With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start making plans for where to visit, what to see, and where to shop. Can we let you in on a little secret? Wilmington, Delaware and the surrounding Brandywine Valley ticks all of those boxes and as an added bonus is a great place to spend some time this holiday season, with plenty to get you in the Christmas spirit. 

1) Tax-Free Shopping

Given that the holidays tend to be an expensive time of year, you’ll be happy to come to Wilmington to take advantage of tax-free shopping. When you shop in Greater Wilmington, Delaware, whether at the mall,  an award-winning main street, or  a small, locally owned businesses, everything is tax-free. Take advantage of this savings at the best locations: 

  • Concord Mall – The city’s second-largest shopping mall has over 90 stores with plenty of dining and attractions nearby. 

  • Christiana Mall and Fashion Center – Located in Newark, this mall is perfect for those into fashion, shoes, electronics or just about anything. There’s a reason it attracts over 20 million visitors each year. 

  • Unique shopping ideas – Museum gift stores offer a great selection of unique gifts, be sure to visit the Hagley Museum and Library’s shop for the history lover in your family or find hand-made jewelry and art at the Delaware Contemporary for that hard to shop for aunt. 

2) Holiday Entertainment

The holidays just aren’t the same if you don’t take some time to enjoy a holiday-themed play or performance. In fact, for many people, it is an annual holiday tradition. Take advantage of the incredible seasonal performances and shows in Wilmington, including the following: 

  • The Nutcracker, Presented by First State Ballet Theatre - enjoy this classic Christmas performance with the whole family on December 16 - 23, 2023.  

  • Not many shows can get you in the holiday spirit like It's a Wonderful Life, catch it Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 18 through December 22 at the Candlelight Theatre.  Every ticket includes the theatre's pre-show dinner buffet.

  • Experience a powerful story of redemption with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This story has has enchanted audiences the world over with its simple message of holiday joy. Ebenezer Scrooge, that most unrepentant and miserly of fellows, is made to see the light as he survives a merciless battery of revelations by the ghosts of his own life: Jacob Marley and the Christmas Spirits of Past, Present and Future. Presented at the Playhouse on Rodney Square, December 18, 2023.

Click here to view the complete Wilmington & Brandywine Valley Event Calendar.​

More Holiday Shows in Wilmington

3) Festive Holiday Displays 

Get yourself in the true Christmas spirit by heading to one of these festive holiday displays! Each one has its own unique take on the season and is intertwined with pieces of local history and culture surrounding the holidays. Make a day of it and you may be surprised by what you learn! 

4) Wine & Dine 

Many people would tend to agree that the holidays are all about the food -- from delicious Christmas treats, to luxurious dinners with friends and family, to an extra glass or two of wine. There are lots of opportunities to indulge in food selections throughout Greater Wilmington. 

  • Sunday brunch at Deerfield – Rated as Delaware’s best Sunday brunch, complete with a donut wall, carving station, and traditional breakfast fare. Offered on select Sundays, be sure to view their calendar for dates. You can also schedule some time for brunch with Santa on select dates. 

  • Other not-to-miss restaurants include the reinvented Green Room at the HOTEL DU PONT now called Le Cavalier at the Green Room and of course The House of William & Merry – two fine dining experiences perfect for celebrating the holiday season with someone special.  

5) Holidays Through History 

With strong historical ties, Wilmington acknowledges its ancestry and history as a big player in the traditions and formalities of the holidays. Whether you are a history buff, or just want to learn more about the history of Wilmington, here’s what you need to know. 

  • Historic Houses of Odessa – A unique picture of the holidays in the 18th and 19th centuries, these houses feature traditional holiday decorations and classic literature scenes. 

  • Sankta Lucia - Taking the lead from the Swedes, this event takes place in Old Swedes Church, one of the oldest churches in the country, and involves children clad in white participating in a moving candlelight ceremony

From celebrating history and shopping, to taking on classic traditions and good food, there is much to enjoy in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley during the holiday season. Start planning your #VisitWilm getaway today! 

Plan Your Holiday Getaway