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Holiday Events in Harrisburg

Published: Nov 13, 2023
Nutcracker Ballet

The holiday season is upon us, and Harrisburg is ready to spread the festive cheer! From dazzling parades to magical ballet performances, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Let's explore some top holiday events happening in the city this year.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party (Dec 23)

ugly sweater

Put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and join Bourbon Street Saloon at 7 pm the night before the night before Christmas! Featuring three bars, outdoor seating, pong tables, pool tables, and a long list of specialty shots. With music, drinks, and games, the fun never stops!

Festival of Trees (Nov 25-Dec 17)

Christmas Tree Decorations

Located at the historic Tavern House at Fort Hunter, this year's Festival of Trees is a wonderful FREE event to enjoy with the family. Featuring a wide assortment of creatively themed and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, the exhibit is open from November 25th - December 17th on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm. While you are there, be sure to pick-up a one-of-a-kind handmade ornament and stop by their Fort Couture dress exhibit made out of Christmas trees!

There is lots happening at Fort Hunter throughout the season for the whole family so be sure to check out all the activities here.

A Christmas Carol (Dec 2-Dec 23)

Returning for the 24rd year, Open Stage’s adaption of Charles Dicken’s classic tale runs from December 2 - 23 on the Capital BlueCross Main Stage. Relive the magic of Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas Eve journey and kick off the holiday season with an opening night reception on Saturday, December 2. Tickets are $40/$35 for adults; $20 for students and both evening and matinee performances are available.

The Garden Collective Winter Market (Dec 15)

Join the Garden Collective for some last-minute holiday shopping! Treat yourself & loved ones to beautiful and unique gifts while supporting local artists! Stay for the crafts table and vegan hot chocolate! 

PA Christmas + Gift Show (Nov 29-Dec 3)

Looking for unique gifts or simply want to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit? The PA Christmas + Gift Show is the perfect place to do just that. You'll find an array of vendors selling holiday decor, crafts, and gifts that are sure to delight everyone on your list. After shopping, adults and kids alike will enjoy the 600 square foot Christmas Lego Village and a walk through dozens of beautifully decorated Christmas trees in this year’s Christmas Tree Lane. Tickets are $10 and children 11 years and under get in for free. Be sure to search the interactive vendor list and view the performance schedules at https://www.pachristmasshow.com/show-features/stage-schedule

Bonus: Get $2 off tickets by using code: EXPLORE; Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get discounted coupon for PA Home + Garden Show plus next year's Christmas show. 

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra (Dec 2 & 3)

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle the holidays bring, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra has the perfect date night attraction for you and your special someone. On December 2nd and 3rd, enjoy an incredible evening of beloved classics showcasing the amazing legacy of musical theatre’s most famous collaborators, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Come early on Saturday evening and grab dinner at one of Harrisburg’s delicious restaurants within walking distance, including the 1700 Degrees Steakhouse, Stock’s on Second, or Café Fresco.

50th Anniversary Candlelight House Tour (Dec 10)

Candlelight House Tour

For those who appreciate history and architecture, the Candlelight House Tour is a fantastic way to explore Harrisburg's rich heritage. On December 10th from 1 pm to 6 pm, you will be able to visit beautifully decorated historic homes while learning about the city's history. It's a unique and educational way to celebrate the holidays.  Your ticket is a 60+ page tour guide booklet with map, property descriptions and everything you need to plan a memorable Historic Harrisburg experience!  

Christmas at Italian Lake (Dec 9 &10)

On Saturday, December 9th and Sunday, December 10th, bring the family to Harrisburg for the seventh annual Christmas at Italian Lake. This year’s celebration features a Christmas market full of unique gift ideas from local small businesses, horse-drawn sleigh rides for only $5 a person and $20 per family, delicious food trucks, live musical performances, petting zoo, s'mores station plus more, all along the banks of beautiful Italian Lake in Uptown Harrisburg. Don’t miss photos with Santa and the Elves’ Workshop, where kids can enjoy Christmas crafts and a family-friendly holiday movie. The festivities begin at 11am on Saturday and noon on Sunday. All event proceeds benefit Bethesda Mission.

The Nutcracker Ballet (Dec 9 & 10)


The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is delighted to present their annual production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in downtown Harrisburg. This year’s performance will be held on December 9th at 1 pm and 5 pm and December 10th at 2 pm. Orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony seats are available with tickets starting at only $30. Tickets for this annual tradition usually sell quickly, so be sure to reserve your seats early.  

Harrisburg Holiday Parade (Nov 18)

Holiday Parade 2014
Kicking off the holiday season in grand style, the Harrisburg Holiday Parade is a beloved tradition that brings the community together. This parade features colorful floats, marching bands, and even an appearance by Santa Claus himself. Bundle up and join the crowds to experience the magic on the streets of Harrisburg. The parade is at 10 am on November 18th and will be in downtown on 2nd St. Check out the parade map here

SoMa Christmas Market (Nov 25)


Shop small and local at the first ever SoMa Christmas Market on Small Business Saturday, November 25th being held on at the Strawberry Square. Come out to the market and shop from a variety of artists, crafts people, beverage vendors and more. Additionally, don't forget to check out SoMa neighborhood retailers, Tamara Boutique, Found Collab, Boneshire Taps. Get more details here.

To see more events, visit our events page! 

Copy of Syeda headshot
Author: Syeda Tayyeba

Director of Marketing & Communications, ExploreHBG