Gettysburg has a way of touching every visitor – young and old, from near and far. The magic of this small town shines especially bright during the holiday season running from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Cozy small town Gettysburg just twinkles with holiday cheer.
The fourth Thursday of November, our nation celebrates Thanksgiving, a celebration that Lincoln proclaimed a national holiday in the fall of 1863 giving all of us a reason to stop our busy lives and give thanks for all that makes life so grand – reconnecting with what is good in our lives.
The day after Thanksgiving, is the tree lighting ceremony in Lincoln Square. Locals and visitors alike gather to “ooo” and “aaa” over the brightly lit Christmas tree that spreads its warmth across downtown Gettysburg. And don’t forget to support our local businesses on Small Business Saturday! Many of our shops and boutiques participate in this event offering special sales, refreshments and other festive activities. Thanksgiving weekend is a wonderful kick-off to all that is to come during the holiday season.
Gettysburg offers a small town holiday experience filled with traditions that bring out the best of the season. From the beautiful decor that lines the streets to the picturesque storefronts and decorated homes, our area warms the hearts and brings forth memories of simpler days. Many area attractions get into the holiday spirit by recreating the holidays from the time of the Civil War. Others take a more modern approach and set out to create new traditions.
The entire town comes together to spread holiday cheer, like with the Gettysburg Christmas Festival offering free carriage rides, Christmas caroling, visits with Santa, holiday crafts, and the Annual Gettysburg Christmas Parade. Be entertained at the Tuba Carol Fest, a holiday tradition of over 20 years gathering young and old to fill the Lincoln Square with carols. Visitors can discover the beautiful inns and historic buildings during the Annual Holiday House Tour.
Each December, Gettysburg welcomes the Totem Pole Playhouse production of "A Christmas Carol" performed live at the Majestic Theater. Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Yet to Come and of course, Tiny Tim for a holiday story that will tug at your heartstrings and remind all of the reason for the season.
Whether you are with family or friends, spend your days wandering in and out of our boutiques and galleries. Warm up with meals at local restaurants enjoying a cup of mulled cider. Get cozy after dinner by a crackling fire as you reconnect with simpler times and each other. No matter how you experience Gettysburg, this time of year will reconnect you with what matters most – those special to your heart.
A Day with Lincoln
Lincoln’s presence is felt all around Gettysburg. Although his visit to Gettysburg was short, it will never be forgotten. Plan your Gettysburg visit with all things Lincoln! Learn more about this trip idea