Holiday Calendar

By Sara Hodon

The Lehigh Valley is special all year ‘round, but there’s nothing quite like it during the holidays.  Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s something for everyone. Below are just a few of the many seasonal events happening in the area. Happy Holidays!

Start the season off by visiting any of the local malls and take advantage of their Black Friday sales and special events. The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley holds its annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Friday, November 27th at 6 p.m. Kids will be thrilled to see Santa’s arrival, and big kids can enjoy live music.

If outdoor shopping piques your interest, stop by Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, presented by ArtsQuest. The Lehigh Valley’s premiere outdoor holiday marketplace modeled after Germany’s popular open-air markets is marking its 17th year in 2010. From handmade ornaments and collectibles to one-of-a-kind works of art, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone at one of the best holiday markets in the world according to Travel + Leisure Magazine. Christkindlmarkt is open Thursdays through Sundays from November 26th through December 19th.

Visit America On Wheels, A Museum of Over the Road Transportation, and help a good cause. The Museum’s 2010 Train Time Charity Holiday Exhibit runs from Friday, November 26th through Thursday, December 30th. Stop by this unique local museum and bring a new, unwrapped gift for a needy child and help the U.S. Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots drive. Visit for museum hours, admission prices, and more information.

Bring the kids to the theater and kick off the holiday season with Mooseltoe: A New “Moosical” at Allentown Symphony Hall on Saturday, November 27th at 4 p.m. In what is sure to become a holiday family favorite, Mooseltoe the moose pursues some big dreams in this lively, colorful musical tale. Along the way, he and his friends learn some very important lessons. For tickets, visit

Allentown Symphony Hall also hosts a number of concerts this season, starting with the AT&T Lehigh Valley Christmas in Concert on Sunday, November 28th at 7 p.m. This annual concert features some of the Lehigh Valley’s most well-known musicians from a variety of genres performing their own renditions of holiday classics. Grammy-nominated pianist Jim Brickman returns to Symphony Hall for his 15th annual holiday concert, including some old and new favorites on Wednesday, December 1st at 8 p.m. Symphony Hall also stages Camelot for Children’s Annual Christmas Spectacular on Saturday, December 4th at 7 p.m. This year’s event features The Happenings (“See You in September”, “Go Away Little Girl”), The Association (“Never My Love”, “Along Comes Mary”), and The Grass Roots (“Sooner or Later”, “Midnight Confession”). For more information or to order tickets, visit

Pennsylvania Playhouse will present the Lehigh Valley premiere of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. This holiday musical is based on the beloved 1954 film about two war buddies and show biz vets who take their show on the road to a Vermont country inn and find love along the way. Show times are December 3rd and 4th, 10th-12th, 17th-19th; Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Visit for more information.

Don’t miss Lights in the Parkway, Allentown’s annual holiday light spectacular that kicks off on December 12th. This drive-through display covers more than a mile of Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway and includes amazing twinkling lights, animated displays and lighted trees, all set to music. Visit for more information.

The State Theatre Center for the Arts in Easton proudly hosts The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker on December 4th. Now in its 18th year at the State, this season’s production includes new characters, hand-painted sets, lively puppets, and beautiful scenic design. Visit for more information.

Several companies are staging performances of The Nutcracker throughout the region this season. This timeless holiday classic, set to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music, brings out the child in all of us. Take the whole family to one of these local performances and experience the wonder, magic, and beauty of the holidays together. Allentown Symphony Hall hosts dancers from the Repertory Dance Theatre with the Allentown Symphony and Allen High Chorale on December 11th and 12th. The Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley’s production is scheduled for December 18th and 19th at the Zoellner Center for the Arts at Lehigh University. Visit for ticket information.

The State Theatre has a full schedule of additional Christmas performances that offers something for everyone. Get into the holiday spirit when polka favorite Jimmy Sturr brings his “Christmas Spectacular” to the State on December 5th. Enjoy a night of instrumental favorites at the Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller’s 25th anniversary production on December 7th. And in a special performance, the Irish Tenors Christmas show reunites Finbar Wright and Anthony Kearns with Ronan Tynan on December 10th. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some sweet treats. Kids ages six and up can visit the CRAYOLA Factory in Easton for a faux gingerbread house-making workshop on Saturday, December 11th. Cost is $12 per household, which includes all materials. Visit for more information and a full schedule of upcoming events.

Enjoy the sounds of the season with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem at their annual Christmas concerts on Saturday, December 11th, 2010, at 8pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown and Sunday, December 12th, at 4pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem. Founded in 1898, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem is the oldest Bach choir in America. Comprised of over 100 volunteer singers, the choir has performed for audiences around the world, earning critical acclaim.

Join Lehigh University’s Philharmonic for their Winter Magic concert on Friday, December 10th and Saturday, December 11th at 8 p.m. The program includes selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Grieg’s Peer Gynt. Visit for more information.

On Sunday, December 12th, Lehigh University Choral Arts holds their annual Christmas Vespers at Packer Chapel, with performances at 4 & 8 p.m. As a Christmas gift to the community, admission is free. (Plan to arrive early.)

And who could forget Ebenezer Scrooge and the lessons he learns one memorable Christmas Eve? Civic Theatre stages their 21st annual performance of A Christmas Carol running from December 3rd-18th. Visit for more information. For a brand-new spin on Dickens’ holiday classic, ACT 1 at DeSales University is staging a radically different interpretation of the show, described as “half circus and half Cirque du Soleil,” complete with masks, avant garde sets, music, and dance. Production runs from December 1st through the 12th. Visit for more information.

The Pennsylvania Youth Theatre (PYT) presents The Christmas Doll, the tale of two abandoned sisters who are forced out into the mean streets of 1840’s London as they try to escape being put into a workhouse. While wandering the city, they meet many memorable characters, but none more than Morning Glory, a doll unlike any other. PYT presents their show at the Ice House, Bethlehem, with performances running on December 3rd-5th, 9th-12th, 16th-19th. Visit for more information.

Sara Hodon is an English professor and graduate student who is looking forward to attending the Lehigh Valley premiere of “White Christmas” at the Pennsylvania Playhouse.

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