Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution

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Christmas

Trees of Historic Bethlehem is a dazzling array of gilded Christmas trees from around the world across six of our historic sites. Decorations of iridescent ornaments, beeswax candles, nutcrackers, pearl clusters, vintage lace, and more will also be displayed.

(Click image to enlarge)

The Bethlehem By Night Bus Tour is a guided bus tour with a costumed docent that traverses the north side and the south side of Bethlehem during the Christmas season.

This tour includes a visit to the famous star atop South Mountain, a look at early and current local holiday traditions, and access to historic highlights in north and south Bethlehem.

The Bethlehem Star is located atop South Mountain. Take the Bethlehem By Night Bus Tour to get an up-close view!

Christmas City Stroll is a walking tour with a guide in period dress who leads you on foot through the dazzling Christmas City where you will learn Bethlehem’s unique beginnings in 1741 and tour one of America’s National Historic Landmark District.

On the Christmas City Stroll, a guide in period dress will lead you on foot through Bethlehem’s National Historic Landmark District and regale you with how Bethlehem began.

On the Bethlehem By Night bus tour, you will traverse north and south-side Bethlehem with a costumed guide and discover 275 years of Bethlehem’s rich history from its unique beginnings in 1741 to its time as a major producer of steel with the rise of Bethlehem Steel, and more.

The Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride is a cozy and intimate way to experience the lights, sights, and sounds of downtown Bethlehem during Christmas with loved ones and friends.

During the holiday season, Bethlehem features charming old-fashioned, traditional Christmas lights which turn on every day at 5 pm starting Nov. 25.

The Bethlehem By Night Bus Tour will take you around north and south-side Bethlehem and show you best views of The Christmas City glowing with holiday lights.

Christkindlmarkt is a family event that brings the spirit of Bethlehem alive with the Christmas season. More than 150 of the nation’s finest artisans feature their handmade works, accompanied by live Christmas music, ice carving & glassblowing demonstrations, German collectibles, and a visit from jolly old St. Nick!

Christmas City Village is a free, authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt lined with decorated huts that are full of unique holiday gift ideas. The village is nestled in Bethlehem's Downtown, loaded with charming retail shops, gourmet restaurants and historic Moravian museums.

Christmas City Village is open weekend from November 17 – December 23. Friday and Saturday from 11 AM – 8 PM, Sundays until 5 PM

Yes, we offer a complimentary trolley service to shuttle visitors between The Christmas City Village, located in the heart of our Historic District, and Christkindlmarkt, located at the ArtsQuest Steel Stacks Campus.

The shuttle runs every 20-30 minutes each Friday and Saturday 11 am - 8 pm and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm, making conveneint stops at The Moravian Book Shop on Main Street, Sun Inn on Main Street, Walnut Street Garage, South New Street Garage, Christkindlmarkt at Steel Stacks and Banana Factory.

The Live Advent Calendar comes from the tradition of Advent Calendars or Christmas Countdown Calendars for children and families during the holidays.  With a traditional calendar, there is a set number of “doors” to open each day as Christmas draws near.  Traditional calendars provide a treat or saying each day.

Bethlehem has one of the only Live Advent Calendars in the United States!

This is hosted by the merchants of the Downtown Bethlehem Association (DBA), a council of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites.

The candles are placed on the outside of the windows because they are done by Bethlehem Area Moravians and are timed to turn on all at once.

Learn more about the candle-in-every-window story on our Christmas City Stroll tour.

The Christmas Tree Lighting for the City of Bethlehem is Friday, November 24.

Don’t miss the Holiday Wassail Tree Lighting Open House shortly after at 5 pm at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Moravian Museum, and the Single Sisters’ House for beautifully decorated Christmas trees, festive holiday music, costumed docents and more.

About Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

  • 1752 Apothecary
  • 1748-1848 Burnside Plantation
  • 1810 Goundie House
  • 1869 Luckenbach Mill (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter)
  • Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts
  • Moravian Museum of Bethlehem - 1741 Gemeinhaus
  • 1758-69 Nain-Schober House
  • 1744/52 Single Sisters' House
  • 1751/1760 Reconstructed Smithy (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter)
  • 1761 Tannery (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter)
  • Visitor Center & Museum Store
  • 1762 Waterworks (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter)

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that proudly preserves and maintains 20 historic sites, seven gardens, five ruins, one orchard, and 60,000+ artifacts. Our organization engenders a sense of place by working tirelessly to restore, educate, and share all we can about these beautiful buildings and their storied pasts.

The Moravians are one of the oldest Protestant denominations, predating Martin Luther and the formation of the Lutheran Church by about 50 years. Beginning in eastern Europe, the early Moravians were followers of John Hus, an early reformist who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1415. They later united in 1457, calling themselves Unitas Fratrum or Unity of the Brethren.

After worshiping in secret for almost 2 centuries, leaders of the Unitas Fratrum came out of hiding after meeting Count Zinzendorf, who later became their benefactor and religious leader.

From there in 1732, they came to the New World as missionaries and settlers, and founded Bethlehem in 1741, the first well-established Moravian settlement in the Americas. In fact, all of the historic buildings constructed from 1741 to 1845 were built by Bethlehem's Moravian forefathers.

The name Moravian refers to the geographic area where the faith community originated, in ancient Bohemia and Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic.

We have gift shops at the Visitor Center, 505 Main Street, Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, 427 North New Street, and the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, 66 West Church Street.

About Historic Moravian Bethlehem: A National Historic Landmark District

Historic Moravian Bethlehem is one of only eight National Historic Landmark Districts in Pennsylvania and one of only about 200 in the entire United States!

It preserves two National Historic Landmarks, 1741 Gemeinhaus and 1762 Waterworks.

Historic Moravian Bethlehem’s footprint is 14 acres of the original 18th-century Moravian settlement which served as the center of Moravian activities in America. The settlement played a key role in both the international and American Moravian communities.

Today, visitors can experience some of the finest 18th century colonial Germanic architecture in the nation and explore some of the artifacts that speak to the Moravian community.

Historic Moravian Bethlehem was recently nominated to the US Tentative List for eventual nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A National Historic Landmark District is a section of a city that is considered to be of national historic significance.

Moravian College's North Campus is located at 1200 Main Street; 1 mile away from the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Visitor Center, 505 Main Street. Moravian College's Hurd Campas (South Campus) is .25 of a mile away.

Lehigh University is located at 27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem and is 1.5 miles away from the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Visitor Center, 505 Main Street.

The ArtsQuest Center is located on the south side of Bethlehem at 711 East First Street, Bethlehem, about 1.8 miles away from Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Visitor Center & Museum Store.

How To Visit

Tours typically run from an hour to an hour and a half. Abbreviated tours can be given upon request.

A One-Site Museum Pass is $10 and a Multi-Site Museum Pass is $20.

You can start your visit at our Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Visitor Center & Museum Store, located at 505 Main Street, Bethlehem. Our Visitor Center staff are more than happy to assist you!

There is street parking available in the Historic District, including Main Street, Market Street, New Street, and at two parking garages: North Street and Walnut Street.

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Weekly Offerings for the 2017 Christmas season will be available for download soon!

About our Southside Bethlehem Tours

The Hoover-Mason Trestles is an elevated rail line that was built around 1910 by two engineers named Hoover and Mason. It has three tracks which brought raw materials to the blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel.

Take the Hoover-Mason Trestle tour to hear the incredible stories of Bethlehem Steel workers and how some of America's largest landmarks were made of Bethlehem steel.

Learn how blast furnaces worked, why men needed brass checks to get in the gate every morning, and which buildings housed which operation on this on-site walking tour that gives visitors a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a steel worker.


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74 West Broad Street, Suite 260, Bethlehem, PA 18018 | Phone: 610-882-0450 | FAX: 610-882-0460 | [email protected]

Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Registration and financial information about Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999, or on the web at www.dos.state.pa.us. Registration does not imply endorsement.