Christmas might be weeks away, but North American Aerospace Defense Command’s already tracking Santa.
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas will make plenty of appearances throughout December all over Lancaster County.
Here are a few places to find Santa this holiday season, for kids, grown-ups and everyone in between. There are even a few free events.
Visit Santa with a child
Santa will spend time at many community events and shopping centers throughout the county. Here are two places where he’ll return over weeks.
1. Santa will visit Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, 25 S. Queen St. Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Dec. 21. Buy photos for $5-$15 from PhotOle or take your own for free.
2. Santa will be at Park City Center through Tuesday, Dec. 24. Hours are: Mondays-Saturdays from noon-8 p.m.; Sundays, noon-6 p.m. There are extended hours on the following days: Saturday Dec. 7 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Monday-Saturday, Dec. 14-Dec. 19, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday Dec. 21 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 22 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 24, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Photo packages start at $34.99 Reserve a spot to avoid the lines. Pet nights are Mondays from 5 p.m. to close.
And here are a select Santa sightings in towns throughout the county. These are free events.
- Santa will be at Light Up Christiana, Saturday Dec. 14 from 3-5 p.m. There will also be a hayride at night to see Christiana’s decorated homes plus cookies and refreshments.
- Santa will be at the castle in Elizabethtown’s square and then go to Elizabethtown Public Library for a pajama story time, Tuesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 19. Those days, he will be at the castle, 6-7 p.m. followed by story time at the library at 7 p.m. Santa will also be at the castle Fridays, 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays, noon-2 p.m. from Dec. 13 to Dec. 21. Mrs. Claus will make an appearance Friday, Dec. 13.
- Santa will be in Ephrata at the train station, 16 E. Main St. Thursdays and Fridays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. through Dec. 21.
- Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Lititz Hometown Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in Lititz Springs Park. There will also be a kids scavenger hunt in downtown Lititz.
- Santa will be at Stauffer Park, 1241 Lititz Pike in Manheim Township from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. This free family-friendly event will feature kids crafts, music and a magic show. Children can visit with Santa from 1:30-3 p.m.
- Santa will be at Christmas on the Square in Strasburg, Friday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. There will also be music, caroling, a reading of the Christmas story, hot chocolate and cookies.
- Santa will be at Turkey Hill, 1010 Lancaster Pike, Quarryville, Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 from noon-4 p.m. Have your photo with Santa for a $2 donation to Milagro House or take your own photo. Plus gifts for children ages 14 and younger and free food samples.
- The Tommy Foundation will have Sensitive Santa, one-on-one sessions that are not rushed for children with special needs Saturday, Dec. 7 at Excentia, 1810 Rohrerstown Road, Lancaster.
Eat with Santa
Breakfast with Santa (times two)
1. Saturday, Dec. 7, 7: 30-10 a.m.
Where: Wesley United Methodist Church, 40 W. Main St., Strasburg
Cost: Cost is $5; children 2 and younger are free. There also will be free pictures with Santa, Christmas crafts ($1 each) and activities. Breakfast will include eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit and drinks.
More information: 717-687-6392
2. Saturday, Dec. 14, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Spooky Nook Sports
Cost: $23.95 for adults, $13.95 for children ages 3-12 and free for children 2 and younger. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, bacon, a top-your-own-pancake bar and coffee, juice and cocoa. Santa will read a story and visit with children. There will also be activities and games. Golden elf seats (front-row seats and first dismissal to Santa) are $43.95 for adults, $23.95 for children ages 3-12 and $13.95 for children 2 and younger.
More information: spookynooksports.com
Cookies with Santa
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Mountville Fire Station, 26 N. Lemon St.
Cost: Free cookies, milk, hot chocolate and candy canes. Bring canned or non-perishable food items to benefit the Hempfield Area Food Pantry, Columbia Food Bank and Water Street Mission.
More information: 717-285-5456.
Visit Santa with your pet
1. Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue’s Golden Gateway facility, 60 Vera Cruz Road, Reinholds.
Cost: Free. Bring your own camera. There will also be dog games and crafts plus a gift exchange at noon (bring a wrapped gift worth about $10 suitable for a dog.) Dog toys will be collected for Golden Gateway’s rescue dogs.
