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Local News

Kicking Off the New Year in the Keystone State


Parker Wallis

No need to travel to NYC to watch the ball drop. Pennsylvania’s got all of your New Year’s festivities covered.

The town of Lancaster, for example, hosts a vast array of fun opportunities for residents and guests alike to enjoy. Starting at 8 PM on December 31st, Lancaster’s Laserdome will host a huge family party complete with noise makers, party hats, a TouchTunes Dance Party, and a laser countdown for when the New Year comes. At the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Elf the Musical will be playing for theater-loving patrons from December 1st to January 8th, and for astronomy fans, the North Museum is hosting its Season of Light event from December 23rd to 31st, which includes a planetarium show at 11 AM.

Hershey, which features the iconic Hersheypark, is commencing the holiday season with its Hersheypark Christmas Candylane. From December 2nd to January 1st, Hersheypark will feature select rides and coasters, over 5 million dancing lights, and Santa’s sleigh with all 9 of his trusty reindeer. Hop on board the Candymonium, Hersheypark’s biggest and most famous coaster, feast at the one of the park’s three dining experiences (e.g. The Chocolatier Restaurant Bar + Patio), buy a tasty souvenir from one of the many retail shops, or take a photo memory at the Kisses Fountain. 

If you happen to be around the Berks County area, head on over to Bernville where Koziar’s Christmas Village is currently open and ready for holiday visitors. Open through New Year’s Day 2023, the village and its vibrant light show is a tradition that dates back to its founding in 1948 when William Koziar decorated his farm for the season, which quickly became the talk of the town and later an annual celebration. Today, it’s known as one of the top holiday attractions in all of Pennsylvania, flush with fun seasonal activities in addition to its light displays. Check out the indoor and outdoor model railroads, or visit with Father Christmas himself. You can even nibble on some cookies or sip some hot chocolate available at local snack shops. For couples and loved ones, a trip to the scenic Kissing Bridge is highly recommended if you want to share an intimate, romantic moment. 

Even the Poconos, known for their luxurious resorts and ski slopes, is preparing for a myriad of opulent end-of-the-year celebrations. Tickets are available for the Masquerade Ball at the Settlers Inn, where guests can sample the farm-to-table menu and party to live music. Start off the New Year with a fine dining experience and a reservation at one of the Poconos’ lavish establishments, such as The Frogtown Chophouse or Macaluso’s Restaurant. Hit the powdery slopes at Blue Mountain Resorts, bring the whole family for a splash at Great Wolf Lodge, or book a cozy overnight stay at the Ledges Hotel. 

Pennsylvanians right now have their hearts full of the holiday spirit, eager for the turn of the New Year and its new beginnings. Why not spend New Year’s Eve with friendly, festive people and share in their unique traditions and celebrations?