"The Nutcracker" at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia.

Noted

Over 30 Holiday Events in the Brandywine Valley You Won’t Want to Miss This December

From iconic holiday displays to festivals, be sure to put these on your calendar.

By Lisa Dukart and John Eustice |

Candlelight Theatre’s Christmas by Candlelight

Through 12/22 • Ardentown, Del.

Come to the Candlelight Theatre to see Christmas by Candlelight, which is consistently voted “Best Musical” for the season.

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Trees at Linvilla Orchards

Through 12/23 • Media, Pa.

Linvilla Orchards celebrates the holiday season with cut-your-own Christmas trees. On Saturdays throughout December, cozy up for caroling hayrides or meet the jolly man himself.

Hedgerow Theatre’s A Christmas Carol

Through 12/24 • Rose Valley, Pa.

Every year, the historic Hedgerow Theatre puts on its rendition—adapted and directed by Jared Reed—of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Philadelphia’s German Christmas Village

Through 12/24 • Philadelphia, Pa. 

The City of Brotherly Love celebrates the season with a traditional German Christmas Village. Open Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, it features more than 80 vendors surrounding iconic City Hall. Shop for gifts, grab a bite to eat, or take to the ice at this must-visit event.

Christmas at Colonial

Through 12/29 • Phoenixville, Pa.

Phoenixville’s Colonial Gardens brings rustic charm to the holidays, with a light display and show synchronized to favorite holiday tunes. Catch Christmas at Colonial on select days throughout the month.

Winter WonderFEST

Through 12/30 • Milton, Del.

The community-driven Winter WonderFEST event brings several holiday attractions to the area for a great cause. The VisitDelaware.com Ice Rink, Christmas Village and Light Spectacular headline this family-friendly event throughout the holiday season.

Holidays at Hagley

Through 1/1 • Wilmington, Del.

The Hagley Museum and Library presents Holidays at Hagley. This classic holiday season tour through Christmas Trees of Past and Present takes you on a journey from the 1840s to present day, exploring the traditions of each era.

Rose Tree Park’s Festival of Lights

Through 1/1 • Media, Pa.

Each night from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. throughout December, Media’s Rose Tree Park transforms into a winter wonderland for its Festival of Lights. Dozens of trees will be aglow at this tradition dating back more than 40 years. Keep an eye out for displays of Charlie Brown and Santa.

A Longwood Christmas

Through 1/5 • Kennett Square, Pa.

One of the most iconic holiday displays around, A Longwood Christmas transforms the 1,000-plus-acre garden and its grand conservatory into a dazzling Christmas extravaganza, complete with a model train display outdoors.

 

A Longwood Gardens. Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens.
A Longwood Gardens. Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens.

 

Yuletide at Winterthur

Through 1/5 • Winterthur, Del.

The 40th Annual Yuletide at Winterthur celebrates the warmth of the season with a tour of the Henry Francis du Pont’s mansion. The mansion is full of trees, lights and magical dollhouses to entertain the whole family.

Brandywine Christmas

Through 1/5 • Chadds Ford, Pa.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art’s annual Christmas celebration, Brandywine Christmas, includes an impressive train display with nearly 2,000 feet of railroad track.

Media Christmas Parade

12/1 • Downtown Media, Pa.

Santas will take over the borough of Media for the sixth annual Media Christmas Parade. Festivities kick off with a block party, followed by a costume contest and fun run.

“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” at The Grand

12/1 • Wilmington, Del.

Grammy-winner Chip Davis brings the spirit of the season to The Grand Opera House with “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group’s first Christmas album.

Uptown Christmas at The Met Philadelphia

12/1 • Philadelphia, Pa.

Making its Christmas debut at the Met, the Philly POPS will perform Uptown Christmas featuring Tituss Burgess, Mandy Gonzalez and the African Episcopal Church of Saint Thomas Gospel Choir.

Wilmington & Western Railroad’s Holiday Lights Express

12/6-30 • Wilmington, Del.

