Delaware and Chester counties are rich in history and character. When holiday time rolls around, the charming towns of West Chester and Media come to life, creating the perfect backdrop for making holiday memories. Parades, carriage and train rides are great old fashioned fun for children and adults, while home tours and art markets provide a little grown-up dream time. Whatever your preference, the area has a host of activities planned for your enjoyment this holiday.
If you prefer to enjoy your time away from the hustle-bustle of downtown, discover the natural beauty of Westtown, Glen Mills or Chadds Ford, whose rolling hillsides and farmland, clean country air and open space provide a wholesome holiday experience that is hard to beat. Whether you are new to the area or just want to do something different to do with your out-of-town guests, here are a few of my standard favorites to get you started!
And remember, the best way to preserve our towns is to support local businesses and shop small where you can!
Fun things to do in West Chester!
- West Chester Historic Holiday House Tour December 1st. Delight in a peek in to 9 beautiful homes, The Chester County Art Association and Antique Tool Museum. Purchase tickets on line or at the Chester County Library.
- Holiday Train Ride Hop on board the West Chester Railroad and Santa’s Express weekends in November and December for a leisurely ride to Glen Mills and back!
- West Chester Christmas Parade – enjoy an old fashioned Christmas Parade Friday November 30th with a fun run, toy drive and holiday village. Free and open to the public!
- Cut your own Tree and enjoy a hayride at Wiggins Tree Farm in Westtown or Arasapha Farms in Edgmont.
- Marshallton Historic House Tour– It’s been five years since there has been a home tour in Marshallton. This year it is back by public demand on December 1st! Tickets, $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event, may be purchased by contacting the church office at 610-696-5247 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- West Chester Growers Market with the motto “Shake the Hand that Feeds You,” the West Chester Growers market is open Saturdays through December, 9am-1pm offering locally grown produce and more. Rumor has it that metered street parking is free during market hours.
Fun things to do in Media!
- Festival of Lights– If you love the idea of Longwood Gardens but your budget says otherwise, take a stroll through the Festival of Lights at Rose Tree Park in Media. It’s fun, it’s free and the kids won’t know the difference!
- Bask in the beauty of nature and take a hike in Ridley Creek State Park
- Linvilla Orchards-Christmas around the Farm~Caroling and Hayrides, Trees and Goodies
- Carriage Rides in Media ~ check out VisitMediaPa for dates and times.
- Check out the Media Theater for upcoming shows!
- If you like a trip down memory lane (if you are over 50, that is), you’ll love perusing the isles of Deals, one of the last remaining “five and dimes” in the world to my knowledge — squeaky wood floors and all!
- Media Hometown Collective annual fine arts craft show December 1. Think outside the box and give a gift from the heart of an artist. Friends Meeting, Upper Providence in Media.
- The Nutcracker, playing at Neumann University December 8th & 9th.
- Chanukah Wonderland and Grand Menorah lighting at the Media Courthouse December 2.
Fun things to do in Glen Mills/Edgmont/Chadds Ford and beyond!
- The Thornton Farmer’s Market Holiday Market has been making a name for itself the past few years. So much so that they outgrew their space at Grace Winery in Glen Mills. This year, the holiday market will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on December 7th from 4pm-9pm. Greet the vendors from the summer and meet additional artisans selling exquisite hand made items.
- Tyler Arboretum’s in Media: Annual Greens Sale.
- Brandywine River Museum for an awesome train display that will bring back childhood memories…or create new ones!
- Ring in the season with the Chadds Ford Historical Society and their special event hosted in several historical buildings dating back to 1725–holy cow!
- Winterthur is amazing in the summer, dazzling in the fall but look out this holiday! Yuletide at Winterthur has something for everyone to enjoy! From a magical Christmas tree to an 18 room dollhouse filled with nearly 1,000 miniatures and fully decorated for Christmas to room displays that will leave you breathless.
- Model Trains, Victorian decorated rooms and lots of unique, hand-crafted items, locally made can be yours at The Grange Estate, living history in Havertown, Pa.
- Longwood Gardens is the quintessential way to celebrate the holidays in the Brandywine Valley. No one does it quite like Longwood. It’s hard to imagine all the work that goes into making this former DuPont estate a winter wonderland with lights, fountains and indoor displays. Due to its popularity, tours are timed and it is recommended that you buy your tickets in advance.
- This is one is a little outside my geographic area, but I love it because it is land that was saved from potential development. Join Mt. Airy Lavender Farm for a holiday open house December 8th for natural gifts made from home grown lavender.
However you spend your holidays, I wish you joy and peace!