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December 07, 2015

Laurel Hill Cemetery offers special December tours

Celebrate the 200th birthday of Gen. George G. Meade, who is buried there

Events Holiday Tours
Laurel Hill Cemetery R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia™

Laurel Hill Cemetery does not conform to the typical “spooky” graveyard stereotype thanks to its green landscape, breathtaking views and beautiful sculptures and architecture.

Laurel Hill Cemetery has always been intended for the living to use, not just the dead. The National Historic Landmark remains true to its original purpose as an educational, recreational and aesthetic public resource by hosting a variety of events on the grounds. This December, three events are being held there. Free parking for each is available across the street from the Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse, which is usually the meeting place for the walking tours.

Laurel Hill: The Hot Spots and Storied Plots 

For those who have never explored the cemetery before, this recently added tour will provide an overview of what makes Laurel Hill so famous. A guide will provide information on many of the marble masterpieces, take guests to where the best views are located, provide a detailed account of the colorful history of the space and share legends and stories of those buried there. 

Tickets can be purchased at the event or in advance by phone and online.

Saturday, Dec. 12
11 a.m. | $8 per person
Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse
3822 Ridge Ave.
(215) 228-8200

Spirits of Christmas Past: Laurel Hill's Yuletide Connections

Many are familiar with Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly encounter that woke him up to embracing the holiday season. Well, now everyone is able to learn a few lessons from spirits of Christmas past. Tales of the generosity, forgiveness and friendship of those buried at Laurel Hill will be told throughout the walking tour. 

The program will begin indoors with a fireside presentation and conclude with festive treats and libations in the Gatehouse. Tickets can be purchased at the event or in advance by phone and online.

Saturday, Dec. 19
1 p.m. | $15 per person or $13 for student, senior
Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse
3822 Ridge Ave.
(215) 228-8200

General Meade Birthday Celebration

This year the annual General Meade Birthday Celebration marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Gen. George G. Meade, commander of the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is also the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War this year.

A parade of Civil War re-enactors, civilians in period attire, heritage groups and all participants will meet at Meade’s final resting place and memorialize his service. A 21-gun salute and graveside Champagne toast will cap off the ceremony. There will be a reception in the Gatehouse afterward, as well as a tour through Laurel Hill. The event is free, but donations of $5 are encouraged.

Thursday, Dec. 31
Noon | Free or donation
Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse
3822 Ridge Ave.
(215) 228-8200