ABOVE PHOTO: During the annual A Longwood Gardens Christmas, the horticultural wonderland in scenic Brandywine Valley features a dazzling display of Christmas trees and poinsettias during the holiday season.
The Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside sparkle with seasonal events and activities — from the glittering lights at Longwood Gardens to North Pole-themed rides on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Add in elegantly decorated historic houses, winter festivals and seasonal performances for a memory-filled holiday season.
Lovely Lights & Dazzling Displays:
While holiday shopping at Peddler’s Village, visitors can check out the Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display. Participants compete in a variety of categories, including traditional and authentic reproduction of a significant building. During the season, visitors also enjoy one million jewel-colored holiday lights, weekend visits with Santa at Giggleberry Fair and other special events. November 21-January 3. Route 263 & Street Road, Lahaska, PA (215) 794-4018, peddlersvillage.com
Glowing with more than 3,000,000 lights and 3,500 props, the two-mile long Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm is an eye-popping holiday fantasyland. Visitors can drive through the pathway or see the lights from tractor-pulled wagon rides. The farm adds new tableaus each year to sit alongside favorites such as the 12 Days of Christmas and the Fairytale Castle. November 22-January 4. 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley, (215) 968-1670, shadybrookfarm.com
The holidays go red, white and green at Longwood Gardens during A Longwood Gardens Christmas, featuring 500,000 glowing lights, thousands of poinsettias, vibrantly decorated trees and dancing fountains throughout the vast grounds and conservatory. November 27-January 11. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
Celebrations last throughout the month at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. A Brandywine Christmas takes over with a display of trees, a Victorian dollhouse, rare antique dolls and one of the largest O-gauge model railroad displays in the country. Kids can also show up in their PJs for an evening of hot chocolate and a live reading of the classic The Polar Express. November 28-January 4. U.S. Route 1, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
Merriment abounds when the town turns out for West Chester’s Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration, dubbed as “one of the top ten places to experience the arrival of Santa Claus during the holiday season” by USA Today. (610) 738-3350, downtownwestchester.com
’Tis The Season For Shows:
Count on a very furry Christmas when the furry denizens of Sesame Place spread holiday cheer with three live holiday shows. Also this season at Sesame: twinkling lights, holiday tunes, the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade and more. November 22-December 31. 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, (866) GO-4-ELMO, sesameplace.com
The Keswick Theatre’s holiday lineup makes the season even more merry and bright. It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” when “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” takes to the stage in a rollicking production that is part mystery, part musical, part-fractured re-telling of the birth of Christ. November 30. Phil Coulter and Andy Cooney, accompanied by a 10-piece orchestra and special guest star Geraldine Branagan, appear together in a rare North American tour of a “Celtic Twilight Christmas.” December 9. 291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, (215) 572-7650, keswicktheatre.com