10 Things to Do This Holiday Season

10 Things to Do This Holiday Season

From festive lights and Christmas putzes to seasonal performances and unique shopping experiences, the Lehigh Valley offers plenty of ways for adults and children of all ages to get into the holiday spirit.


Holiday Train Display.

The America on Wheels Museum, 5 N. Front St., Allentown, has stationed model trains around its galleries for the holiday season and will run them Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and noon to 4 on Sundays from Dec. 8 to Dec. 29. The museum is also offering several other holiday events, including a family holiday folk music program by Dave Fry at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 9 and Sweet Surprise Day at 11 a.m. Dec. 23 where children can frost and decorate inverted sugar cones to create a holiday tree forest. Information: 610.432.4200.

“A Christmas Carol.”

Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future return to Civic Theatre, 527 N 19th St, Allentown, for the 28th year. Adapted by William Sanders and Sharon Lee Glassman from Charles’ Dickens’ classic short story, “A Christmas Carol” runs through Dec. 16. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and there are 2 p.m. performances on Dec. 9, 10, and 16. Information: 610.432.8943.

Pip: The Mouse Before Christmas Puppet Show.

The classic 1962 puppet show that delighted thousands at the former Hess’s Department Store has been restored and digitized by the Liberty Bell Museum, 22 W. Hamilton St., which will present shows at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Dec. 31 and on Dec. 10. Special evening shows presented at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Breakfast with Pip will be offered at 8:30, 9:15, 10, and 10:45 a.m. Dec. 9, followed by a performance of the show. Information: 610.435.4232.



The annual shopping event at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, recreates the festive outdoor markets that spring up in each Christmas season in towns and villages throughout Germany. Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt, which in 2007 was recognized as one of the top holiday markets in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine, features food and drink, entertainment, holiday ornaments, and handcrafted gifts. Now celebrating its 25th year, this year’s event, which features more than 125 vendors each week, runs Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 17 and Dec. 21-23. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays and 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays a Breakfast with St. Nicholas will be held at 9 a.m. on Dec. 3, 10, and 18. Information, 610.332.1300.

Moravian Putzes.

Although Christmas putzes can be found in Moravian churches and homes throughout the Lehigh Valley, the Christmas City, which was founded by Moravians, features some of the best known. These nativity scenes, which tell the story of Christ’s birth, often with narration, music and lights, derive their name from the German word “putzen,” which means “to decorate.” Central Moravian Church, Edgeboro Moravian Church, and East Hills Moravian Church each open their putzes to the public. Central’s putz, on the lower level of the Christian Education Building, 40 W. Church St., Bethlehem, offers showings every 30 minutes from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. The putz is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, then is open from 1 to 5 p.m. daily from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31. Information: 610.866.5661. Edgeboro’s putz, at 645 Hamilton Ave., Bethlehem, offers scheduled tours on the hour from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 22; walk-ins may visit from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Information: 610.866.8793. East Hills’ putz, 1830 Butztown Road, Bethlehem. offers viewings from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays and 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 30. It is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Information: 610.868.6481.

The Nutcracker.

The Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania Youth Ballet will present Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet for the 49th year at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 16 and 2 p.m. Dec. 17, at Baker Hall, in the Zoellner Arts Center, 420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem. The production features live music by the Southside Sinfonietta, conducted by Eugene Albulesco, a children’s choir, and professional guest artists Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell, along with the Youth Ballet dancers. Information: 610.865.0353.


The family-friendly, two-day festival, featuring music and other entertainment, activities for children and plenty of marshmallow Peeps, made in right Bethlehem by Just Born Quality Confections, returns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 31. The event, held at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, culminates with the dropping of a lit, 4-foot, 9-inch, 200-pound Peep to commemorate New Year’s Eve. Information: 610.332.1300.


Holiday Concerts.

The State Theatre, 453 Northampton St., Easton, is home to a trio of holiday concerts, beginning with Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters Christmas, a concert show celebrating the biggest hits of the Carpenters, along with other Carpenters’ classic hits, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The Lehigh Valley’s Wizards of Winter, featuring former members of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Rainbow, Alice Cooper Band and Ted Nugent Bands, returns to the state at 4 p.m. Dec. 17 to rock in the holidays. And tenor David Phelps returns on Dec. 22 at 7 p.m., to perform classic renditions of holiday favorites, past and present, backed by a full band. Information: 800.999.7828.

Greater Lehigh Valley

Christmas Shoppe at Pharo Garden Center.

Looking for a Christmas tree, poinsettia or Christmas cactus? Pharo Garden Centre’s Christmas Shoppe, 4505 Easton Ave, Bethlehem, offers all those and more. Visitors entering the shop decorated with garlands and trees strung with sprinkling lights, are greeted with mulled cider, homemade cookies and the scent of fresh-cut fir greens. In addition to greens and seasonal plants, the shop offers gifts from towns and villages across the country and around the world, from goods produced by local artists to hand-crafted Fair Trade imports from rural communities in Peru and Uzbekistan, along with a variety of unique Christmas ornaments. Information: 610.866.0246.

Winter Light Spectacular.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo, along with presenting sponsor Christmas Decor, will offer its third Winter Light Spectacular from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 31, at the zoo, 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville. The zoo transforms into a walk-through “winter wonderland” featuring nearly 1 million energy-conserving lights for this fund-raising event, which will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Information: 610.799.4171.

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