Shopping and fun activities in Mercer County PA for the Holiday Season
The holiday shopping season in Mercer County is already underway, drawing scores of people who are searching for great holiday gifts and hoping to pick up some fantastic items for themselves, too.
Mercer County is located in northwestern Pennsylvania. The County’s diverse shopping destinations and small-town charm attract people in the western part of the state, but also welcome visitors from eastern Ohio, southwestern New York, and Ontario, Canada (pre COVID-19). With no sale tax on most clothing and shoes, Mercer County offers exceptional value for shoppers who are searching for the season’s hottest gift items. In addition several holiday events are planned to increase the fun.
We recommend at least a day – and even two or three days – for a Mercer County holiday experience that includes several of Mercer County’s most popular destinations, including Grove City Premium Outlets, Wendell August Forge, Kraynak’s, Keystone Safari and Wine & Brew Tours.
Grove City Premium Outlets
Bargain-minded shoppers from Cleveland, Erie, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Toronto and beyond visit Grove City Premium Outlets for deep discounts on clothing, housewares, shoes, health and beauty, specialty gifts, decor, jewelry and more.
More than 6 million people visit the Grove City Outlets every year. The single-floor, open air outlet mall is located right off of Interstate 79 and three miles from I-80. The Outlets feature over 120 stores with destination shops that include Calvin Klein, Coach, J. Crew Factory, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
Michele R. Czerwinski, the director of marketing and business development for the Outlets, says, “Our holiday shoppers come looking to power shop and save. The majority of our loyal shoppers are savvy moms who drive a distance to spend the day to shop with us and find savings, since they tend to shop for their entire extended families.”
Shoppers can enjoy the smell and taste of Starbucks Coffee, head to Kate Spade New York and choose from over 60 styles of hand bags, clothing and accessories, pop over to Adidas and find the hottest looks in athletic & leisure, be seduced by beautiful scents at Bath & Body Works, and find a gift for everyone in the family including the dog at Old Navy Outlet. For a last stop of the day, head to the Beef Jerky Outlet and taste over 100 flavors of beef jerky as well as sample jellies and candy, a real taste treat for the entire family.
The annual Thanksgiving Weekend Sale starts at 6:00 a.m. on November 27. The outlet is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, great bargains are offered every day.
How to Get There: Grove City Premium Outlets are located at 1911 Leesburg Grove City Rd, Grove City, PA 16127. For more information, including expanded shopping hours, call 724-748-4770 or go to www.premiumoutlets.com/grovecity.
Wendell August Forge
For unique, heirloom-quality gift items, Wendell August Forge is a must-stop locale on your Mercer County holiday experience. The Forge, which is the largest and oldest in the United States, was founded in 1923 and remains one of the most recognizable metal giftware companies in the country.
Using hand and hammer, artisans craft beautiful heirloom gifts for wedding, baby, Christmas and all of life’s special moments. They are known for creating the most unique ornaments in the world, adorned with stunning Swarovski crystals.
Their Grove City flagship retail store features hand-crafted gifts that you can’t find elsewhere, making it the perfect place to search for distinctive Christmas and holiday presents, especially for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.
Store hours are M – W: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Th – Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sun:: 11:00a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
How to Get There: The Wendell August Forge Flagship Store is located at 2074 Leesburg-Grove City Road in Grove City, on Route 208, 1/2 mile west of the Grove City Premium Outlets). Driving time from downtown Pittsburgh is 1 hour. Visit their website at http://www.wendellaugust.com
Step into Kraynak’s during the holiday shopping season, and you’ll find that you’ve been transported directly to the North Pole. Santa’s Christmasland, a one-of-a-kind attraction, is featured in the store every year from Sept. 10 until Dec. 31. The family-owned business, which started in 1961, features more than 70 decorated trees, each with a different theme. From traditional winter themes with snowmen and penguins, to religious and nativity décor, visitors can view the displays as they make their way down the 300-foot long path. Add in life-like animated figures, festive music, a fresh display each year, and a visit to Kraynak’s becomes a holiday tradition that more and more people discover and cherish.
