The earliest history museums had little actual history to draw on, and instead padded exhibits with wildly speculative displays about how dinosaurs would be elected to Congress by the year 2000. See how far we've come with today's Groupon to the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem and the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, also located in Bethlehem. Choose from the following options:
- For $6, you get one weekend Pass into History, valid for admission Friday–Sunday (a $12 value).
- For $10, you get two passes, valid for admission Friday–Sunday (a $24 value).
- For $19, you get four passes, valid for admission Friday–Sunday (a $48 value).
Both museums are normally closed to the public on Sundays, but this Groupon provides full weekend access.
By preserving historical sites and collecting artifacts in institutions such as the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem and the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Historic Bethlehem Partnership brings the town's history to life. Learn about the communal living and progressive educational system of the town's Moravian founders at the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, also home to carefully preserved sites such as the Gemeinhaus from 1741 and the mistletoe under which Paul Revere received his first kiss. The current exhibit Weighted Spirits: Bethlehem and Salem Moravians in the Civil War outlines stories of families and friends fighting each other during wartime and shows how geography, like a person's favorite jelly-bean flavor, played a role in drawing loyalty lines.
Pennsylvania-German textiles and ornate Victorian furniture fill rooms at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, which showcases local art history. Museum-goers can peruse a vast collection of dollhouses and toys, inspecting an eclectic assortment of Bohemian glass artifacts to admire their craftsmanship and the leftover Kool-Aid still swirling inside. The Design in Divided America exhibit vividly illustrates the evolution of design and garment-making processes during the 1860s, showing how newly diversified styles and cultures affected Civil War–era America. After educational jaunts through both museums, patrons can make pit stops at the gift shop to partake in antique activities such as decorating beeswax candles or rewinding videotapes.
Historic Bethlehem Partnership
Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by a small group of Moravian settlers and christened “Christmas City, USA” in 1937, Bethlehem shines a light on the past with year-round guided tours and museum exhibits. The 10.9-mile Heritage Trail snakes through 80 historic stops, including two National Historic Landmark and the National Historic Landmark Districts of Historic Moravian Bethlehem as well as Victorian-era homes. On historic walks, guides lead tour groups through the now-defunct site of Bethlehem Steel, the city’s oldest cemetery, and the 1762 Waterworks, known as the first municipally pumped water system in the country.
The Kemerer Museum Of Decorative Arts is one of only 15 of its kind in the country. And located inside the 1741 Gemeinhaus, the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem curates a collection of exhibits about the town’s settlers, including their missionary work, education system, and medical technique—a wealth of information that's earned the museum the title of Best Historic Spot on the Lehigh Valley’s Happening List.