10 Ways to Celebrate: The Best Holiday Activities in Lehigh Valley

It’s possible to deck the halls and avoid crowds. Here are 10 of the best holiday activities in the Lehigh Valley to let your hearts be light and help make spirits bright. A getaway to the Christmas City is sure to put you in a festive mood. Bask in the warm glow of The Sayre Mansion decorated in all its holiday glory. Elegant and intimate guest rooms offer a quiet respite.

1. Easton Winter Village

Easton City Square transforms every weekend from November 17 to December 18 for this family-friendly winter event. Visitors may shop for holiday gifts at vendor huts, stroll around the Peace Candle, sip hot cocoa and even take a spin around the ice skating rink.

Courtesy Lehigh Valley Zoo Facebook

2. Winter Light Spectacular

Walk on the wild side as Lehigh Valley Zoo glows with 1.2 million lights. The self-guided tour through tree-lined paths features twinkling lights and animated displays. There are also outdoor fire pits, cocoa and s’mores to help beat the chill. Winter Light Spectacular runs from November 10 to December 30.

3. Christmas City Stroll

Courtesy Get Downtown Bethlehem

Bethlehem’s historic district takes on a special glow during the holiday season. Join in a guided walking tour around the centuries old buildings to find out about the city’s Christmas traditions, architecture and origins of the famous Bethlehem Star. A guide in period dress leads the tour, which departs from the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center multiple times throughout the day until December 26.

4. Live Advent Calendar

Countdown to Christmas every day at the 1810 Goundie House. Visitors gather outside the door of the home on Main Street at 5:30 p.m. for a presentation by a member of a local business or organization who hands out special treats among the socially distanced crowd. The annual tradition is in its 17th year and is the only event of its kind in the country.

Courtesy Burnside Plantation Facebook

5. Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Board an open-air carriage for a tour of the lights and decorations of downtown Bethlehem. Rides depart every 20 minutes.

6. Christmas Huts on Main

Courtesy Get Downtown Bethlehem Facebook

Reminiscent of a traditional German market, Christmas Huts on Main are a staple of the season in Bethlehem. Spread all around the historic district, the charming outposts feature unique vendors overflowing with one-of-a-kind gifts. The huts are open Thursday through Sunday  until December 24.

7. Trees of Historic Bethlehem

Members of the Bethlehem Garden Club have decorated more than 25 Christmas Trees, each in the theme of Finer Things. Take a self-guided tour throughout the holiday season.

Courtesy Get Downtown Bethlehem Facebook

8. Window Decorating Contest & Gingerbread Games

Businesses along Main Street and Broad Street compete for the best window decorations. Take a walk around town to see offerings then vote for your favorite. The public gets into the action with the Gingerbread Games. The heated competition will have entrants creating 2-foot gingerbread houses with their own creative twist. Entries will be on display around the Main Street and Colonial Industrial Quarter.

9. Peepsfest

Courtesy Historic Bethlehem Facebook

A family-friendly New Year’s celebration held annually at the Steelstacks in Bethlehem. Fun activities abound during the two-day event, December 30 and 31. The festivities culminate with the Peeps Chick Drop each night at 5:30 p.m. Visitors may cheer on the descent of the nearly 5-foot-tall lighted Peep to mark the start of a new year.

10. Lights in the Parkway

Take a drive through Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway to see thousands of twinkling lights. The mile-long self-guided route features light tunnels, animated holiday scenes and dazzling light displays accompanied by seasonal music. Lights in the Parkway is open daily (except Christmas Day) November 24-December 31 from 5:30-10 p.m.

Later on, you can conspire as you dream by the fire. Snuggle up in a guest room with a cozy fireplace and enjoy the sights of Bethlehem.  Check availability and book a getaway today to enjoy holiday activities in the Lehigh Valley.