The high expectations and stress of the holiday season make getting out with family and friends more vital than ever. Fortunately, activities like an afternoon of Wassailing and stringing popcorn and cranberries or a cozy evening carriage ride through festively decorated streets are just minutes away. See Patch's top picks for getting into the spirit of the holidays.
Patch's Best Bets for the Holidays
Where/When: Rose Tree Park at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Why Go: Experience the spectacle of dozens of decorated lit trees and festive displays. Stroll the glimmering walkways and grounds, linger in the festive atmosphere and pay a visit to childhood figures such as Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang and Santa and his reindeer. On opening night, enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and coffee and a holiday performance by the Springton Lake Middle School Chorus. Bring your camera for a photo with Santa. Trees are lit nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 2.
THE COUNTRY GARDENERS ANNUAL GREENS SALE
Where/When: Tyler Arboretum from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Why Go: Enjoy a huge selection of hand-crafted holiday gift and decor items. This event will make your holiday decorating easy and affordable with an emphasis on natural materials and greens. Fresh greens, hand-made wreaths, swag, ornaments, and other natural holiday decorations are available. The sale is held at Tyler’s Maintenance Building and run by The Country Gardeners of Lima.
Pricing: Free admission for greens sale.
Where/When: Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Why Go: See the historic farmhouse decorated by the Springfield Garden Club, enjoy tea and MacDougall's Victory Cake tastings and bring the kids for visits with Father Christmas and making Christmas decorations. Take part in the plantation tradition of Wassailing the orchards at 1 and 3 p.m. Other activities include textile, woodworking and long rifle demonstrations, stringing popcorn and cranberries and seeing the farm animals in their holiday finery. As this is the closing day of the plantation, take advantage of 50 percent off on all plantation store inventory.
Pricing: $10 adult admission, $8 child admission (age 4 to 12).
Where/When: Community Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, Dec. 3 through 10.
Why Go: Find the perfect gift for the friend or relative who seems to have everything. Browse one-of-a-kind handcrafted objects by more than 50 local artists. This event is sponsored by the Community Arts Center and the Potters Guild.
Pricing: Free admission and free parking.
Where/When: Linvilla Orchards at 5 and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17.
Why Go: Celebrate the ancient tradition of Wassailing and sing Christmas carols around a campfire after a lively hayride through the fields and orchards. Afterward, roast marshmallows and enjoy delicious apple cider. Consider getting there early to cut your own Christmas tree.
Where/When: In front of the Media courthouse on Front Street from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21.
Why Go: Enjoy a cozy carriage ride through festively decorated Downtown Media. Stay for dinner or to browse the shops, which stay open late the week before Christmas.
Pricing: $10 for adults, $5 for children under 10.
25 DAYS OF EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Where/When: Granite Run Mall at various times each day of the month through Dec. 24.
Why Go: Get into the holiday spirit with entertainment from local choruses, bands, dance troupes, children's performers and more. Bring your sports fans for autographs from Lindros and LeClair or Danny Califf of the Philadelphia Union. These events are perfect for a quick meet-up with friends or for an outing with your toddler or preschooler. Bonus: you can pick up a gift or two on the way out.
HOLIDAY DANCE PARTY
Where/When: Felinton Hall from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Why Go: Celebrate the holidays in style with the Delaware Valley Dance Society at the beautiful ballroom in Broomall. The evening will begin with a Waltz dance lesson, followed by great music and social dancing. Dress to impress. Invite your friends—the more the merrier.
Pricing: $12 per person.
Where/When: Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Also open noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18 and from 3 to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday, Dec. 19 through 23.
Why Go: Visit Santa in a winter wonderland that will charm your little ones. Bring your camera for the cutest photo ops ever.
NEW YEAR'S EVE BALL DROP
Where/When: State and Jackson Streets from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31.
Why Go: Ring in the New Year right here in Media with live music by "Philly Gumbo" starting at 11 p.m. Join the countdown for the real-live ball drop at midnight.