Ho-Ho-Holy Mackerel! Area’s 2022 Holiday Calendar Is a Stuffed Stocking of Seasonal Splendor

stockings hung
Image via iStock.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Montgomery County, with special events, displays, dining, and libation opportunities stretching from northeast Bryn Athyn to southwest Pottstown — and everywhere in between.

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board has made a festive list (a very extensive one), checked it twice, and compiled this guide to 2022 holiday events for Dec. celebrants of all ages and interests.

Holiday Displays

These massive collections of bulbs and baubles make a great background to a family or couple’s holiday card.

 American Treasure Tour, Oaks

This eclectic museum comprises pop-culture icons from the past in a collection so massive, it takes an onsite tram for visitors to see even a portion of it all. Holiday highlights include large display of Santa figures, portions of the Enchanted Colonial Village from Phila.’s Lit Bros., and several band organs — think of them as player pianos on steroids — set with holiday song standards.

Cairnwood Estate, Bryn Athyn

Tour the holiday traditions of the Pitcairn family in the Cairnwood Estate, a remarkable 19th-century estate, decked out in its seasonal finery. Special events include a tea and a children’s “critter quest.”

Colebrookdale Railroad, Boyertown

Seasonal excursions in this Pottstown-adjacent attraction include scheduled runs with Santa and crew. But there are a few specially themed jaunts as well. The Haunted Magical Yuletide Express at Colebrookdale Railroad, for example, is a Father Christmas/Wizarding World mashup full of magical charms and mystical snow. Know, however, that this excursion is suitable for even the youngest elves.

Illuminaire Nights, Skippack

The annual Illuminaire Nights in scenic Skippack Village takes an already picturesque main street and dusts it with extra holiday magic. Hundreds of candles line the pathways and retail spaces of this alluring spot, where shoppers and carolers tap into the warm feeling of the holidays.

King of Prussia Mall

Shopping, decorations, music, lights, food, and great pictures — for kids, couples, families — with Santa. It’s all the magic of Dec. under one roof.

Legoland Discover Center, Plymouth Meeting

Legoland’s Holiday Bricktacular may be built on small construction rectangles, but its holiday celebration is a fully rounded experience whose events include Santa photos and ornament-building opportunities.

Montgomery County Main Streets

The VFTCB’s Make It Montco Experience app has been updated with information on some of the most scenic, utterly charming hamlets in the county, all dressed in lights, ribbons, garland, and bedecked trees. Once downloaded, navigating them all becomes easy.

Spring Mountain Adventures, Schwenksville

Montco’s only ski mountain, Spring Mountain, offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. With eight trails, four lifts, two terrain parks, and a new, full-sized skating rink, there’s simply no better place to make the most of winter.

Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular, Oaks

The outdoor holiday light event — with the added bonuses of food, entertainment, shopping, and themed editions — took Montgomery County families by storm last year, selling out several nights in the run-up to Dec. 25. Tinseltown is back, with just as many lights and spectacles and a few new additions (skating, a giant slide).

Wild Lights, Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown

Elmwood Park Zoo Wild Lights festival covers its pathways with more than one million lights, as well as some animated light installations. Other picture-worthy details include photos with Santa and, of course, photos of animals.

Holiday Food

All that travel to and from Montgomery County’s light shows is likely to bring on a bit of an appetite. No worries. The area’s restaurateurs are providing special menu items that are ideally satisfying, served in festive settings.

Capital Grille, King of Prussia

The holidays only come once a year so why not enjoy the spirit of good tidings and feast this year at Capital Grille. Dining options include seated service and upscale catering for gatherings at home.

Creed’s Seafood and Steaks, King of Prussia

Some of the best steaks in the county are cooked to diners’ specific preferences and served with white-glove attentiveness at Creed’s. If palates lean more toward seafood, they’ll be utterly satisfied here as well, as Creeds’ chef John Talbot does magical things with oceanic offerings, including a signature, creamy lobster bisque.

Farmer’s Daughter, Blue Bell

Cozy, romantic, and elegant, the Farmer’s Daughter restaurant at Normandy Farm has holiday dining written all over it. It’s ideal for a Dec. date night, offering an escape from the errands and upbeat pace of the season. It’s also a go-to spot for a larger occasion, such as reuniting an extended family around a table of excellent dishes.

Fogo de Chão, King of Prussia

Fogo de Chao Brazilian steaks are sumptuous onsite but just as appealing as part of its holiday catering menu. There are numerous benefits to letting its chefs do the hard work — professional results, no cleanup, stress-free hosting — but if that’s not enough, Fogo is offering extra discounts and an extra gift to catering clients. For home grillers looking to craft holiday meals on their own decks or porches, prepared meats are cut and seasoned for exactly that level of offsite preparation.

