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5 Magical Things to Do at Christmas in Bethlehem

November 8th, 2023 |

Christmas is a time when towns and cities all over the world come alive with festive decorations and holiday spirit. Few places, however, can boast the historical charm and enchanting ambiance that Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites offers during the holiday season. In this blog post, we’ll explore five magical things to do at Christmas in Historic Bethlehem that will leave you with cherished memories and a heart full of holiday joy.

Ride Along Main Street in a Horse Drawn Carriage

Historic Bethlehem proudly carries the nickname “Christmas City, USA,” and for good reason. The main thoroughfare, aptly named Main Street, transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with twinkling lights, beautifully decorated storefronts, and festive decorations that will take your breath away. Check out the handcrafted goods in the many Christmas Huts in the Christmas village. This historic town takes its holiday décor seriously, creating an enchanting atmosphere that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a Charles Dickens novel. gifts  Grab a cup of hot cocoa and take a sleigh ride down Main Street, soaking in the sights and sounds of Christmas past with the new Carriage Ride Audio Tour Add-On.

Experience a Christmas City Tour

Historic Bethlehem offers a wide range of guided tours that will immerse you in the town’s rich history and holiday traditions. The Christmas City Strolls are a true highlight. These guided walks take you by beautifully adorned historic sites, where you’ll learn about the customs and stories of Moravian Christmas past. New for this year, HBMS is also offering  Spirits of Christmas Pub Walking Tour, where you can sample the finest spirits while discovering the history of Bethlehem. Looking for a warmer tour? Alternatively try one of our Bethlehem By Night Motorcoach Tours, where you’ll be able to admire The Moravian Star, a beautifully crafted 91-foot-tall symbol of Christmas, that stands atop South Mountain and overlooks the entire town.

Admire the Decorations on The Trees Of Historic Bethlehem

Spread throughout The Moravian, and Kemerer Museums, The Trees of Historic Bethlehem exhibit showcases a variety of beautifully hand-decorated Christmas trees, made possible by the help of the Bethlehem Garden Club. Each tree has its own unique design all under the theme of The Exhibition: Unspun Stories of Silk, ‘The Finer Things.’ You can admire these trees, vote for your favorites, and learn about the history and traditions of the holiday season in Bethlehem. It’s a delightful and interactive experience that truly embodies the spirit of Christmas.

A multi-site Trees Pass can be purchased for $25. 

Visit Christkindlmarkt

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem is an annual holiday market that brings the spirit of the European Christmas markets to Pennsylvania. Located at SteelStacks, this festive market features over 150 artisans, offering unique, handcrafted gifts, delicious holiday treats, and warm beverages. It’s the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind presents for your loved ones, and the charming ambiance will put you in the holiday spirit. Not to mention Christmas City Combo Ticket Holders are granted access to Christkindlmarkt and a visit to all 3 stops on the Trees of Historic Bethlehem tour. The Christmas City Combo Pass can be purchased for $31.50

Attend Live Advent Performances

One of the most beloved holiday traditions in Historic Bethlehem is the Live Advent Calendar. Each evening from December 1st to December 23rd, at The 1810 Goundie House located at 501 Main St. a special guest from a local business or organization appears and distributes treats to the crowd. This interactive event allows you to explore the town’s rich history while also enjoying seasonal treats and entertainment. The Live Advent Calendar adds an extra layer of wonder and excitement to the Christmas season, making your visit to Bethlehem truly special. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience — it’s the only one like it in the country!

For the past three decades, the little town of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has channeled its name and transformed into “Christmas City” for the holidays. 

– Conde Nast Traveler

Historic Bethlehem, the Christmas City, offers a unique and charming way to celebrate the holiday season. From the beautifully decorated Main Street to the enchanting Christkindlmarkt and the historical tours, this town knows how to make Christmas feel magical. Whether you’re visiting with family, friends, or a special someone: the Christmas traditions and experiences in Historic Bethlehem are sure to leave you with cherished memories and a warm heart. Make the journey to this historic town, and you’ll find that the holiday spirit is alive and well in not only one of the best Christmas towns in America but also one of the 32 best places to spend Christmas around the world.

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