Walk through history as we guide you to things to learn, places to discover, and events that help connect us to our rich heritage.
November 1st, 2023
BETHLEHEM, PA, October 2023 – Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites (HBMS) is excited to launch the holiday season on November 17, 2023. Holiday offerings will be available through January 7, 2023. Visitors to Christmas City, USA will discover timeless holiday traditions, including Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, the Trees of Historic Bethlehem Exhibition, the Christmas City Stroll Walking Tour, the Bethlehem by Night Motorcoach Tour, and the Live Advent Calendar. Select dates and times can be found on the HBMS website.
A Whimsical Wassail Party to Begin the Festivities
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ seven-week holiday season begins on Friday, November 24, 2023, with the Wassail Party at the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem located at 66 W. Church St., Bethlehem, PA. Immediately following the City of Bethlehem’s tree lighting, Follow the twinkling lights and the cheerful sounds of bells as our historic guides lead you to the heartwarming festivities. Delight in festive tunes, marvel at trees adorned by local volunteers and the Bethlehem Garden Club, and step into the enchanting world of the recreated Moravian Cocoonery, where silk was crafted with care centuries ago. Kids can indulge in delightful crafts, and everyone can drop off their letters to Santa in the special mailbox. Make sure to register in advance for this joyous family-friendly event! Visitors are encouraged to register ahead of time for this event.
Dazzling Trees and Festive Fun Await- Trees of Historic Bethlehem All-Access Pass
Elegant. Luxurious. Opulent. This year’s Trees of Historic Bethlehem are dripping with finery! This dazzling array of Christmas trees beautifully decorated by the Bethlehem Garden Club and local volunteers is sure to awe and inspire. Admire 25 trees across three walkable sites: the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, and the Single Sisters’ House. Vote for your favorite tree online and enter to win exciting prizes throughout the season! Enhance your experience with the Christmas City Combo Pass, granting you access to both the Trees of Historic Bethlehem and the delightful Christkindlmarkt, a holiday market filled with artisans, performances, and delectable treats. Let the wonders of the season surround you!
A multi-site Trees Pass can be purchased for $25.
The Christmas City Combo Pass can be purchased for $31.50 Christkindlmarkt admission is good for 1 entry to Christkindlmarkt and can be redeemed at Christkindlmarkt ANY DAY during normal operating hours from November 17th – December 17th, 2023.
Bonus Access to Awe-Inspiring Exhibitions With your Trees of Historic Bethlehem Pass
Unspun: Stories of Silk, HBMS’ newest exhibition, tells the fascinating story of silk in the Lehigh Valley. Starting with the attic cocooneries of Moravian Bethlehem, the exhibition details the region’s rise in the industry and looks at silk’s impact on fashion and the global marketplace. This holiday season, see the multi-site exhibition everyone’s talking about in a different light with rarely exhibited items from our collections, including silk mittens, hats, and fur-lined coats! This colorful show is made possible, in part, through generous support from The Helen & R. K. Laros Foundation (presenting sponsor).
The Holiday Putz Trail returns to the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, the Single Sisters’ House, and Central Moravian Church. A Putz is a traditional Moravian miniature replica depicting various settings of the Nativity story using ornate, hand-crafted figurines. This year’s Putz features historic putz figurines passed down through Moravian families, with a little extra elegance!
Winter Art Exhibitions at the Luckenbach Mill are on view throughout the season. Enjoy a trip from past to present with the Winter: A Step Back in Time exhibition, offered in partnership with the Lehigh Art Alliance. This exhibition features an array of classically executed realist works, by contemporary local artists interspersed with curated historic pieces from the HBMS Collections. In December, experience the Winter & Holiday Season through the eyes of Lehigh Art Alliance members with the Lehigh Art Alliance 2023 Winter & Holiday Themed Juried Exhibition. In this themed exhibition, the artists interpret what the season means to them. The result is sometimes traditional, and sometimes surprising, but always enjoyable. Come view the Galleries and don’t forget to place your vote for the ever popular “People’s Choice Award”!
Admission to the Holiday Putz Trail, Winter Art Exhibitions, and Unspun: Stories of Silk at the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem and the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is included in your Trees of Historic Bethlehem Pass purchase.
Captivating Tours Await
For a cozy adventure, hop aboard our Horse-drawn Carriage Rides, gliding through Bethlehem’s picturesque downtown. New this year, add on an audio tour download that you can listen to during the ride, directly from your cellphone.
Four-person carriages are $90. Audio tour download add-on is available for $10. Carriages must be reserved ahead of time online.
Walk through Historic Bethlehem with our certified local guide in period dress on the Christmas City Stroll Walking Tour. New this year, the Spirits of Christmas Pub Tour! Step into a mesmerizing winter wonderland with this historic holiday pub tour, where a costumed docent guides you on an adults-only escapade through the historic gems of Bethlehem. Indulge your senses as you sip and see, diving into the origins and meanings of the beautiful Moravian traditions which will add depth to your holiday experience. Don’t miss this jovial tour, guaranteed to leave you with memories as sweet and rich as the spirits you’ve savored. One complimentary tasting is included at the start of the tour at the 1810 Goundie House. (Participants must be at least 21 years of age and show valid ID.)
The Christmas City Stroll Adult admission is $12 for HBMS members and $17 for non-members. Child’s admission is $8 for HBMS members, $11 for non-members.
The Spirits of Christmas Pub Tour is $20 for HBMS Members, $25 for Non-Members.
Tours leave from the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center at 505 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA.
The Bethlehem by Night Motorcoach Tour explores the history and traditions of Bethlehem from the comfort of a heated motorcoach. Sit back and experience the Christmas City on a trip back in time with our certified costumed guide.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children and can be reserved online.
While you are touring and exploring, don’t miss your chance to experience the festivities on Main Street!
Stop by the 1750 Smithy to see our colonial Blacksmith at work, then head over to the Museum Store on Main Street to shop for unique gifts from local businesses. Pick up pre-ordered treats and confections, including the infamous Groman’s Sugar Cookies, Kiffles, Nut Rolls, Moravian Sugar Cake, and new this year, Moravian Mints! Quantities are limited, orders can be placed online.
Next door at the Goundie House, visitors can gather outside the door of the 1810 Goundie House every evening from December 1 through 23 at 5:30 pm for the only known Live Advent Calendar in the country. Each day, a designated audience member will knock on the door and a different local business greets guests with a treat for all. In partnership with the Downtown Bethlehem Association.
Plan your trip and reserve your tickets today! Visit HistoricBethlehem.org or call 1.800.360.TOUR.
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a not-for-profit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history. Historic Bethlehem tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, to America’s first municipal water pumping system, and to one of the world’s greatest industrial companies. Historic Bethlehem is located in eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1-hour drive from Philadelphia to the North and 2 hours west of New York City. Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and part of Historic Moravian Bethlehem which is a National Historic Landmark District and candidate for possible nomination to the World Heritage List.
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