Celebrate the Holidays in Delaware

Delaware is a special place for the holidays, full of community-focused celebrations and all the sparkle that makes them magical. Make it a festive weekend trip, brightened perhaps by a stop at one of Delaware’s top-notch restaurants and museums.

Along the way, you’ll discover some delightful diversions, including some of these special, only-in-Delaware holiday events and celebrations:

Nemours Estate
Gingerbread House at Hagley Museum
Christmas in Odessa
Wilmington Western Railroad
lewes lights
Grand Opera House

37th Annual Holiday Fair Fine Craft Show (Nov. 6-7)
Rehoboth Beach is the perfect setting for this gathering of artisans and their creations, including jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, mixed media, and decorative and wearable fiber creations. Stroll the Rehoboth Art League’s campus and find your perfect present.

Christmas In Odessa 2021
Stroll or drive through the historic coastal town for enchanted evenings of winter lights. On Dec. 4, take the self-guided walking tour of private homes and public buildings, many dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, decorated for the holidays.

Christmas in Bridgeville (Dec. 4)
Deep in the laid-back heart of rural Sussex County, Bridgeville has a charm that’s only heightened by this selection of handcrafted, seasonal and home decor items made by local vendors and artisans. Click here for more information.

A Christmas Carol by Candlelight (Nov. 30-Dec. 22)
This double bill at the New Candlelight Theatre aims to get everyone in the spirit: The first act is a reimagining of Dickens beloved A Christmas Carol, followed by a second act featuring a beautiful presentation of Christmas music.

First State Ballet Theatre Presents The Nutcracker (Dec. 10-12)
It’s part of so many childhood memories, but it’s done with special flair at Delaware’s only professional ballet company. This lavish production only gets more magical thanks to its venue: The historicGrand Opera House in Wilmington. Get your tickets here.

Holidays at Hagley (Nov. 26-Jan. 2)
This historic site goes “Home for the Holidays” this year, with a family-focused lineup that includes a gingerbread house display, a mansion with seven rooms all decked out for the holidays, twilight tours in a heated bus, and occasional visits by Santa himself on Dec. 4 and 11. (NOTE: Use secondary entrance at 298 Buck Road)

Holiday Lights Express of the Wilmington & Western Railroad (Dec. 10-20)
Climb aboard the festively decorated, 100-year-old heated railroad coaches, and enjoy the light displays on the homes as your chug through the scenic Red Clay Valley. Get tickets here.

Holiday Shoppes at the Delaware State Fair (Nov. 13)
Over 100 crafters and vendors offer jewelry, accessories, home décor, candles, hand-painted items and more. Food trucks will be on hand, and parking is free. Find more information here.

Lewes Lights (Dec. 3) 
Each year the streets of Lewes glow with beaming holiday lights, and decor. The businesses, and homeowners dress the exteriors of their properties to the nines to celebrate the holiday season. Get your driving tour map here  and begin your journey through the merry streets. 

Milford Holiday Stroll (Dec. 3)
Charming holiday vibes in a historic setting, highlighted by more than 25 shops, live local entertainment, and horse & carriage rides around the Green. More information here.

Nemours Estate Holiday Lights (starting Nov. 17)
This regal 77-room mansion is aglow with elaborate table settings, spectacular floral displays, and an array of Christmas trees, garlands, and wreaths.  Get tickets here.

Rehoboth Tree Lighting and Sing-Along (Nov. 26)
Come for the lighting of the big holiday tree, and stay downtown for dinner and shopping with family and friends.  Find more information here.

Santa goes to the zoo (Dec. 11-12)
Bring the kids and get your photos with The Jolly Guy himself at this Brandywine Zoo celebration. Grab a holiday treat and try a free hot chocolate while you’re at it. Registration required here.

Santa Saves Christmas (Dec. 5)
The regal Grand Opera House in Wilmington is the appropriately special setting as Santa and his merry band of helpers seek the audience’s help in bringing the season to life with song (some “snowy surprises” are in store!). Visit the Grand here.

Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert (Dec. 11)
Stately Winterthur mansion/museum is the setting for this two-part program with themes of diversity and hope: First up is Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King, a Christmas cantata in collaboration with poet Langston Hughes. Holiday works composed and arranged by musicians of color round out the concert.

Spirit of Christmas in Historic New Castle (Dec. 11)
The historic town of New Castle takes you back in time to this Dickens-inspired holiday event. Plenty of restaurants and boutique shopping help round out the trip. Find more information here.

Yuletide at Winterthur 
Yuletide celebration will dazzle you indoors and outdoors at this sprawling estate. Enjoy a live one-man performance of A Christmas Carol, wine and cocktail tastings, and family events with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.