Discover Lehigh Valley shares its list of top things to do in Bethlehem, Pa., the original Christmas City.
LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., November 22, 2019 – Even Ebenezer Scrooge, Mr. Potter, and the Grinch would crack smiles and stare in an awestruck wonder when experiencing Lehigh Valley’s own original Christmas City, Bethlehem, Pa. To capture that same magical feeling, Discover Lehigh Valley®, is sharing its list of must-see attractions and events happening in Bethlehem and throughout the region this holiday season.
Recently featured in Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the most festive destinations in the country, Bethlehem is known for turning up the Christmas spirit. “No matter where I travel for the holidays, I quickly realize nothing compares to the Christmas City. Whether seeing a child’s bright smile when they meet St. Nicholas at Christkindlmarkt, spotting a couple selecting a special stained glass Moravian star for their tree or enjoying the Live Advent Calendar, Bethlehem reminds me there’s plenty of holiday charm and Christmas magic for everyone,” says Alicia Quinn, vice president of marketing and strategic alliances for Discover Lehigh Valley.
Create your own holiday getaway with these Discover Lehigh Valley recommendations in both Lehigh and Northampton counties:
- Christkindlmarkt – Recognized as a top holiday market by USA Today 10Best and Curbed.com, Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem is holiday central in Lehigh Valley. Walk through the grounds for live music, glass blowing, ice carving, exquisite handmade works from more than 100 vendors, delicious food, and more. Guests must also browse the collection of Germany’s Käthe Wohlfahrt authentic collectibles.
- Miracles on Main Street – Quintessential holiday magic happens on Historic Main Street Bethlehem. As the 81-foot-tall steel “Star of Bethlehem” glows above the city, explore the dozens of restaurants, art galleries, and shops. Visit the Historic Hotel Bethlehem – named a top historic hotel by USA Today 10Best – to admire the elegantly adorned lobby and stunning Nativity scene. To discover new traditions, take a ride in a cozy horse-drawn carriage to witness the city’s holiday lights.
- Historic Bethlehem Holiday Tours – Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites takes the phrase “Deck the Halls” to a whole new level. Nominated to the U.S. Tentative List for World Heritage Designation, Historic Bethlehem is recognized as a National Historic Landmark District and is home to 19 historic buildings dating back to the 1700s, including two National Historic Landmarks. While exploring the sites, visitors will witness dancing holiday lights and colonial dressed reenactors. They can also join a walking tour to learn why candles line each window of Historic Bethlehem and hear stories about the famous Bethlehem Star.
- Live Advent Calendar – Bethlehem’s Live Advent Calendar brings the holidays to life – making it truly one-of-a kind in the country. Held every evening at 5:30 p.m., December 1 through 23, visitors can gather outside of the 1810 Goundie House for local treats and stories.
- Legendary Light Displays –The Winter Light Spectacular at Lehigh Valley Zoo is home to 1.1 million twinkling lights and themed, animated displays. Visit the Winter Light Spectacular Wednesday through Sunday, November 15 to December 29. Another amazing sight is Koziar’s Christmas Village. It’s family-owned and operated for more than 70 years and boasts more than one million lights covering buildings, barns, and countryside. Koziar’s Christmas Village shines from November 2 to January 1.
- Classic Holiday Finds – Homemade gifts from Lehigh Valley are perfect for spreading holiday cheer. Purchase a Bethlehem or Moravian Star at the Moravian Book Shop, the oldest continually operating bookstore in the country. Visit Josh Early Candies, a fifth-generation family business, to stock up on freshly made holiday chocolates, caramels, roasted nuts, and more. Browse Bethlehem’s Christmas Huts on Main for unique holiday gift ideas including handmade goods and treats.
- Family-Friendly NYE Festivities – Featured on Forbes.com, PEEPSFEST® is a premier, family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. The two-day party, exclusive to Lehigh Valley, kicks off the New Year by dropping a 4-foot-9-inch tall, 400-pound, giant yellow, light-up PEEP. With live music, entertaining acts, and plenty of marshmallow PEEPS® to go around, PEEPSFEST® commemorates the New Year before bedtime at 5:15 p.m. on December 31.
About Discover Lehigh Valley
Established in 1984, Discover Lehigh Valley® makes Lehigh and Northampton counties a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the region.
Discover Lehigh Valley’s official visitor website, DiscoverLehighValley.com, keeps locals and visitors abreast of all things happening in the region. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, brochures and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Discover Lehigh Valley’s social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into one of the many visitor centers for additional information.
About Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Set amid gentle hills and charming country sides, Lehigh Valley, Pa. is home to Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, as well as dozens of small towns and picturesque boroughs.
The region is steeped in pre-Colonial, Early American and industrial history. Lehigh Valley has an impressive range of tourist attractions including nationally-recognized events like Musikfest, wineries and breweries, the Lehigh Valley Zoo, outdoor activities, world-class sporting events, 10 colleges and universities, and is home to America’s favorite brands such as Crayola®, PEEPS®, Mike & Ike®, Martin Guitars and Mack Trucks. The region offers a diverse array of memorable things to do and plenty of dining options to fit every budget and taste.
And, it’s easy to get to and around. Lehigh Valley is located approximately 60 minutes north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes west of New York City by car.