by Edie Weinstein 

montgomery county holiday happenings

BKZ Logo_fullYour 2016 Holiday Guide is sponsored by BKZ Consulting Partners, LLC, a veteran-owned credit card processing provider based in North Wales. BKZ manages and maintains relationships with the best processing and merchant services companies in the United States and delivers that expertise to local businesses. First-hand experience of the strengths and weaknesses of each company assures the right group of providers are working to meet your company’s specific needs. It also fosters long term effective solutions by creating a competitive environment in which each provider focuses on their core competency. Here’s how it works:

  • Develop: BKZ connects the best processing service to a variety of leading applications, such as:
Mobile swipe QuickBooks integration Level 3 Data
EMV technology Electronic check Fraud prevention programs and audits
Invoicing Payer Authentication E-Commerce
  • Implement: As the solution is introduced and installed, BKZ provides full-service project management. Milestone events, coordination with supporting services and assistance with closing of legacy service is taken care of during this phase. The goal is a seamless transition that is methodical and experienced.
  • Train: All involved employees are trained in the daily use, reporting and maintenance of the solution. Quick reference guides, support numbers and common issues are covered. Actions taken during power outages or connectivity problems are covered to ensure customer transactions are completed and valid.
  • Support: BKZ Consulting Partners continues to assist and provide support long after the solution is installed and operating. Quarterly reviews, technology briefings and ongoing guidance is a hallmark of our service.

BKZ founder Bob Zimmerman, a veteran of the USAF and Pennsylvania Air National Guard, worked in avionics on A-10’s. Years of attention to detail in a process oriented operation has translated nicely to the BKZ’s delivery of customer satisfaction.

Frost is on the pumpkin and soon, snow will be on the ground. Bundle up and come on out to enjoy the best the region has to offer, surrounded by family, friends, neighbors and tourists who come to the area to make merry. However you celebrate this season of light, you will find something for everyone to rejoice.

Holiday Craft Workshops
Holiday House Tours
Especially for Kids 
Holiday Events
Hanukkah Happenings
Gift Guide #ShopLocal

Holiday Craft Workshops

Thanksgiving Centerpieces
November 20, 2016
Norristown Farm Park 2500 Upper Farm Rd, Norristown, PA 19403 at 1:00 PM
Admission: $5

Personalize your holiday table as you create a Thanksgiving centerpiece from autumn’s bounty. We’ll supply colorful pressed leaves, acorns and other nuts, grasses, field-dried flowers, and berries for your masterpiece. Bring clippers and a special container, opaque vase, or a basket to make it in.

Ages: adults with or without children (minimum age 12); fee $5 per person; pre-registration required; meet at the park office.

Norristown Farm Park – Holiday Wreaths
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403

Park staff will provide instructions on how to make your own indoor/outdoor wreath using grape vines, pinecones, nuts and dried flower pods during a wreath-making workshop on Sun., Nov. 27th at 1 pm. Seasonal ribbons and bows will also be available or bring your own. Participants must pre-register and are asked to bring a glue gun and glue sticks. The workshop is for ages 14 and over and has a $5 per person fee. Meet at the park office.

Green Lane Park – Holiday Crafts
2144 Snyder Rd., Green Lane, PA 18054

What could be more fun than making a holiday craft lakeside in front of a roaring fire? Join the staff at Green Lane for one or two of their holiday workshops on Dec. 3 in the Stone Pavilion at the Deep Creek Area of the park. The huge fireplace will be lit to keep you warm as you make a “kissing ball” at the 10 am workshop or a “Holiday Wall-hanging” at the 1 pm workshop. All crafts will use natural materials. Participants are asked to bring glue guns if possible. Pre-registration is required with an $8 per person fee and space is limited. The workshops are for ages 12 and up.

