Christmas at Fort Hunter

Christmas at Fort Hunter 2024
Fort Hunter Park 

This month-long celebration begins with the Mansion decorated with artfully arranged fresh greens by the Garden Club of Harrisburg. The Fort Hunter Mansion is open for tours Tuesday-Sunday with reservations preferred and prioritized. Admission is just $7.00 per person. Learn more & register.

Weekends include a popular toy train exhibit in the Centennial Barn, decorated Christmas trees exhibited in the Tavern House, Fort Couture where dress forms are transformed into imaginative holiday decorations, and the kids-only holiday shop. Consider joining the fun at one of the special events such as a visit with Santa's Reindeer or the Victorian Tea!

Christmas at Fort Hunter is sponsored by:

Capital Blue Cross Logo


Special Weekend Exhibits Saturdays & Sundays from 12:30 - 4:30 PM.


Toy Train Exhibit
Saturday & Sunday ONLY
November 30 - December 22
12:30 - 4:30 PM
Free admission

All aboard! The magical HO gauge model trains start rolling Presented by the Keystone Model Railroad Historical Society.  This magical HO gauge model train set incorporates many interactive elements and a walk-around setup. 
This a must-see attraction for the whole family!

Old and new trains will be displayed each week and for the annual visitor, exciting new additions are made each year.

Thanks to the Friends of Fort Hunter
for underwriting this popular attraction.

Annual Festival of Trees
Saturday & Sunday ONLY
November 30 - December 22
12:30 - 4:30 PM
Free Admission

Get in the holiday spirit!

Co-sponsored by the Harrisburg Area Civic Garden Center, six themed Christmas trees are exhibited for viewing.

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.

Fort Couture
Saturdays & Sundays ONLY
December 7 - 22
12:30 - 4:30 PM
Free Admission

Adorned in the holiday spirit, these dress forms decorated like a Christmas tree are a
twist on holiday decoration.

Displayed in the Stone Stable, these festive wonders are created by volunteers, Friends of Fort Hunter, and local businesses. Using fresh greens and other natural and imaginative materials, Fort Couture will amaze
and inspire your holiday season.

Kids Only Holiday Shop
Saturdays & Sundays ONLY
December 7 - 22
12:30 - 4:30 PM

Kids aged 12 and under can shop for family and friends with the help of Fort Hunter elves. All gifts are under $15 with items for all ages, including grandparents.

Children will shop with the guidance of Santa’s helpers who will assist youngsters in picking out tasteful and unique items from the Museum Shop at Fort Hunter. Parents provide spending money and a gift list.

The gifts will be wrapped and tagged by helper elves and children will emerge with smiles on their faces and secrets in their gift sacks.



Friends of Fort Hunter Greens Sale - Fresh Greens Available to Order

Details on this year's sale will be updated in the Fall of 2024. Check back soon!


Victorian Tea with candles, cookies and silver tea set
Artisian Handcrafted items for sale - pottery, blown glass, wood working, etc.
Live Reindeer



Special Holiday Events

Craft Reunion 
December 6-8, 2024
Hours vary and will be updated in the fall for 2024

Centennial Barn | Free Admission

Handcrafted, affordable pottery, jewelry, candles, metal sculpture, woodcraft, glass, fine art, photography, herbal soaps, photography, ornaments, and more are offered for sale by members of the former Third Street Pottery.

This annual open house is eagerly anticipated by all who value the opportunity to meet the makers of the fine crafts on offer. Buy Local from the best of Central Pennsylvania’s artisans.

Victorian Tea 
December 8, 2024 | 11:30  - 3:30 PM
Fort Hunter Mansion

Sample sweet and savory treats as you sip cups of spiced tea and enjoy the Mansion adorned for the holidays with fresh greens and natural trimmings.

  • Members of the Civil War Dance and Arts Society greet guests and pour the tea in 1860s-era costumes.
  • View a demonstration of making clear toy candy.
  • Enjoy the sound of holiday music with MaryAnn Guerrisi on her violin.
  • The Museum Shop is well stocked for unique holiday gift ideas!

Guests begin their visit with a self-guided tour of the holiday decorations by the Civic Committee of the Harrisburg Garden Club and conclude with tea in the dining room. Tea features the Friends of Fort Hunter spiced tea, ham and chicken finger sandwiches (egg salad available upon request while supplies last), and homemade cookies.

Guided Mansion tours will not be offered on this date.

Clear Toy Candy Demonstration
December 8, 2024 | 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Fort Hunter Mansion  Summer Kitchen | Free Admission

One of the great traditions of Christmas in the 1800s was receiving a piece of three-dimensional clear toy candy. Stop by the Mansion summer kitchen to visit with candy makers George Kopp and Gina Napoli and view the methods of creating this Pennsylvania-German tradition that dates back to the 1700s.  Candies will be available for purchase.

Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration
December 8, 2024 | 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Tavern House Summer Kitchen | Free Admission

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

St. Thomas Dulcimer Society in Concert
December 11, 2024 |  6:30  - 8:00 PM
Centennial Barn | Free Admission

Enjoy a collection of holiday and seasonal tunes played on mountain dulcimers,  Baritone dulcimers, Bass dulcimer, banhammer (plays like a Dulcimer sounds like a banjo), harps, and hammer dulcimer.

A holiday sing-along will conclude the concert and the Toy Train Exhibit will be open for a visit during a brief intermission. Seating is limited.   FREE

Santa's Reindeer & Storytime with Mrs. Santa
December 14, 2024 | 12:30 - 2:30 PM

Centennial Barn | Free Admission

Visit in person, take photographs with Santa’s reindeer, and stop by for a story with Mrs. Santa. Refreshments are available by donation. The line to see the reindeer will close at 2:15 PM. No registration is required.


Brass Triumphant Concert
Date and time will be updated in the fall of 2024
Centennial Barn | Free Admission

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. No registration is required.



Green Clear Toy Candy on a White Tablecloth
Person Playing the Dulcimer - Close Up of Hands on the Strings
Open Hearth Cooking on a Fire in a Brick Fireplace