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Holiday Season Warming Up in Gettysburg, Pa.

Small town blends rich history with warm hospitality, spirit of the holidays

11/22/23

In Gettysburg, Christmas past intertwines with the holiday spirit of the present to create a monumental experience that takes visitors and residents alike back down memory lane.

Time seems to slow down in this little Pennsylvania town every winter. Horse-drawn carriages clip-clop past Civil War era homes exuding historic character. Restaurants adorned with twinkling lights serve up festive dishes, and storefronts fill their window displays with eye-catching gifts.

“Gettysburg is becoming one of the region’s brightest holiday destinations,” said Destination Gettysburg President and CEO Karl Pietrzak. “It’s the perfect time of year for a cozy getaway where you can enjoy all the hallmarks of the holiday season.”

Eclectic shops nestled among historic homes are filled with holiday treasures waiting to be placed under someone’s tree. Visitors can stroll from one store to the next in the walkable downtown or head to The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg to gaze upon a quarter million holiday lights and shop dozens of stores.

Gettysburg’s lively restaurant scene serves up delicious holiday fare — from casual eateries to fine dining by candlelight. Sample craft beverages on the Adams County Pour Tour, then cozy up to the fireplace in a historic tavern for dinner. Visitors will encounter delightful dishes created by chefs especially for the holiday season.

This small town is big on holiday festivities, starting with the Lincoln Square tree lighting and concluding with a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Events to look forward to this season include:

  • Christmas Tree Lighting (Nov. 24): Ring in the holiday season with music, hot cocoa and Santa Claus.
  • Five Christmases at the Shriver House Museum (various dates, Nov. 23-Dec. 31): Embark on a guided tour for a glimpse of what Christmas was like for one local family during the Civil War era. Chestnut roasting is Dec. 2.
  • A Gettysburg Christmas Festival (Dec. 1-3): Bring the family to visit Santa’s toy shop, hear Christmas carols, take a carriage ride and more.
  • Christmas at Eisenhower National Historic Site (various dates, Dec. 1-30): Explore the home of America’s 34th president, adorned with vintage Christmas decor family heirlooms.
  • Tuba Carol Fest (Dec. 8): Listen to classic holiday tunes performed by musicians who traveled near and far to be in Gettysburg.
  • “A Christmas Carol” at the Majestic Theater (Dec. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17): Enjoy this Dickens classic a historic theater downtown, presented by Totem Pole Playhouse.
  • Gettysburg New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31): Join the dance party and watch Abe Lincoln’s hat rise into the sky as the crowd counts down to midnight.

A full calendar with even more holiday happenings can be found at DestinationGettysburg.com/things-to-do/gettysburg-pa-events.

Destination Gettysburg, the official destination marketing organization of Adams County, Pa., promotes Gettysburg and Adams County as a premier travel destination to benefit and enhance our community by sharing history and creating new experiences.

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