Holiday In The Parks

Holiday in the Parks

From concerts to candlelight tours, sleigh rides and holiday celebrations, America’s national parks know how to ring in the holiday season.  The National Park Foundation is excited to be your guide to holiday fun in the parks coast to coast.  Check out our extensive list of ideas and get planning your seasonal park adventure today!

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - The Polar Express™, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, through 12/20
Enjoy hearing a reading of The Polar Express™ as we journey to the North Pole. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Cookies and hot chocolate are served.

An Eisenhower Christmas, Eisenhower National Historic Site, 12/01 to 12/31
Celebrate Christmas in the tradition of Gettysburg's First Family at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. The Eisenhower’s' home is decorated as it was during their presidential years in the 1950s: poinsettias, boughs of pine and holly, a tree surrounded by presents, and the dining room table set for Christmas dinner with the Eisenhower Wedgwood china and silver.

A Christmas Past, Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, 11/30 & 12/01
West Branch, Iowa, the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, hosts a weekend of music, horse-drawn rides, shopping and holiday entertainment.

Holiday Noon Concerts 2012, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Wednesdays from 12/05 to 12/19
The concerts will be presented in the Victorian era decorated Old Courthouse rotunda.

Christmas Nature Crafts for Kids, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, 12/06
Christmas Nature Crafts: 4-5 p.m. Thursday, December 6; Join Amanda McCutcheon from the National Park Service to create homemade Christmas crafts using items from nature.

Santa's Workshop, The Ellipse at President’s Park, 12/8 to 12/24
Meet Santa and his elves in their workshop while listening to holiday music performances.

A Taste of Christmas Past, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, 12/08
Young and old alike will thrill in the magic of mountain holidays of old. Feast on old time delectable favorites of Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and Twelfth Night Cake! Create special gifts for loved ones.

10th Annual Reenactment of the Flying Santa, Fire Island National Seashore, 12/08
Relive this historic event with us. Santa arrives at the Lighthouse. Great photo opportunity! Come early.

Christmas at Fort Vancouver, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 12/08
Experience the sights and sounds of the 1800's holiday season at Fort Vancouver. Visitors will be able to view and participate in activities undertaken by residents at the fort
during the holiday season. Enjoy Wreath Making, Holiday Beverages, Caroling, and more! *$3 per adult/ Free for anyone 15 years or younger.

Winter Luminary Walk, De Soto National Memorial, 12/15
De Soto National Memorial's Winter Luminary Festival is one of our most popular events. This year we will expand the Luminary trail to the whole park were we will feature hundreds of luminaries, Musical acts like Juan Leon, Native American musician, The Manatee High School Chamber Orchestra, and holiday lights. This event is free, but is subject to outside weather conditions.

Holiday Homecoming, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 12/15
Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas celebration in the Smokies with traditional music, holiday crafts, and cider and cookies!

Holiday Open House, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, 12/09
Come and visit the mansion on Sunday, December 9th for our Free Open House, from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Refreshments will be served.

Candle Lantern Tour, Fort Pulaski National Monument, 12/14 & 12/15
Join us for a guided tour of the historic fort by candlelight as we sing carols, listen to period music, enjoy cookies and hot cider, and watch a night-time cannon firing and musket firing. Reservations are required.

Holiday Trolley Tours, Valley Forge National Historical Park, multiple days between 11/23 to 12/30
Hop aboard an old-fashioned trolley and enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of Valley Forge. Tours depart from the front of the Visitor Center and make extended stops at the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts and Washington's Headquarters.

Annual New Year's Open House, William Howard Taft National Historic Site, 12/31
The Friends of the William Howard Taft Birthplace host the annual New Year's Open House from 1-4 p.m., the public is invited to visit the house and enjoy holiday refreshments, just as the guests to the Taft house would have done in the 1850's at the birthplace of the nation's 27th President.

For more information on these and any other holiday celebrations happening in America’s national parks, please visit