Delaware and Chester counties are rich in history and steeped in character; the perfect backdrop to get you in the mood for the holidays. In particular, the towns of Media and West Chester ooze with storybook charm, adding to the magic of the season. If you want to get to know West Chester or Media better, winter is a great time to do it!
These walkable towns offer unique shopping, great restaurants and beautiful streets filled with historic homes for you to enjoy. There’s also a better chance you can meet the locals during this time of year and get a feel for the neighborhood vibe. 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 have inspired artists for centuries. If you are new to the area or just want to do something different, here are some of my favorites to get you started:
Fun things to do in West Chester!
- Old Fashioned Christmas parade, downtown West Chester-Friday, December 4th.
- Santa’s Express on the West Chester Railroad Take leisurely train ride on a vintage train car along Chester Creek. Starts in West Chester and stops in Glen Mills–approximately 90 minutes round trip. A new store, The Sporting Gentleman, just opened up across from the Glen Mills Train station. Hop in for a quick cup of hot chocolate before your return trip.
- Cut your own Tree at Wiggins Tree Farm!
- I’ve always loved strolling the streets in West Chester, admiring the Victorian homes decorated for the holidays, then grabbing a cup of tea with friends at The Lincoln on Market Street. The university provides some interesting entertainment off the beaten path as well. Here is a link to more activities.
- Click here for the West Chester Calendar for a detailed list of events!
Fun things to do in Media!
- Festival of Lights-fun for the little ones! Rose Tree Park-every night from 5:3opm-FREE
- Budweiser Clydesdales coming to Media Sunday, December 13th!
- Tyler Arboretum Annual Greens Sale – December 4th
- Take a hike in Ridley Creek State Park
- Linvilla Orchards-Christmas around the Farm~Caroling and Hayrides, Trees and Goodies
- Carriage rides, shows at the Hedgerow Theater, the Christmas Village and more! Check out the Media Calendar of Eventsfor dates and times!
- Check out the Media Theater for upcoming shows.
- If you like the old-fashioned feel of a “five and dime,” put Deals on your schedule! I love the creaky wooden floors and it seems they have an ample supply of everything!
- Did you know that Media is the first Fair Trade Town in the U.S.? It has a wide variety of shops from new age to high fashion and art you should get to know!
- Check out Media’s calendar for a detailed list of events!
- Maybe you would just like to enjoy fellowship with your neighbors in Media? That’s what Transition Town Media’s Winter Solstice Celebration on December 19th is all about!
Winter Festival at Oakbourne Mansion, The Westtown Township Parks & Recreation Commission is hosting its annual Winter Festival at Oakbourne Mansion on Sunday, December 6, from noon to 3:00 p.m. with craft vendors, craft making for children, music and refreshments. Free admission and plenty of parking.
- Tree Lighting at Thornbury Park, December 5th at 5pm. Refreshments will be served and Santa will be visiting!
- Christmas at Bethlehem-Free Christmas Festival and Live Nativity in Thornbury-December 11, 12 & 13 from 7pm-9pm. Enjoy a bonfire, s’mores and refreshments and bring a non-perishable food item for City Team Ministries!
- Arasapha Farms-Hayrides, pick your own tree and then go for a quick bite at the Country Deli in Gradyville.
- Brandywine River Museum for an awesome train display that covers 2000 feet of track! Be sure to click on the link for other exciting activities at the museum!
- Chadds Ford Candelight House Tour-December 5 1pm-5pm.
- Thornton Farmer’s Market and Grace Winery are hosting their first Holiday Market on December 4 from 4 to 9 pm. Join in the tasting room to purchase your holiday gifts including original paintings, holiday decorations and hand crafted goods while sampling some of Grace Winery’s finest wine and food offerings. Located on Sweetwater Road in Glen Mills.
- Yuletide at Winterthur ~ enjoy visions of holidays past, crafting workshops, A Christmas Carol performance and Yuletide Jazz and Wine through January 3rd.
- Holiday weekends at the Grange Estate in Havertown, Pa. Visit the Model Train Display in the Carriage House, tour the beautifully decorated mansion and visit the delightful Gift Shoppe stocked with unique seasonal gifts.
- Live Nativity at Neumann University a re-enactment of the Franciscan tradition of the crib, first celebrated in Greccio, Italy in 1223. Event includes a petting zoo! More info here.
- If you love holiday baking , check out Booth’s Corner Farmer’s Market for a wide selection of produce and ingredients. Just a few weeks ago I purchased the best colored marshmallows for festive hot chocolate! Here’s a list of farmer’s market’s in the area.
- A list of more Delaware County Attractions.
Longwood Gardens is the quintessential way to celebrate the holidays in the Brandywine Valley with family and out-of-town guests. This amazing display of floral and light displays and famous fountains never gets old.
Enjoy your holidays!
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