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10 things to do with the family Christmas weekend

Happy holidays!

After weeks of preparation, it's finally time to take a break from the shopping, wrapping, decorating and holiday stress.

Here are 10 ways to enjoy Christmas weekend with friends and family in York, Lancaster and Hershey.

Christmas Eve:

Celebrate with ‘A Christmas Smile’

Celebrate the holidays at the 13th annual A Christmas Smile event at the Elks Club, 223 N. George St., York, on Christmas Eve. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors will enjoy a buffet, live music, Santa Claus and gifts for the children. Those in need will also leave the event with a gift bag filled with blankets, socks, hats, scarves, personal hygiene items and gift cards. Check out the 13th Annual A Christmas Smile Facebook page for more information.

Visit Santa

Christmas Eve is your last chance to tell the Big Guy what you want for Christmas, and there are still a few places to find him in the area. While you do some last-minute shopping, pay him a visit at the York Galleria from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Or, if you’re in the Harrisburg area, you can find him at Bass Pro Shops at the Harrisburg Mall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For a complete list of locations, click here.

Go out for dinner

Don’t feel like cooking a big meal Christmas Eve? Several York area restaurants will be open. Get into the Christmas spirit at Victor’s, 554 S. Ogontz St., York, with mid-afternoon caroling and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Or stop by Otto’s Kitchen & Cocktails, 19 N. George St., York, for lunch, dinner or special holiday cocktails from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Click here for a complete list of restaurants open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Day:

See a movie

One of the most talked-about movies of the year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is in theaters. And if you haven’t seen it yet, Christmas day might be a great time to do so – away from the crowds. Not a “Star Wars” fan? Other movies coming out Christmas Day include “Joy,” starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper; “Daddy’s Home,” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg; and “Concussion,” starring Will Smith.

Have a holiday cocktail

Spice up your Christmas with a sugar-plum sangria or a gingerbread martini. Or, if you're looking for something a little more family-friendly, try a fun upside-down hot chocolate recipe with the kids.

Recipes available at

Saturday and Sunday:

See Christmas lights

So, you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to Christmas. That’s OK. Many holiday attractions are still open through Dec. 31. You can see nearly 600,000 Christmas lights, a G-gauge train display, holiday scenes, live entertainment and more at Rocky Ridge County Park in York at Christmas Magic this weekend. The attraction reopens after Christmas from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $6-$8.

In Hershey, Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark continues from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. The attraction includes more than 4 million lights, four roller coasters, skating, holiday-themed entertainment and visits with Santa and his nine live reindeer. Tickets are $18. Visit for more info.

Or, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, check out the Hershey Sweet Lights by Trolley tours, which depart from the main lobby inside Hershey’s Chocolate World, 251 Park Boulevard, starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday through Jan. 1. Additional times after 5:30 p.m. are also available. The tour will take you through nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays and includes Christmas carols, Kisses candy and creative commentary. Tickets are $8.95. Visit for more info.

See a holiday show

If you missed the 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” this year, don’t worry.  You can still see the classic story performed live on stage at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, 510 Centerville Road, Lancaster, through Dec. 31. Christmas weekend show times are 1:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Visit for more information.

“Elf” will also be performed at Fulton Theatre, 12 N. Prince St., Lancaster, through Jan. 3. Show times are 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Visit for more info.

Go bananas

What do you do when your kids are hopped-up on sugar from too many Christmas cookies? Let them blow off some steam at Lancaster’s newest indoor play attraction, Go ‘N Bananas. This giant, jungle-themed fun house at 1170 Garfield Ave. includes a giant maze of slides, bumper cars, bowling, arcade games, a ropes course, laser tag and more.  Christmas weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Solve a murder in Toyland

A cast of toys comes to life in this holiday mystery for the whole family Saturday at Bube’s Brewery. The event, at 102 N. Market St., includes appetizers, salad, soup, an entrée and dessert. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner starts at 6 p.m.

On Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., Bube’s will also host its last Christmas Feast of the season, featuring live actors and musicians. At this feast, Santa is retiring and has chosen his oldest son Kris Kringle Jr. to replace him, but the elves aren’t happy about the change. Note: This is not a dinner for children who believe.

For details about both events, visit

Go outside

Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. Toss a football around, play some golf or take a walk around the neighborhood. No matter what you do this weekend, make some time enjoy the outdoors.