Tours

Take a 90-minute boat cruise along Conneaut Lake and see many holiday light displays.

Tours are available Fridays through Sundays, through Dec. 13.

Admission is $15 per person. Reserve your ticket at Eventbrite.

Cassandra Stone contributed to this article.

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