National Christmas Center

Tiny ornaments in the Woolworth store collection part of the National Christmas Center on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.. The collection is currently housed inside a warehouse in Middletown and is set to partially reopen in 2021.

Christmas fans can celebrate their favorite holiday a little early this year with a nostalgic and authentic Christmas experience at the newly renovated National Christmas Center. The Christmas Center will hold a grand opening event on Fri., Nov. 26 and Sat., Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The National Christmas Center, which closed its original Paradise location on Jan. 7, 2018, after nearly 20 years as a popular tourist destination, reopens this November at its new location at the Stone Gables Estate in Elizabethtown.

The ticketed grand opening event will include a 10-minute narrated bus ride to the museum, according to a booklet on Stone Gables Estate's website. The event will also feature an outdoor Christkindl market around the estate’s Lake Liberty featuring a juried selected of a dozen booths offering handmade German-style Christmas-themed crafts such as ornaments, nutcrackers and holiday foods. Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children and can be purchased at stonegablesestate.com or by calling 717-902-9791.

The renovated National Christmas Center will feature more than 18,000 square feet of Christmas décor including lights, trees and stores. There are 17-foot tall replicas of streets and stores fronts based on 1950’s-era Columbia including a life-size replicas of the F.W. Woolworth store, Watt & Shand and other local landmarks. Other attractions include more than 1,000 nativity scenes, a train store and a host of other antique Christmas memorabilia.

New to the Christmas Center is a brand new boy’s toy store featuring over 5,000 hand-painted toy soldiers, a collection of wooden model ships, planes, trains and automobiles, and a 22-foot long and 9-foot tall model replica of the Titanic with more than eight miles of fiber optic lighting. Also new to the Christmas Center is Anastasia’s Doll Emporium featuring a collection of dolls and dollhouses.

The National Christmas Center will also be open Dec. 4, 11, 18 as well as Dec. 20-23 and Dec. 27-30. Other holiday events at Stone Gables Estate include a three-mile drive through light show and the Santa’s Express holiday train ride – both events begin Nov. 26. Find more information and purchase tickets at stonegablesestate.com or by calling 717-902-9791.

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