Winterthur

The Montmorenci Stair Hall is part of Winterthur's Yuletide Tour. (Courtesy of Winterthur Gardens, Handout photo / November 18, 2011)

Philadelphia

Winter Beer Fest

Toast the holiday season at the Winter Beer Fest in the City of Brotherly Love. Taste craft beers that are fairly new to the market, including Firestone Walker, Wild Onion and White Birch, as well as plenty of old-time favorites. Take a beer tour through double and triple IPAs, Imperial stouts, wheat beers, Pilseners and pale ales. For a seasonal touch, be sure to try the many spiced ales and ciders available. Pint glasses, T-shirts and jewelry will be on sale so you can take a bit of the beer festivities home with you.

Winter Beer Fest starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia. Admission is $33, and only those 21 and over can attend. For more information go to winterbeerfest.com.

Wheaton

The Garden of Lights

This coming weekend, Brookside Gardens pays homage to the four seasons with giant sunflowers, snowflakes, rain showers and autumn leaves — all rendered in a glittering light show. Trees, shrubs, gazebos and fountains are all wrapped with strands of lights and illuminate the garden. Be on the lookout for an 11-foot giraffe as well as other animals. Each night, local musicians provide the backdrop for the beautiful displays. Enter the conservatory to see a display of poinsettias and evergreens surrounded by a holiday train exhibit.

The Garden of Lights starts Friday and runs through Jan. 8 at Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave. in Wheaton. The garden is open 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Admission is $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends. For more information, call 301-962-1453 or go to montgomeryparks.org/brookside.

Alexandria, Va.

City Tree Lighting Ceremony

On Friday, Alexandria is ringing in the holidays with its annual City Tree Lighting Ceremony. Once the tree is lit, performers from the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center will put on "Santa's Frosty Follies." For the kids: Santa Claus arrives at 7:30 p.m. on stage for a meet-and-greet. Christmas candy will be given out afterward. And the holiday cheer continues with community caroling and singalongs.

The City Tree Lighting Ceremony is 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday in Market Square, 301 King St. in Alexandria. Free. For more information, go to alexandriava.gov/recreation.

Winterthur, Del.

Yuletide Tour at Winterthur

There was a time when Christmas meant more than just gift-giving and trips to the mall to visit Santa Claus. Yuletide at Winterthur aims get back to the holiday's roots and gives guests the chance to celebrate in the traditional Colonial way — when Christmas was a time for adults to unwind together. Take the walk-through tour of H.F. du Pont's home and see exhibits on how the du Pont family spent the holiday season. The exhibit features a Christmas tree decorated with flowers and glass ornaments and a display of an 18th-century Twelfth Night celebration. Yuletide provides a colorful ribbon "spider web" and toy giveaways for children.

The Yuletide Tour runs through Jan. 8 at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, 5105 Kennett Pike in Winterthur. To make a tour reservation, call 800-448-3883. For more information, go to winterthur.org.

Ocean City

Holiday Shopper's Fair

It's hard to believe, but the holiday shopping season is upon us. This weekend, take a trip down to Ocean City for the Holiday Shopper's Fair to get your fill of handmade jewelry, clothing and wreaths. Since the fair is in Ocean City, it's natural that some of the merchandise is inspired by the sea, including candles, photographs and ceramics. The fair provides children's activities, including photos with Santa Claus, so there's plenty of fun for the whole family.

The Holiday Shopper's fair is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the convention center, 4001 Coastal Highway in Ocean City. For more information, call 800-626-2326 or go to ococean.com.