15 Ways To Enjoy The Holidays

Add to your holiday fun by participating in one or more of these Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed activities

Steamin’ Thanksgiving

On Saturday, Nov. 24, ride on steam automobiles and trains as well as tour the Auburn Heights mansion, built in 1897, all in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Head over between 12:30-4:30 p.m. to the Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve. Visit auburnheights.org/visit/steamin-days for more information.

Photo Jackie Kane Photography

Holidays at Hagley

Between Nov. 23 and Jan. 1, walk the beautifully decorated Hagley Museum grounds, taste scrumptious cookies, and check out the gingerbread house contest entries and the workshops being offered to guests. This event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day up until Christmas Eve, which is only open until 2 p.m. Santa will visit on Saturday, Dec. 8. Visit the hagley.org calendar page for more information.


Photo courtesy of Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library

Yuletide at Winterthur

Visit Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library between Nov. 18 and Jan. 6 to experience Christmas through the years, including a dollhouse mansion that is fully decorated for Christmas. There is also a walk through the Enchanted Wood children’s garden. For times and special days, including a brunch with Santa, visit winterthur.org/exhibitions-events/yuletide or call 800-448-3883.

Longwood Christmas

Longwood Gardens has provided a “Christmas Wonderland” year after year, and this one will be no exception. Select a day between Nov. 22 and Jan. 6 to enjoy this long-standing tradition as the gardens brighten up with Christmas lights and decorations galore. For times and tickets, go to longwoodgardens.org. 

Winter Arts Festival at DAM

On Friday, Dec. 7, you can enjoy the Winter Arts festival at the Delaware Art Museum on Kentmere Parkway in Wilmington. Local artisans will be selling items that will make great Christmas gifts, and there will be winter-themed crafts for the kids. Enjoy the holiday decorations in the museum while listening to local choirs from noon to 8 p.m. Check out the events page on delart.org for more information.

Photo couresty of The Wilmington & Western Railroad

Train Ride with Santa

Every Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23, catch a ride with Santa on the Wilmington & Western Railroad at 12:30 or 2:30 p.m. Guests will get a treat and a picture while enjoying this magical ride. Visit the events page at wwrr.com for available times and tickets.

New Castle Spirit of Christmas

Brighten up your holiday season by joining a celebration in historic New Castle on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There will be music throughout the day and buildings will be decorated for the holidays. Check newcastlehistory.org for more information about the event.

Holiday Candlelight Tour in Odessa

Starting Tuesday, Nov. 27, Odessa will offer holiday candlelight tours. Walk through the historic town with a tour guide and experience the beauty of the Christmas lights and decorations. Tours will take place every Tuesday and Thursday until Dec. 27. Register by calling 378-4119 or go to historicodessa.org for times and tickets. On Saturday, Dec. 1, take a self-guided walking tour of historic Odessa. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., celebrate the 54th annual Christmas in Odessa. The town will have several events and crafts going on throughout the day. Visit christmasinodessa.com for tickets and information about the day’s schedule.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze at The Playhouse

Cirque Dreams Holidaze has it all: acrobatics, singing, dancing, and a whole lot of holiday cheer! Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year in this two-hour show at The Playhouse. Choose a performance on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, Nov. 23, 24, 25. Visit thegrandwilmington.org for tickets and more information.

Photo Tisa Della-Volpe, courtesy of First State Ballet Theatre

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Tradition

For some people, the holiday season isn’t complete without certain traditions. The Nutcracker is one of those traditions. It’s a ballet that has been around for more than 100 years, and Wilmington Ballet will present its 52nd annual performance of this show on Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9. Pick a date and time at thegrandwilmington.org to reserve your spot.

If you miss those performances, First State Ballet will be also be performing The Nutcracker on Friday through Sunday, Dec. 21, 22 and 23, at Copeland Hall in the Grand Opera House. Go to firststateballet.com for tickets.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The whole family will be excited to see this show! A live reproduction of A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Grand, filled with a familiar cast of characters who get into the holiday spirit and try to find the true meaning of Christmas. There will be two opportunities to see the play—on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Visit thegrandwilmington.org to get tickets.

Jim Brickman Joyful Christmas Concert

Guests can enjoy the sounds of the holiday at this concert on Saturday, Dec. 15. Join Grammy-nominated pianist Jim Brickman at The Playhouse on his 22nd annual tour, where he plays not only Christmas classics, but also his original songs. Buy tickets now at thegrandwilmington.org for Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. 

The David Bromberg Quintet

Looking for a way to celebrate the New Year? Grab a group of friends and head over to Arden Gild Hall at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to listen to the David Bromberg Quintet. You can also toast the New Year with a glass of champagne. Check eventbrite.com for tickets to the event.

Carols by Candlelight

On Sunday, Dec. 2, the University of Delaware’s Schola Cantorum Community Choir and the UD Chorale will present a holiday concert from 7-9 p.m. at Loudis Recital Hall. The concert will feature a mix of classic carols and contemporary Christmas music. Get your tickets at music.udel.edu/onlinetickets or call 831-2204.

W&W Holiday Lights Express

Hop on Wilmington & Western Railroad’s Holiday Lights Express from Friday, Dec. 7, until Sunday, Dec. 30. The train and the houses next to the track will be decorated in thousands of Christmas lights for the 45-minute ride. Visit wwrr.com to reserve tickets.

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