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Photo: KDavisYoung/Getty Images/iStockphoto, License: N/A

Close-up on a nutcracker in front of a white background.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:11:24 17:59:40

Aylah Connors (left), 5, and twin sister Avery Connors who helped flip the power on to the Annual Holiday Light Show at Nay Aug Park with their parents Zac Connors and Mara Capozzi.

As the holiday season comes quickly upon us, once again it is important to remember that it is also a time for families to come together and spend quality time together as a family. So maybe give up that frenzied Saturday shopping and do something that will leave a lasting impression on your family and maybe even become a tradition.

Santa Express

One great way to spend quality family time together is to take a ride on the Santa Express on the Stourbridge Line in Honesdale.

Don’t be shy. As Santa makes his way through the train cars be sure to say hello and get that much coveted picture with the big guy. The picturesque countryside of Wayne County is also another great part of the trip to take in as you pass through on the rails.

Children will receive a present from Santa, a souvenir ticket and a candy can during the trip.

The trip is reasonable and it costs $15 for adults; $10 for 12 and younger and younger than two ride for free. Reservations are suggested so do not delay. The train is operated by the Delaware Lackawaxen and Stourbridge Railroad Co. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

You can also ride Santa’s Paradise Express operated by the Strasburg Railroad. A tradition since 1959, Santa himself will be on hand to greet families and travel to Paradise, PA, with them aboard the great train. Children ages 11 and under will receive a gift during the 45-minute train ride.

Mrs. Claus is available to help children finalize their letters to Santa from noon to 4 p.m. at the Strasburg station.Just bring your self-addressed stamped envelope.

Watch for the Cranky Cars, the story reading caboose and the Pufferbelly trains. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

Nay Aug Annual Holiday Light Show

Want to be dazzled at a spectacular display of holiday lights and a great time to spend with your family? Take your family to Nay Aug Park in Scranton for its Annual Holiday Lights Show. The beautiful display offers a fun time for family as they slowly drive through the more than 100 displays and riders are able to view a wonderland of holiday cheer. The display is open nightly through early January from 5 - 9 p.m., weather permitting. There is no charge but donations are accepted.

On your way home, take the long way, and ride through some of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s great little towns and view some mighty grand light displays. There is nothing like quality time spent viewing the beauty that Christmas time brings.

Christmas tree

Such a simple task can bring merriment and happiness into your family. In the mood for a real, live Christmas tree this season? Why not make a holiday tradition while you are at it? Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, some tasty snacks and set out on an adventure your whole family can partake in? Have a small child? Why not pull them on a sled, weather permitting. Have a snow ball fight, build a fort, go sleigh riding. How about a fire and make s’mores which everyone loves while you are at it.

Then if you are in the neighborhood drop by the Festival of Trees in Scranton at 300 Lackawanna Ave. through Jan. 12. Presented by the Marketplace at Steamtown, this year’s theme is the “Roaring Twenties.”

The Shows

Who does not love the family classic of “The Sound of Music?” Snuggle up on your couch and grab some popcorn to enjoy the timeless classic. Or perhaps a bit more fancy you can be and get tickets to the “Sound of Music” at the Kirby Center on Dece. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. The show features the music of Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. You will surely love to hear the classical songs of “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Me,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Call the box office at the Kirby Center for more information or to buy tickets.

The annual showing of the Nutcracker by Ballet Theater of Scranton will be presented free of charge at the Sette LaVerghetta Center for the Performing Arts at Marywood University. In its 42nd year, the performance is presented free of charge as a gift to the community on Dec. 26, 27 and 28 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. General public free tickets are available 2 hours prior to the specific performance at the Marywood box office.