Amish Country often reminds us of sunny days with warm apple tones in nature, sights of horse-drawn buggies, and bustling farmers’ markets with sunshine seeping through every stand and group of people.
That’s summer or fall in Amish Country, but a winter vacation to Northeast Ohio also warrants your consideration. The colder months feature echoes of axes chopping wood, crackling wood stoves, and hot apple cider warming up your insides amidst the snow’s cool shadows.
Who says you need to wait for summer to embark on a much-needed vacation of wholesome family connection, rest, and relaxation?
At Your Family’s Place, we welcome visitors year-round to our spacious, cozy, multi-generational vacation rentals. Whether you’re cozying up by the fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa or resting on our plush beds after a long day of exploring the region’s historical sites, you’ll feel warm, taken care of, and inspired after a winter vacation with us to explore the charm of Ohio’s Amish Country.
What to Pack for a Winter in Ohio’s Amish Country
You might have checked out our ultimate packing guide for your Ohio Amish Country vacation. However, winter travelers need a little extra TLC when packing. You wouldn’t want to forget something that could keep you warm and safe during a particularly chilly walk on one of the region’s many hiking trails.
Here’s what you should pack for your winter vacation:
- Insulating layers (long johns, long-sleeved shirts, and pullover sweaters)
- Winter boots
- Warm socks
- Gloves, hats, and scarves
- Hand or foot warmers
- Winter coat
- Jeans and long pants
- Earmuffs or warm headband
- Cough and cold medication for stuffy noses
- Books, magazines, or activity booklets
Worried about soap containers bursting in your suitcase? Don’t bother packing them. Every single vacation rental at Your Family’s Place has you covered with luxury hand-made soaps, high-quality shampoos and conditioners, fresh towels, cozy and fresh blankets, and kitchen essentials to make a hot cup of joe or hot chocolate.
Things to Do in Amish Country in Winter
Sad to miss the Swiss Festival this year and other Fall festivities? Don’t fret; cities like New Philadelphia, Sugarcreek, and Berlin offer tons of Winter activities for the entire family to enjoy. Plus, your vacation rental is stocked with everything cozy to enjoy a family game night or cook a meal at home.
Here are some stand-out winter activities to do in Ohio’s Amish Country.
Go to the Theater
- Quaker Cinema: 158 W High Ave, New Philadelphia, OH
- Little Theatre: 466 Carrie Ave NW, New Philadelphia, OH
Maybe you’re not one for bundled-up hikes. If you’re a theater enthusiast, the Quaker Cinema in New Philadelphia is a local favorite, showing seasonal and Hollywood films for over two generations. This charming theater offers kiddie popcorn combos that are also reasonably priced, which is a plus for big families traveling.
And if you’re not a fan of what’s playing in the cinema? Why not enjoy a live musical or play at the Little Theatre? They’re well-known for seasonal favorites like Christmas pageants, and this year? You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is playing!
Light Up at the Lantern Walks (Norma Johnson Center)
- Address: 125 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia
- Date: 2023 dates TBA; usually in early to mid December
Wintertime is notorious for getting dark earlier than ever—but where there’s darkness, there’s always light somewhere. Evoke a sense of wonder on the Norma Johnson Center’s lantern walks — no admission or reservation needed.
You’ll start with hot chocolate and cookies at 4:30 p.m. from the walk’s starting point at the center’s yellow pole barn. Walk through the surrounding nature trails with paper lanterns illuminating the way.
Get Into the Spirit with a Live Nativity
- Where: Walnut Creek Mennonite Church
- Address: 2619 County Road 144, Sugarcreek, OH
- Date: Early December
Few vacations foster your connection to your faith as much as Amish Country getaways. We’re delighted to share religious-based events with you during your winter stay.
One that stands out is the Journey to Bethlehem, which mimics Mary and Joseph’s trek and ends with a lovely live nativity scene. Inspire the entire family with a live-action sight of baby Jesus in the manger, with farm animals, the three kings, and shepherds, alongside Mary and Joseph.
Along the way, you’ll even experience the Bethlehem marketplace, full of biblical characters in costume to reflect baby Jesus’s environment at birth. This is a great late afternoon activity from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s also completely free of charge!
Bring Your Family to the Christmas Tree Festival
- Address: 331 Karl Ave, Dover, OH
- Date: Mid November
Sure, you see your Christmas tree every December—but when’s the last time you saw tens of them lined up with various decorations, light color combinations, and stars or angels up top? Multiply the Christmas spirit by tree at the Warther Museum’s 30th annual Christmas Tree Festival in Dover, Ohio.
On top of Christmas tree displays, visitors can enjoy musical performances and warm drinks throughout the 10-day entirety of the festival.
Don’t Miss the Christmas Parade
- Address: Berlin, OH
- Date: Late November
The Berlin Christmas Parade features a live nativity walk complete with camels and dressed-up biblical characters. Taking place in the city center’s square, patrons can relish live Christmas caroling, candle lighting, and fresh hot chocolate that only require a small donation, if anything at all.
See the Lights at the Christmas Tour of Homes
- Address: Contact for information
- Date: Fridays and Saturdays from late November to the end of December
Ever been curious to see a true Amish home during the holidays? Ohio’s Amish community welcomes you into their home to witness their day-to-day life and even learn how to bake traditional Christmas cookies with their Christmas Cookie Tour. This is a great way to share a traditional culture with your family and truly experience a wholesome Christmas spirit the Amish way.
Learn Maple Sugaring at Camp Tuscazoar
- Address: 6066 Boy Scout Rd NE, Dover, OH
- Date: TBA
Camp Tuscazoar is a staple establishment in Ohio’s Amish Country. For nearly 100 years, families have attended their grounds for biking, hiking, picnics, and even horseback riding. You might even recognize the name for its famed maple syrups that they sell by the bottle.
Winter visitors can enjoy witnessing the maple sugaring process, which includes identifying trees to tap and subsequently collecting sap from them to produce maple syrup. Dates aren’t set for the 2023 winter season but stay informed by referencing their website.
Relish Amish Country’s Winter Wonderland
Bottom line? Ohio’s Amish Country is a cornucopia of connection, historical galore, and comforting food and drink in the winter months. Relish in holiday cheer with loved ones at the Christmas Parade, or indulge in maple sweets at the maple sugaring camp—and once you’re all activity-d out? Retreat to one of our cozy lodge or cottage properties with the family and sit by the fireplace to reconnect with your family and yourself.