Store manager Dan Zippie says “Our store is very diverse, and we have 20,000 sq. ft. in the main store, with more than two acres of greenhouses displaying a full line of Christmas decorations. Our toy department includes Lionel trains, Lego and Playmobil, Breyer horses, and Melissa & Doug toys. We have a sports department that sells NFL ornaments and decorations. The gift department is packed with sweaters, scarves, accessories, and Christmas jewelry. There’s even a 40-foot section of simple and challenging puzzles. You’ll find just what you’re looking for at Kraynak’s, plus much more,”
Santa will be at Kraynak’s Lawn & Garden Center everyday beginning November 13th through Christmas Eve at 1:00 p.m. The Lawn & Garden Center is 1000ft behind the main store. Hours for Santa will be: Monday-Saturday 10am to 8:45pm; Sunday 10am to 4:45pm.
Visiting Santa is free, but there is a cost to take a photo using your own camera or phone. Santa and photos are provided by Sanko Studio Photograph. Santa will be behind no glare plexiglass. You will not be able to sit on his lap due to Covid guidelines but you can sit on a bench in front of the plexiglass.
Zippie suggests several hours to see everything Kraynak’s has to offer. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Kraynak’s is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
How to Get There: Kraynak’s is located at the crossroads of I-80 and I-79. The address is 2525 East State St., Hermitage, PA 16148. Driving time from downtown Pittsburgh is 90 minutes. Visit their website at http://www.kraynaks.com.
Keystone Safari, located in Grove City, is a 144-acre interactive adventure and animal park, providing fun and excitement for guests of all ages. Keystone Safari features more than 60 animal species. From giraffes and lions to bears and butterflies, there are a variety of exotic and interesting animals for guests to get up close and personal with.
For the holiday season the park is featuring their newest and largest addition, the Safari Drive-Thru. This section is located just up the road from the walk-thru park. Featured are over 100 animals of 25 species in large open spaces.
See the Holiday Lights and Exciting Sights at Keystone Safari
For the holiday season, Keystone Safari is offering guests a one-of-a-kind adventure to get into the festive spirit! Guests can visit the reindeer barn where they give treats to Santa’s special antlered helpers and embark on a camel ride for a night of holiday fun.
Walk through the park where you can get up close to over 150 animals while enjoying Keystone Safari magical light displays set up throughout the park. Families can also have their photos taken with Santa on his sleigh!
Keystone Safari is open Thursday through Friday from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. They are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
How to Get There: Keystone Safari is located minutes from the Grove City Outlets, less than two miles off of I-79. The address is 2284 Mercer Butler Pike, Grove City, PA 16127. Visit their website at https://www.keystonesafari.com/.
Holly Jolly Wine & Beer Trail
Get into the festive mood with “The Holly Jolly Wine Trail” hosted by Nova Destinations. The Trail runs for three weekends in December featuring five breweries and wineries. Stops on the trail include:
- Knockin Noggin in Volant
- Fractured Grape/ Hop Asylum – New Wilmington
- Nova Cellars/ Brew 32 – Pulaski (dinner and live music)
Tickets are available for December 3-5, December 10-12, and December 17-19. Visit Nova Destinations website for ticket information: https://www.nova.wine . Enjoy delicious wine and craft beer and get some last-minute shopping done on the Holly Jolly Wine & Beer Trail for the wine or beer lover in your life!
Looking for the perfect way to unwind during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season…Make the Holly Jolly Wine Trail event a weekend getaway. The American Hospitality Group is offering guests who book for the Holly Jolly Wine Trail an overnight package that includes transportation. Overnight accommodations include the Candlewood Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Holiday Inn Express of Grove City PA. The shuttle from the hotels runs from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. for the weekends of the Holly Jolly Wine Trail event. To book your weekend getaway contact Kaylee Killmer, Sales Manager at 724-748-5744.
For a full list of Mercer County retailers and shops, overnight accommodations, attractions and dining options visit www.VisitMercerCountyPA.com. While on the website be sure to request a VisitMercerCountyPA Escape Plan Coupon Book. It’s free and full of year-round discounts.