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Blogger News: Bethlehem for Christmas 25.11.15

Located less than two hours from Philadelphia, Bethlehem hosts a number of events throughout December.

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The holidays are especially festive in Bethlehem, a town in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. That's why the town is known as Christmas City, with special performances, themed tours and even a live advent calendar offered each year.

Local businesses also deck their halls in a window-decorating contest, encouraging visitors to vote for their favorite display; "Favorite Christmas Carol" is the theme in 2015. Don't miss Luminaria Night on Dec. 12 either, when The Star of Bethlehem will guide visitors to the city and neighborhoods will line the streets with candles to illuminate an especially festive night. 

The glitter and tinsel of Bethlehem's Christmas decor is only half of the merriment Christmas City will bring to the whole family. Located less than two hours from Philadelphia, Bethlehem hosts a number of events throughout December.

TOURS
Historic Hotel Bethlehem Christmas Tour
This free, self-guided tour inside the Historic Hotel Bethlehem runs through Jan. 3, 2016, and will dazzle visitors with its 26 Bethlehem Christmas trees, 35 wreathes, seven toy soldiers, a gingerbread hotel replica and 35,000 lights. Get the "full" Historic Hotel Bethlehem experience by booking a stay there, too.


Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour
Experience the history of Bethlehem and enjoy the Christmas lights on this guided tour, where the guides are in period dress. Bring your camera because the tour stops at the Star of Bethlehem atop South Mountain. Tours begin at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, through December 27. Children under 3 are free.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour
Experience Bethlehem's downtown by horse and carriage. With seating for four, this carriage ride will delight the whole family. The Christmas carriage rides run every 20 minutes Thursday through Sunday until December 31. 

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 through January 10. Children under 3 are free.

The Nutcracker at Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center in Pennsylvania.

PERFORMANCES
The Nutcracker
The Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley will present its Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in its 47th annual production of "The Nutcracker" in three performances on Dec. 12 and 13. The classic holiday performance, with live music by The South Side Sinfonietta, will take the stage at Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center. 

Live Advent Calendar
One special visitor each day at 5:30 p.m. gets to knock on the door of the Live Advent Calendar at Goundie House. When the door is opened, a special guest will appear and hand out small treats to the crowd. Similar to the traditional advent calendar of opening a door each day leading up to Christmas, this live version is a treat for the whole family. Gather at the Goundie House early and maybe someone from your family will be chosen to be the special doorknocker. 

Live Bethlehem Christmas Pageant
This fully costumed re-enactment of the birth of Christ includes all the players to the story. Mary and Joseph arrive at the stable by donkey and the three Wise Men visit with camels. A narrator, accompanied by singers, tells the story as the pageant unfolds at 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 13. 

Christmas City Follies
Celebrate the merriment of Christmas 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 from Dec. 3 through Dec. 20. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Christkindlmarkt at Steel Stacks Performing Arts Center in Pennsylvania.

SHOPPING AND ARTS & CRAFTS
Christkindlmarkt
The ultimate holiday market for handmade works, Christkindlmarkt at PNC Plaza at Steel Stacks Performing Arts Center, offers more than just shopping. Visitors will enjoy live holiday music, artist demonstrations and food, and kids can make their own ornaments. The market is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday through Dec. 20. Children under 5 are free. 

Christmas City Village
Visitors can find unique gift ideas at this authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt in downtown Bethlehem on Main Street. The outdoor huts are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Christmas City Village closes on Dec. 20. A free trolley stops at Christkindlmarkt and Christmas City Village, ensuring that 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 between Dec. 19 and 31 to experience the End-of-Year Extravaganza and catch up on any projects you may have missed. Children under 12 are free with an adult museum ticket.

Playing music at Saal of Moravian Museum Gemeinhaus in Pennsylvania.

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 Christmas City and then take in a matinee and catch a Christmas movie classic at Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas. Movie times are at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday through the month of December. 

"White Christmas": Dec. 3 and 4
"Meet Me in St. Louis": Dec. 10 and 11 
"It's a Wonderful Life": Dec. 17, 18 and 19

The Red Elvises New Year's Eve Spectacular
These Red Elvises know how to rock New Year's Eve. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Igor Yuzov and his Elvises always make audiences want to sing and dance along to his guitar-based rock and roll. Doors open for dinner at 8 p.m. at Musikfest Caf? and the show starts at 9 p.m.

Sayre Mansion Inn in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.



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