Founding Farmers, King of Prussia

For Christmas or Hanukkah, Founding Farmers is a solid recommendation. The onsite kitchen crew is as skilled with roasts and hams as it is with matzo ball soup and potato latkes. The appeal of its desserts — the pies and cheesecakes — transcends all ethnic backgrounds.

Gypsy Saloon, Conshohocken

This is a culinary escape of a more casual nature. Seating is both indoors and out, with heaters making the latter workable even when Dec. turns nippy. In terms of seasonal bar offerings, the pumpkin pie martini brings a tasty glow.

Redstone American Grille, Plymouth Meeting

Redstone’s seasonal vibe is rustic yet romantic. The open-flame grilling does magical things with the chicken, fish, and steak, which can be augmented with interesting appetizers and decadent desserts.

Savona, Gulph Mills

With history that goes back to the Revolutionary War (Aaron Burr, one of the central figures to the musical Hamilton, lived there), Savona has been a noted source of excellent food in an upscale setting for generations. The entire experience is unique, as guests can watch the chefs work their magic through window views into the kitchen.

Southern Cross Kitchen, Conshohocken

Southern Cross is all about homecooked meals and old-fashioned southern hospitality. Excellent for dinner, Southern Cross is also a terrific place for brunch before a Montgomery County excursion that follows. The bourbon and banana pecan French toast or open-faced biscuit sandwich will fuel any rest-of-the-day outing.

Stove and Tap, Lansdale

Look no further than Stove and Tap in Lansdale for a new holiday tradition. On Dec. 10, Santa joins guests for a special holiday brunch. The fare includes pancakes that are kicked up a notch with seasonal flavors of gingersnaps, candy canes, and M&M. The kids can gulp hot chocolate; adults, can, too, but their versions can be ordered spiked.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse, King of Prussia

The setting, culinary skills, and bar expertise are only three of the many reasons to put a night at Sullivan’s on the Dec. to-do list. The upscale atmosphere gets a jazzy soundtrack — surely inclusive of a few riffs on holiday classics — to boost the experience.

Montco’s “Spirited” Season

In the light of Hanukkah candles, the Christmas yule log, and Diwali fireworks, the winter holidays shine even brighter with seasonal drinks from Montco. The county’s array of inventive breweries, wineries, and distilleries bringing back old favorites and releasing new ones, all while offering cocktail workshops, food-truck festivals, and music.

All five of these recommendations have specialty drinks with the flavors of the season, including candy cane, cranberry, caramel, cinnamon, hot chocolate, ginger, pine, and pumpkin.

  • Boardroom Spirits, Lansdale
  • Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery, Lansdale
  • Conshohocken Brewing Company
  • Five Saints Distilling, Norristown
  • Manatawny Still Works, Pottstown
  • Well Crafted Beer Company, Lansdale, Ambler

Things to Do

The light displays mentioned at the top of this list of holiday recommendations aren’t the only things going on. Here are a few more recommendations that popped out of Santa’s bag for Dec. in Montgomery County:

  • Holiday Crafting & Animal Cuddles at Rose Bridge Farm & Sanctuary, Dresher: The crafting part of this event is the chance to make glass etchings or candles; the snuggle part is petting baby goats.
  • Holiday Shopping: From malls to main streets, there’s a reason this area is a retail mecca, especially this time of year.
  • King of Prussia Mall Christmas Village Experience: a walk-through holiday trip through settings that include Santa’s workshop (of course) and film settings from Elf, the Harry Potter franchise, and The Nightmare before Christmas.
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park: The site of the Continental Army’s winter encampment is historically linked to the Christmas season, as Washington and his troops arrived Dec. 19, 1777. The park commemorates that arrival in a recreation that has become a mainstay on local history buffs’ calendars. As well, the park’s Encampment Store is a wonderful place to browse for unique gifts.

Kid-Friendly Fare

Parental tip for navigating the over-excitable youngsters who seem to be jumping out of their skin as Dec. trudges toward the 25th: Engage them in an activity. The following recommendations are in addition to much of what has already been described:

  • Brunch with Santa, Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown; Sat. and Sun. starting Dec. 4
  • Gingerbread House Decorating Party, Cedar Grove Barn, Conshohocken, Dec. 11

Finding the Particulars

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board website has complete details on local 2022 holiday events.


This 2021 video from the Colebrookdale Railroad looks at the magical connection between trains and the Dec. holidays.

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