A few quaint little East Coast towns take celebrating the Christmas season to the next level, offering some of the best light displays, decorations and festive family activities. These four charming locales, full of holiday-obsessed folks, are well worth a visit.
Koziar’s Christmas Village | Bernville, Pennsylvania
Back in 1948, William M. Koziar began decorating his family home and barn for Christmas, and it became Koziar’s Christmas Village. Annual additions to the original displays include the property’s lake, walkways, trees and fences.
Visitors walk through a dazzling winter wonderland, with more than 1 million lights throughout 11 indoor buildings, including Santa’s Post Office, Old-Fashioned Bakery Shop, The Kissing Bridge, Santa’s Toy Shoppe, Christmas Beneath the Sea, Christmas in Other Lands, The Night Before Christmas, and a Beautiful Manger Scene, as well as a huge indoor train display in the Refreshment Barn. Santa is onsite every evening through Dec. 23 for photographs.
Koziar’s is open through Jan. 1. Food, drinks, and gifts are available for purchase.
Visit koziarschristmasvillage.com at 782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, Pennsylvania
Christmas Town USA | McAdenville, North Carolina
McAdenville, North Carolina, the small southern town now known as Christmas Town USA, started with nine Christmas trees adorned with red, white and green lights around the McAdenville Community Center in 1956. The celebration has grown each year since, now featuring 375 trees as well as twinkling lights embellishing nearly every home in town.
The lights are on every night through Dec. 26, while bells are playing Christmas carols. Visitors may drive or walk the 1.3-mile route through the quaint downtown. Visit: ChristmasTownUSA.org
Overly’s Country Christmas | Westmoreland County Fairgrounds, PA
Overly’s Country Christmas, a mostly volunteer-run nonprofit organization that has supported multiple charitable endeavors since 1956, creates holiday memories with a traditional Christmas Village filled with traditional sights, sounds, treats and things to do reminiscent of long-ago Christmases.
Visitors can sing carols around a bonfire, view a model train display, take pictures with Santa, go on a wagon ride, or a Kids’ Express train ride and shop for gifts in the C. Edgar & Sons General Store. Talking with Santa is free; personal photos can be taken for a $5 donation.
Overly’s Country Christmas is also a donation site during the holidays. Visitors are encouraged to Share the Magic, helping neighbors and pets in need with new, unwrapped toys, nonperishable food items, dry cat/dog food or kitty litter. Leave donations at the admission gate.
Admission includes a drive through the lights and a visit to Christmas Village. The Christmas Village is open daily through Dec. 30.
Visit: Overlys.com or call at 724-423-1400 . 116 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg, Pennsylvania
The old-fashioned Victorian charm of Woodstock, Vermont, is especially evident in the picture-perfect Christmas town’s holiday schedule of events at Billings Farm & Museum, 69 Old River Road.
Victorian Christmas is the theme of Christmas at the Farm through Jan. 1 at Billings’ authentically decorated visitor center and historic barn. Visitors can dip their own candles and vote for the best staff-made gingerbread house on display, warm up by the outdoor fire, buy a cup of cocoa and s’mores, and meet the barn’s cows, horses, chickens, sheep and goats, or shop in the museum gift shop. Weather permitting, a snowshoe, hike or cross-country ski along the Ottauquechee River is available.
Pentangle Arts at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre has a full schedule, too, including musical performances, cookies with Santa, and more. For more information, call 802-457-3981 or visit pentanglearts.org.
Visit woodstockvt.com or call 802-457-3555
by Ellyn Wexler