ALERT: The Taneytown Road Entrance to the Museum & Visitor Center is currently closed for rehabilitation. Detour information is available for entering the complex at the Baltimore Pike Entrance. Learn more. New parking measures will be in effect starting April 1. View new parking information and map.

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2021 News

A Gettysburg Christmas Festival: Experience Children of Gettysburg 1863

November 29, 2021

On Friday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, the Gettysburg Foundation invites visitors to “A Gettysburg Christmas Festival” to join us for holiday festivities at Children of Gettysburg 1863. Visitors to Children of Gettysburg 1863 have the opportunity to create ornaments for the Christmas tree throughout each day and enjoy special programming throughout the weekend.

Friday, Dec. 10, 2021:

Open noon until 5 p.m., visitors to Children of Gettysburg 1863 can see the new children’s history museum decorated for the holidays as they experience the interactive adventure for young historians during the holiday season.

Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021:

Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., guests have the opportunity to enjoy special programming at 11 a.m. in the side yard. Author Stephen Evangelista and Gettysburg Licensed Town Historian Ted Hirt will present Christmas During the Civil War: Citizens and Soldiers.

Despite the deprivations of war, this special time of year was still celebrated in the army and on the home front. Evangelista and Hirt will tell how the Christmas holiday was celebrated throughout the country and here in Gettysburg by both citizens and the members of Battery B First Rhode Island Light Artillery. Guests will hear heartfelt letters soldiers sent home to family and loved ones, sing holiday carols by the fireside and see some of the gifts soldiers would have received in packages from their loved ones. Guests will hear period readings by Sophia Evangelista and period music by Nick Evangelista.

Author and historian Linda Clark will be holding a book signing on-site from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Clark will have the following titles available for purchase and signing: Star Light, Star Bright - A Tale of Old Gettysburg; The Battle For Gettysburg: What Was It Like For the Citizens of 1863?; Battle For Gettysburg-Two's: What Was It Like For the Citizens of 1863?; Close Calls, Near Misses, and Tragic Hits; Walk A Mile With Lincoln; Wounded Houses – Shattered Live; More Wounded Houses – More Shattered Lives; and Teenagers of Gettysburg 1863.

St. Nicholas will be on the front porch welcoming guests to Children of Gettysburg 1863. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with St. Nicolas from 1 until 3 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021:

Open noon until 5 p.m., the final day of this year’s Christmas festival will offer visitors to Children of Gettysburg 1863 the opportunity to meet and interact with Fred the puppet from 2:30 until 5 p.m. Fred is a monkey dressed in a period Civil War soldier's uniform and will be accompanied by his puppeteer Dan Orr. Fred  and Dan provide both humor and educational elements for guests to enjoy during their visit. Visitors are invited to interact with Fred throughout the afternoon.

A communitywide holiday event presented by Main Street Gettysburg, Inc., “A Gettysburg Christmas Festival” is Gettysburg’s annual holiday celebration featuring special activities, entertainment, games, promotions and small-town holiday charm.

A new interactive adventure for young historians, Children of Gettysburg 1863 is Gettysburg’s most family-friendly children’s history museum. Children of Gettysburg 1863 tells the engaging stories of the children, teens and young adults who lived in Gettysburg during and after the Battle of Gettysburg through interactive exhibits and activities.

Located at 451 Baltimore Street in downtown Gettysburg, tickets to Children of Gettysburg 1863 are available by calling 877-874-2478, by visiting, at the Ticket Counter inside the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center or on-site.

Visit for information and reservations for tours, programs and special events offered by the Gettysburg Foundation.