More information: 717-484-4799; dvgrr.org/events
2. Date: Saturday, Dec. 7, noon-6 p.m. (at Pet Pantry), Sunday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (at Drakes Pet Place) plus Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (at Pet Valu, Willow Street)
Cost: $7 per photo. All proceeds go to Pet Pantry.
More information: petpantrylc.com or 717-783-8878
3. Date: Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Humane League of Lancaster County, 2195 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster
Cost: Photos are $5.
More information: humanepa.org or 717-393-6551
4. Date: Thursday, Dec. 5, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 10, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 19, 4-8 p.m.;
Where: That Fish Place That Pet Place, 237 Centerville Road
Cost: Photos are $8 with proceeds going to Centerville Pet Rescue.
More information: facebook.com/thatpetplace or 717-299-5691
Visit Santa on a trolley
What: Santa’s Christmas Trolley takes kids on a ride through Lancaster County with Santa. Kids can sit with Santa, have a professional photo taken (for children 11 and younger) and enjoy milk and cookies.
Date: Friday, Dec. 13; Thursday, Dec. 19; Saturday, Dec. 20 and Monday, Dec. 23. Departure times are 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Where: Strasburg Rail Road, 301 Gap Rd, Ronks
Cost: $30 for adults, children and infants.
More information: 687-7522 or strasburgrailroad.com
See Santa with goats
What: Santa will hang out with the goats of Amish Farm and House.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14, 1-3 p.m.
Where: Amish Farm and House, 2395 Covered Bridge Drive, Lancaster
Cost: Pictures with Santa and the farm's goats start at 1 p.m. and are free. There are additional activities, such as gingerbread cookie decorating, and some of the activities have a fee.
More information: 717-394-6185 or online.
See Santa come to town on a fire truck
Santa will visit many communities on a fire truck. Here are a few.
West Willow Fire Company: Saturday, Dec. 14, Santa will visit Manchester Village, Penn Grant Commons, Willow Run and Nolt Avenue. Saturday, Dec. 21, Santa will visit Summerfield, Millwood Village, Skyline Drive, Sherrard Drive and Friends Lane.
Manheim Township Fire and Rescue: Saturday, Dec. 14, Santa will start his journey after 10 a.m.
To see a detailed schedule, click on the PDF below.
Adamstown borough: Christmas Eve, starting at 5 p.m. then go on to the portions of Brecknock and East Cocalico townships covered by Adamstown Fire Co.
Upper Leacock Township Fire Co. will send Santa around town on a fire truck Saturday, Dec. 21, starting at 8:30 a.m.
See Santa Run
Manheim Santa Run
Date: Saturday Dec. 7, 8:30 a.m.
Where: Race begins and ends at Market Square.
Cost: Entry cost is $35 for age 15 and older and $30 for youth age 14 and younger. Adults registering early may receive a Santa suit or a long-sleeved T-shirt and youth may receive a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Santa hat. Or dress like Santa.
More information: manheimlions.org
Santa on a scooter
What: Drive through the countryside in a no-horse open sleigh. Strasburg Scooters has 1.5-hour tours in a 50cc scoot coupe with Santa as your driver.
Date: Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. Tours start at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Where: Strasburg Scooters, 242 Gap Road, Strasburg
Cost: Tours start at $129 for a two-person coupe.
More information: Strasburgscooters.com or 717-344-2488
Watch Santa on stage
What: “Twas the Night Before Christmas” is based on an original holiday adventure story based on the classic 1823 Clement Clarke Moore story. Expect to see a lot of familiar holiday friends in this show, from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to Frosty the Snowman, and of course, Santa himself.
Date: Through Saturday, Dec. 28.
Where: Fulton Theatre
More information: thefulton.org
Drink with a lot of Santas
What: The 10th Lancaster Santa Stumble 2019 will visit bars throughout Lancaster. Dress in your favorite holiday gear.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14, 4 p.m. Costume contest is 8 p.m. at The Village, 205 N. Christian St.
Cost: Pins are $10 and give access to participating bars with no extra cover plus admission to the costume contest at The Village. Scarves are $30. Sales benefit Lancaster police department’s K-9 and mounted patrol units.
More information: www.tellus360.com or 717-393-1660