by Melanie Stauble 

The weather is getting colder and the decorations are starting be displayed because it is everyone’s favorite time of the year. Jump right into the holiday spirit and start planning all of the fun activities to come over the next few weeks. Layer up for the outdoor activities or put on your best Christmas sweater and cozy up indoors at one of the great events happening around Montgomery County this season. Check out all of the great happenings:

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Craft Workshops

Holiday Craft Workshop
Saturday November 18, 2017, 10:00 AM
Deep Creek Stone Pavillion
2144 Snyder Road
Green Lane, PA 18054

We will be making “Holiday Centerpieces” using local nuts, cones and seedpods. At 1:00 p.m. we will use natural materials to create “Winsome Woodland Creatures”.

Participants are asked to bring a hot glue gun if possible. (If not, we have plenty that you can borrow!). This program is suitable for ages 12 and up.  Spaces are limited; please call (215) 234-4528 to reserve your spot.

Cost: $8

Thanksgiving Centerpieces
Sunday, November 19, 2017, 1:00 PM
Norristown Farm Park
2500 Upper Farm Road
Norristown, Pennsylvania 19403

Create a Thanksgiving table centerpiece from autumn’s bounty. Colorful leaves, acorns, grasses, field-dried wild flowers, berries, and fresh fall flowers will be provided for your masterpiece. Work with fresh or dried flowers, or both. Bring clippers and a special container, opaque vase, or a lined basket to make your arrangement in.

Ages: adults and children 14 and up. Meet in the Salt Wing of the barn. Pre-registration is required.

Cost: $5

Everlasting Basket Arrangement
Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 6:30 PM
The Rhoads Garden
570 Dekalb Pike

North Wales, Pennsylvania 19454

Join our expert desigers for one of our favorite hands-on workshops. Fun and fresh! Fill your basket arrangement with a beautiful mix of fresh evergreens and long lasting accents.  Choose from a selection of berries, ribbons, and decorative accents to fit your style.  Arrangement is for indoor display.
Cost: $40

Holiday Tours

Holiday Open House
Sunday, December 3, 2017, 1:00 PM- 4:00 PM
John James Audubon’s Center at Mill Grove
1201 Pawlings Road Audubon, PA 19403

Join us for our annual celebration of John James Audubon’s love of nature! Come visit Mill Grove decorated for the holidays, both inside and out! Enjoy light refreshments, activities, and crafts in our historic barn. There will also be owl presentations with our own Mill Grove owls, and the traditional cookies and cider. No registration needed. All ages; free.

Twelfth Night Tours
November 24, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Pottsgrove Manor
100 W. King St
Pottstown, PA 19464

Enjoy a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor, decorated with greens and holly for the Yuletide season. Learn about traditional English celebrations of Twelfth Night and how they differed from our modern Christmas celebrations.

All ages; suggested donation $2 per person.

Holiday Tours at Historic Pennypacker Mills
Tuesday, November 21st to Sunday, January 8, 2018 during regular museum hours
Pennypacker Mills
5 Haldeman Road
Schwenksville, PA 19473

From the hand- blown glass ornaments dangling from branches to the plainly wrapped treasures beneath, the Christmas tree exude an old fashioned Christmas holiday. See stockings hung from the mantle, evergreen boughs gracing every mantle, windowsill and staircase with shiny woven ribbon and gilded pinecones throughout.  Hear the story of how Christmas cards began, why clear toy candy was so popular, and why every child wanted a piece in their stocking! Hear how the Pennypacker family celebrated this holiday in Victorian style! The Museum Shop is stocked with wonderful ornaments, glass icicles, gift items, clear toy candy, Wilbur Buds, and much more. Groups of 10 or more should contact the site to arrange for a group reservation.
All ages; suggested donation $2 per person.

Victorian Christmas Open House
Saturday, December 9th from 2:00 to 8:00 pm
Pennypacker Mills
5 Haldeman Road
Schwenksville, PA 19473

The wonder of the Christmas holiday can be seen in the eyes of children who visit our Victorian Santa Claus, get inspired by the melodic music of the bell choir, and the warm, inviting experience they have as they enter the mansion for a Victorian wonderland of decorations, living history, and clear toy candy demonstrations. Many families make this event a multi-generational trip to see the beautiful decorations, visit Santa, and have an enchanted experience.All ages; suggested donation $2 per person.

