The holidays can be a time of loneliness and sadness for many seniors. The days are dark and the weather is often blustery. The hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking and entertaining can leave senior loved ones feeling confused, alone, and left behind.

This year, create some new holiday traditions to make your holiday season senior-friendly. Whether you choose a leisurely drive to admire festively-decorated neighborhoods or take in one of the more elaborate holiday celebrations in the Lehigh Valley, there’s literally something to delight everyone. Help seniors experience the joys of the season by encouraging them (if they are able) to enjoy a special holiday celebration.

Here are just a few of the many popular events happening around the Valley:

Bethlehem

Christkindlmarkt

One of the most popular and longest running events in the Valley, Christkindlmarkt celebrates our German and Austrian heritage with 6 weeks of vendors, food and entertainment. This year, Christkindlmarkt is spotlighting the 50th anniversary of the German ornament and nutcracker maker Kathe Wolkfahrt. Staged in two heated event tents, with adequate room for walkers or wheelchairs.

Event times:  Thursday, from Nov. 20 – Dec. 18, 2014 (11:00 am – 6:00 pm); Friday from Nov. 21 – Dec. 19, 2014 (11:00 am – 8:00 pm); Saturday from Nov. 22 – Dec. 20, 2014 (11:00 am – 8:00 pm); and Sunday from Nov. 23 – Dec. 21, 2014 (11:00 am – 6:00 pm). For more information: http://www.artsquest.org

Live Bethlehem Christmas Pageant

On December 13-14, at 1:45 p.m. each day, the Bethlehem Rose Garden will come alive with the 36th annual re-enactment of the Nativity, with costumed actors, live animals, music and more. Handicapped parking available, with paved walkways for walkers and wheelchairs. Eighth Avenue and Union Boulevard, Bethlehem. For more information: 610-865-0274

Allentown

Lights in the Parkway

Get in the holiday spirit without leaving the warmth of your car! Allentown’s annual Lights in the Parkway features over a mile of lighted displays along a scenic drive in the beautiful Lehigh Parkway. Animated displays are set to familiar holiday music. It’s a tradition that everyone in the family can enjoy, including seniors. Afterward, visit the Gift Barn and have a one-on-one chat with Santa! Event times: Nightly through Dec. 28; closed Dec. 25. Lehigh Parkway, S. 15th and Jefferson streets, Allentown. For more information: 610-437-7530 or www.lightsintheparkway.com

Schenecksville

Winter Light Spectacular At The Lehigh Valley Zoo

Experience a winter wonderland at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville. Definitely an evening adventure for more mobile seniors. Tree-lined paths throughout the zoo sparkle with thousands of twinkling lights and animated displays. Have your picture taken in a giant snow globe, enjoy hot chocolate and holiday treats by the outdoor fire pits, and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of one of Santa’s elves!

Event times:  Wednesday through Sunday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. For more information:  http://www.lvzoo.org

With a little imagination and some advance planning, the seniors in your life can embrace and enjoy this special time of year. If offsite excursions aren’t possible because of health or mobility issues, plan an evening at their home watching old holiday movies, baking cookies, or helping them write their holiday cards.




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