Christmas at Fort Hunter

The Holiday season at Fort Hunter is full of wonder inside and out. Click the links to find out more about our cherished holiday traditions!

Events sponsored by:

Capital Blue Cross

Christmas at the Mansion

December 1 – December 23

Catch the holiday spirit as you enjoy a guided tour of the festive decorations of fresh greens and fruits, dried materials, and fresh flowers. Many thanks to the Civic Committee of the Garden Club of Harrisburg for their holiday inspirations. Reservations suggested.

Toy Train Exhibit

November 25 – December 23

Enjoy the cherished nostalgia of the toy train, in-person. Presented and operated by the Keystone Model Railroad Historical Society, HO gauge trains travel through a magical wonderland featuring realistic animated scenes that illustrate how people lived, worked, and played in our region on an 9′ x 28′ layout. New attractions are added annually. Thanks to the Friends of Fort Hunter for underwriting this popular attraction.




Festival of Trees

November 25 – December 17

Themed Christmas trees are exhibited for viewing. Co-sponsored by the Harrisburg Area Garden Center, beautifully decorated with handmade ornaments and trimmed by local garden clubs, the trees are available for raffle. A selection of handmade ornaments will be available for purchase.

“Kids Only” Holiday Shop

Weekends Only Dec 2-17

Kids aged 12 and under can shop for family and friends with the aid of helper elves. All gifts are under $11 with items for all ages, including grandparents. Santa’s helpers will assist youngsters in picking out tasteful and unique items from the Museum Shop at Fort Hunter. Chaperones provide spending money and a gift list. The gifts will be wrapped and tagged by helper elves. Don’t miss this special opportunity for parents and kids.

Fort Couture: Christmas Tree Dresses

Weekends Only Dec 2-17

View dress forms attired in Christmas tree decorations. Let festive creativity, where anything is possible and the holiday spirit is alive and well, inspire the holidays.


Craft Reunion

Friday, December 1, 12:00 – 9:00 pm

Saturday, December 2, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 3, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Shop handcrafted, affordable pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, rustic woodcraft, glass, fine art, photography, wood toys, soaps, ornaments and more, created by local artisans. Shop local!


Victorian Tea and Holiday Demonstrations

Sunday, December 3, 12:00 – 4:30 pm

Victorian Tea, 11:30 – 3:30 pm, reservations every half hour

Experience the Mansion adorned for the holidays with fresh greens and natural trimmings by the Civic Committee of the Harrisburg Garden Club. Enjoy live holiday music by MaryAnn Guerrisi on her violin. Conclude your visit with tea, consisting of tea sandwiches, homemade cookies and Fort Hunter’s traditional spiced tea, served in the dining room.

Open Hearth Cooking


Pop in the summer kitchen to see and smell the fire burning in the hearth and chat with cook, Audrey Trussell, as she prepares holiday treats using recipes (called receipts) from the 1800s over the open fire.

Clear Toy Candy Demonstration


One of the great traditions of Christmas in the 1800’s was receiving a piece of three-dimensional clear toy candy. Stop by the summer kitchen to visit with candy maker Gina Napoli and view the methods of creating this Pennsylvania-German tradition that dates to the 1700s.

Saint Thomas Dulcimer Society in Concert

Wednesday, December 6,  7:00– 8:30 pm

Enjoy a mixture of holiday and seasonal tunes played on mountain dulcimers, Baritone dulcimers, a Bass dulcimer, banjammer (plays like a Dulcimer sounds like a banjo,) harps and a hammer dulcimer. A holiday sing-along will conclude the concert and the Toy Train Exhibit will be open for a brief visit at the end of the evening, there will be no intermission.


Santa’s Reindeer & Mrs. Santa

Saturday, December 9, 12:30 – 2:30 pm (line for the reindeer closes at 2:15 pm)

Visit and take photographs with one of Santa’s reindeer. Sit with Mrs. Santa as she reads classic Christmas stories. Refreshments are available by donation. ONE DAY ONLY!

Brass Triumphant in Concert

Sunday, December 17, 2 pm

Enjoy a free concert of Christmas music!  Join the 8-member Mechanicsburg area brass group as they play familiar holiday tunes and Christmas songs in an informal concert setting.