Christmas Decor; Courtesy of Joanna Tkaczuk/
All Ages

Yes, Christmas City Is an Actual Place You Can Visit

See recent posts by Courtney Elko

It’s true! Christmas City is a real place—otherwise known as Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley. Located between the Poconos and Philadelphia, Bethlehem is especially festive during the holiday season (hence its nickname), with celebrations including themed tours, a live advent calendar and even visits to the Star of Bethlehem!

Here, your complete guide to all of Christmas City’s events in 2019. Happy holidays!

Bethlehem Steel Stacks at Christmastime; Courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley

Christmas City Tours

Luminaria Night
Luminaria Night will take place on Dec. 14, 2019. The Star of Bethlehem will guide visitors to the little city, and locals will line the streets with candles to welcome the holiday season.

Historic Hotel Bethlehem Christmas Tour
This free, self-guided tour inside the Historic Hotel Bethlehem will dazzle visitors with its Christmas trees, wreaths, toy soldiers, lights and even a gingerbread hotel replica! Get the full Historic Hotel Bethlehem experience by booking a stay or Sunday brunch here, too.

Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour
Experience the history of Bethlehem and enjoy the Christmas lights on this guided tour in which guides are in period dress. Bring your camera— the tour stops at the Star of Bethlehem atop South Mountain! Tours run Nov. 29 to Dec. 30, 2019; tours do not run on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour
Nothing says Christmas like a cozy horse-drawn carriage ride. With seating for four, this carriage ride will delight the whole family. The Christmas City carriage rides run every 20 minutes on various dates, Nov. 22 to Dec. 31, 2019.

Christmas City Stroll
Walk with guides in period dress on this tour to experience The Christmas City and learn about Bethlehem’s history and Christmas traditions past and present. Tours run from Nov. 22 to Dec. 30, 2019.

Christmas City Performances

The Nutcracker
The Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, will present its annual production of “The Nutcracker” with several performances Dec. 14 to 15, 2019. The classic holiday show will take the stage at Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Center in Baker Hall.

Live Advent Calendar
Visitors gather at the Goundie House (501 Main Street), where a selected visitor is asked to walk up to the door and knock. When the door opens, a local business owner hands out treats—and there you have it, a live advent calendar! The event takes place at 5:30 p.m. nightly, Dec. 1 to 23, 2019.

Christmas City Follies
Celebrate the merriment of Christmas in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at this variety show at Touchstone Theatre. Music and humor make the Christmas City Follies an instant classic for the whole family. The Follies run Dec. 5 to Dec. 22, 2019. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

ChristkindlMarkt in Bethlehem, PA; Courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley

Christmas City Shopping and Arts and Crafts

No trip to Christmas City is complete without a visit to Christkindlmarkt! Located at PNC Plaza at Steel Stacks Performing Arts Center, the traditional German Christmas market offers more than just shopping. Visitors will enjoy live holiday music, artist demonstrations and food under four tents. Kids can also make their own ornaments! The market is open November 22 through December 22, on weekends. Children under 5 are free to get in. A free trolley stops at Christkindlmarkt, ensuring your Christmas shopping list can be completed!

Kids’ Club End-of-Year Extravaganza
Kids can create art projects at this kids’ club. The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, which highlights the decorative arts in furniture, paintings, clothing and more, hosts kids’ projects throughout the year. So if you missed one, visit the museum to experience the End-of-Year Extravaganza and catch up on any projects you may have missed. It’s free for children ages 4 to 17.

Christmas City Music and Movies

Music in the Museum
Visit the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem on select dates and hear holiday music performed by different musicians. The Moravian Museum is housed in Bethlehem’s oldest building and tells the stories of the Moravian Church founders.

Christmas Classic Movie Matinees
Spend the day touring Bethlehem at Christmas time and then take in a matinee and catch a Christmas movie classic at Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas.

The New Year’s Eve Spectacular
The Sofa Kings know how to rock New Year’s Eve! This high-energy, 10-piece band always make audiences want to sing and dance along as they cover a variety of genres. Doors open for dinner at 8:30 p.m. at Musikfest Cafe, and the show starts at 9:30 p.m.

Historic Hotel Bethlehem at Christmas; Courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley

Hotel Recommendations in Christmas City

Historic Hotel Bethlehem

Sayre Mansion Inn

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem

More Lehigh Valley Family Hotels

What to Pack for Your Next Trip

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