Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Community Corner: Notable December Events

December Community Corner

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. Cost is $20.

Fascinator Workshop
Dec. 1: Registration begins for a “fascinator workshop,” the creative hats often seen at the Kentucky Derby. Christine Turner, director of the Historical Society of Dauphin County, and D. McGee Design Studio will teach the April workshop. Fascinator history, materials and techniques will be taught. Reserve a spot by calling the society at 717-223-3462.

Christmas Concert
Dec. 1, 6: Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Confessions of an Elf(ie)” holiday concerts at Christ Church United Church of Christ, 247 S. Market St., Elizabethtown, 1 to 2:30 p.m. and First Reformed United Church of Christ, 40 E. Orange St., Lancaster, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Festival of Trees
Dec. 1-22: View Christmas trees decorated with handmade ornaments and trimmed by local garden clubs at Fort Hunter Tavern House, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg, Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Trees are available for raffle, and a selection of ornaments are for sale.

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-skating rink, dive in the snowball pit and build a giant snowman. Activities are included with Harsco Science Center admission.

Garden Benefit
Dec. 2: Penn-Cumberland Garden Club (PCGC) hosts the 50th PCGC Scholarship and Community Projects Benefit at Radisson Hotel Harrisburg, 1150 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill. Explore a holiday market, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with more than 25 vendors, greens and garden items, baked goods, gifts and a raffle.

Train Display
Dec. 3-28: Elizabethtown Public Library, 10 S. Market St., hosts its annual train display with 20 trains and interactive buttons for kids of all ages to press, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Holiday Gala
Dec. 6: Harrisburg Young Professionals hosts a holiday gala at Federal Taphouse, 234 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; members free. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and entertainment.

Elegant Progressions
Dec. 6-7: Historic Harrisburg Association and Kidney Foundation of Central PA host the 28th annual “Elegant Progressions” black-tie progressive dinner. Enjoy chauffeured service to various Harrisburg mansions for hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs, a formal dinner and dessert.

Craft Reunion
Dec. 6-8: A cherished holiday tradition is back, as the 22nd annual Craft Reunion returns to Fort Hunter Centennial Barn, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg. See and purchase affordable, fine arts and crafts from local makers.

Polar Bear Express
Dec. 6-14: Ride trolleys and enjoy decorations and lights along the track at Rockhill Trolley Museum, 430 Meadow St., Rockhill Furnace, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Enjoy a campfire and sing carols. Fares are $6 for kids and $8 for adults.

HBG Flea
Dec. 7: Shop the HBG Flea for local art, vintage treasures and curated curios, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Strawberry Square, 320 Market St., Harrisburg.

Holiday Open House
Dec. 7: Join the shops of W. Pomfret Street for a holiday open house with a wine tasting at Castlerigg Wine Shop, hot chocolate bar at Boutique on Pomfret, light refreshments at Pat Craig Studios and K. Olson Ceramics and select shops extending regular business hours.

Holiday Homes
Dec. 7: Strasburg Heritage Society presents Strasburg Holiday Home Tour, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on day of event. Tour festively decorated homes and churches, with unique historic and modern décor. Call 717-687-3534 or email

Santa’s Trolley
Dec. 7: Head to the Rockville Trolley Museum, 430 Meadow St., Rockhill Furnace, to ride aboard an historic trolley car to the Backlog Narrows, where each child will be visited by Santa and receive a small gift, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Train ride fare is $8.

Market of Curiosities
Dec. 7: Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb hosts the 6th annual Market of Curiosities at Carlisle Expo Center, 100 K St., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This circus of imaginative holiday gifts features more than 80 independent artists, vintage dealers and DIY creators, along with micro-brews, food and live music.

Open House
Dec. 7: Wildheart Ministries, 333 S. 13 St., Harrisburg, will host an open house and self-guided tours, 1 to 4 p.m., for visitors to explore the organization’s headquarters and learn about the its work to revitalize Allison Hill.

Pajama Party
Dec. 7: Take the family to AACA Museum, 161 Museum Dr., Hershey, for the “Polar Express” Pajama Party, 6 to 9 p.m., for a screening of the holiday classic. Tour the museum to see holiday displays and enjoy kid-friendly foods. Pajamas, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals encouraged.

Fort Couture
Dec. 7-22: 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 unique dress forms adorned in Christmas decorations.

Candlelight House Tour                                 
Dec. 8: Historic Harrisburg hosts the 46th 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. 7 or $25 at the door.

