Christmas villages bring the holiday to life

(Credit: Urbanite)

By Emily Ranager

Special to amNewYork

There are plenty of Christmas villages that can bring the holiday season to life. Here, a few of our recommendations:

Koziar’s Christmas Village has been spreading holiday cheer in Bernville, Pa. for more than 60 years, and this year it’s bigger than ever. Gaze at more than half a million twinkling lights, tour themed buildings like Santa’s workshop, and see this year’s new outdoor train display. Bernville is about 2 1/2 hours by car from Manhattan. The nearest Amtrak station is in Lancaster, about 30 miles away. Hours through Jan. 4, 2009 are Monday to Friday, 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 5 to 9:30 p.m. $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for ages 6 to 12. www.koziarschristmasvillage.com.Experience yuletide festivities the way the colonists might have in Colonial Williamsburg. The historic area is decked out in natural trimmings, like three miles of pine roping and more than 2,500 fir wreaths; at night the streets are lit with illuminated cressets. Holiday Decorations packages start at $81 per person per night and include accommodations in the Governor’s Inn, lunch at one of the historic dining taverns, a Christmas decorations walking tour. Come Dec. 7 for the Grand Illumination, which celebrates the season with fireworks, music and candlelit buildings. Holiday events last through Dec. 31: visit www.history.org for the full calendar. Williamsburg is about six and a half hours by car from Manhattan and is also served by Greyhound and Amtrak.

Visit Main Street in Stockbridge, Mass., the inspiration for Norman Rockwell’s painting of a quintessential New England town at Christmastime. On Dec. 6 and 7, downtown Stockbridge will be decked out with lights, decorations and antique cars, much like it would have been when Rockwell began painting the image in 1956. The town will also host events like a holiday house tour, a caroling luminaria walk and a holiday concert. Stockbridge is about three hours from Manhattan by car. The closest Amtrak station is in Pittsfield, which is about 12 miles away. www.stockbridgechamber.org.

Stockbridge at holiday time. Credit: Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce

Tags: koziar's christmas village , christmas villages , colonial williamsburg , stockbridge , travel

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