Holiday Events

Carinwood by Candlelight
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 7:00 PM
1001 Cathedral Rd
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

You are cordially invited to kick off the holiday season with an evening of candlelight and music at the 120-year-old mansion. Cairnwood, swathed in holiday lighting and resplendent with luscious greens and festive décor, will host “Cairnwood by Candlelight,” at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 30th.

The mansion will be glowing with light and sparkle with holiday décor. Visitors will have an opportunity to see all three floors of the mansion decorated for the season by professional florists, the servant’s quarters, and the tower. The evening will feature self-guided tours, a display of Victorian gowns and an array of yuletide desserts.

Each year a dazzling two-story Christmas tree, with over 3000 lights, stands where one once stood at the turn of the century. Our Christmas exhibit “Fantasy and Flair: Three Generations of Cairnwood Fashions” feature fashions worn by the ladies of the house. Don’t miss this chance to view the artistry of this breath-taking exhibition.

Admission is $25; Members 1/2 price. Limited tickets available. First come first serve; for additional information, call Cairnwood at 215-947-2004, or visit

Miracle on 34th Street
December 1, 2017- December 16, 2017 Times Vary
DCP Theatre
795 Ridge Road
Telford, PA 18969

The classic Christmas story of Susan Walker, her mother Doris, and Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home who gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s. Kris creates a stir by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by a Macy’s counselor, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Fred Gaily, Doris’s new gentleman friend, must defend him in court and prove that he is Santa Claus.

Cost: Prices Vary

Holiday Luminaria
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM
Lock 60 at Schuykill Canal Park
400 Towpath Road Rt. 29 & Bridge, Mont Clare, PA 19453

Step back in time to a Dickens’ holiday scene, as you enter the beautifully decorated Locktender’s house and sing along with the joyful music played by local musician(s). Partake in holiday treats and hot cider and join in with the Schuylkill Canal Association as we toast our friends with best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. And for the little ones, Santa Claus will be accepting visitors between 6:30 pm & 7:30 pm. NOTE: The event is cancelled only if there is a steady downpour of rain or snow. The magnificent light display is even more mystical if there is a slight drizzle, misty fog or a few inches of snow, truly creating a beautiful holiday scene. All ages; suggested donation $1 per person.

Kids Events

Turkey Tales
Monday, November 20, 2017, 1:00 PM
Norristown Farm Park
2500 Upper Farm Road
Norristown, Pennsylvania 19403

Gobble wobble season is here! Learn about the bird around which our holiday revolves. Hear a turkey call, touch a turkey feather, and make a very special turkey craft. Take a short ‘turkey trot’ to look for their food and habitat. Ages: 3 and up with an adult. Pre-registration is required. Meet in the Salt Wing.

Cost: $5

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
December 1, 2017-December 15, 2017 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust
43 Chestnut Street
Boyertown, PA 19512

These special evening trains bring the storybook magic of the season to life!

Join us in your pajamas and sip complimentary hot cocoa as we read T’was the Night Before Christmas. Enjoy Christmas music and the comfort of our Edwardian-era cars as the holiday lights of the Secret Valley roll past your window. Rumor has it Santa himself may appear with a gift for every child. Opt to have your photo taken with Santa and we’ll print it out for you on-board!

Merry Christmas! Ticket Information to come.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Storytime
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 11:00 AM
Barnes and Noble Montgomeryville
1271 Knapp Road
North Wales, Pennsylvania 19454

This classic, heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts three sizes. Activities to follow.

Santa’s Polar Bear Express
Friday November 24- Saturday, December 23, Times Vary
Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust
43 Chestnut Street
Boyertown, PA 19512

Join Santa on a magical adventure into Christmas past on one of the most beautiful train journeys in the United States. Sip complementary hot cocoa or enjoy Christmas cookies and sing favorite carols as the Secret Valley passes by your window. Santa brings a gift for every child, and every child has an opportunity to give their Christmas letter to him (we even provide the crayons!) The Victorian charm of our heated coaches makes Christmas memories to last a lifetime. Opt to have your photo taken with Santa and we’ll print it out for you on-board!

