A Moravian Christmas Evening in Bethlehem

In 1741, members of the Moravian Church purchased land at the place where the Monocacy Creek flows into the Lehigh River. While worshipping in a stable that first Christmas Eve, they christened their settlement “Bethlehem.” Most of the 18th century stone structures remain and are considered the finest examples of colonial Germanic architecture in America. Our trip through downtown Bethlehem, designated a National Historic Landmark District, will allow us to experience Christmas in this colonial town. We’ll begin in the historic downtown, beautifully decorated for the holidays. We’ll stop at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, where we’ll have a guided tour of their Christmas exhibition of “All Things Shiny.” We’ll see examples of sterling silver, gold leaf, mercury glass engraving and more, and learn how embellishments were created by Bethlehem based artisans. Then we’ll walk around the corner to the 200 year-old Central Moravian Church for a tour of the “Putz.” In this uniquely Moravian tradition, the community works together to display the entire Christmas story using figures, many of them antiques of German origin, set amidst live moss, driftwood and rocks. Then we’ll cross the street for a delicious dinner at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, which features a spectacular display of Christmas decorations. After dinner, a costumed guide will board our bus and talk about holiday traditions, past and present, in Historic Bethlehem as we ride through the streets of the city to the site of the Christmas Star atop South Mountain.

Cost includes transportation, entrance fees, dinner, snacks and gratuities.

507 – $152

Thursday, 12/7
2:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Bus leaves Cheltenham High School promptly at 2 a.m.

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