Nestled in Northeast Pennsylvania just west of the Poconos, Lackawanna County offers an array of winter activities and events for visitors of all ages. Just minutes away from downtown Scranton, Montage Mountain and Elk Mountain each provide premier acreage for skiing and other outdoor activities, while local museums, landmarks and parks in town transform into winter wonderlands to celebrate the holiday season.
Located in the heart of Northeast Pennsylvania, Montage Mountain provides year-round fun for the whole family. During the winter months, the property offers 26 trails, seven ski lifts and 16 snow tubing lanes. The resort is also one of the only in the country to offer Airboarding, a fast-paced ride atop a lightweight inflatable sled. Ski lessons, slope webcams and seasonal “Snowpasses” are available, and The Montage Mountain Lodge recently underwent a $3 million renovation to include a food court, new Slocum Hollow Bar & Restaurant and event space. Montage Mountain Resort, 1000 Montage Mountain Rd., Scranton, PA, 18507. (570) 969-7669, www.montagemountainresorts.com
Known as “Vermont without the drive,” this property first opened in 1959 and offers 180 acres of skiable terrain and 27 slopes and trails to explore. Ideal for skiers of all levels, the resort offers daily ski programs, group rates, slope webcams and lessons throughout the season. Charming bed & breakfasts and restaurants are situated within minutes of the slopes, making the resort an ideal destination for long weekends or romantic getaways. Just 35 minutes from downtown Scranton, Elk Mountain typically opens in early December and closes in April, but exact dates vary based on weather. Elk Mountain Ski Resort, 344 Elk Mountain Rd., Union Dale, PA. (570) 679-4400, www.elkskier.com
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the streets of downtown Scranton come alive for the annual Santa Parade. Lasting from 9-11 a.m., the parade will include festive holiday floats, local performances and meet-and-greet opportunities with Santa Claus. For additional information, call (570) 483-8757 or visit www.santaparade.net.
Festival of Trees
Celebrate the holidays throughout December. Community organizations and businesses decorate trees and proceeds are given to Toys for Tots. For more information call (570) 963-6590.
Santa Train, Christmas in a Small Town
The first week of December, Santa Claus leaves his sleigh at the North Pole and comes to town early by train. Six local communities celebrate “Christmas in a Small Town” when Santa and his friends arrive aboard a special train provided by Steamtown National Historic Site. The train begins with a stop at Carbondale at Pioneer City Station, Archbald at Pike Street, Jessup at Station Park, Olyphant at Queen City Station, Dickson City Train Station and arrives at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. For more information call (570) 963-6590 or visit www.visitnepa.org/special-annual-events.
Holiday Light Spectacular in Nay Aug Park
The Nay Aug Park in Scranton transforms into an illuminated winter wonderland again this year for the annual Holiday Light Spectacular. Featuring more than 100 light displays, visitors can drive through the park from late November to early January to enjoy classic holiday scenes and festive music. Admission is free but donations are accepted. For more information, please call 570-348-4186 or visit www.visitnepa.org/special-annual-events.
Lackawanna County is within a short driving distance from various cities, including New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. Daily commercial air service is also provided through the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. As the fifth largest airport in the state, the airport offers daily flights to Atlanta, New York/Newark, Tampa/St Pete, Orlando-Sanford, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and Charlotte. Rental cars are available from Avis, Budget, Hertz, National and Enterprise at the main terminal.
Lackawanna County Convention & Visitors Bureau
99 Glenmaura National Boulevard
Moosic, PA 18507
Instagram: @Visit NEPA
Winter Attractions & Events
Monday, January 23, 2017 by Bryan Hunter