Once again, all Santa’s Polar Bear Express excursions stop at Santa’s Secret Forest in Stowe, providing a little something for everyone looking to enhance their holiday season. Families can choose their Christmas tree and we’ll even load it on the train for you!

Approx. two-hour round trip.

Cost: Prices vary

Gingerbread House Decorating
December 2, 2017, 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM; December 3, 2017, 1:00 PM
The Market at Del Val
2100 Lower State Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901

Love decorating a gingerbread house but hate the clean up? Leave that to us! Just bring your creativity and we’ll supply the rest. Start a new family holiday tradition. Cost is $29.99/house and reservations are required. Space is limited so call 215-230-7170 today to reserve. 

Reindeer Guide for Kids
Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 1:00 PM
Norristown Farm Park
2500 Upper Farm Road

Do you know the difference between reindeer, caribou, elk, and our local white-tailed deer? Find out about reindeer and other animals of the far north. Hear a story, play reindeer games, and make a reindeer craft. Pre-registration is required. Meet in the Salt Wing of the dairy barn.

Ages: 3 & up with an adult

Cost: $5 per child

Breakfast with the Big Guy
December 9, 10, 16 & 17, 9:00 AM; Dec. 10 & 17 @ 11:30 AM
The Market at Del Val
2100 Lower State Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901

Feed your holiday excitement with a jovial meal with Santa himself. Enjoy a homemade brunch, get that perfect picture of Santa with your little ones, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Menu includes omelet station, French toast, bacon, fresh fruit, and more. It’s a great way to get into the holiday season. Cost is $10/child, $15/adult, reservations are required and space is limited, so call 215-230-7170 to reserve your spot today!

Holiday Game Night
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 6:00 PM- 10:00 PM
The Barn at Belvoir
1024 Belvoir Road
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania

Holiday Games and Gifts Family Fun*Food*Designer Bingo Prizes*Raffles*Silent Auction  Brave little Hearts for Michael and Friends’ annual fundraiser supporting families whose children have a Congenital Heart Disease. Please join us for an evening of family fun as we help little hearts beat a little stronger this Holiday Season at our Holiday Gala, Games and Gifts. Ticket includes one adult and one child age 10 and under. Please email [email protected] or call 610-659-3551.

Cost: $20-$25

Saturday, December 23, 2017, 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
1201 Pawlings Road Audubon, PA 19403

Join us for Storytime at Mill Grove. Program is free with museum admission. Enjoy an engaging animal tale followed by a themed craft to take home. Storytimes begin in the library of the historic house. Reservations are required. All ages; free

Santa’s Magic Key Storytime
Saturday, December 23, 2017, 11:00 AM
Barnes and Noble Plymouth Meeting
2300 Chemical Road
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania 19462

In this unforgettable holiday story, a boy realizes on Christmas Eve that his new house does not have a chimney. With the post office closed and Santa coming by the end of the night, he has no way of telling Santa. But when the boy finds a mysterious key, he’ll soon discover just how this key will solve his problem. Activities to follow.

Local Shops

Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Thursday, November 23, 2017 to Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outside Holiday market event in Center City Philadelphia, which is modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany.

Vendors in more than 80 wooden booths will sell traditional European food, sweets and drinks. They will also offer a great shopping experience with international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts.

The unique atmosphere with thousands of lights and the delicious smell of waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst and mulled wine will bring you and your family into the perfect Christmas mood.

First Friday in Skippack
Friday, December 1, 2017 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Skippack Village
Skippack, PA 19474

Skippack Village will be buzzing with activity, live music, refreshments and special promotions. Walk the village and discover our diverse culture of art, theater, unique boutiques, fine dining and services that make Skippack such a spirited community.

Educator Holiday Shopping Event
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 10:00 AM
Barnes and Noble Montgomeryville
1271 Knapp Road

North Wales, Pennsylvania 19454

Pre-K through Grade 12 educators are invited to a special holiday shopping event. Educators will receive a 25% discount on books, toys, games, movies, music, and more. Plus, 10% off Café consumables. Our booksellers can help educators find the perfect gift for themselves and everyone on their holiday shopping list! 

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