A Century of Santa: Images of Santa Claus in the 1800s


12:00 - 4:30 PM Daily (closed December 15-16 and 24-25)

Included with guided tour admission; donations welcome for self-guided viewing.

PLEASE NOTE: The exhibition will close at 3:00 pm on Saturday, January 10, for a private event.

A Century of Santa: Images of Santa Claus in the 1800s presents the early history of Santa Claus in America, using rare magazine illustrations, store advertising, and children’s storybooks from the collection of the National Christmas Center and Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Beginning with early gift givers such as the Christkindl (the Christ Child), the Belsnickel (who handed out gifts to good children but coal to naughty children), and Philadelphia’s own Kris Kringle, this exhibition will use both two- and three-dimensional images to trace the visual evolution of Santa throughout the Nineteenth Century.