5 Reasons to visit Bethlehem (PA) for Christmas
1. Evening Stroll through Bethlehem: It’s not called Christmas City for nothing! This time of year the historic district of Bethlehem puts on it’s fancy dress with fairy lights, window candles and miles of garland. The shops stay open later on the weekends and the many restaurants are filled with music and folks in the holiday spirit. You can even purchase tickets for an evening stroll with a doscnet who will provide you with historic details and context.
2. Winter Light Spectacular at the Lehigh Valley Zoo: A walk through holiday light experience allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature as you stroll through tree-lined paths lit up by over 1.2 million twinkling lights and themed animated displays! Warm up next to the cozy outdoor fire pits, while enjoying hot cocoa and s’mores.
3. Weihnachtsmarkt: Since Christkindlmarkt relocated to the SteelStacks campus in South Bethlehem, Main Street added its own Christmas City Village as an added draw for seasonal shoppers. The open-air German-style market is set up in wooden, seasonally decorated huts in the Sun Inn Courtyard and the south end of Main Street. A complimentary trolley connects the two markets and runs every 20 minutes or so.
4. Christkindlemarkt: Each Christmas season, towns, villages and cities throughout Germany host festive outdoor markets known as Christkindlmarkts, uniting the community in a celebration of the holiday season. While each Christkindlmarkt is unique, they all feature food and drink, holiday ornaments and plenty of handcrafted gifts. It’s in this age-old tradition that Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem was established in downtown Bethlehem in 1993 by ArtsQuest, bethlehem’s non-profit Arts organization. Discover music, drinks and snacks and tents full of artisan wares.
5. The Bethlehem Star: First illuminated in 1935, the original star on South Mountain was made of wood, but steel supports from Bethlehem Steel were installed in 1939. A new star was installed by Stehly Sign Co. in 1967. The design is a five-pointed star with eight rays, with the design on north- and south-facing sides of the steel tower. Before it was replaced, both faces were lit by a total 280 50-watt special clear lamps. In 2010, the bulbs were replaced with 258 7-watt LED lights. The structure — rooted at Bethlehem’s highest point, 890 feet above sea level — is 91 feet tall and 40 feet wide, and when illuminated can be seen more than 20 miles.