National Christmas Center – Lancaster, PA

Looking for a place to escape the heat and humidity? What better place to go than a place filled with Christmas? The National Christmas Center is a fairly large museum, dedicated to showcasing all things Christmas. It is nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country and  is open weekends in March and April and daily May through the New Year!

Adults/Seniors – $12.00
Children (ages 3 to 12) – $5.00
Under 3 – free!

We decided to visit the National Christmas Center in June and I am so glad we did. There was practically no one there so we were able to take our time and really look at everything. I wasn’t nervous about the kids being to loud or running into the next room because I knew we were the only ones there!

The National Christmas Center is a self guided museum that is dedicated to preserving and sharing precious mementos and memories of Christmases past. Their mission is to educate and entertain all of their guests, so that they may continue the timeless Christmas traditions they portray, or be inspired to create new customs and celebrations to enjoy with their own families and friends!

We started our tour in the Christmas Around the World room. The American Christmas is a blend of traditions and celebrations from around the world. All the different customs from around the world are displayed in this room that displays life-sized figures representing Gift-Givers from around the World!

My very favorite room was next! The F. W. Woolworth’s 5 & 10 Cent Store Room was packed full of store merchandise, signage and fixtures that spans three decades, from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. I was astounded to find that even the display cases were the actual cases  used in some of the earliest Woolworth’s! We could not spend to much time in this room as there were quite a few trinkets the kids could get to, that they were not supposed to be playing with!

Next up for us was the kids very favorite room- Santa’s Workshop! The entire room showcases busy elves getting ready for the special day! Santa watches over the Toy Shop, penguins and polar bears frolic outside the windows. Santa unfortunately was not there for our visit. He arrives the day after Thanksgiving and stays until Christmas Eve. I was a bit disappointed that he was not there- I guess because a large part of the museum has to do with him I just assumed he would be there- but all my kids got to see was a big empty chair.

I expected the National Christmas Center to be mostly for the kids. But I was surprised at how much the adults enjoyed it! My husband and I were very impressed to see a big green mailbox we both remembered from our childhood. I can remember sitting down after Thanksgiving and writing my letter to Santa each year! I really do wish they still did this so I could share this tradition with my kids!

We have a few train loving boys in our family- so we stayed in the Toyland Train Mountain Room for quite a while! The mountain is three tiers high and 30 feet in diameter, with many electric trains, tiny figures, animals, buildings and landscaping to look at. It is all build around a huge Christmas Tree that is decorated with more ornaments than you can count!

The above rooms were my families favorite places to see during our visit. However there are a ton of other rooms that are all bursting with the Christmas spirit and waiting for you to check out!- so head on over to the National Christmas Center, located in Paradise, PA and check it out for yourself!


  1. amanda roach says

    i would love to go here.

  2. KELLY WILLIS says

    wow my favorite time of year

  3. What a unique fun place to visit. If I lived close, I would make it a once a year family event and do it every June or July!

  4. Dawn Kropp says

    How FUN!!! I LOVE Christmas. My Hubby & I are going to PA on vacation… I need to make this on my list of places I want to visit 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Oh wow, I wish we lived closer, that place looks absolutely amazing. I would love to see the Woolworth room and all the little trinkets

  6. Diane K. Brimmer says

    I love Christmas! I hate that is only one day! It was my mother’s favorite holiday and she made it so special. Not all the commercial stuff! Just homemade things, fun things we did for single elderly living at home alone. Making candy and packing it in different packages. This looks like it would be fun too. I would love to see an old 5 and 10 store again. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a Centre, you are so smart to visit it in June, not so crowded. The admission price is good too, if we go my little one will get in free(HO-HO-HO)

  8. Ang Alford says

    I would LOVE to go here, love anything Christmas wish it was closer

  9. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    You were smart to go there now when it would not be crowded, and children will enjoy this place no matter what time of the year

  10. bill elliott says

    Would be a great place to take all my grandchildren

  11. Shanna Uptergrove says

    WOW!!!! How amazing is this place!! My mom would LOVE to go there!!

  12. Terra Heck says

    That looks like a neat place to visit and especially to get in the Christmas spirit.

  13. Robin Wilson says

    Oh my goodness I would love to see that museum! I just love Christmas and yes I like all the lights and the trimmings and decor. I like how it makes ppl happy and smile and sing. I know the real meaning and I practice the real meaning, but I love places like this!! Thanks so much for sharing your pictures!

  14. This is an ideal travel destination for my family and I. I got to see this place once on either the TLC network or the Travel Channel once. I could not get over how whimsical it is. Our whole family could pretty much celebrate Christmas all year-round. One year we kept our tree up until Valentine’s Day!

  15. vickie couturier says

    i didnt know about this place,, we go near there when traveling from VT to TN id love to go here


  1. A Very Merry Christmas Museum « The Yule Log 365 says:

    […] a great trip for any time of the year.  Check out the review by Skye, a real-life mom of 5, on Real Mom Reviews for some thoughts on taking the kids, seems like a solid plan.  Maybe this will make the list for […]

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