10 of the Most Festive Things to Do Near Scranton This Holiday Season

When you’re visiting the Lackawanna Valley, it’s not hard to get in to the holiday spirit. There are so many festive things to do near Scranton this time of year, the only problem you’ll have is figuring out how to fit in everything. Hotel Anthracite is uniquely positioned to put you close to all the merriment. Request our free Destination Guide to assist your travels around the region and make decking the halls even easier.

Courtesy visitnepa.org

1. Nay Aug Park Light Spectacular, Scranton

More than 100 light displays depicting holiday scenes decorate the park. Watch the lights dance, jump and flash on a self-guided drive through tour.

2. Festival of Trees, Scranton

Traditional, eclectic and artistic. See a collection of Christmas Trees decorated by local businesses and organizations. For the first time, the display will be held outdoors at Courthouse Square in Scranton. Each tree offers a unique interpretation of this year’s theme, “The Wonders of Nature.” The Lackawanna County Winter Market on December 3 will serve as the kickoff for the event, which runs through January 7.

Courtesy Christmas in Montrose on Facebook

3. Christmas in Montrose, Montrose

A town-wide holiday celebration that lasts all weekend long, December 3-5. Activities are scheduled all around the downtown area. Highlights include a Christmas Craft Fair, Christmas Village on the Green, live music, visits with Santa and his reindeer, dance performances and a Parade of Lights. The giant chocolate Santa roll has been a crowd favorite feature since the event began.

4. Christmas in a Small Town, Carbondale

The city of Carbondale celebrates the holidays with a flurry of activities beginning December 1. Be there for the lighting of all the Christmas Trees on the Tinsel Trail in Memorial Park at 6:30 p.m. Bring a toy to donate and help fill the dump truck. Visit Santa, his elves and the Grinch at the Carbondale Public Library. Festivities for the evening also include horse and carriage rides, children’s games here at Hotel Anthracite live music around town, coffee, hot chocolate and cookies. Day-long activities on December 4 include a Kris Kringle Market featuring vendors in Memorial Park plus holiday movies as well as make and take ornaments at the library. The Greater Carbondale YMCA will host a Christmas Festival from 4-8 p.m. that includes Christmas Gift Bingo, Build a Bear Workshops, Grinch School, bounce houses, carnival games, cookie decorating and an ugly sweater contest. A Downtown Lighted Christmas Parade will cap of the festivities in Carbondale.

5. Santa on the Trolley, Scranton

Courtesy Lackawanna Heritage Valley Facebook

Trolley bells become Christmas bells during special excursions with Santa. Every weekend from Thanksgiving until Christmas take a festive ride aboard a historic trolley car with Santa Claus himself. Trips depart from the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum. Following the 10-mile round-trip excursion to Montage Mountain, visit the museum for a holiday treat.

6. North Pole Limited, Scranton (cancelled for 2021)

Climb aboard a steam-powered train decorated for the holiday season for a one-hour excursion to the North Pole. Along the way, sing Christmas Carols and visit with Santa. Trains depart from Steamtown National Historic Site on select weekends in December.

7. Main Street Merry Christmas, Forest City

Forest City’s quaint Main Street welcomes visitors for a host of holiday festivities on December 4. There will be gift shopping and crafts, ornament decorating, caroling, horse and carriage rides as well as a tree lighting ceremony overseen by Santa himself!

Courtesy Ballet Theatre of Scranton Facebook Page

8. The Nutcracker, Scranton

A Northeast PA tradition for over 40 years. Dance Magazine called Ballet Theatre of Scranton’s production the only one of its kind in the United States. The show at The Theater at North features over 100 dancers, professional sets and costumes as well as magical special effects. The classic tale is presented free of charge each year as a holiday gift to the community. Performances are scheduled November 26, 27 and 28.

9. Lackawanna Winter Market, Scranton

Shop an old-fashioned open-air market in downtown Scranton. Over 70 vendors fill a block of Wyoming Avenue for one weekend in December (3-5). In addition to unique gifts there are plenty of food vendors and entertainment. Santa will also be on hand throughout the three-day event.

10. Festival of Lights, Tunkhannock

Courtesy Festival of Light Facebook Page

Drive along a 2.5-mile route decorated with millions of sparkling Christmas lights and holiday displays. There are also decorated places to get out and explore on foot with plenty of photo ops. You can also enjoy s’mores by the firepit, shop a vendor marketplace and take photos with Santa. The giant Christmas Light Display at Stone Hedge Golf Course is open through New Year’s Eve.

Home Away from Home

Guest rooms that are modern and comfortable -are the perfect place to get cozy after a full day of making merry. Linger over an exceptional meal at the hotel’s restaurant, Kōl Steakhouse. The menu boasts many innovative twists on dishes that are synonymous with the season. Take some time this holiday season to enjoy the array of festive things to do near Scranton. Check out our specials, see what’s available and book your holiday getaway today.