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Historic Holiday Fun in the Christmas City

October 9, 2020 | Written by Alicia Rohrbach

The Christmas City is about the become alive with the lights, sights, and sounds of the season! How did we become The Christmas City you ask – well we’ve got your answer!

On Christmas Eve, 1741, Count Nicholas von Zizendorf, leading a small group of Moravian missionaries who had founded a small settlement on the banks of the Monocacy Creek, gave Bethlehem it’s name.

Fast-forward to 1937 – when the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, mindful of Bethlehem’s first Christmas in 1741 declared “Why not make Bethlehem, named at Christmas, the Christmas City for the entire country?”. And there you have it – since 1937 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has been known throughout the world as the Christmas City.

For more stories of Bethlehem’s rich and vibrant past, check out these upcoming events and traditions from Historic Bethlehem Partnership. This is a list of our favorite ways to combine Christmas traditions with a dash of history!

Christmas City Stroll

presented by Historic Bethlehem Museum & Sites
Grab your friends, family, or significant other and enjoy a walk through beautiful Historic Bethlehem with a certified guide in period dress! Have you ever wondered about Bethlehem’s unique beginning in 1741, the tales of the candle in every window or the Bethlehem Star? You’ll learn all that and more on this combination indoor/outdoor tour.

Carriage Rides

presented by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
Bundle up and get cozy in the perfect holiday ride! Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites offers serene horse drawn carriage rides through Bethlehem’s beautiful downtown. The carriage ride contains all of your favorite holiday things: lights, the sights and sounds of The Christmas City, and the National Historic Landmark District of Historic Moravian Bethlehem.

Historic Holidays at Burnside Plantation

presented by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
Are you searching for the perfect Christmas tree? Or maybe looking for the perfect spot for those family holiday photos? Historic Holidays at Burnside Plantation has all of the items on your holiday checklist in one place! You can pick out your perfect Christmas tree, see the winter garden, have your holiday photos taken, check out pop-up shops and more. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy rustic winter fun at Burnside Plantation this season!

Live Advent Calendar

presented by Downtown Bethlehem Association in conjunction with Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
Who doesn’t love the excitement of opening the little doors on the advent calendar for a treat? Well – Bethlehem bottles up that excitement and presents it live! Get all the Christmas feels with this family friendly event that takes place nightly at 5:30 p.m. from December 1 – 23 at the 1810 Goundie House. The shops, restaurants and community organizations of the Historic District will provide special treats to attendees in addition to the 10 – 15-minute program each night. Visit GetDowntownBethlehem.com to get your free tickets!

Historic Holidays in the Colonial Industrial Quarter

presented by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
Enjoy the perfect setting for Holiday activities at the Historic Colonial Industrial Quarter. There’s pop-up shopping, Putz displays, Christmas huts, and more. Complete with warming stations and colonial blacksmith demonstrations – you’re sure to learn something new, enjoy the displays and have fun for the whole family!

To partake in the historic holiday fun – visit historicbethlehem.org for more information and to purchase your tickets.