If holiday shopping has already been hard on your wallet, here are 10 ways to beat the winter blues in southcentral Pa. for $10 or less.
Go Ice Skating
Lace up your skates and take to the rink for some winter fun at the York City Ice Arena, 941 Vander Ave. The Evening Skate program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday is perfect for families looking to glide, spin, and make memories on the ice. Admission is $7 per person and includes skate rental. Additional public skate times are available. Visit www.yorkskate.com for details.
Hershey Sweet Lights by Trolley
The Sweet Lights Excursion will take you through nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays and back again on the trolley. This holiday tour runs Nov. 14, 21, 27, 28 and 29, plus every Saturday and Sunday in December. Additional hours during Christmas week. Departures begin at 5:30 p.m. from the main lobby inside Hershey's Chocolate World, 251 Park Boulevard. The tour will include Christmas carols, Kisses candy, and creative commentary for you and your family. Tickets are $8.95 per person. For more information, visit www.hersheytrolleyworks.com.
A Heartland Christmas Wine Trail
Take a trip back in time when Christmas was a wonder to behold and enjoy this festive time of year by touring 15 participating wineries on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail from noon to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21 through Dec. 6. A Heartland Christmas celebrates the season with a different ornament from each of the wineries, including Armstrong Valley, Benigna's Creek, Broad Mountain, Brookmere, Buddy Boy, Fero, Happy Valley, Juniata Valley, Mt. Nittany, Olivero's, Red Shale Ridge, Seven Mountains, Shade Mountain, Spyglass Ridge and Winery at Hunters Valley. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit www.pawinetrail.com.
Festival of Lights and Carriage Ride
Experience the magic of millions of lights illuminating the streets and trees during a complimentary horse-drawn carriage ride from 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 through Dec. 19 at the Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg, 1863 Gettysburg Village Drive. Bring the kids to visit with Santa and enjoy crafts and prizes during select hours. Admission is free. For details, visit www.theoutletshoppesatgettysburg.com or call 717-337-9705.
Christmas Magic at Rocky Ridge
Walk a half-mile trail lined with 600,000 lights, visit Santa, and view holiday scenes from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 27 through Dec. 31 at Rocky Ridge County Park, 400 Deininger Road in Springettsbury Township. Christmas Magic is closed Dec. 24 and 25. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 59 and older, $6 for children 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and younger. Discount tickets are available. Call 717-840-7740 or visit www.yorkcountypa.gov for details.
Enjoy a Victorian Christmas
Don’t miss guided tours of the Fort Hunter Mansion that highlight holiday trimmings and customs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 through 23 at Fort Hunter Mansion and Park, 5300 N. Front St. in Harrisburg. The Mansion is decorated with fresh greens and fruits, dried materials and fresh flowers. The Museum Shop will also be stocked with tasteful and unique Christmas gift ideas. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students and children. Visit www.forthunter.org for more information.
Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show
The finest holiday decorations, arts and crafts will be on display from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 2 through 5 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at the PA Farm Show Complex, 2300 N. Cameron St. in Harrisburg. Shop for jewelry, toys, Christmas decorations, household accents and more. Festive food, entertainment, musical and dance groups will also be available. Tickets are $8, or $6 for seniors. Tickets after 4 p.m. are $6 and can only be purchased at the door. For more information, visit www.pachristmasshow.com. Note, parking at the complex costs $8.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Laugh along as everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas during a performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theatre, 100 Carlisle Ave. in York City. The show runs for 12 performances from Dec. 14 through 20. Will the church or town survive when the orneriest kids in town, the Herdmans, unexpectedly show up at Sunday School and end up taking over the annual Christmas pageant? Everyone knows they lie, steal, smoke, and cuss! The entire family will enjoy this comedy by Barbara Robinson. General admission tickets are $10. For details, visit www.dreamwrights.org.
Cookies and Milk with Mrs. Claus
Kids of all ages can come to enjoy Mrs. Claus’ fresh homemade cookies and Turkey Hill milk from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 12 and 19 at the Turkey Hill Experience, 301 Linden Street in Columbia, Lancaster County. Cookies and Milk with Mrs. Claus is included with admission to the Turkey Hill Experience, a 17,000-sq.-ft. facility to explore ice cream and iced tea making via interactive activities. Tickets are $9.95 for adults and $8.95 for children. Visit www.turkeyhillexperience.com for more information.
Christmas Village in Baltimore
Find the perfect gift at Baltimore’s own version of a German style Christmas Village during Stocking Filler Weekend, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Christmas Village in Baltimore, Inner Harbor’s West Shore Park, 501 Light St. The Village features more than 50 vendors with ornaments, arts & crafts, jewelry and so much more from all over the world. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Free for children 2 and younger.
If you want to beat the crowd and enjoy Christmas Village for free, visit on a weekday and enjoy wine tasting events, daily Happy Hours, Kids Fridays and live performances by locals artists. For details, visit www.baltimore-christmas.com.