Holiday House Tours

Tour Pennypacker Mills
November 22, 2016 through January 18, 2016
Tues-Sat: 10 am to 4 pm; Sun: 1 to 4 pm; Closed Mondays, 11/24, 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1/2017
5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, PA

Experience tours of the stately Pennypacker mansion and you will find yourself stepping back into Christmases past. Hear the story of how our modern-day Christmas all began. All ages welcome. Tours take approximately 1 hour, last tour at 3 pm. Browse the Museum Shop which contains beautiful, vintage inspired decorations, children’s toys and books, ornaments (hand-blown glass, glass icicles, Dresden’s), Clear Toy Candy, Wilbur Bud chocolates, and much more! Pennypacker Mills is the home of Pennsylvania Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker (1903-1907) and his family. Set on 170-acres of bucolic farmland, the mansion is completely furnished and houses an extensive collection of official and personal artifacts of the Pennypacker family. $2/person.

Twelfth Night Tours
November 25, 2016 through January 8, 2016 (Recurring daily)
Pottsgrove Manor, 100 W. King St, Pottstown, PA 19464

Enjoy a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor, decorated with greens of holly for the Yuletide season. Learn about traditional English celebrations of Twelfth Night and how they differ from our modern Christmas celebrations. All ages welcome. Suggested donation of $2 per person.

Peter Wentz Farmstead – Candlelight Tours
2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446

Experience the beauty of the historic Peter Wentz Farmstead during a candlelight tour on Dec. 3. Decorated for the holidays, the home showcases early German American life in this area. Highlights will include colonial music, examples of seasonal entertaining and a visit from the Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania German version of St. Nicholas. Tours are open to all ages and will run from 3 pm to 9 pm with the last tour beginning at 8:30pm. There is a suggested donation of $2 per person.

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove – Open House
1201 Pawlings Rd., Audubon, PA 19403
610-666-5593 ext. 109

Join the Center’s staff for their annual celebration as the famous naturalist’s home is decorated for the holidays on Sun., Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 pm. Crafts, light refreshments and activities will be available in the barn as well as presentations with Mill Grove’s resident owls. Call the Center or email for more information. The free event is open to all ages.

Martha Dana Mercer Will Be Home for the Holidays!
December 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Heritage Conservancy’s Aldie Mansion 85 Old Dublin Pike Doylestown, PA 18901
Cost: $10

Meet Martha Dana Mercer, the lady of Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, PA! Willie Mercer Jr. called her his beloved wife for more than 30 years. And she provided the money to build the current Aldie Mansion when she inherited a small fortune from her parents. As a part of the wealthy upper class, Martha knew it was her duty to give back to her community. See membership coordinator Tammy Schane in her portrayal of Martha Dana Mercer, and enjoy Aldie Mansion with its lavish holiday decorations.  And tours of the Mansion will be available afterwards. Child supervision is required.  Limited number of attendees; please register.

Especially for Kids

Holiday Season at The Market at DelVal
November 26 through January 8th


The Market at DelVal is the perfect place to create lasting holiday memories. There’s so much going, we’ll keep you busy all season long!

Things kick off on Nov. 26 at 8am with the Jingle Bell Turkey Trot, the newest addition to our event calendar. This 10K, 5K or Kids’ Fun Run/Walk is on a ground-breaking course that you will have to experience to believe.

And guess who’s flying in for the event? SANTA arrives by HELICOPTER just after the awards ceremony at 11:00am.

The Joy of Movement Dance School will entertain while we wait for Santa. Visit to sign up for the race.

Love decorating a gingerbread house, but hate to clean up? Leave that to us! Bring your creativity and we’ll supply the rest at our Gingerbread Decorating workshop on December 3 & 4 at 1pm. The cost is $29.99/house. Reservations are required and space is limited. Call 215-230-7170 today to reserve.
Feed your holiday excitement with a meal with Santa himself at Brunch with the Big Guy on Dec. 10, 11, 17 & 18 at 9am. Enjoy a homemade meal, get that perfect picture of Santa with your little one, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Cost is $10/child, $15/adult, children under 12 months are free. Reservations are required and space is limited. Call 215-230-7170 to reserve.

Gingerbread Workshop
November 26, 2016 all-day
Morgan Log House 850 Weikel Rd Lansdale, PA 19446

Gingerbread Workshop! Just in time for the holiday season, join us for our gingerbread making workshop. There are many kinds of gingerbread. Come and learn about it and make three kinds of gingerbread from early recipes to take home to your family! You will be cooking over a fire in our 1770 German log house. Registration fee is $10. Space is limited. Program is family friendly. 10am – 3pm.

