Cape Henlopen State Park

2018 Holiday Events

Holiday magic may seem like it’s just around the corner, but in Delaware It’s not too early to start celebrating the season. Beauty and excitement across the state are sure to bring friends and families closer together. From glittering lights and trees to ice skating and historical displays, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season.

Here are a few of the best holiday events and attractions in Delaware, just to get you started on your trip:

Holidays in Odessa
November 13 – December 30, 2018 (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Day)Yuletide at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
Location: 506 High St., Odessa, DE
Times: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Admission: Varies
Step back in time at the Historic Odessa's annual holiday celebration - a seasonal tradition of interpreting scenes from classic literature, including the 175th anniversary of A Christmas Carol.

Winter WonderFEST
November 17 – December 31, 2018
Location: Cape Henlopen State Park and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal
Admission to Light Spectacular: $15 for cars, $30 for vans, and $50 for buses
Times: Gates open at 5:00 – 9 00 p.m.
Drive through a Cape Henlopen State Park filled with the bright, beautiful colors of the 1.5-mile “Light Spectacular” holiday light show, which includes more than 90 awe-inspiring displays. Enjoy the fun at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal, which will become the “Christmas Village.” The village will have an ice skating rink, live music, indoor holiday workshops, a strolling Santa and carnival rides, including a giant Ferris wheel.

Holidays at Nemours Estate
November 17, 2018 Daily, closed Monday
Location: 850 Alapocas Drive, Wilmington, DE
Times: Varies
Admission: Varies
The Mansion will be decorated by some of the duPonts’ original decorations, including a German crèche, which dates from the late 19th century. The figures are soft ceramic, unglazed and hand-colored. In addition to their own ornaments, Nemours also proudly displays ornaments made by patients at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Yuletide Tour at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
November 18, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Location: 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE
Reservations recommended.
Times: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Open Daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas
Yuletide at Winterthur showcases the warmth and festive spirit of the season with beautiful displays shown on a tour of Henry Francis du Pont’s mansion as well as lovely trees, exquisite room displays, and a magical dollhouse. Each room on this year’s Yuletide Tour tells a story reflecting the ways in which Americans have celebrated the winter holiday season from the 1800s to the present. Can’t miss displays include the family Christmas tree and the majestic dried-flower tree in the Conservatory which features some 60 varieties of flowers.

Rehoboth Beach Tree Lighting & Sing Along
November 23, 2018
Location: Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
Times: 6:30 - 7 p.m.
Admission: Free

A Christmas Carol – The Musical presented by Clear Space Theatre Company
November 23 – December 9, 2018 (Thursday – Sunday)
Location: 20 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE
Times: Varies
Admission: $32
Enjoy a refreshed version of the classic tale of a prosperous curmudgeon who believes that personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others who is forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present and Future.

Dewey Beach Tree Lighting
November 24, 2018
Location: 2700 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach, DE
Times: 6 – 9 p.m.
Admission: Free

Holidays at Hagley Museum and Library
November 24, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Location: 201 Hagley Creek Road, Wilmington, DE
Admission: Adults $14, Children 6-14 $5, Children 5 and under and Hagley Members free
Times: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The 1803 du Pont family ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, will feature holiday decorations and interpretation on the French traditions of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Day and the celebration of Twelfth Night. Experience the du Pont ancestral home decorated for the holidays and "The Magic of Miniatures” exhibition, featuring a newly acquired dollhouse inhabited by miniature teddy bears.

Santa Claus Express on the Wilmington and Western Railroad 
November 24 - December 24, 2018 on Saturdays and Sundays
Location: 2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, DE
Admission: Adults: $19, Seniors (60+) $18, Children (2-12) $17, Children under 2 free
Times: Departs 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Why stand in line at the mall and wait to see Santa, when you can ride our train and have Santa come to you? The Jolly Old Elf himself rides the train and greets everyone on board, and gives all children a chocolate treat. Be sure to bring your camera and have Santa pose for pictures with your child during this 1½-hour round-trip to Ashland aboard the antique steam locomotive.

