Holiday Happenings

Steam train decorated with a wreath

NPS Photo

Join in the festivities at parks across the country as national parks celebrate holidays of past and present throughout the month of December. Step into the past to discover how people celebrated winter holidays, experience another culture's traditions, or just join in the fun!

Parks across the country are hosting special events, like train rides, open houses, musical performances, solstice observances, craft-making, food-tasting, caroling, resolution hikes, and more. Check the list of events below to find something near you.

Come to an event or create your own holiday traditions of visiting a national park.

Get in the Spirit of the Holidays

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Upcoming Events

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  • Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Wear pajamas to hear a reading of The Polar Express as we journey to the North Pole. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.

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    • Location: See Description
    • Fees: See Description
  • Monday, December 4, 2017

    Journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express™.

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    • Location: Visit cvsr.com for times and locations.
    • Fees: Visit web site for fee information.
  • Thursday, December 7, 2017

    Join us in your ugliest holiday sweater for an evening of fun.

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    • Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    • Location: Rockside Station
    • Fees: $30
  • Fort Monroe National Monument

    Fort Monroe Tree Lighting Ceremony

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    Annual holiday tree lighting ceremony at Cannon Park.

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    • Time: 6:00 PM
    • Location: Cannon Park - 3 Ruckman Road, Fort Monroe, VA 23651
    • Fees: No Fee
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Holiday Lantern Tours

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    Walk with lantern in hand through the village and discover seasonal traditions and lore.

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    • Location: Hale Farm & Village
    • Fees: $20 adults, $12 children 3-12, $15 WRHS members
  • Thomas Edison National Historical Park

    Holidays at Glenmont OptOutside

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    Glenmont will be decorated much as it was while the Edison family lived there. Greenery and red poinsettias will deck the mantles above the fireplaces.

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    • Time: 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM
    • Location: Glenmont
    • Fees: Normal Entry Fee
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park

    Rock of Ages

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    Rock of Ages Annual Event

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    • Time: 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
    • Location: In the cavern
    • Fees: $10.00
  • River Raisin National Battlefield Park

    French Noel!

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Celebrate the holidays the Old French Way!

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    • Time: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    • Location: 1403 E. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI. 48162
    • Fees: FREE
  • Fire Island National Seashore

    15th Reenactment of the Flying Santa

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Relive this historic event. Santa arrives at the Lighthouse. Great photo opportunity!

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    • Time: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
    • Location: Fire Island National Seashore: Fire Island Lighthouse
    • Fees: Free program
  • James A Garfield National Historic Site

    A Winter Evening at Lawnfield with Mrs. Lucretia Garfield

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Join Mrs. Garfield as she reminisces about family memories and traditions during the holiday season.

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    • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
    • Location: James A. Garfield National Historic Site
    • Fees: $15 per person, 16 and above only
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways

    An Ozark Christmas Celebration

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    December 9th, 2017. Ozark National Scenic Riverways is hosting an old fashioned Christmas celebration for the public at the Alley General Store.

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    • Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    • Location: Alley Spring, Ozark National Scenic Riverways
    • Fees: FREE
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

    Christmas at Fort Vancouver

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Experience the sights and sounds of the 1840s holiday season at Fort Vancouver.

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    • Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • Location: Entrance gate to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, 1001 E 5th St, Vancouer WA 98661
    • Fees: $5 ages 16 years and older, Free ages 15 years and under
  • Cane River Creole National Historical Park

    Christmas Downriver

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Homemade ornaments, historic games, story time, and singing of holiday songs and carols.

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    • Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    • Location: Magnolia Plantation
    • Fees: Free
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Christmas in Peninsula

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Holiday memories for the entire family are made here.

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    • Location: Peninsula, OH
    • Fees: Free
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site

    Christmas Past Celebration

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Join us for an old-fashioned Christmas celebration just the way the people at the fort would have celebrated in the 1860s and 1870s.

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    • Time: 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM
    • Location: Fort Larned National Historic Site
    • Fees: Free
  • Chamizal National Memorial

    Evening of Fiesta

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Enjoy a vibrant performance by K’AAY Ballet Folklorico, as they celebrate the culture of Mexico through traditional song and dance.

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    • Time: 6:00 PM
    • Location: indoor theater
    • Fees: $5
  • Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site

    Holiday Music and the Holiday of Christmas

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Music and a talk for the holiday season

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    • Time: 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
    • Location: 897 S. Columbus Av., Mt .Vernon, NY
    • Fees: FREE
  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

    Holiday Open House

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Join us for our annual open house to celebrate the holiday season!

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    • Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    • Location: Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
    • Fees: FREE
  • George Washington Carver National Monument

    Holiday Open House

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    The park staff and volunteers invite the public to a holiday celebration of seasonal music, interpretative programs and refreshments.

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    • Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    • Location: Visitor Center
    • Fees: FREE
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area

    Holiday Open House

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Join park rangers for chats throughout the day during our annual holiday open house.

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    • Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • Location: Lake Mead Visitor Center
  • Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

    Holiday Open House

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    The park will host a Holiday Open House the evening of Saturday, December 9th beginning at 6:00 pm.

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    • Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    • Location: Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
    • Fees: FREE
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