The holiday meal was a success, and now the dishes are cleaned and put away. It’s the next morning, and Uncle George, Aunt Jane and all of the cousins are still at the house — and they will be here through the long weekend, or maybe even an entire week. It’s great to have family visiting from out of town, but once the festive meal is a memory, what can you do to keep from just sitting and staring at each other?
Sure, you could head to the movies or the local shopping mall, but you haven’t seen these family members in years. The kids are easily bored, and you don’t want the video console to serve as a baby-sitter. You want some quality family time, when the kids are engaged and the adults can simply enjoy their time together.
There’s plenty to do in Hanover over Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the holiday season, so round up the relatives and head on out. Maybe try something new you’ve never attempted before, like the rooms at Escape Confusion or head to Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center for laser tag or miniature golf, or appreciate nature with a visit to Codorus State Park.
Escape Confusion 12 Carlisle Street, third floor, 717-698-3088; Open Monday, Thursday, Friday 5-9:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 12:30-8 p.m.; Call for Black Friday hours and to book in advance
Features “Eleanor’s Eccentricities,” an upside-down house, and “Top Secret,” an ’80s themed spy room. During 60-minute sessions, participants solve problems to unlock clues to escape the room. Reserve a room in advance for a perfect family bonding activity!
Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center 110 Hickory Lane, 717-632-9907; Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 1-7 p.m. Hickory Falls Christmas Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., featuring a visit from Santa Claus, interactive photo booth with holiday costumes, cookie decorating, hot chocolate and special attraction pricing of $5 or less.
Codorus State Park 2600 Smith Station Road, 717-637-2816 Open every day from sunrise to sunset. Featuring 19 miles of hiking trails, 54-hole disc golf course, year-round boating, 6.5-mile mountain bike trails. Also geocaching (electronic scavenger hunt through a cellphone app). Try the First Day Hike, January 1, 2018, 2 p.m. Family- and pet-friendly hike along a designated park trail of approximately 2 miles.
COB51 34 York Street; 410-491-1172 Stop by for creative fun featuring holiday-themed canvas painting, ceramics, string art, board art and wooden signs, glass mosaics and more! Special family and kid-only daytime events are planned for Black Friday and Christmas Week. Advanced reservations recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. Or choose a drop-off party (TBA) and kids can create while parents shop!
Merlin’s Coffee 10 S. Franklin Street; 717-632-7692; Open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Black Friday, and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. most days Supercharge your morning with a latte or mocha before heading out for a day of shopping, or bring the kids by for doughnuts and hot chocolate for a nice morning break.
Putting for Patrons Guthrie Memorial Library, 2 Library Place; 717-632-5183; Friday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Play a challenging, 18-hole miniature golf course through the town library. $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under. Tickets available for purchase in advance or the day of the event. Also find face painting, raffles and food available for purchase.
Gingerbread House Decorating Contest Guthrie Memorial Library, 2 Library Place; 717-632-5183 Pick up kits at the Guthrie Memorial Library and decorate at home. Return to the library for display and judging. Categories are ages 3-5, ages 6-12, ages 13-adult, and Best in Show. Join in the fun by decorating and stopping by the library to view and vote on your favorites. The gingerbread house kits will be available for purchase Friday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Dec. 2. They may be returned to the library Monday, Dec. 4 to Wednesday, Dec. 6. Voting will run Thursday, Dec. 7 to Saturday, Dec. 9. Winners announced Monday, Dec. 11.
The Polar Express, presented by Beth Rebert of Fun-In-It-Storytelling Guthrie Memorial Library, 2 Library Place; 717-632-5183; Monday, Dec. 4, and Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6:30 -7:30 p.m. Come in your pajamas and listen to this magical, heart-warming story of Christmas. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served after the storytelling. Both nights are free, ticketed events. Tickets are available at the library.
Annual Santa Parade & Arrival of Santa Claus Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, 9 -10 a.m.; Visit Santa’s Cabin in the Square. For hours visit www.hanoverpasantacabin.com Kickoff the Christmas season at the annual Santa Parade. Welcome Santa as he arrives at his cabin for the 80th year in the town square. The parade forms at Baer Avenue playground at 8 a.m. and features participants from Scout troops, dance studios, church and civic organizations, service clubs and businesses. Children ages 6-12 are invited to enter the bike decorating contest. Cash prizes are awarded for the top three bicycles.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony & Celebration Downtown Square; Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, 6 -7 p.m. Downtown Hanover gets all lit up during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and celebration. Enjoy caroling led by local artists. Get a passport and participate in the annual Christmas Tree Wars, featuring more than 25 local businesses. Vote for your favorite tree. Collect stamps and enter to win a downtown gift basket. Runs through the holiday season. Note: Free holiday parking in downtown Hanover Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 24- Dec. 30.