Christmas Tour of Lewes
December 1, 2018
Location: 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes, DE
Admission: Adults: $30, children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult
Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Experience historic Lewes, Delaware as nine homeowners open their doors to the community during the Historical Society’s signature event, “A Christmas Tour of Lewes”. Historical Society properties are decorated for the season and a greens sale will be held at Freddie’s Barn. Many community organizations welcome visitors as the First Town in the First State readies itself for the holidays.

Christmas in Odessa
December 1, 2018
Location: 506 High St., Odessa, DE
Times: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $25, Kids (6 to 12) $10, Kids (under 6) free
Christmas in Odessa is a self-guided walking tour of private homes and public buildings, many dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, decorated for the holidays. The tour will take place on December 1, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the house tour, we have many special events, which are included in the ticket price.

Home for the Holidays Marketplace and Parade
December 1, 2018
Location: Downtown Dover
Times: 5 – 9 p.m.
Admission: Free
Enjoy the night-time parade at 6:30 p.m. and other fun festivities happening downtown.

Holiday Happenings in Bethany
December 1, 2018
Location: 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE
Times: 1 – 6 p.m.
Admission: Free
From 1-3 p.m., enjoy photos with Santa, face painting, and of course, cookies and hot cocoa. Horse-drawn wagon rides, beach tractor, and trolley rides through town will go until 4 p.m.  At 5 p.m., gather at the bandstand plaza for the 4th annual lighting of the Holiday tree and caroling with The Remnants, the contemporary music group of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Holiday Lights Express on the Wilmington and Western Railroad 
December 7-23 & 26- 30, 2018
Location: 2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, DE
Admission: Adults $13, Seniors (60+) $12, Children (2-12) $11
Times: Departs 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 p.m.
Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our trackside neighbors decorate their homes and yards for our passengers to enjoy.

13th Annual Downtown Milford Holiday Stroll
December 7, 2018
Location: Downtown Milford
Times: 5-8 p.m.
Admission: Free
The Stroll will include Strolling Holiday Carolers, Delmarva Miniature Horse Club, local entertainment and a visit with Santa Claus at the Santa House. We're excited to announce carriage rides are back this year! Refreshments and entertainment will be offered at most downtown businesses.

18th Annual Spirit of Christmas Celebration
December 8, 2018
Location: 25 E. Second St., New Castle, DE
Times: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
This town-wide celebration, sponsored by the New Castle Presbyterian Church, presents private homes and churches decorated for the season, and musical events throughout the day. Rain or shine. Programs available at the NC Presbyterian Church, 25 E. 2nd Street.  From 10am-4pm, admission will be free at the Amstel House (decorated for a traditional colonial holiday) and the Dutch House (featuring a celebration of St. Nicholas' Eve).

Milton Holly Fest
December 8, 2018
Location: Downtown Milton
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Admission: Free
The Annual Holly Festival is a Milton tradition.  Held in the Milton Fire Department, Goshen Hall, the Milton Public Library and the Milton Theatre and featuring crafts , art work, jewelry and holiday gifts. Fresh plants ,wreaths along with festive food items will be available. Santa will be in attendance.

Sankta Lucia Celebration at Old Swedes Foundation
December 9, 2018
Location: 606 N. Church Street, Wilmington, DE
Admission: Adults $10
Times: 1 and 3 p.m.
Join us for a traditional celebration of the Feast Day of Sankta Lucia, a holiday that is still marked by light and music in Sweden today. The Delaware Swedish Colonial Society and Old Swedes Historic Site co-sponsor the annual December celebration of Sankta Lucia at Old Swedes Church.

Twilight Tours at Hagley Museum and Library
December 11, 2018 and on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for the remainder of the month (December 12, 18, 19, 26, 27)
Location: 201 Hagley Creek Road, Wilmington
Admission: Adults $10
Times: 4:30 – 7 p.m. (tours leave on the half hour)
Enjoy a rare opportunity to see Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America, dressed for the holidays and illuminated with softly glowing lights. Lace, fresh greenery, poinsettias, and dried flower arrangements adorn holiday displays throughout the residence. Be sure to see new “The Magic of Miniature” exhibition.

If you have time to spare, don’t forget that Delaware is the perfect place to finish up your holiday shopping. View top tax-free shopping locations here.