Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution


“Let’s Play!” at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts: Open through April 30

Attack from the 80s
Darth Vader

Play your favorite games all day at "Gaming in the Gallery!"

Play your favorite games (noon to 3 pm) at "Gaming in the Gallery!" at The Kemerer Museum, 427 N. New St. Bethlehem. Enjoy arcade classics like Ms. Pac-Man and Centipede or throwbacks like Twister, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and Mario Kart.

"Gaming in the Gallery" is presented Saturday, Feb. 4 and 18; Saturday, March 4 and 18. The fun and games are free to members and $12 for non-members.


"Attack from the 80s"

Calling all classic gamers! On Jan. 26 and March 16 from 6 to 9 p.m., join us for "Attack from the 80s" — a thrilling night of 1980s-era arcade and video games at The Kemerer (427 N. New St., Bethlehem).

It's a retro video game party, and you're invited. Bring your friends to join us for a totally radical night of classic arcade and video games.

Show off your Ms. Pac-Man skills, or try to claim the top spot on the Centipede leaderboard. Other popular games are on hand as well.

Guests 21 and up, will get a complimentary/specialty cocktail — appropriately themed, naturally.

Admission is $15 for members, and $20 for non-members. This includes one specialty cocktail (for guests 21 and older).

Pay at the door Thursday or get tickets here:


Our current exhibition, "From Marbles to Make Believe: Let's Play!" features toys of the Colonial Era, "Star Wars" collectibles (like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Yoda), video games, and much more. The show looks at how we play, what we play with, and how games have changed.

Assembled from 400 pieces from our archives and from local collectors, this exhibition at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts (427 N. New Street, Bethlehem) cheerfully reveals what toys and games tell us about their owners and their times over the last century.

Play, an essential and longstanding human activity, has helped us develop our imaginations and problem-solving skills since ancient times.  "From Marbles to Make Believe: Let's Play!” explores the history of recreation and play in America and examines design trends and themes in toys and games throughout time.

From carefully designed action figures to a collection of dangerous toys, "From Marbles to Make Believe: Let's Play!” will awaken your sense of fun and wonder, one toy at a time!

Plus, the "Star Wars" room features Dark Lords, Jedis, Siths, Lightsabers, Death Stars, Stormtroopers, X-Wing Starfighters, TIE Fighters, Wookiees, Ewoks, Droids, Hutts, and much more.

The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts at 427 N. New Street, Bethlehem is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri., Sat., and Sun. Or please call 1-800-360-TOUR to schedule an appointment.

On display at The Kemerer

Visitors can stir up memories as they wander among “Trendy Toys,” highlighting the most iconic playthings of the 1900s, including the original Steiff Teddy Bear, cast iron specific, model trains, and Furby, the electronic toy; or stroll through “Play in Far Away Places,” showcasing action figures like He-Man and Shira, and table-top games like Dungeons & Dragons.

The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts at 427 N. New Street, Bethlehem is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri., Sat., and Sun. Or please call 1-800-360-TOUR to schedule an appointment.

Play Through Time

Explore the evolution of play through the different materials we’ve used to make toys, and the time periods in which they were popular. Of special interest is a collection of handcrafted dollhouses and a collection of incredibly rare American-made celluloid toys!

Trendy Toys

What was the most popular toy the year you were born? In what year was your favorite toy most popular? Get an up-close look at the most popular playthings of the 1900s!

Parlor and Board Games 

When discussing play, we often focus on the physical, but mental play is just as important! This section will explore the importance of board and parlor games.

Perilous Playtime

Play is meant to be fun, but it can also be dangerous! This section explores a collection of dangerous toys from the 1950s to the 1990s. How close you came to danger may surprise you!

Level up Play

Play has evolved in a short span of time. Whereas Baby Boomers and Gen Xers grew up playing outside, today’s children prefer a more virtual experience. This section explores the shift from outdoor to indoor play.

Play in Other Worlds

In this section, explore the theme of imaginative play! Check out a collection of action figures from a galaxy far, far away and embrace your inner spellcaster with a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons!

Art as Play

We often think of art and play as being different, but art itself is an element of play. Explore the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts to find playful works of art by regional artists like Nancy Bossert, Janet Rockware, and Barbara Kozero!

At The Moravian Museum

Play Back When

In this section, explore the games that would have been played by the Moravians of historic Bethlehem! Are any of these games still played today? The answer may surprise you!

At The Luckenbach Mill

Lehigh Art Aliance Winter & Holiday Themed Exhibition

LAA accepted 55 pieces, out of 65 entries, from 40 artists, for an inclusion rate of 85 percent.

Click here for the list of participants.

January Mill Hours
11 am to 6 pm January 5 to 8

Starting January 15, 2023
1 pm to 4 pm Saturdays & Sundays

Erin Pryor Gill

Inspired daily by the surrounding landscape and historic architecture, Erin Pryor Gill is a fine artist working in pastels, oils, and various printmaking techniques.

Erin majored in painting and printmaking at Alfred University, and received a BFA in Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to studio work, Erin enjoys painting outdoors. Erin is on the board of the Lehigh Art Alliance, and is a signature member of the Pastel Society of New Jersey.

With 28 trees on display across five historic sites, the Trees of Historic Bethlehem display is a time-honored tradition in Bethlehem. This year, in conjunction with our “From Marbles To Make-Believe: Let’s Play!” exhibit, each tree is decorated by members of the Bethlehem Garden Club to reference some of your favorite games, including favorites like Monopoly, The Game of Life, and Trivial Pursuit!

With a Trees of Historic Bethlehem ticket, visitors also have access to "From Marbles To Make-Believe: Let's Play!" and the Christmas Heritage Trail.

View the virtual Trees Exhibit and Putz Trail which features Trees of Historic
Bethlehem of the Past, and Putz displays from across the region.

Funding by the Bealer-Greene Christmas Endowment



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