One thing you’re apt to hear again and again from your neighbors is that life always seems a little better – and calmer – when you can take a short drive to the beach. And for many year-rounders the sense of peace is even greater during the winter holidays, when long walks in sight of dramatic skies and rolling surf are followed by festivals of seasonal fun.
Hometown Christmas Parades Are Favorite Traditions
This year, you can start off by watching or taking part in the Lewes Christmas Parade from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 and Rehoboth’s Hometown Christmas Parade from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, December 6.
The Lewes event’s theme is “Celebrating an Old Fashioned Christmas in Lewes,” and prior to kick off local entertainer JGar Helwig will perform holiday music at Zwaanendael Park. The floats will then come down Savannah Road to Second Street, with Santa arriving, as per tradition, on the last float. Afterwards, Lewes’ official Christmas Tree in Zwaanendael Park will be illuminated, followed by candlelight caroling.
One important note: For the best view – ARRIVE EARLY. Many people set up their seats along Savannah Road by 3 p.m. Learn more on the Lewes Chamber of Commerce website.
Santa Rocks . . . In Rehoboth, Bethany and Lewes . . . Including Merchants Hospitality Night
Santa will make his second guest appearance at the December 6 Rehoboth Hometown Christmas Parade, which is presented by the Rehoboth Beach Fire Company. It begins at the intersection of State Road and Rehoboth Avenue and goes down to the Rehoboth Bandstand.
If you – or perhaps your grandkids – need more quality time with Santa, you can also visit him at his house on the Rehoboth Boardwalk at the end of Rehoboth Avenue on December 4, 5, 18 and 19.
He’ll also be at his Lewes home on Second Street on December 2, 8, 11, 17, 18 and 22. For specific hours check out this Cape Gazette story, which also highlights other Lewes holiday events.
And if you’re in Bethany Beach on December 4 you can also catch Santa at the Town Hall from 1 to 3 p.m., and take a ride on the trolley or beach tractor between 3 and 4. If you’re in town earlier, head to the Nature Center at 807 Garfield parkway at 10:30 a.m. for a story time and book signing of Goodness Gracious Golly Gee I Forgot My Christmas Tree with local authors Carol and Cori Burcham.
And don’t miss the Bethany Beach Christmas Tree lighting at 5 p.m. at Bandstand Plaza.
P.S. – If you still feel like you’re not getting enough time with Santa, you can visit him alongside scores of other merry celebrators at the Lewes Merchants’ Hospitality Night from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, when local merchants host a special night of shopping and entertainment.
P.S.S. – If you’re wondering how Santa can be in Rehoboth, Bethany and Lewes on the same day you’ll have to check his scheduler. Rumor has it he has a body double or two.
Architecture and History Take Center Stage
If architecture, design and history are some of your favorite things, you’ll also want to visit the Lewes Historical Society’s picturesque campus beside Shipcarpenter Square between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 4. During this Outdoor Holiday Village and Marketplace event you can shop with several holiday vendors and listen to interpreters tell stories about Lewes through the ages. Admission is $5, and it’s free for children 12 and under.
This year the Lewes Historical Society will also be updating its annual Christmas House Tour with a virtual event that lasts an entire month, from Saturday, December 4 through Tuesday, January 4. The 60-minute online tour features 10 elegant homes and historic properties decorated for the holidays and will be led by ABC television and radio personality Michael Sprouse.
For more details about the Outdoor Holiday Village and Marketplace and Virtual Christmas Tour of Lewes visit the Lewes Historical Society’s website.
Enjoy Bright LIghts and Festive Nights Outdoors
You can also celebrate the season for several weeks outdoors at the Schellville Enchanted Winter Celebration behind Tanger Outlets Seaside along Holland Glade Road, north of Rehoboth Beach, and at the Winter Wonderfest at Hudson Fields just north of Lewes on Route 1.
Schellville will feature multiple attractions, including a roller skating rink, a Christmas Village and Candy Cane Artisan Lane Market, food trucks, a Christmas Maze and Beer Garden and live entertainment. The festival will be open from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 20-Dec. 31, and the entire week of Dec. 26-Dec. 31.
The Winter Wonderfest is a driving tour through spectacular holiday lights and displays honoring Cape Region icons (and, yes, Santa too!). It’s open from 5 to 10 p.m. through Sunday, January 2, and costs $20 per car Monday through Wednesday and $25 per car Thursday through Sunday and Monday through Wednesday, December 27 to 29. Proceeds go to several Sussex County nonprofit organizations.