Holiday Market
Dec. 8: Shop for locally made artisan items like pottery, wood crafts, jewelry, candy, baked goods and pet treats, as part of Historic Harrisburg Association’s Candlelight Tour, 1 to 6 p.m. Non-Candlelight tour guests can tour the mansion and holiday market for a $5 donation.

Play Auditions
Dec. 9: Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg Drama Department hosts open auditions for “Mary Poppins Jr.,” 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 3301 N. Front St., Harrisburg, for 2nd to 10th grade students. Production will be presented in April.

Holly Luncheon
Dec. 10: Enjoy a “Holly Luncheon” and music by the Trust Trio at Foundation Hall of New Cumberland Public Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, 10:30 a.m. Browse Christmas gift books, videos, CDs, a homemade cookie sale and a basket raffle. Proceeds benefit the library.

Deck the Halls
Dec. 12: Dauphin County Historical Society will host its annual gala at the Harris-Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front St., Harrisburg, 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy food, desserts, craft wines and beers, music, holiday décor and a silent auction.

Holiday Celebration
Dec. 12: Kids ages 3 and older and caregivers are invited to New Cumberland Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, for Kit’s Interactive Theater’s family-friendly Mrs. Claus Holiday Show, with audience members part of the story, 6:30 p.m.

Foreign Film
Dec. 13: Join Fredricksen Library, 100 N. 19th St., Camp Hill, for “Rafiki,” a film from Kenya, about two girls caught in a political rivalry between their families, who resist and remain close friends. Showings are 2 and 7 p.m.

Candlelight Concerts
Dec. 13-15: Susquehanna Chorale presents its annual evening Candlelight Christmas concert series. Tickets are $22 in advance, $27 at the door and $5 for students.

Cookie Sale
Dec. 14: A variety of home-baked holiday cookies will be for sale at Paxton Presbyterian Church, 3500 Sharon St., Harrisburg, at its holiday cookie sale, 9 to 11 a.m. or until sold out. Cookies are $11 per pound.

Dec. 14: Enjoy the Lower Paxton Christkindlmarkt traditional German Christmas market and outdoor street festival with more than 40 craft vendors, German and festival food, a living nativity, live music and dance, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bell Ring
Dec. 14: Central PA Handbell Festival presents the “Jingle Bell Ring” massed ringing event at Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center, 25 S. Queen St., Lancaster, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 1:30 p.m. Interested ringers can email

Santa’s Workshop
Dec. 14: Take the kids to Foundation House at New Cumberland Public Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, to experience the magic of Christmas, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children can shop for their family members and should bring a list and spending money. Proceeds benefit the library.

Christmas Fest
Dec. 14, 15: Bethesda Mission hosts “A Tremendous Christmas” festival at Italian Lake, 3rd and Division streets, Harrisburg, 11 a.m. 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. 14 at 5 p.m.

Winter Discovery
Dec. 14-31: Visit the Olewine Nature Center at Wildwood Park, 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, where special exhibits will highlight some of Wildwood’s animals in winter, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Dec. 25 and Mondays.

Curiosity Kids
Dec. 19: Visitors ages 3 to 6 and families can enjoy “Curiosity Kids—Old Fashioned Christmas!” at the State Museum, 300 North St., Harrisburg, 11:30 a.m. Learn how children celebrated Christmas in Pennsylvania’s early history and make a Christmas craft.

The Arctic
Dec. 19: Foreign Policy Association of Harrisburg will host Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in a free talk on climate change and its effect on the Arctic and international relations at West Shore Country Club, Camp Hill, 7:30 p.m. Dinner precedes the talk.

3rd in The Burg
Dec. 20: 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.

Denim & Diamonds
Dec. 28: Harrisburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) host the fifth annual Denim and Diamonds Gala at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel, 4650 Lindle Rd., Harrisburg, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tickets include dinner, dancing, silent auction and more.

Noon Year’s Eve
Dec. 30: State Museum, 300 North St., celebrates the New Year with its annual “Noon Year’s Eve” for young children and families, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Included with museum admission, the celebration features dancing, crafts, snacks, seasonal planetarium show and the museum’s firefly and balloon drop.

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

Kids’ New Year
Dec. 31: Children can count down to noon with a balloon drop at the Popcorn Hat Players’ 27th annual New Year’s Eve party and performance of “Beauty and the Beast,” 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg. 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,” 11 a.m., 1.p.m. and 3 p.m.

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