Norristown Farm Park – Reindeer Guide for Kids
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
Sun. Dec. 4th at 1 pm.

Just what is a reindeer? Learn the difference between the animals of the far north, like reindeer, caribou, elk and our own local white-tailed deer during this fun and informative workshop on Sun. Dec. 4th at 1 pm. Hear a story, make a craft and maybe play some reindeer games! The workshop is open to children ages 3 and up with an accompanying adult. Pre-registration is also required with a $5 fee. Call the park office to register.

upper merion holiday hoopla

Bring the family and join Upper Merion Parks and Recreation as they Light Up the Holiday season. At 6:30pm on Friday December 2, 2016 at the Upper Merion Township Building Freedom Hall (175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia), the community is invited to the official Tree Lighting ceremony where Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand leading the the festivities.

Kids can enjoy balloon sculptures, refreshments, crafts, and face painting. Plus, there will be festive live holiday music and dance performances including the:

  • Upper Merion Senior Service Center Band 
  • King of Prussia Players
  • Elementary School Ensembles
  • Valley Forge Dance School Nutcracker Dances

Winners will be announced for the Gingerbread House Contest, Cookie Contest Displays, and Holiday Lights Contest. There is still time to enter! The Upper Merion Community Center Cooking Studio is hosting a workshop on December 2, 2016.

Get all the details here.

Peter Wentz Farmstead – Holiday Traditions
2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446
Wed., Dec. 7 at 10 am and 1 pm

Visit the Farmstead for the next “Kinnergschpiel” series program called “Holidays” on Wed., Dec. 7 at 10 am and 1 pm. The series, better known as “Child’s Play,” teaches preschoolers all about historic holiday traditions of early America, especially those of the German settlers who lived in the area. Children will make a craft to take home. Pre-registration and a $5 program fee is required. The event is open to children ages 3 and up with an accompanying adult.

Photos with Santa!
November 12 through December 24 (Recurring daily)
Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 West Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462, Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM | Sunday: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Reindeer Guide for Kids
Norristown Farm Park 2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
December 4, 2016

Just what is a reindeer? Learn the difference between the animals of the far north, like reindeer, caribou, elk and our own local white-tailed deer during this fun and informative workshop on Sun. Dec. 4th at 1 pm. Hear a story, make a craft and maybe play some reindeer games! The workshop is open to children ages 3 and up with an accompanying adult. Pre-registration is also required with a $5 fee. Call the park office to register.

Upper Dublin Parks & Recreation invites you to FIND the ELF in the PARK!
December 1, 2016 @ 9:00 am – December 24, 2016 @ 9:00 am
Upper Dublin Township Building – 801 Loch Alsh Ave Fort Washington, PA 19034

Christmas community event family free nature outdoors parkthings to do walk. This winter, The Elf will make it off the shelf and into Upper Dublin’s parks. Get out, take a walk and explore our parks during the month of December, follow UDP&R on its social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – for clues on where our Elf is hiding. Find and return him to the UDP&R Office and receive a prize. He will then make his way out to another park with new hints to help you discover his whereabouts. Once December 25 hits, he’ll be headed back to the North Pole to report on all of his outdoor misadventures in Upper Dublin.


Child’s Play Series- Holidays
December 7, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Peter Wentz Farmstead
Cost: $5/child

Preschoolers will learn about historic holiday traditions and make a craft to take home. Ages: 3 and up & accompanied by an adult. Fee: $5 per child; Pre-registration required. Program offered @ 10am + 1pm

Santa’s Polar Bear Express
December 15, 2016 2:30 pm & December 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm
Colebrookdale Railroad 101 E 3rd St. 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 complimentary hot cocoa from our 19th century cocoa machine 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 this year, all trains stop at Santa’s Secret Village where families can choose their Christmas tree. We’ll load it on the train for you. Approximately two-hour round trip.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Colebrookdale Railroad 101 E 3rd St. 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 from our 19th century cocoa machine as we read, “’Twas 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! Approximately two-hour round trip.

