Are you looking for all the Bethlehem PA Christmas festivities and to-dos? Find European inspired Christmas markets, quaint Main Street shopping, warm local libations, and more in America’s very own Christmas City.
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Did you know that Bethlehem PA is affectionately called Christmas City, USA.
An adorable town throughout the year, Bethlehem transforms during the holidays. Less than two hours outside of both New York City and Philadelphia, Bethlehem is tucked away in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.
Stay the night or enjoy a charming holiday day trip.
Either way, visitors can find warm spiced cider, German fare, twinkling lights, and snow covered cobblestone streets. Plus all the Christmas shopping and celebrating your holiday heart can dream of.
16 Things to do in Bethlehem PA During Christmas
Experience Christmas in Downtown Bethlehem, PA
Christmas City Village
Free to the public, Christmas City Village sits right in downtown Bethlehem’s Moravian Historic District. Find handmade goods, warm drinks, and local eats.
Hotel Bethlehem is continually top rated in the country. During the holidays, find historic charm amped up with over 35,000 Christmas lights, trees, toy soldiers, and gingerbread houses.
Historic Bethlehem City Stroll
Experience Christmas City via a walking tour led by certified guides in period era dress. Learn about Bethlehem’s candle in every window tradition, downtown’s architecture, historical landmarks, and the renowned Bethlehem Star.
Trees of Historic Bethlehem
Four historic sights with over 20 trees, beautifully decorated by the Bethlehem Garden Club with inspiration from famous fashion designers. The annual display locations can be found here.
Christmas City Carriage Ride
Tour historic Bethlehem by horse drawn carriage, while taking in the rich history and twinkling lights.
1758 Sun Inn
History, food, and spirits come together at the historic Sun Inn. Self guided tours of the museum give visitors a look into the past, while colonial inspired drinks and food warm are waiting downstairs. Christmas City Spirits, a micro distillery dedicated to authentic colonial whisky, will be on sale soon!
Holiday Shopping, Food, and Brews
Moravian Book Store
Did you not think I’d recommend a bookstore?? Founded in 1745, Moravian Book Shop is oldest bookstore in the country and one of the oldest in the world. In addition to books, the shop sells Moravian College memorabilia and classic Bethlehem gifts. During Christmas, the store transforms into a full out book and Christmas shop.
Groman’s Moravian Sugar Cookies
Buttery and paper thin, the Bethlehem star shaped cookies date back to the 1920s. Boxes of wafer cookies can be found at the Historic Bethlehem Visitor’s Center and Museum Store. I don’t necessarily find then cheap at $14 a box, but if you’re only going to be in Bethlehem once…
Fegley’s Brew Works
Did you even go to Bethlehem if you don’t stop for a brew here? Fegley’s serves up their own award winning craft news and locally sourced food from the Lehigh Valley. What better way to warm up from the outside chill?
McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub & Whiskey Bar
This pub is an excellent choice for dinner or drinks while you’re strolling through the heart of historic Bethlehem. My go-to meal is the Guinness Lamb Stew with an after-dinner drink of their homemade Irish cream! Anything from their bakery is worth sampling if you have room. Plus, most weekends you’ll find live musicians playing a variety of Irish music. If you’re in the mood to shop, I also love browsing the Celtic store located at the front of the pub! Keep an eye on their events schedule because you might just be in town during a cooking demo, whiskey tasting, or baking workshop too!
Recommendation from Rachel of Never Enough Novels. A PA local herself, check out her recent reads, travels, and musings as a new mom.
The Celtic shop in front of McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub. Named after a square in Belfast, Donegal Square is committed to Celtic culture and heritage. Dedicated to helping customers connect to their Irish routes, the store carries traditional kilts, Irish wool, and small trinkets. It’s one of my favorite Bethlehem shops since we frequently find tokens with our Irish last name.
Christkindlmarkt at Bethlehem SteelStacks
Just south of the Lehigh river, discover Bethlehem PA’s destination Christmas market and industrial steel plaza.
The Lehigh Valley’s version of a European Christmas market. This massive annual event is a destination itself, but also makes a great addition to a holiday trip to Bethlehem. You can spend hours browsing the handmade artisan goods, watching glass blowing demonstrations, and listening to live Christmas music. I’d recommend allocating half a day here, unless you’re an enthusiastic shopper! Make sure you check out the Christkindlmarkt website or Groupon before you go for discounts on admission!
Recommendation from Rachel of Never Enough Novels.
National Museum of Industrial History
Bethlehem is rich in industrial history, as Bethlehem Steel was once the second largest producer in the country. Located on the SteelStacks campus, the museum contains over 200 artifacts from around the world that tell America’s industrial history.
During the holidays, you’ll find the Bethlehem Steel stacks uplit with Christmas colors and decorated with lights. A walk through the visitor’s center is worth the rich history. Between the Christkindlmarkt and the old industrial stacks, you’ll find a pop up post office, perfect for mailing those last minute holiday packages you just picked up.
Just Outside of Bethlehem
Winter Lights Spectacular at the LeHigh Valley Zoo
A walkthrough experience with over a million lights, set to holiday music! Though many zoo animals will be resting after hours, you’ll likely find nocturnal creatures at this holiday attraction.
Lights in the Parkway
Drive through spectacular light displays set to Christmas music. Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway park transforms into a holiday drive through destination perfect for families.
Thinking About Taking a Christmas Trip to Bethlehem, PA? Pin these Ideas for Later:
Will you be taking a holiday detour to Bethlehem this year? Where is your favorite holiday destination?