By Betsy Natter
Enjoy the wonder and sparkle of the season during one of these month-long exhibits that celebrates so many aspects of the holiday. These exhibits are on display through the first week of January; check each website for dates and hours.
American Treasure Tour
One American Treasure Way, Oaks, PA 19456
Experience this amazing collection of Americana all decked out for the holidays. Ride the tram car through a giant toy box, see elves, dollhouses, toys of all sorts and hundreds of Santas on display. Listen to your favorite holiday tunes as they ring out on the many organs and nickelodeons. Admission to the exhibit is Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. Bring a box, can or package of non-perishable food to donate to the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry in Collegeville, PA and receive $2 off your admission. See the website for direction and ticket information.
Holiday Garden Railway
100 E Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118
The Holiday Garden Railway returns to Morris Arboretum with its spectacular display of trains, buildings and miniature landscapes. The display is created from all natural materials and comprises a quarter-mile of track. Seven loops, fifteen tunnels, two cable cars and nine bridges accommodate the model trains as they travel through the gardens. The display is free along with a regular admission to the arboretum during normal operating hours through Dec. 31st. See the website for detailed information.
View the railway during Friday Night Lights during December, when the arboretum will light up the display from 4:30 – 7:30 pm with thousands of twinkling white lights. Visitors on Dec. 2 will also enjoy a performance by the St. Genevieve School Bell Choir. Haverford’s Philadelphia Studio Ballet will perform excerpts from The Nutcracker™ and Bredenbeck’s Bakery will be handing out sweet treats on Dec. 22. Advance tickets for Friday Nights are highly recommended and can be purchased online at www.morrisarboretum.org.
World Nativities & Do You See What I See?
1001 Cathedral Rd., Bryn Athyn, PA 19009
Nativity scenes have been an expression of religious faith and the celebration of Christmas for centuries. Explore the World Nativities exhibit of dozens of three-dimensional scenes collected from around the world. Each one reflects the varying cultural, spiritual and regional areas from which they come. A second exhibit, Do you See What I See? Imagery in Nativity Scenes explains the meaning behind many of the individual elements each artist chose to include. Learn why Joseph is often holding a lantern or why there are typically three wise men, when the Bible does not give any number. A $5 donation per person is suggested and both exhibits are included. An additional tour of the castle decorated for the Christmas season is also available for an additional admission price. The museum is open daily from 12 noon until 4:30 pm.
Gingerbread House Display
Peddler’s Village, Routes 202 & 263
Lahaska, Bucks County, PA – 18931
Holiday sweets abound in this annual display of sugared craftsmanship at the Village Gazebo in Peddler’s Village. The annual competition displays house in several categories: Incredibly Unusual 3-Dimensional Creation, Authentic Reproduction of a Significant Building, Traditional, Student, Kids Only and Reproduction of a TV or Movie Set. Come see the winners and pick your favorite. The exhibit is free to the public and open during regular village shopping hours.