Dickens Performs “A Christmas Carol”
December 10, 2016 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Byers’ Choice Ltd. 4355 County Line Road Chalfont, PA 18914
Cost: $20

Dickens returns to Byers’ Choice! Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of the famed author, performs a one-man show of “A Christmas Carol,” taking the part of 26 different characters in turn. The performance is unforgettable, as he brings to life all of the meaning of the original story. Not recommended for children under the age of eight. Seating is general admission; performance is approximately 75 minutes.

Holiday Events

Girls Night Out: A Shopping Extravaganza
November 17, 2016
The Farmhouse at People’s Light
39 Conestoga Rd, Malvern, PA 19355 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Admission: $30

Enjoy the work of local, fine craft persons plus creative, delicious snacks from The Farmhouse Bistro, raffles and The People’s Light Treasure Shop. Featuring Davidoff Oneal, Effie Brenner, Heidi Hammel, Mary Kay and much more! Community Matters is a series of free events presented in partnership between People’s Light and numerous local organizations to spark dialogue about vital issues in our community.

The Germantown Academy Holiday Marketplace
Sunday, November 20, 12-4pm
Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, PA

Come shop the Holiday Marketplace at Germantown Academy!Admission is free, so bring a friend to browse more than 60 vendors with fantastic selections of apparel, accessories, jewelry and more. Try for one of the fabulous raffle baskets or bring gold and jewelry to sell. See the list of participating vendors below!

Christmas Village in Philadelphia (Preview Weekend)
November 19, 2016 – November 20, 2016

Enjoy some early holiday cheer this year! Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by NRG returns to Philadelphia for the 2016 holiday season at an exciting new location. Philadelphia’s largest holiday attraction will this year transform Philadelphia’s City Hall (1400 JFK Blvd.) into a traditional, open-air German Christmas Market, open daily between Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24, 2016 and Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 2016. Christmas Village in Philadelphia will open early for a special preview on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20, 2016. Admission is free, with food, drink and shopping pay as you go. The special hours preview weekend are Saturday 11am to 8pm, and Sunday 11am to 7pm. Spread the cheer by following @philachristmas on Twitter and Instagram, liking Christmas Village in Philadelphia on Facebook and visiting

World Nativities Exhibition at Glencairn Museum
November 25, 2016 through January 8, 2016
Glencairn Museum, 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA
Daily 12pm-4:30pm except closed Dec. 12, 13, 24, 25

A plethora of crèches as 40 unique three-dimensional scenes depicting the Christmas story from artists and cultures around the world, are on display; many exhibited for the first time. They include a Nativity created by Winfred Hyatt for the Pitcairn family in the 1920s, a Nativity made by the Jimenez family of Masaya, Nicaragua, that features 26 hand-carved and -painted wooden figures. The featured Nativity this year is an exquisite traditional Neapolitan Presepio (Nativity scene). The famous Italian city of Naples in the 18th century is the setting for more than 100 figures, all no taller than 12″, representing the Holy Family, Magi, angels and shepherds as well as daily life in the city, including vendors, farmers, tradespeople, peasants and members of high society, along with many exotic visitors to the busy international port-all going about their daily business seemingly unaware of the birth of the Christ Child in their midst. Suggested donation: $5pp for self-guided tour of this exhibition and the Christmas in Pennsylvania exhibition. Included with “Christmas in the Castle” guided tour.

Christmas in Pennsylvania Exhibition at Glencairn Museum
November 25th through January 8th
Glencairn Museum, 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn. PA
Time: Daily 12pm-4:30pm except closed Dec 12, 13, 24, 25

Objects and images from the collections of the National Christmas Center and Museum in Lancaster, the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center in Kutztown and Glencairn will usher you into the past and highlight the ways Christmas was celebrated in Philadelphia and in the Pennsylvania “Dutch” countryside in the 19th and 20th centuries. Suggested donation: $5pp for self-guided tour of this exhibition and the World Nativities exhibition. Included with “Christmas in the Castle” guided tour.

