Christmas in Pennsylvania


Belsnickel (sometimes translated “St. Nicholas dressed in fur”) was a Christmas gift-giver in early Pennsylvania Dutch communities, making the rounds from farmhouse to farmhouse. Belsnickel brought treats or presents for obedient children, but was ready with a rod or switch to punish naughty ones.

Daily 12:00 - 4:30 PM
Closed December 12-13, 24-25

Suggested donation $5 per person (includes both exhibitions).

How was Christmas celebrated in southeastern Pennsylvania during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? What traditions were observed in the city of Philadelphia, and in rural Pennsylvania Dutch communities? This holiday exhibition features vintage objects and images from the National Christmas Center and Museum (Lancaster County) and the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University (Berks County).