Bleats and Treats: Amish Farm & House, Lancaster, Has Unique Ways to Get into the Holiday Spirit

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kids at a table
Image via Discover Lancaster.
If the name Amish Christmas Cookie Tour sounds delicious, there's a good reason: It is.

As Nov. wanes and Dec. dawns, the 2022 Lancaster County holiday calendar is becoming as busy as Santa’s workshop.

Two of the area’s signature holiday events — an Amish Christmas Cookie Tour and a Santa & Goats photo op — are notable for being especially special.

Both are centered at the Amish Farm & House, 2395 Covered Bridge Drive, Lancaster.

Amish Farm & House

Amish Farm & House is an historic site that dates to 1715, when William Penn himself donated the farmland to Colonial Governor John Evans.

In the early 19th century, the site began transitioning into a working farm, a role it filled until the mid-1950s.

At that time, Amish Farm & House became an educational site for tourists, providing first-hand experiences of the craftsmanship, work ethic, enterprise, and heritage of the Amish culture. It has continued to thrive in that capacity ever since.

Amish Christmas Cookie Tour

Amish Farm & House’s annual Amish Christmas Cookie Tour is well-labeled; it’s a minivan jaunt to three local homes for a visit; a chat with the residents who provide first-hand accounts of local, seasonal traditions; and (best of all) a sampling of traditional Christmas cookies.

An informed guide accompanies the group from home to home, providing information on how this culture celebrates this time of year.

For example, the Amish tend not to include Christmas trees in their Dec. décor, citing a Jeremiah verse that advises against “[cutting] a tree from the forest … and [adorning] it with silver and gold … .”

Many of the goodies reflect their Swiss-German heritage, but the participating bakers also craft cookies that are universal in their appeal (chocolate chip!).

Additionally, the use of farm-fresh ingredients often brings a revived taste even to standard treats.

Sampling the cookies and visiting with the families is the core of this tour, but visitors can also purchase handcrafted gifts (and additional cookies) that the Amish hosts create.

Tours run Fri. and Sat. through Dec. 23.

The GOAT of Santa Pictures

The second enticement to a visit to the Amish Farm & House is its Santa & Goats event.

Like the Amish Christmas Cookie Tour, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a photo op with St. Nicholas and baby goats in Santa’s sleigh.

One Tripadvisor review said of the off-the-charts photo that resulted from a session, “Macy’s has nothing on these guys.”

The shots are not only kid friendly (both goat-wise and children-wise), but they can also include pets.

The onsite experience also offers hayrides, donkey snuggling, animal feeding, and demonstration of skills like blacksmithing.

Santa & Goats has a very short window, one day, Dec. 10, from 1–3 PM.

Finding More

More information on the unique and engaging forms of Lancaster County holiday fun is online.

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