Candlelight Tours
December 3, 2016
Peter Wentz Farmstead, 2030 Shearer Road, Lansdale, PA; 3-9pm (Last tour begins @ 8:30pm)

The glimmering glow of candles will guide you throughout the Farmstead for tours highlighting colonial music, seasonal entertaining, and a visit from Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania German St. Nicholas in furs. All ages; $2 per person suggested donation. Suggested donation: $2/person

The Nutcracker presented by Denise Gucwa School of Dance
December 4, 2016 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Souderton Nigh School 625 Lower Rd. Souderton, PA 18964
Cost: $15.00

Please Join Us As We Present Our 7th annual Nutcracker Performance! Tickets are available online and at the door.

Yuletide at Winterthur Trip
Monday, December 5, 2016 – Departure: 8:00 a.m. – Return approx. 4:30 p.m. From/Return Plymouth Meeting Mall
Cost: $60 Society Members; $70 Nonmembers

Trip includes:

  • Bus transportation: Plymouth Meeting Mall/Winterthur/Return
  • Admission to Winterthur Galleries
  • Admission to Yuletide House Tour
  • Optional:  Lunch is available at the Winterthur Museum Visitor Center on your own.

For information or to reserve space contact the Historical Society of Montgomery County: 610-272-0297 or purchase ticket on-line:

Holly-Gay Bingo!
Saturday December 10, 2016
Westover Country Club, 401 S Schuylkill Ave, Norristown, PA 19403, USA

Get your tickets early online at and receive your ticket $5.00 OFF !! That’s right, only $35.00 instead of $40.00. You’ll also be entered in our special Early-Elf Raffle for a chance to win a great prize, too. Seating is limited so don’t delay… Santa’s on his way! Join us for a night of fun, food, & our Fabulous Drag Queens. See more about this event at .Proceeds go to the LGBT Qmunity Center of Montgomery County.

Christmas in the Castle Guided Tour
Glencairn Museum, 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA
Tours Daily: M-F 1:30 & 2:30pm; Sat & Sun 1:00, 1:30 & 2:30pm. Closed Dec. 12, 13, 24, 25

This annual tour reveals how Christmas was celebrated at Glencairn when it was the private home of the Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn family (1940s to 1970s). The tour changes yearly, and each year features something new-or newly discovered from the cellars or storerooms of the castle. This year’s tour features the story of the Pitcairn family’s special Santa and reindeer decoration that was discovered in Glencairn earlier in the year and the new painting The Christ Child by local artist Edwin Herder. Reservations strongly recommended for 45-minute guided tour. $12 adults, $10 65+/students, half price Basic members, free for Gold and Patron members and children 3 and under. Includes self-guided tour of the World Nativities and Christmas in Pennsylvania exhibitions. Call in advance to reserve space for individuals and groups: 267.502.2990

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 2, 2016 through December 14, 2016
DCP Theater, 795 Ridge Road, Telford, PA

The annual Christmas pageant is a town tradition…and a bit boring. But not this year as the horrible Herdmans, the worst kids in town, take over the production!

Winter Holiday Sounds
December 3, 2016
Upper Dublin High School Performing Arts Center, 800 Loch Alsh Avenue, Ft. Washington, PA
Time: 3:00 p.m.

The Academy Chorale and Orchestra open their 20th anniversary season with an offering of “Winter Holiday Sounds.” Under the baton of Michael Kemp, the Orchestra opens the concert with Emmanuel Chabrier’s evocative and surprising “Suite Pastorale.” The Chorale joins the Orchestra in performing John Rutter’s sparkling “Gloria” and Gerald Finzi’s brilliant “Magnificat.” The concert concludes with Victor Vely-Hutchinson’s “Carol Symphony,” a sequence of stylistically diverse orchestral arrangements of familiar carols. Adults $20; seniors $15; students $5; children under 12 free. Tickets available at the door.



Hanukkah Happenings

Hanukkah begins this year on the evening of Tuesday, December 16, and continues for eight days through December 24. Families can celebrate the Festival of Lights in many ways in the Montgomery County area. Bask in the glow of the candles that celebrate miracles.

Menorah Lighting
Railroad Plaza, Lansdale
Tuesday, December 16

Menorah Lighting
Suburban Square, Ardmore
Tuesday, December 16

Hanukkah Celebration
Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown
Tuesday, December 16 

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