Dine with the Belsnickel… if you dare!

By on November 10, 2015

Bells will jingle and jokes will fly at the annual Days of the Belsnickel lunch and dinner tours, to be held at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum. The dinner, featuring a wine and cheese reception and a wagon ride, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 6:15 to 9 p.m. The lunch, which will include a larger tour of the museum, will be on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The tour is unique and extremely popular,” says Joyce Perkinson, director of sales at the museum and coordinator of the tours. “Many people like to see if they can pull one over on the Belsnickel and so enjoy playful banter with him. It’s fun to see people laugh at themselves and have a great time.”

The dinner tour includes a wine and cheese reception, shopping time at the Landis Valley Museum Store, a tour of two historic buildings by candlelight, a wagon ride, and dinner at the museum’s Landis Valley House Hotel, built in 1856. On the lunch tour, visitors will take a guided tour of various buildings in the decorated village, enjoy an interpretation of the holiday customs and folklore of the Pennsylvania Germans, eat a full holiday meal at the hotel, and shop at the museum store.

The highlight of each event is a vignette with the Belsnickel, the grumpy character who roamed rural Pennsylvania during 19th-century Christmases. With a thumping, jingly fanfare, he bursts into the museum’s firehouse and proceeds to heckle the gathered guests. Some of his jokes bite, but they are aimed at those who can give as much as they receive, and laughter rings throughout the building.

The lunch is priced at $36 per person and the dinner is $39 per person. Space is limited and registrations are currently being taken. Those interested should call Jamie Schuring at 581-0590 or e-mail her at c-jschurin@pa.gov.

The museum is located at 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster. More information on Days of the Belsnickel, as well as other upcoming events, can be found on the museum’s website, landisvalleymuseum.org.

Guests of Landis Valley Museum on Dec. 2 or 12 can enjoy a meal with the Belsnickel (right), a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer in the folklore of the Pennsylvania Dutch community. Reservations are required.

Guests of Landis Valley Museum on Dec. 2 or 12 can enjoy a meal with the Belsnickel (right), a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer in the folklore of the Pennsylvania Dutch community. Reservations are required.

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