CLOSED Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation invite visitors to enjoy special hours and unique programming for the holidays at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center during the month of Dec. 2020.
An Eisenhower Christmas Exhibits - CLOSED
Mamie Eisenhower's Holiday China, NPS Photo
Eisenhower Holiday Card, NPS Photo
Throughout December, Eisenhower National Historic Site will showcase decorations that Mamie Eisenhower displayed at the Eisenhower’s Gettysburg home. Eisenhower family holiday decorations will be displayed in the lobby of the Museum & Visitor Center. These special seasonal displays will include:
- The Eisenhowers’ specially designed White House Christmas cards, along with a Christmas gift print of one of the president’s paintings.
- First Lady Mamie Eisenhower’s set of Christmas china. This large set, with service for 24, has an image of a decorated Christmas tree with presents underneath on all the pieces, and was made in England for sale in Plummer Ltd., a New York City store that went out of business in 1962.
- The Eisenhower Nativity dioramas, by artists Winfred S. Hyatt and Hanna Weil Fischer-Binder, originally exhibited in the East Room of the White House during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency. With additional work by Bryn Athyn Studios of Building & Architectural Arts, these handcrafted dioramas depict the manger, the shepherds and the wise men. The dioramas remained on exhibit each year through 1960, the Eisenhowers’ last Christmas in the White House.
- A nearly 5-foot-tall plastic Santa Claus is the site’s most recognizable Christmas decoration. In previous years, the small adult sized decoration took up residence on the sun porch in the Eisenhower home, greeting visitors. This decoration will be available for pictures and Christmas wishes.
For the month of December, Eisenhower National Historic Site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with onsite visitor parking. All buildings and visitor facilities are closed to the public following CDC, White House and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.
Normally open until 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays), the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center will offer special hours and programming on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and a special Winter Break opening on Tuesday, Dec. 29 and Wednesday, Dec. 30.
A Christmas Eve Special Program of the Cyclorama - CANCELED
On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, the Museum & Visitor Center will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guests have the opportunity to purchase tickets to experience the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting without the traditional light and sound show that depicts the battle sounds and cannon fire of Pickett’s Charge. The special “lights up” program will feature a talk while in full light of the painting. Visitors will see a very different view of the 360-degree historic painting with the lights up and will gain an understanding of the history and scenes depicted in the painting with the opportunity for questions and answers.
Guests will start with the film presentation of A New Birth of Freedom followed by the "lights up" Cyclorama program and access throughout the day to the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War. (The last film and cyclorama show will begin at noon on Dec. 24.)
A Special Winter Break - CANCELED
On Tuesday, Dec. 29 and Wednesday, Dec. 30, the Museum & Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a special Winter Break. Visitors to Gettysburg during the long holiday break can start with a film presentation of A New Birth of Freedom, immediately followed by the light and sound show of the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting of Pickett’s Charge. Visitors can then go prepared on a tour of the battlefield with a Licensed Battlefield Guide either by motorcoach or on a personalized tour by car. Guests have the opportunity to see a remarkably different view of the battlefield in winter – with clear views to see how soldiers moved across the fields and along the tree lines in July 1863. Visitors can explore the 12-gallery Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at their leisure throughout the day. (The last film and cyclorama show will begin at 3 p.m. on Dec. 29 and 30.)
Prior to visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets at GettysburgFoundation.org and read more about our health and safety protocols. To assist with contactless payment, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance either online at GettysburgFoundation.org or via phone at 877-874-2478.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center is located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pa. Christmas Eve Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.―the last film and cyclorama show will begin at noon. Winter Break Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – the last film and cyclorama show will begin at 3 p.m.