There’s more to Lancaster than Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Downtown Lancaster has a blossoming arts-and-culture scene and there’s plenty to do and see this holiday season. And since it’s only about a three-hour trip on Amtrak, Lancaster is a perfect weekend escape from New York City.
Here are some highlights for your holiday getaway:
Join in Lancaster’s popular art gallery and studio crawl each and every First Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. First Fridays is part of the Lancaster City Arts initiative, and visitors will be swept up in the creative energy that pervades the city. Discover innovative exhibitions, performances and perhaps a few surprises as you walk our attractive streets lined with trees and distinctive architecture. Unique boutiques and excellent restaurants complement the art galleries, artisan studios, museums, performing groups, professional theater, symphony orchestra and art college that comprise Lancaster’s arts community. First Fridays occur throughout the entire year.
Downtown Lancaster for the Holidays
From November 25 – December 24, visit downtown Lancaster and enjoy month-long holiday celebration including visits with Santa, strolling entertainment, horse drawn carriage rides, and more than 30 holiday events and shopping.
The Lancaster Museum of Art will host the “Trees Galore” exhibit, December 2-18. More than just an art exhibition, “Trees Galore” has been a holiday tradition in Lancaster since 1977. The exhibition celebrates the spirit of sharing and the wealth of creativity that characterizes the Lancaster City community. Local artists and collectors bedeck the Museum’s walls with donated works, which are available for purchase through a silent auction. To round out the holiday atmosphere, Museum visitors will have the opportunity to attend receptions, enter raffles, bid on stockings full of goodies and floral arrangements and participate in art workshops.
On December 16 and 18, bring the family to Franklin & Marshall College to celebrate “Sounds of the Season” from the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and the Lancaster Symphony Chorus. Guests will enjoy familiar songs, sing-along carols and even yodeling.
Lancaster Central Market
Of course, a trip to Lancaster would be incomplete without getting a taste of Amish country. So make sure to visit the Lancaster Central Market, is the country’s oldest year-round farmer’s market housed in a 120-year-old red brick building full of character. The market specializes in a variety of regional food specialties including Pennsylvania Dutch sausage, scrapple and head cheese and is open Tuesdays and Fridays, 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.