Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Community Corner: Notable December Events

December Community Corner

Christmas Trains
Dec. 1-15: 29th Street United Methodist Church, 750 S. 29th St., Harrisburg, will host a Trains of Christmas Open House, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring model train layouts with food available. On Dec. 8 and 15, the church will host extended hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the public to see the model railroad club at work.

Wreath Workshop
Dec. 1: Make an evergreen wreath out of natural materials and sip hot chocolate at Wildwood Park, 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Cones, berries, nuts and seed pods provided. Participants may bring other items. Cost is $20.

Santa’s Workshop
Dec. 1: Take the kids to Foundation House at New Cumberland Public Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, to experience the magic of Christmas, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children can shop for their family members and should bring a list and money. Items are reasonably priced and wrapped. Proceeds benefit the library.

Holiday Flea
Dec. 1: HBG Flea will host a holiday market of local art, vintage treasures and curated curios that are perfect for gift giving, Strawberry Square, 320 Market St., Harrisburg, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Market of Curiosities
Dec. 1: Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb hosts the 5th annual Market of Curiosities at Carlisle Expo Center, 100 K St., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This circus of imaginative holiday gifts will feature more than 65 independent artists, vintage dealers and DIY creators, along with micro-brews, food and live music.

Merry Mechanicsburg
Dec. 1: Join Mechanicsburg businesses for food, drink, entertainment, specials, giveaways and more, during Merry Mechanicsburg, 1 to 5 p.m. Seasonal tree lighting at 5:15 p.m.

Greens Sale
Dec. 1-2: Head to Fort Hunter, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg, to purchase boxwood trees, pine centerpieces, arrangements, candle rings and more, handmade by Friends of Fort Hunter, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Dec. 2, 11 a.m. until sold out.

Snowball Saturdays
Dec. 1-15: Kids can participate in friendly indoor snowball fights, meet the Hershey Bear’s mascot and listen to stories at The Hershey Story, 63 W. Chocolate Ave., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on December Saturdays.

Fort Couture
Dec. 1-16: View Christmas tree dresses created by Fort Hunter friends and neighbors on Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., at Fort Hunter Mansion & Park, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg. Enjoy imaginative displays with one-of-a-kind dress forms adorned in Christmas decorations and vote for your favorite.

Winter Fun
Dec. 1-31: Whitaker Wonderland offers indoor winter fun for the family at Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg. Take laps around the sock skate rink and dive in the snowball pit. Festive activities are included with Harsco Science Center admission.

Cars and Christmas
Dec. 1-Jan. 6: The AACA Museum will feature themed Christmas trees, unusual vehicles, vintage toys and cars, a Hess Truck display, model train exhibits, Sammy the snow plow, a Grinch scavenger hunt and more. Bring a toy or non-perishable food item for the Central PA Food Bank and Toys for Tots.

Clear Toy Candy
Dec. 2: Head to Fort Hunter Mansion, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg, for a toy candy making demo with candy makers George Kopp and Gina Napoli, 1 to 4 p.m. This Pennsylvania-German tradition involves molding sugar into hard-candy sculptures. Demonstration and candies for sale.

Concert Fundraiser
Dec. 4: Join Pollock Preforming Arts Center at 7 p.m. for the 29th Annual Eaken Trio Holiday Concert, a night of classical music to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Harrisburg Area. Tickets are $15.

Dec. 8: Wildheart Ministries, 333 S. 13th St., Harrisburg, will host an Open House Fundraiser, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to celebrate the past and dream for the future of Allison Hill.

Holiday Trivia
Dec. 8: Have fun in the upper atrium of Fredricksen Library, 100 N. 19th St., Camp Hill,
at the Trivia After Hours Holiday Pop Culture & Ugly Sweater Contest, 7 to 9 p.m. The library will provide popcorn, corkscrews, bottle openers and prizes. Ages 21 and older.

Christmas Fest
Dec. 8, 9: Bethesda Mission hosts “A Tremendous Christmas” festival at Italian Lake, 3rd and Division streets, Harrisburg, 12 to 5 p.m. Enjoy photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, local choirs, a petting zoo, food vendors and a holiday market. A tree lighting ceremony is on Dec. 8 at 5 p.m.

Candlelight House Tour                                 
Dec. 9: Historic Harrisburg hosts the 45th annual Candlelight House Tour, 1 to 6 p.m., highlighting homes and businesses in Harrisburg’s Capitol and riverfront neighborhoods. Tickets are $20 in advance through Dec. 8 or $25 at the door.

Teen Gingerbread Houses
Dec. 9: Fredricksen Library, 100 N. 19th St., Camp Hill, invites teens to its annual Gingerbread Extravaganza, 1:30 p.m. Teens can make a gingerbread house with kits and extra details to make a unique creation. Enjoy holiday movies, hot cocoa and prizes. Cost is $3.

