Things to See & Do and Events

Historic Bethlehem is brimming with fun things to do and history to see and experience everywhere you go. You can start your visit with a stroll down our top 10 Main Street (Number 1 in our eyes, but Top 10 according to USA Today in 2015) and grab an ice cream at the Hotel B Ice Cream Parlor, sip a gourmet coffee or tea from the Flying Egg, or tuck into a delicious meal from a host of great restaurants and cafes. Next, you will probably want to explore our vibrant community, so before you venture off Main Street, stop in at the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center on Main Street for great advice, tour information and much more.

During the Holiday season, it is always a joyous and festive time of year for Historic Bethlehem, and 2020 will be no exception. This year you will find new activities as well as traditional favorites to make this year better than ever. As always, the health of our residents and visitors is our top concern, so we have made sure to design our events to prove fun for everyone while assuring social distancing and the very highest standards of safety. Below is a sample of our activities and celebrations, and be sure to check back for updates!


Christmas in January at the Hotel Bethlehem - January 23rd and 24th

Historic Hotel Bethlehem will be hosting Christmas in January this year due to the restrictions set this past December. Start with a special “Christmas Eve” dinner on Saturday January 23rd in the Tap Room or 1741 prepared by Award Winning Chef Michael Adams and experience a magical night with the decorations and festivities that the “Hotel B” is know for. "Christmas Day” will be celebrated on Sunday January 24th with a lavish plated brunch - and for those who are on “good behavior” Santa Claus may even make a special appearance. Since Bethlehem is the Christmas City, he is planning to make an exception for a special trip back to visit Hotel Guests on this special weekend event. Click below to learn more and book your stay at Bethlehem's Top 10 Historic Hotel in America (USA Today Reader's Choice).



Take a stroll through the Colonial Industrial Quarter

Just down Main Street at the intersection with Church street near the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, the Industrial Quarter is where you’ll find the Water Works, a National Historic Landmark built in 1762 by the Moravians and where municipal water was first pumped in the United States. With a lovely open lawn and trails, you’ll also find the Tannery, Blacksmith Shop, and the Luckenbach Mill. Be sure to check in at the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Visitor Center before you head over to the area to see if there are any events or educational programs at the Mill that will help you get a sense of what life was like in the early days of America’s birth.


Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L Trail)

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) is both a diverse, multi-faceted organization, and a multi-use trail spanning 165 miles from the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania through the Lehigh Valley and Bucks County. One of the trails beginnings at the bottom of Main Street along the Lehigh Valley.


Bethlehem Zen & Sculpture Gardens

Just east of Main on Church street by City Hall and the Public Library, these tranquil meditative gardens are a perfect space to reflect and renew. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in April or May, the garden’s cherry trees will be bursting with fragrant pink and magenta flowers. As you relax, enjoy the natural stone artwork in the Sculpture Garden, which are a wonderful focal point as you reflect, sip an herbal tea, or enjoy a nice pastry or picnic lunch.


Visit Moravian College

he history of Moravian College is anything but brief—we're the 6th oldest college in America. Our history doesn’t follow a singular, linear path. Though our story does start with a singular idea and moment. It follows two schools and two winding paths that eventually meet and merge.The distance between North and South campuses, about 0.8 miles, is known as the “Moravian Mile.” As part of orientation, first-year students traditionally walk the Mile between campuses, traveling from North to South, through Historic Bethlehem on their way.


Rent a Canoe, Kayak, Paddleboat or Bike

Just a short walk down Main Street toward River Street, you’ll find Historic Bethlehem River Tours and Sand Island Park, the gateway to your explorations of the Lehigh River. Offering the ultimate way to explore, you can kayak out on the river and bike along the D&L Trail to discover the history of Moravian Settlements, the hulking Bethlehem Steel plant, and much more (a courtesy shuttle is also available for your return). And for nature lovers, be on the lookout for wildlife including blue heron, bald eagles, turtles, deer, and more. Just a short drive from downtown Bethlehem, there’s also Hugh Moore Park and the National Canal Museum, where you can see one of the few remaining lock tender’s houses on the Lehigh Canal, the perennial flower garden, and take in the beautiful views. Offering a variety of tours as well as rentals of bikes, paddleboats, kayaks and canoes, as well as rail trails and towpaths to follow throughout Lehigh Valley, there’s plenty of fun ways to enjoy history and the great outdoors.


Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas at Steelstacks

Enjoy the spacious, comfortable stadium-style seating of these modern theatres. If you’re visiting Thursday – Saturday, stock up on your favorite snacks and menu items until 5 p.m. from the Mike & Ike Bistro menu; available all day on Sundays. Located within the ArtsQuest™ Center on the SteelStacks™ campus, you’ll find the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas. Whether you are looking to take in a matinee, a Saturday Late Night Series, or a rare independent or foreign film, you’ll be doing it in style at one of two screen cinemas. The Bistro Bar is also available servicing with multiple options of domestic and imported beers and wines.


Sand Island Park

With peaceful walking and biking trails, picnic tables located throughout, and a playground for kids, Sand Island Park is bracketed by the southern section of the D&L Trail and Lehigh Canal, as well as the Lehigh River. For sports enthusiasts, bring your racket to play a couple of sets on the recently refinished courts or you can also indulge in a little fishing.