- Music Friday returns, from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 19 in downtown Lancaster. Each third Friday of the month, Lancaster City will entertain musical performances throughout the afternoon. In addition to live music, Music Friday will also feature retailers, restaurants and other attractions.
- Children are invited to Build Their Own Cookie House with Santa, from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 20 at the Country Barn, located on 211 S. Donerville Road, Lancaster. As described by the Country Barn, each child will be given a cookie building kit (includes 6 graham crackers, gum drops, mini candy canes, and more) to make their unique creations. The Country Kitchen will be vending hot chocolate, coffee, and baked goods, as part of their “Christmas on the Farm” holiday-weekend celebrations. [Admission is free; cookie building kits are $5 each]
- The Mixed Nutz Band will be performing at 8 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Burning Bridge Tavern, 108 Hellam St., Wrightsville. The variety band brings to the stage a combined 125 years of live music performance. They entertain both Country and Classic Rock, and have represented a variety of acts, ranging from Alan Jackson and Willie Nelson to Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rolling Stones.
- See the Ann Kerstetter Band, at 9 p.m. Dec. 19 in the River City Blues Club and Dart Room, 819 S. Cameron St., Harrisburg. Ann Kerstetter began performing at an early age, as the front woman for a local rock band. The precocious singer later teamed up with other talented, Pennsylvania blues and jazz musicians to form the Ann Kerstetter Band; earning numerous accolades along the way. [$5]
- The Reading Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Extravaganza is scheduled to perform at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Santander Performing Arts Center, 700 Penn St., Reading. Featuring the talents of the Reading Symphony Youth and Junior String Orchestras, the holiday concert promises to be enjoyable experience for the entire family. The event includes an “instrument petting zoo” and limited on-stage seating for children to get a closer look during the concert. [Tickets vary by seating and can be purchased online.]
- There are several performances of “The Nutcracker” slated for this weekend. The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet will be performing their interpretation of this classic holiday ballet. Concert-goers can catch a show at 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Dec. 20 or at 2 p.m. Dec. 21 in the Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey.
- The Susquehanna Chorale will be in town, at 4 p.m. Dec. 21 in the Market Square Presbyterian Church, 20 South Second St., Harrisburg. As part of “A Candlelight Christmas,” the Susquehanna Chorale will be performing an intriguing lineup of Christmas hymns and songs spanning nearly five centuries. The stylistic arrangement culminates with a candlelit rendition of “Silent Night” to celebrate the holiday season. [Tickets are $20 for adults in advance and $25 at the door. $5 for students.]
- The Night Before Christmas Railroad Tour will be chugging along, at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 in 301 Gap Road, Ronks. The event celebrates the holiday season with an authentic reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem. During the journey, passengers will be able to enjoy freshly baked cookies and milk. [Ticket window opens at 6 p.m. that day; pre-purchase online or by phone at 1-866-725-9666.]
- Coffee and Critique is back, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Dec. 20 at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1519 North Third Street, Harrisburg. As always, the local program invites new and up-and-coming designers to share one piece of their work. It is an opportunity to gain constructive feedback from other designers, as you partake in a hot cup of coffee.
- Bring the kids for some Reindeer Fun, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 20 at the Environmental Center, 1 Natures Way, Lancaster. Led by naturalist Andy Yoder, visitors will be able to make a plaster caribou track and listen to a reading of the storied classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The program concludes with the making of reindeer food and a chance to study caribou antlers at the North Museum. [$3 per person making track; $1 per helper.]