Seasonal Concert
Dec. 9: Market Square Presbyterian Church, 20 S. 2nd St., presents the Sanctuary Choir and Market Square Ringers, with director Tyler Canonico, Susquehanna Youth Chorale soprano Max Davis and organist Ellen Landis Hunt. Audience will join in singing carols. Prelude music at 3:30 p.m. Service at 4 p.m. Parking offered in the adjacent Market Square garage.

Holly Luncheon
Dec. 11: Enjoy a “Holly Luncheon” and music presented by Bob Philips at Foundation Hall of New Cumberland Public Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, starting at 10:30 a.m. Reservations and payment of $10 should be made at the main desk. Proceeds benefit the library.

Mansion Christmas
Dec. 11: Historical Society of Dauphin County hosts “Christmas at the Mansion & Holiday Market” at Harris-Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front St., 1 to 6 p.m. Tour the house, view an antique toy exhibit, visit Santa, and shop a holiday market. Suggested donation is $5. Children, members and House Tour ticketholders are free.

Connect Mixer
Dec. 13: Meet, mingle and have some fun at “Make The Connection,” hosted by Vera Cornish, publisher of The Urban Connection, at Best Western Premier, 800 E. Park Dr., Harrisburg, 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, a meet and greet and a concert with Slam Allen.

Holiday Reception
Dec. 13: Join West Shore Chamber of Commerce for a holiday networking mixer at UPMC Pinnacle’s Fredricksen Outpatient Center, 2015 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free event is open to chamber members. Potential members may attend up to three per year.

Army Heritage Dinner
Dec. 13: Army Heritage Foundation hosts an evening with Gen. David Petraeus at West Shore Country Club, Camp Hill. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., with dinner and a presentation starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person. Contact Amanda Neal at 717-258-1102 or

Holiday Gala
Dec. 14: Harrisburg Young Professionals will host a holiday gala at Federal Taphouse. 234 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15; members are free. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and entertainment. Take unwrapped, new and unused toys to donate. RSVP required.

Candlelight Concerts
Dec. 14-16: Susquehanna Chorale will hold its evening Candlelight Christmas concert series, with pre-concert recitals by Messiah College Faculty Brass and organist Daniel Dorty. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and $5 for students.

Holiday Breakfast
Dec. 15: Paxtonia Fire Co. will host a holiday breakfast, 8 to 11 a.m., with all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausages, bacon, drinks and more. Adults are $8; children ages 4 to 12 are $5; kids under 3 are free. Each child has a chance to win a gift. Kids can enjoy a craft table and get photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Bell Ring
Dec. 15: Central PA Handbell Festival presents The Jingle Bell Ring, a massed ringing event, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 1:30 p.m., at Marriott at Penn Square and Convention Center, 25 S. Queen St., Lancaster. There is no admission fee, but non-perishable food items will be collected. Interested ringers can contact

Christmas Concert
Dec. 15: Join Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus as they offer glad tidings, great music and entertainment at Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, 1280 Clover Lane, Harrisburg, 7 to 8:30 p.m. They’ll tell the story of Frankie, a gay elf who gets stuck on the same shelf every year, even though he dreams of becoming a singer.

Holiday Benefit
Dec. 15: Open Stage of Harrisburg and LGBT Center of Central PA host a special night of holiday cheer to benefit the center, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $28; VIP tickets are $45. Admission includes a swag bag, free drink and general admission ticket to see “A Very Court Street Cabaret Christmas.” or

Curiosity Kids
Dec. 20: Kids ages 3 to 6 and families can enjoy an “Old Fashioned Christmas” at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 North St., Harrisburg, 11:30 a.m. Learn how children celebrated Christmas in Pennsylvania’s early history and make a Christmas craft.

3rd in The Burg
Dec. 21: Enjoy the best of Harrisburg during 3rd in the Burg, the monthly arts and culture event at galleries, restaurants and art spaces throughout downtown and Midtown, 6 to 9 p.m.

Noon Year’s Eve
Dec. 28: State Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 North St., celebrates the New Year with its annual “Noon Year’s Eve” for young children and families, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Included with museum admission, the celebration features dancing, crafts, snacks, seasonal planetarium show and the museum’s firefly and balloon drop.

Kids’ New Year
Dec. 31: Children can count down to noon with a balloon drop at the Popcorn Hat Players’ 26th annual New Year’s Eve party and performance of “Hansel and Gretel,” beginning at 11 a.m. at Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg. Tickets are $12 per person. Reservations recommended.

Dec. 31: Families are invited to celebrate New Year’s Eve at The Hershey Story, 63 W. Chocolate Ave., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids can make some noise with Hershey product characters and “bubble-wrap stomps” at 11 a.m., 1.p.m. and 3 p.m.

Harrisburg New Year
Dec. 31: Harrisburg will ring in the new year with fireworks and a celebration at MLK Government Center, 10 N. 2nd St., and in downtown Harrisburg, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Watch the strawberry drop at midnight outside of the Hilton Harrisburg.

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