A large chunk of Delaware's population are expected to travel upwards of 50 miles for Christmas this year.

Guide to Christmas 2023 in Delaware

Jarek RutzCulture, Headlines

A large chunk of Delaware's population are expected to travel upwards of 50 miles for Christmas this year.

A large chunk of Delaware’s population are expected to travel upwards of 50 miles for Christmas this year.

If you’re hitting the road for Christmas, you’re not alone.

Nearly a third of the state’s population is expected to ​​travel 50 miles or more by car for the year-end holidays. 

Here’s what to know about Christmas in the First State a week away from the holiday:

Travel

The 330,000 Delawareans traveling is an increase of 2.6% over last year, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic, a regional travel agency.

Other than 2019, that’s the highest travel volume for the holiday since 2001 in the First State.

Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in two years, an extra gift on top of those underneath the Christmas tree.

A gallon costs an average of $2.96 in Delaware compared to $3.07 nationally, which was also the cost for a gallon of gas in the First State at this time last year.

“Air travel volume is expected to be the highest on record and gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in more than two years – fueling a holiday travel season of ‘hustle and bustle’ that continues the strong demand for travel seen throughout 2023,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of public and government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. 

Here’s what AAA states are the best and worst times to travel for Christmas:

While most will be settled into their whereabouts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, it’s best to hit the road in the morning when heading or leaving their destination.

Road safety 

As always, those enjoying an alcoholic drink need to plan ahead and make sure they have a sober driver to take them home.

There’s also plenty of other options, such as public transportation or ride shares like Uber or Lyft. 

With cold temperatures, drivers need to make sure they are not distracted or on their phones when driving, as well as following speed limits, especially as roads become slick at night. 

For those taking a nighttime stroll, wear reflective and bright clothing to ensure visibility to drivers.

Weather 

It won’t be a white Christmas, nor will it be a freezing Christmas, according to the National Weather Service.

Both Christmas Eve and Christmas day are supposed to be mostly sunny, with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees.

There’s no rain in the forecast and temperatures will drop to 30 degrees on both nights.

Christmas events

For a full list of holiday light shows in Delaware, and some in surrounding states, click here.

Holiday Season at Nemours Estate

All month long, people can tour the festive displays in the 77-room mansion, Chauffeur’s Garage and select areas of the gardens. 

Live music performances will take place as well.

Tickets range from $10 to $40 depending on age, and can be bought here.

Odessa Country Christmas

Until the New Year, the Historic Odessa Foundation will have an exhibit called “Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas.”

The tours run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

It’s the foundation’s 35th anniversary of unique Christmas exhibitions in which it recreates scenes from classic children’s literature. 

This year’s exhibit is inspired by Clement Clark Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” That poem, first published in December 1823, is often referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas.”

Visitors are invited to recite the classic poem as they tour the detailed display.  

Buy tickets here.

Holidays at Hagley

Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington holiday celebration returns with the theme, “Treasures and Traditions,” and will feature holiday home and garden tours, the sixth-annual gingerbread house competition, santa days, holiday nights tours and more.

Christmas party at Laurel Public Library

The Laurel Public Library is hosting an evening party filled with music, games and treats. 

Admission is free, but each family is asked to bring a covered dish representing their culture or a favorite family recipe. 

The party starts at 5 p.m.

More Christmas stories:

They spend weeks lighting houses for Christmas. Here’s why

‘Night Before Christmas’ bicentennial draws celebrities to Odessa

Children ecstatic for Santa’s case dismissal in Del. tradition

Take a look at these 10 Delaware holiday pop-up bars

Here’s how Longwood created its retro Christmas display

Ho-ho-ho! Classic Delaware area Christmas traditions await

Whoville, more Christmas traditions in gingerbread at Hagley

Brighten up dark nights with these merry light displays

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