The holiday season is going to look a lot different this year. (But then, eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, that’s probably not much of a surprise.) A lot of the signature holiday events that usually make these weeks such a giddy experience in the Delaware River Towns have already been cancelled, including the Grand Illumination at Peddler’s Village, the New Hope holiday parade and tree lighting, the Yardley Olde Fashioned Christmas Parade, and the Christmas-day reenactment at Washington Crossing Historic Park (more on that in an upcoming post).
But there are still a bunch of opportunities to bask in the glow of holiday lights and see Santa (from a socially responsible distance). Read on to find out where.
Holiday Lights and Gingerbread Houses at Peddler’s Village | Starting November 19
Not having the Grand Illumination will be a big loss for many. Not to kick you while you’re down, but the Christmas Festival is also cancelled. However, there will be a muted holiday season at Peddler’s Village, including one of the most staggering holiday light displays in the area. It’s just not being turned on ceremoniously. Though, it’s hard to imagine how else you turn on millions of lights in every color. Either way, that’ll happen Nov. 19. The gingerbread house display will also open that night.
Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show | Starting Nov. 21
We haven’t included this in our previous holiday events field guide because, honestly, it hasn’t needed the promotion. Every year, for the better part of two months, a line of cars snakes from the farm down the I-95 off-ramp. Expect those lines to only grow this year because Shady Brook’s holiday light show was tailor-made for a pandemic. Everyone stays in their cars and follows a slow-moving, roughly 45-minute route that winds through the different holiday scenes on the farm. Just remember to bring snacks, or maybe even dinner.
Christmas Trains | Now
The prospect of riding an old-timey locomotive with Santa and his elves while drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies is enough to make most kids’ heads explode. So maybe keep it a surprise until you pull up to the station. There’s something in it for parents, too: A chance to checkout, mentally, and be absorbed by some pretty awesome views of the countryside. There are two North Pole Expresses running through the Delaware River Towns, one in New Hope and another across the river, in Flemington. New Hope Railroad’s is already running. Black River & Western Railroad’s will begin Nov. 22. Both require advance registration.