12/8/17 – TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT.  Please email us at housetour@bhda.org to be added to our contact list for the next BHDA Holiday House Tour – December 2019.  If you purchased tickets already, please read below for important information.

2017 Holiday House Tour Information

WEATHER UPDATE:  It looks like we will have some snow on Saturday.  We’re prepared, and the tour will go on!

If you purchase tickets online, please print your receipt/confirmation email and bring it to our Ticketing Center at Moravian Academy, 7 E. Market St., Bethlehem, PA 18018.  You will receive your tour guidebook and may begin the tour.  The Ticketing Center opens at 10am on Saturday, December 9, 2017.  Please scroll down for more information about the tour.

If you purchase tickets in person, please bring your tickets to Moravian Academy, 7 E. Market St., Bethlehem, PA 18018.  You will receive your tour guidebook and may begin the tour.  The Ticketing Center opens at 10am on Saturday, December 9, 2017.

Additional tickets may be purchased on the day of the tour at the Ticketing Center for $30 per person.  12/8/17 Update: Please note that we are close to selling out and only a few tickets may be available on the day of the tour. 

The tour is self-guided.  You may stop and resume the tour at any time, but please be sure to finish the tour by 4pm.  A map of all homes and sites on the tour is located within the guidebook.  You may visit the homes and sites in any order you choose.

After you visit our Ticketing Center and pick up your tour guidebook, we recommend that you park in the Walnut Street garage located at 33 W. Walnut St.  For more details about the garage, please click here.  Please note that any time limits for on-street parking are strictly enforced.

Restaurant Reservations
If you would like to eat lunch or dinner in Bethlehem on the day of the tour, we strongly recommend that you make a reservation as soon as you purchase your tickets.

Some of our favorite restaurant partners include:
The Historic Hotel Bethlehem
437 Main St.
1741 On the Terrace Menu
Tap Room Menu

Twisted Olive
51 W. Broad St. (one block from the Walnut St. parking garage)

Dress & Accessories
Please wear comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
– Large handbags, backpacks, and shopping bags, other than the tote bag given to every house tour guest, must be left at the front door and collected as you exit each site.  Neither the BHDA nor its volunteers are responsible for theft or loss of any personal items.

Children & Strollers/Carriers
– All children must be accompanied by an adult.
– Baby strollers and hard-sided carriers must be left outside; babies may be carried in a front or back carrier.

– With the exception of the Hotel Bethlehem, we regret that house tour sites are not accessible to those in wheelchairs.  Please be advised that most house tour sites have stairs at entry and/or exit points.

Other Information
– Indoor smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited.
– Pets are not allowed inside any house tour site.
– The use of cameras or videos is strictly prohibited.

If you have questions, please contact a House Tour Representative at:
housetour@bhda.org or 908-295-5165.

Christmas Traditions
Charlene Donchez Mowers, President, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

The year was 1937. Bethlehem was still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression. The city and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce were seeking ways to attract visitors to our city. Vernon Melhado, then President of the Chamber conceived the idea of branding Bethlehem as “Christmas City USA.” The Bethlehem Chamber sent letters to 2,500 Chambers across the country asking them to publicize this goal in their local papers. Melhado also invited their residents to send their Christmas cards to Bethlehem to be hand-cancelled with the stamp of the Christmas City. 185,000 pieces of mail from all over the country arrived that Christmas. (more)

With Our Appreciation

The BHDA Welcome Committee would like to express its sincere gratitude to the following merchants and service providers for participating in the new Welcome Program:

-Historic Hotel Bethlehem
-Just Born, Inc.
-Moravian Book Shop
-Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom
-Steel Fitness Riverport
-The Chocolate Lab
-The Granola Factory
*Photo courtesy of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

From the Archives of Globe Times - sepiathe Bethlehem Daily Times

“Seats of Pantaloons Painted – For some time past, Marcus C. Fetter and family, residing at the corner of Main and Canal streets, have been considerably annoyed by rowdies who loaf nightly in that vicinity.  The loafers generally squat on the fence which surrounds the property.  Last evening the top of the fence received a fresh coat of paint, and the loafers who sat thereon will no doubt recall the sitting for months to come.” – September 23, 1885. More from the archives.

Box of Memories - hpOral History Project: What We’re Learning from Our Neighbors

Did you know that…

During WWII, when Bethlehem Steel was booming night and day, our neighborhood was showered with so much soot that people had to sweep off their houses, cars, and porches every day. –

At one time, there was a reflecting pool on the south side of the library that was filled in because kids kept putting soap in it to make mountains of bubbles. (more)

Important Information about Street Trees

Before you remove, plant, prune, or use pesticides on any trees along our city streets, please visit the Bethlehem’s Bureau of Urban Forestry website for important information including: a list of licensed city arborists, tree planting guidelines, and the list of trees approved for street use.

Permits, available for download, are required for nearly all tree work.


Kaar Plaque

Available Now: Historic Plaques 

Enhance the historical ambiance of our neighborhood with a date plaque for your home or business in Bethlehem’s Historic District. The cost for a plaque is $25 for BHDA Members and $45 for non-members. This cost covers the production of your plaque and does not include research or installation.

To apply for a plaque, click here for more information and to download printable versions of application materials including the Guide to Researching Your Home.

house-313396_1280Why Everyone Should Be a Member of the BHDA

by Terry Theman
When it comes to community involvement I suppose it is our human nature to ‘watch from the sidelines’ while our friends and neighbors carry out various civic duties. I certainly find it easier and less stressful. While we appreciate the work done on our behalf, it is rare that we feel the need to pitch in and offer help. Strange how this works, this all-too-human nature of ours. (more)

The Bethlehem Historic District Association promotes the historical ambiance and high quality-of-life in our special neighborhood by supporting the preservation and restoration of original architectural features and landscapes.