Top 4 Things To Do in Ephrata Borough

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Top 4 Things To Do in Ephrata Borough

Posted on October 26, 2020 by Lisa Willwerth

Find out what Ephrata locals say are the top things to see, do, and experience in the borough!

Earlier this year, we asked, “What is the one thing that everyone must do while in Ephrata?” and the answers came flooding in! From locals to visitors to business owners, we’re excited to share the most popular recommendations from our community.


Photo provided by Don Reese.

Christmas in Ephrata

Christmas in the borough is one of the most magical times of the year! Each year we kick off the season with our annual Ephrata Christmas Tree Lighting. For over 40 years, Ephrata has held an annual tree lighting and Santa’s arrival on Black Friday, where our community comes together to witness the lighting of a towering Christmas tree in Downtown Ephrata. This year, our tree lighting and Santa’s arrival will look a bit different, but we’re still working on hosting a virtual celebration on Friday, November 27, 2020. Stay tuned on Facebook as more details are released. But the holiday festivities don’t stop there—another beloved tradition is our Annual Jingle Bell Tour!  This year’s event will launch on Friday, December 4th, with a self-guided GPS guided tour of Ephrata homes & businesses (outside only) that will be decorated for the holiday season. The holidays are a magical time of the year in Ephrata Borough and is something residents and visitors must experience at least once!

Photo provided by Historic Smithton Inn.

Bed & Breakfasts

Many locals agreed that a getaway or a staycation in Ephrata wouldn’t be complete without a stay at one of our delightful Bed & Breakfasts! Opt for the 1777 Americana Inn B&B for an elegant, colonial farmhouse feel, or enjoy the charm, history, and modern amenities of The Historic Smithton Inn! The 1777 Americana Inn B&B offers Lancaster County’s only “Room with a Brew” experience with Black Forest Brewery on-site and several other local breweries nearby. Hardworking couples have been loving The Historic Smithton Inn’s new workcation package where they can swap their home office for an immersive high-tech experience set amid 18th Century charm and even order breakfast to coincide with their Zoom meeting! Spending a night at one of Ephrata’s B&Bs will give you a great sense of what life is like in our charming small town as well as ample space for relaxation.

Photo provided by Don Reese.

The Ephrata Cloister

While The Ephrata Cloister is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this historic site and museum are integral parts of our local community. Originally a religious community established in 1732 by Johann Conrad Beissel in Ephrata, the Cloister features the grounds and preserved buildings of a monastic settlement “where devoted members followed a disciplined life designed to prepare them for a heavenly existence” (The Ephrata Cloister). Despite their temporary closure, The Ephrata Cloister is still making sure to keep our town’s history alive through their social media platforms. Be sure to follow them on Facebook for interesting facts and photos of what life was like back then. The Cloister also recently launched a new virtual exhibit “‘Singular, and of Ancient Style:’ The Architecture of Historic Ephrata Cloister!”

Photo provided by Don Reese.

Ephrata Fair

The oldest and largest street fair in Pennsylvania, the Ephrata Fair is an annual 5-day event that celebrates the community’s farm harvest with contests, exhibitions, rides, live music, delicious food, a tractor pull, and a parade! Residents and visitors from near and far are drawn to the fair’s agricultural bounty on display, livestock showings, and much more. We recently shared the history of the Ephrata Fair in a recent blog post! Make sure your calendar is clear for September 21 – 25, 2021, as you won’t want to miss the fair’s 102nd anniversary!

Many honorable mention destinations include a visit to the Gameseum: Mega-Arcade & Museum, enjoying the Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail Trail, biking at the Heatherwood Bike Park, a winery-brewery-distillery tour around Ephrata’s fantastic wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

Need more inspiration for what to do in Ephrata? You can view the rest of the Ephrata “must” recommendations on our Facebook and Instagram posts or check out our local business directory for additional ideas. Feel free to keep commenting—we’d love to hear from you!