December 1–4, 2021
Thu, Fri * Tours depart from 6:30–8:30pm
Sat, Sun * Tours depart from 6:00–8:30pm
Step back in time, and journey through the village of Bethlehem as it might have appeared 2000 years ago. Meet residents of the village, learn about their trades, customs, and family life, and experience with them the oppression of Roman rule and the joyous hope of the promised Messiah!
This interactive walking tour of our Bethlehem village is Providence Baptist Church’s “Christmas card” to Harrisburg and the surrounding areas. Each year, over a hundred volunteers work to create an engaging experience for visitors, who travel from near and far to experience this tradition each December. The guided tour through the village lasts about 45 minutes, arriving at a new stop every three minutes on average. Travelers are encouraged to respectfully interact with the village residents, asking questions they may have about their trade or customs. Upon completion of the tour, visitors can warm up in Providence’s Family Life Center with apple cider, hot chocolate, and cookies!
Consider spending an evening with your family in Bethlehem this December!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much does it cost to attend this event?
Your journey through Bethlehem village and the refreshments that await you at journey’s end are free of charge!
How long does it take to tour the village?
On average, guests spend about 45 minutes in the village.
What should I wear?
The village is located outdoors on a section of land near the back of the Providence Baptist Church property. As such, it is susceptible to both to the historically chilly temperatures of early December evenings and to other weather elements during and in advance of the event. We recommend that you dress in layers appropriate to the outdoor temperature. Also, you’ll be guided through the village on an unpaved surface which could be wet or muddy, so bring appropriate footwear, too.
Is the event wheelchair-accessible?
Unfortunately, due to the natural terrain of the village and low lighting, we strongly advise against the use of wheelchairs, and we are no longer offering the golf-cart ride-through option that we’ve offered in years past. The rest of the Providence facilities — including the Family Life Center where post-tour refreshments are offered — are wheelchair-accessible.
Can I make a reservation for a tour time?
We are considering for 2021 offering advanced registration (with a modest, non-refundable donation which will go toward a local charitable organization), while still allowing walk-up guests to enjoy the experience on a first-come, first-served basis. We make every effort possible to maintain a steady flow of visitors through the village, but due to the popularity of the event most travelers will have to wait a short while before entering.
Can my group enjoy the tour together?
Absolutely! The tour is often best experienced when in the company of friends and family, and many in the Harrisburg area enjoy this event annually with their church small groups, extended families, and other social circles. Out of consideration for others, we simply ask that all the members of your group arrive and enter the tour queue at the same time. Also, due to the nature of the tour, very large groups may to be divided into smaller ones (of around 10-12 guests) to avoid diminishing the experience for your group and others.