Holiday Happenings along the Pennsylvania Trails of History

Harrisburg, PA – With the holidays straight ahead, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission is highlighting events with a distinct holiday flair that are sure to entertain, educate and warm the heart of each member of the family, plus a moment of remembrance for the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.


Home for the Holidays – Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Lancaster County – Saturday, December 8, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

More than 100 years of holiday rail travel is the focus of this event, featuring costumed railroaders, seasonal music and holiday decorations among the museum’s world-class collection of trains. Costumed interpreters represent engineers, conductors, ticket agents and railroad passengers from days gone by. A visit from Santa and his helper top off this festive event. Visit


Holly Nights – Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville, Bucks County – Thursday, December 6 and Friday December 7 – 6:00 PM–9:00 PM

Pennsbury by candlelight has been a community tradition for more than 35 years. This joyous feast for the senses offers crackling fires, hot-mulled cider, dancing shadows, the bustle of Colonial craftspeople, and the merry sounds of carolers strolling the grounds.  Visit


Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute – Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg, Centre County Friday, December 7 – 12:45 PM–1:45 PM

Seventy-seven years ago, the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Hawaii was attacked by aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy. America was at war. This tribute is held beneath the guns of the battleship USS Pennsylvania, which was a witness to that attack. Light snacks and a period documentary film will be offered in the museum theater. Visit


Santa in the Shay – Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Ulysses, Potter County – Saturday, December 8, 12:00 PM–4:00 PM

Instead of bringing his famous sleigh, Santa will be in the cab of the museum’s Shay locomotive to listen to holiday requests. Kids will take an instant photo with St. Nick and then use the image to make a special ornament for their tree. Cookies and hot cocoa will be served in the museum program room, and a variety of local artisans (along with the Lumber Museum’s gift shop) will have unique items for sale at a holiday bazaar. Visit


Noon Year’s Eve –The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Dauphin County – Friday, December 28, 10:00 AM–1:00 PM

Young children and their families are invited to welcome in the new year during the annual Noon Year’s Eve celebration. Kids will have the opportunity to enjoy their own special “ringing in of the New Year,” make a craft, dance and enjoy snacks. The Planetarium will be open for a show. The museum’s famous firefly and balloon drop will be held in Memorial Hall at 12:00 noon. Visit

Powered by Firespring