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Christmas is coming...

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New York City, New...
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Christmas is coming...

Hi

I have always wanted to visit Bethlehem PA during the Christmas season, so this year my husband and I are going! We will only have one full day there, and I was wondering t what advice anyone has on what is the Best places to see. We both love history and food!

Bethlehem...
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1. Re: Christmas is coming...

Hi, sawgrass! Bethlehem is a great place to be during the Christmas season and there will be lots of activities going on for you to enjoy. You didn't mention what day of the week you will be coming, but I will give you some suggestions. Just be aware that not all of them may be available depending on what day you are visiting.

Some of my favorite things to do around the holidays are simple enough. It's nice to walk around the downtown area on the North Side (Main Street/Broad Street/New Street/Church Street). The businesses and beautiful old homes look their best when they're all dressed up in lights and decorations! Also, you should stop in at the Moravian Book Shop (http://shop.moravianbookshop.com/index.htm) which is HUGE and is located on Main Street. They have everything from Christmas decorations and traditional Moravian Stars to food, books, and gift items. It's easy to spend hours browsing in that store! You should also stop at the Hotel Bethlehem across the street from the book store. They always have beautiful decorations for the holidays. It's a nice place to stop for drinks and a light meal in their bar area (The Tap Room) or for a more formal dinner (1741 on the Terrace).

You might also want to take a carriage ride through the city. This is a really popular activity and it sells out every year. Tickets don't go on sale until November 1, but if you're interested, you should bookmark this website: historicbethlehem.org/index.cfm…

That site has lots of suggestions for other things: walking tours, museums, etc. Check it out to see what you might like to do the most and what your options might be depending on what day you're in town. Also visit www.bethlehempa.org/visit_christmas.html for more ideas.

My favorite restaurant in Bethlehem is the Apollo Grille on Broad Street, just around the corner from Main Street. The food, drinks, and service are all excellent. If you'd like to have a nice dinner out, it's a great choice, but reservations are a must and they aren't open every day. For casual food and beer that's brewed on site, the Bethlehem Brew Works is a good choice (corner of Main & Broad).

One last topic: Christkindlmarkt. There is a mixed view on whether or not this is a good activity. In recent years, I've only gone once (last year) and that was because I had free tickets. They charge admission and they have lots of vendors who sell crafts and decorations, as well as some food stands and entertainment. This year, it's moving from the North Side to the South Side, so I'm sure it will be different than in the past. If you're into crafts and handmade gifts, you might think it's worth it. But if that's not really your thing, you won't miss out on much by skipping this attraction. There are plenty of other things to do and you've only got one day! If you do go, though, be sure to stop at the Helmut's strudel stand (assuming they are back this year). Sooooooo delicious!

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Christmas is coming...

Thanks IceGurlie

You gave me everything I need! We will be there on a Sat. so I assume most things will be open. We will be going to dinner so will look into the place you suggested. If you dont mind, would you let me know what time of day we would need to arrive to get in everything you suggest. It might be my one and only time there. Is there an "order" to the day you think might be best?

Once again, much thanks

and an EARLY Merry Christmas LOL

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3. Re: Christmas is coming...

Hi sawgrass ~ Two Christmases ago I did a visit similar to what you are planning. A thread we had here then might be of interest. I don’t know if much has changed?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60789-i3109-k3253…

Have a great trip, we did!

Bethlehem...
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4. Re: Christmas is coming...

You will be fine on a Saturday...Bethlehem at its busiest! I would plan to arrive at 10 am to maximize your day in Bethlehem. Both Christkindlmarkt and the Moravian Book Shop open at 10 am on Saturdays and they are good activities to do early in the day, before it gets dark and the outdoor lights come on. If you want to go to Christkindlmarkt, I would do that first since it's on the South Side. Once you've explored that, you can drive to the North Side and leave your car in one of the parking garages. My favorite spot is the Walnut Street Garage (http://www.bethpark.org/WSG.html), but there are others downtown as well. In past years, the city has offered discounts and "free parking" days around the holidays. Not sure what the plan is this year, but even if you have to pay, the rates aren't unreasonable.

A lot of the walking and bus tours begin later in the afternoon or early evening, so I would spend the early part of the day shopping, maybe having a light lunch at the Book Shop or the Hotel Bethlehem, and checking out any museums that may interest you. Then once it gets dark (around 5 pm in December), you can take make the most of a tour or carriage ride since all the lights will be on. If you have dinner on the early side, you can enjoy even more of the lights afterward. And be sure to stop by the big tree at Church and New Street, by the library and City Hall!

And again, if you want to do a carriage ride, be sure to book it early. I have yet to do one because my husband is a procrastinator...

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5. Re: Christmas is coming...

So sorry this thank you is late,I havent been on my computer for awhile. I appreciate all the help!

new york
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6. Re: Christmas is coming...

You are Welcome!

Please share some back here about your visit.

Have a Merry visit!

Pennsylvania
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7. Re: Christmas is coming...

Apollo Grill is fabulous and my favorite. If for any reason that does not work out, Starfish & The Edge are good resturants too. All close to one another.

Bethlehem...
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8. Re: Christmas is coming...

Gotta disagree on Edge...been there twice and it was awful both times, and every member of my family who has been there at different times has hated it, too. But I agree with the recommendation for Starfish. Not as good as Apollo, but if you like seafood, it's very good.

Morris County, NJ
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9. Re: Christmas is coming...

Wow. What a great thread. We are thinking of going to Bethlehem on a Saturday in December. We have never been there before. This answers about every question we had. Thanks IceGurlie.

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10. Re: Christmas is coming...

You're welcome, bwco! You should definitely check out Bethlehem in December. Hope you have a great time!

PS - The city has started putting up the Christmas trees on the traffic light posts at the intersections. That's always my first sign that the holidays are just around the corner!