A decorated historic first-generation diesel locomotive powers the Holiday Lights Express, a 45-minute tour of the area. Many trackside neighbors decorate their homes and yards for passengers to enjoy.

QVC West Chester Christmas Parade

12/6 • Downtown West Chester, Pa.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the QVC West Chester Christmas Parade returns to the borough, complete with marching bands, floats, an elf run and walk, plus an appearance by Santa himself. 6ABC’s Adam Joseph again serves as the emcee.

The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia

12/6-31 • Philadelphia, Pa.

Tchaikovsky’s beloved musical score comes to life at the Academy of Music for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

An Offbeat Holiday: The Donald Sinta Quartet

12/7 • Newark, Del.

An Offbeat Holiday: The Donald Sinta Quartet returns to the Master Player Concert Series to celebrate the release of their first album, Collider. Their performance will combine their diverse repertoire with seasonal favorites.

Candlelight Christmas

12/7 • Chadds Ford, Pa.

Enjoy colonial-era drinks and food while exploring historic homes aglow in holiday lights during the Chadds Ford Historical Society’s Candlelight Christmas.

Lewes Christmas Parade

12/7 • Downtown Lewes, Del.

The 88th Annual Lewes Christmas Parade begins at 5 p.m. with a tree-lighting and caroling in Zwaanendael Park following.

Christmas Tour of Lewes

12/7 • Lewes, Del. 

Get into the holiday spirit and see the private homes and Lewes Historical Society buildings transform the town into a winter wonderland during the
2019 Christmas Tour of Lewes.

Kennett Square Holiday Village Market

12/7-15 • Kennett Square, Pa.

Shop for gifts during Kennett Square’s Holiday Village Market, taking place Dec. 7–8 and 14–15. Held at the Creamery, the market has artisan and vintage vendors, plus live music, food trucks and workshops.

 

Brandywine River Museum of Art's Brandywine Christmas. Photo by Carlos Alejandro.
Brandywine River Museum of Art’s Brandywine Christmas. Photo by Carlos Alejandro.

 

Christmas in Odessa

12/7 • Odessa, Del. 

The Christmas in Odessa self-guided walking tour returns for the 55th year to help raise money for the Women’s Club of Odessa. Tour homes dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Carols and Lullabies

12/8 • Rehoboth Beach, Del.

The Southern Delaware Chorale takes over the Epworth United Methodist Church for Carols and Lullabies inspired by traditional Spanish carols sung in the southwestern United States. Songs will be sung in a variety of dialects; Spanish, Catalonian, Biscayan and Puerto Rican.

Winter Arts Festival

12/8 • Wilmington, Del.

The Delaware Art Museum presents the Winter Arts Festival. The perfect opportunity to shop from 20 regional artisans offering jewelry, watercolor paintings, chocolates and more. Tour the museum’s seasonal decorations while listening to local choirs spread the festive spirit.

Narberth Dickens Festival

12/8 • Downtown Narberth, Pa.

Travel back in time to 1840s London during the Narberth Dickens Festival. Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge and other characters from A Christmas Carol will take over the borough.

The Holly Festival in Milton

12/14 • Milton, Del.

The Holly Festival is a Milton tradition that features a wide range of vendors, as well as an opportunity for kids to meet and tell Santa Claus their holiday wishes.

Santa Cause 5k

12/14 • Newark, Del.

Support local organizations during what is called “The Original” Santa Cause event at the Santa Cause 5K. All participants receive a free Santa hat and coffee mug.

The Great Russian Nutcracker at The Met

12/19 • Philadelphia, Pa. 

With more than 200 costumes and stunning sets, the Moscow Ballet offers a dazzling international take on a Christmas classic with its performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Met.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s The Glorious Sound of Christmas

12/19-21 • Philadelphia, Pa. 

A tradition dating back more than 50 years, the Philadelphia Orchestra performs The Glorious Sound of Christmas at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall.

A Charlie Brown Christmas at Merriam Theater

12/20-21 • Philadelphia, Pa.

Charlie, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy are headed to the Merriam Theater for a live rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas.