The holidays mean something different to everyone. For some, it’s an excuse to shamelessly shop and indulge in retail therapy. For others, it’s all about the holiday parties and the festive feasts. For many, it’s about making this time of year as special as possible for the little ones by starting and maintaining holiday traditions and by collectively enjoying all that the holiday season has to offer. Locally, there are several holiday events and activities to enjoy this time of year as a family, from the Winterfest of Lights to the Salisbury Zoo’s Critter Christmas.

Christmas Train Garden

Saturday and Sunday afternoons (from 1pm-4pm) the Pocomoke River Canoe Company hosts their annual Christmas Train Garden. The Corrdrey Company Crossing Train Garden is reminiscent of Snow Hill many years ago. Children and parents alike will enjoy the enchanted wonderland.

Winterfest of Lights

The Winterfest of Lights brings thousands of families to Northside Park in Ocean City each holiday season for what has become a beloved holiday tradition for so many across Delmarva. Long lines are to be expected –particularly on the weekends – but the magical lights display is well worth the wait. What’s more, Santa is waiting for you in the Winterfest Village when you finish the lights tour. Winterfest of Lights is open every night: Sunday through Thursday from 5:30-9:30pm and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 10:30pm. Admission is just $5 and FREE for kids under the age of 12.

The Polar Express at The Salted Rim

The Polar Express Dinner & Movie at The Salted Rim has become a fast-favorite on Delmarva, with many families turning the event into a holiday tradition. Guests enjoy dinner or breakfast with a movie aboard the authentic train car, which is decked out for the holidays. Santa’s elves serve hot chocolate and cookies throughout the movie as well, with a special visit from Santa too! Breakfast shows are held at 9:30am and 10:30am; dinner shows vary. The menus feature family-friendly holiday favorites like mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes and ham for dinner, or cheesy scrambled eggs and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. For the full menu, pricing and details, click here.

Diakonia Breakfast with Santa

Bring the whole family out to Lighthouse Sound this Saturday, December 12, for Breakfast with Santa! Santa and his elves will be available to meet with all of the children. Breakfast is available from 8am-11am and pricing is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-11, and free for children under 5. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash or check only) with proceeds benefiting Diakonia.

Carriage Rides

Nothing says winter wonderland quite like an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage ride. Fortunately, there are several options for holiday carriage rides on Delmarva, including in Berlin, Cambridge and Ocean City. Berlin: Every Saturday in December on Main Street. Ocean City: Saturdays and Sundays in December, 10am-4pm on the Boardwalk. Cambridge: Second Saturday (Dec. 12), carriage rides available starting at 5pm.

Winter Wonderland in Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach is celebrating the holiday season each Saturday this month with their ‘Winter Wonderland in Bethany Beach’ events. This Saturday’s activities include Brunch with Santa at 99 Sea Level from 10am until 2pm, Storytime at Bethany Beach Books at 2pm, Kid’s Day Out (free movies for kids with certified child care) from 3pm until 5pm, and Carols Around the Tree of Warmth at 6pm. Next Saturday, December 19, enjoy Lunch with Santa from 1pm until 3pm at The Jetty, Storytime at Bethany Beach Books at 2pm, and the Holiday Magic Show: A Dickens Parlour Theatre Performance at 3pm. For more details, visit the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.

Critter Christmas

Celebrate the holidays with the Salisbury Zoo! Critter Christmas will take place December 12 from 1pm until 4pm, with holiday activities for the kids, Santa and Mrs. Claus, a craft fair, visits with the animals, educational activities and more. The Ocelot Spot Gift Shop will also be open from noon until 3:30pm with a large selection of Fair Trade goods, stuffed animals, and Zoo gifts.