Things to Discover in Lehigh Valley, PA

December 2011

It’s hard to believe that it will soon be 2012 … time flies when you’re having fun! This upcoming year is going to be a big year for Lehigh Valley, as Allentown celebrates its 250th Anniversary and Lehigh County celebrates its 200th Anniversary.

If you’re looking for things to do this holiday season, look no further than Lehigh Valley. After all, we are home to The Christmas City, the world’s largest Peace Candle and tons of holiday themed attractions and events. If you’re looking for more of the everyday events during this month, check out our events calendar. If you’re interested in more holiday themed events, we’ve made a page on our website dedicated to some of the top holiday themed things to do this month in Lehigh Valley.

Arts & Culture

The Christmas season just wouldn’t be complete without seeing a heartwarming rendition of The Nutcracker. On December 10 & 11, enjoy a classic performance by the Repertory Dance Theatre while Tchaikovsky’s timeless score is performed live by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Get your tickets for the Nutcracker today.

Don’t miss Charles Dickens’ Classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation after he encounters the ghost of Christmas past, present and yet to come. The Civic Theatre presents A Christmas Carol, one of the most treasured holiday productions, from December 2 through 17.


As always, we’re trying to make it even easier for you to celebrate your Christmas in style. Recognized by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top holiday markets in the world, Christkindlmarkt showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nation’s finest artists. The Christkindlmarkt package includes overnight accommodations along with Christkindlmarkt passes and Bethlehem, The Christmas City movie passes.

Celebrate the holidays with America’s oldest Bach choir, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Treat yourself to an incredible performance that includes “Midnight Mass for Christmas” and Part 3 of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.” The Choir is performing two Christmas concerts this year; The Allentown concert will be held December 10 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the Bethlehem concert will be held December 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Dining & Shopping

The Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem is a great place to buy books and gifts for everyone in your family this season. You’ll feel at ease shopping in their cozy and charming book store and gift gallery. Selections aren’t just limited to books; you’ll find music, home decor and fun games and gifts for everyone on your list.

When shopping for creative gifts for the kids this season, why not go right to the source? At The Crayola Store in Easton you’ll find all the hottest new items to let your little artist express their creativity at the most colorful store in the world.

At Josh Early Candies, you’ll find all sorts of sweet and delicious treats, all handmade right here in Lehigh Valley. Find out for yourself why they were voted Best in the Valley for the past 13 years. Watch a behind the scenes look at their candy making process.

Fairs & Festivals

Join us in the city of Allentown as we ring in its 250th year, beginning with a New Year’s Celebration on December 31from 8 p.m. – midnight. Outdoor festivities will include fire dancers, ice carving and carriage rides, accompanied by plenty of musical entertainment. Just before midnight, there will be a countdown and bell drop at the corner of 9th & Hamilton Streets.

Celebrate the coming of 2012 with one of America’s favorite candies, the marshmallow PEEPS® at PEEPS® Fest from December 26-31. Guests will enjoy live music, arts & crafts, movies, s’more making, photos with the PEEPS® Chick and much more! Highlights include the PEEPS® Family Disco Party in the Musikfest Café Dec. 28-29, character breakfast featuring the PEEPS® Chick and other area mascots Dec. 30, and a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31.

Family Fun

Head to The Crayola Experience™ for the New Year’s Eve Family Celebration, where we’re gonna party like it’s … 2012! From 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., there will be loads of arts & crafts, entertainment and activities for the whole family, building up to the big event when we count down as the Crayola Crayon drops at 8 p.m. to celebrate the New Year. Tickets are $19 per person in advance or $25 per person if you want to include the delicious kid-inspired cuisine catered by Sagra Bistro.

The snow might not be on the ground yet, but you can be sure it’s on its way! But what do you do if the whole family doesn’t ski or snowboard, but you still want to have a great time on one of the local mountains? The tubing hills at Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Blue Mountain offer fun for the whole family, without any previous experience necessary. It’s a safe and enjoyable experience that blows sledding right out of the water (or snow)!


Christened with its name on Christmas Eve 1741, Bethlehem is a city rich in tradition and celebrations. From the majestic history of the Historic Moravian Bethlehem District to the post-industrial revitalization of the Bethlehem Steel plant into an arts and cultural campus, the Christmas City has something for everyone, all year long. Follow the Bethlehem star to the Christmas City this year for your holiday celebrations!

Don’t miss your chance to experience an old-fashioned Christmas at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm. Guides dressed in old-time clothing lead visitors by candlelight through the farm, stopping at various points along the way including a rustic cabin, a miniature village and even a living Nativity scene complete with animals.

Outdoor Recreation

Allentown’s 16th annual Lights in the Parkway display is a great way to recapture the joy of Christmas that you felt when you were a kid. The magical lights and display along the Little Lehigh Parkway illuminate at night to create a winter wonderland. Take a short tour by horse drawn carriage or with your own four wheels. Tickets are $6 in advance or $8 at the gate.

Koziar’s Christmas Village is as close to a winter wonderland as you can get, filled with over half a million Christmas lights covering buildings, barns and all sorts of holiday landscapes adjacent to a beautiful lake reflecting the stunning lights. The Koziar family has been adding new features to this outdoor wonderland for more than 60 years.


We have great deals on ski packages for Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Blue Mountain that include lift tickets plus an overnight stay at one of our featured hotels with breakfast to get you fully charged for when you hit the slopes this winter.

Bear Creekis a family-friendly resort featuring skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. It has 21 total slopes, trails and parks on 86 ski-able acres.

Blue Mountain has 39 trails, featuring Pennsylvania’s highest vertical and 5 terrain parks for all abilities. Ride the region’s only high-speed 6 person lift and touch the sky at Blue Mountain Ski Area.


Bundle up and skate a few laps around the rink at Steel Ice Center. Ice skating is a great activity that the whole family will enjoy on one of their two NHL-sized rinks. When you’ve had your fun, take a stroll over to SteelStacks to see what holiday programming they have. You’re sure to find something fun to do every day of the year.

Wineries / Breweries

Keep up with the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail happenings by following their blog, Taste of the Trail. You’ll find new and current information on all of the eight family-owned wineries, as well as any specials and deals that individual wineries are offering. Passports to March Madness are now on sale at the wineries so get yours before they sell out! Passports will grant access to different wine and food pairings at each of the eight wineries each weekend.