A premier holiday destination, Discover Lehigh Valley shares favorite Christmas City traditions and events
As festive and cheerful as Santa’s North Pole workshop, Lehigh Valley’s Christmas City exudes holiday spirit from the moment you arrive. While families start preparing for the season, Discover Lehigh Valley®, the destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting tourism in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Northampton counties, shares a sneak peek of the magic that visitors can enjoy while discovering Bethlehem, also known as the Christmas City, during the holiday season.
“For over 275 years, Bethlehem has been the center of holiday festivities thanks to its establishment on Christmas Eve and locals later coining it the Christmas City. From Main Street lined with twinkling lights and historic buildings decorated with charming candles to aisles of handmade gifts at Christkindlmarkt and stunningly decorated trees at Hotel Bethlehem, Christmas City truly embodies the holidays and is a site to be seen,” said Alicia Quinn, strategic brand manager for Discover Lehigh Valley. “Plus, if you love this time of year as much as I do, the holiday spirit goes well beyond Bethlehem. Throughout Lehigh Valley, there are plenty of joyful festivities for visitors to enjoy, including some of the most spectacular light displays.”
Here is a behind-the-scenes peek of the Christmas City, courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley:
Christkindlmarkt – One of the top holiday markets in the world, Christkindlmarkt welcomes visitors from around the globe to experience Bethlehem’s holiday magic. Take a walk through the grounds to witness live glass blowing, shop aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, hear heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, enjoy delicious food, and more. As the holiday spirit overtakes the SteelStacks campus, guests will marvel at the collection of Germany’s Käthe Wohlfahrt authentic ornaments, nutcrackers, and collectibles while children anxiously wait for St. Nicholas. Consider this a one-stop shop for holiday shopping!
Historic Bethlehem Holiday Tours – Take a tour of historic Bethlehem to witness the dancing holiday lights that shine brightly across the city and learn about Bethlehem’s colonial American past. Join the Trees of Historic Bethlehem tour and gaze upon beautifully decorated trees produced by the Bethlehem Garden Club. Then, enjoy the Christmas City Stroll walking tour led by colonial dressed guides and become immersed in stories on why candles line each window of Historic Bethlehem and the story of the famous Bethlehem Star.
Main Street Bethlehem – As visitors stroll Main Street, they can explore the dozens of restaurants, art galleries, and shops adorn with holiday décor while gazing upon the 81-foot-tall steel “Star of Bethlehem” that radiates from atop South Mountain. Afterwards, visitors must warm up at Historic Hotel Bethlehem to enjoy a local spirit or Musical Sunday Brunch while admiring the elegantly adorned floor to ceiling trees, a stunning Nativity scene, and glistening ornaments and lights.
Bethlehem Carriage Company – A classic mode of transportation, the Bethlehem Carriage Company offers a unique experience for those searching for a magical evening. While riding in a horse-drawn carriage, visitors will see Bethlehem’s holiday lights and sites. Discover the city’s rich history and architecture all while riding down Main Street in an elegant White Vis-a-Vis Carriage or finely decorated Cinderella Carriage.
Christmas City Village – An authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt, Bethlehem’s Christmas City Village welcomes holiday gift seekers to stroll through the charming wooden huts lining the historic streets. Visitors are sure to find perfect handmade gifts, sip on hot chocolate, and enjoy traditional European crescent yeast rolls.
Along with Bethlehem’s holiday festivities, Lehigh Valley is full of holiday spirit. A few other must-see attractions in the region include the Winter Light Spectacular at Lehigh Valley Zoo, featuring over 1.1 million twinkling lights, delicious hot chocolate and cozy fire pits, as well as Koziar’s Christmas Village, which has been wowing families for nearly 70 years as they witness over a million holiday lights setting the countryside aglow.
Thinking ahead to New Year’s and what to do with the kids? Families must experience PEEPSFEST®, a two-day family-friendly celebration featuring a 4-feet, 9-inches tall, 400-pound, giant yellow, light-up PEEP and plenty of the sweet treat to go around.
For more Lehigh Valley holiday getaway recommendations, visit LehighValleyHolidays.com or for photos of these locations, click here and for videos, click here. Follow @LehighValleyPa on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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 and blog, DiscoverLehighValley.com and LehighValleyInSite.com keeps locals and visitors abreast of all things happening in 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.