The ghost stories have been told and the candy has been eaten, which can only mean one thing…The holiday season is here. So, before they are in the rearview mirror, slow things down, take a break and escape to a much simpler time when the holiday season was a relaxing affair?

With a history dating back to the 1600s, Greater Wilmington’s historic towns are taking back the holidays and embracing their Colonial roots. Explore Historic New Castle and Historic Odessa as they preserve the past with events throughout the holiday season.

Holiday Getaway to Greater Wilmington

Historic New Castle may be best known as the place Delaware voted to break away from Pennsylvania and England, but this tiny town is also known for its Christmas spirit.  Each year the town turns into a real-life Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol.” The classic tale of past, present, and future is a New Castle holiday tradition that includes “Fezziwig’s Ball” and live performers, dressed in period clothing, roaming the streets of New Castle performing snippets from the famed story. This year’s event takes place on December 13th (Ball) and 14th (A Christmas Carole).

The historic holiday fun doesn’t stop there. On this day in Old New Castle, owners of notable homes welcome the public in for holiday-themed tours. Start the day at the New Castle Presbyterian Church, where they have a full schedule of the year’s events.


If the holiday spirit of New Castle doesn’t fill your seasonal quota, head over to Odessa, Delaware to explore a Colonial townscape committed to historic preservation. This holiday season is the Historic Odessa Foundation’s 55th year celebrating Christmas in Odessa. This self-guided tour through the area’s fascinating 18th and 19th century buildings is set for December 7th from 10am-4pm with special events going on throughout the day.

In addition to the self-guided house tours Odessa offers a more romantic look at these historic homes – a candlelight tour. Candlelight tours take place December 10, 19, and 26.  The holiday season in Odessa isn’t complete until the “Old Meets New” town brings light to classic literature as the Historic Houses of Odessa Foundation transforms one of the historic homes into a classic children’s storybook. From November 19 through December 29 enjoy the National Historic Landmark, Corbit-Sharp House, adapted with scenes based on the children’s classic The Secret Garden.


The historic towns of New Castle and Odessa are filled with incredible experiences no matter what time of year you visit, but that the experience is even more pronounced during the holiday season. Get back the meaning of the season and provide your family with a Colonial Christmas experience they will not soon forget. Start planning your holiday adventure today!