‘Tis the season for holiday merriment at these magical light displays and sprawling Christmas tree farms in Eastern Pennsylvania.
To lean into the holiday spirit, start a new tradition (or continue an old tradition) of chopping down your own Christmas tree at a local Christmas tree farm. Then, visit a holiday light display to ooh and aah in wonder at the way colorful lights can transform any place into a holiday wonderland.
We’ve put together a list of holiday hallmarks in the eastern half of the state to help you go make merry in Pennsylvania this holiday season.
Miracle on South 13th Street – Philadelphia
In South Philly, the entirety of the 1600-block of South 13th Street is lit up in a fantastic holiday light display. Throughout the month of December, the Miracle on South 13th Street is indeed a little miracle, as neighbors have decorated their residences in elaborate displays for more than 20 years, attracting thousands of visitors. Visit the free light display to soak in the holiday revelry for yourself.
Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle – Philadelphia
Located in Center City, Franklin Square is a historic park that’s been charming visitors for generations. The square is just as charming during the holiday season, when the park offers activities like street curling and mini golf so families can still have fun in the chill, and when it displays its magical light show, the Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle. Every 30 minutes after the sky gets dark, the Franklin Square fountain lights up in an exciting show set to holiday music. Best of all, viewing the light show is completely free!
Linvilla Orchards – Media (Delaware County)
Linvilla Orchards is a must-stop destination for any season, whether you’re picking pumpkins in the fall, visiting the garden center in spring and summer, or chopping down your own Christmas Tree in Linvilla’s wintery tree fields. You’ll take a hayride to one of the fields, and Linvilla staff will provide you with a saw to cut down your selected tree and will then haul your tree back to your car for you. If chopping down a tree in the cold doesn’t sound like your idea of a magical experience, Linvilla also sells pre-cut Christmas trees.
Beck Tree Farms – Hamburg (Berks County)
The Christmas farm where Taylor Swift grew up in West Reading is closed — we checked. But Berks County’s Beck Tree Farms, with its toasty barn, warm drinks, and acres of trees, may as well have been the subject of Swift’s “Christmas Tree Farm.” Located about 90 minutes from Philly and just 30 minutes from Allentown and Reading, Beck Tree Farms offers cut-your-own Christmas trees that grow up to 8’ tall. You can choose from Canaan Fir, Fraser Fir, and Blue Spruce (Douglas Fir is available pre-cut in 2023 because of a late spring freeze). For a little extra Christmas cheer, you can also purchase handmade wreaths or take a photo with Santa on the weekends.
Unangst Tree Farm – Bath (Northampton County)
Feeling down this holiday season? Rather than have a Blue Christmas, why not brighten your home and your spirit by cutting down your own Christmas tree at Unangst Tree Farm, the cure for holiday angst. (Sorry.) Unangst allows you to either take a short stroll to some of their trees ready for chopping, or you can take a hayride out to the tree fields. The farm has Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Canaan Fir, and Concolor Fir. Trees reach as high as 9’, but most are 8’ and shorter.
Lehigh Valley Zoo Winter Light Spectacular – Schnecksville (Lehigh County)
During the zoo’s Winter Light Spectacular, the Lehigh Valley Zoo lights up more than 1.2 million lights to celebrate the season. Wander the paths to admire colorful holiday displays and warm up by a fire pit, and then enjoy photos with Santa as well as treats like hot chocolate. For the 2023 season, princess characters (Anna, Elsa, Belle, and Cinderella) will perform each night.
Yenser’s Tree Farm – Lehighton (Carbon County)
Visit Yenser’s Tree Farm to choose a Christmas tree for your home straight from the farm. You can cut one of the Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, or Blue Spruce trees yourself, or Yenser’s staff can chop your tree down for you. When you’ve finished, you can enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies on the weekends. Besides Christmas trees, Yenser’s also sells greenery and wreaths. The farm also hosts wreath making classes. Yenser’s closes for the season Dec. 10.
Peckville Christmas House – Peckville (Lackawanna County)
During the holiday season in Peckville, just northwest of Scranton, one house shines above the rest. That’s because the family who transforms their home into the Peckville Christmas House really, really likes Christmas. You can stroll through the house and grounds to witness the elaborate light display alongside armies of nutcracker soldiers, illuminated snowmen, candy canes, and Santa figures. The Peckville Christmas House is meant to spread holiday cheer to all and is completely free to visit. The family will, however, accept donations if you are so moved (that electric bill, though).
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