December 1, 2, and 3 from 5 - 8 p.m.
Join us the weekend of December 1, 2 and 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Walk to Bethlehem. Allow at least one hour for the experience, and plan to dress in warm clothes, because much of the event is outside!
Though the weather will probably be nippy, this outdoor/indoor event will warm your heart. You will meet Mary, Joseph, shepherds and angels and see live animals as you walk through the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. You will also visit a touching Temple scene and enjoy an authentic marketplace as it looked in Jesus' day.
This theatrical experience will give you a sense of the true joy and wonder of Christmas. Glen Mar Church's Walk to Bethlehem draws rave reviews and thousands of people each year. The event is free, but donations to defray costs will be greatly appreciated.
This event is popular, so you may have to wait before beginning your journey. To minimize the wait time, we encourage visitors to attend even when it is raining, snowing or cold, because crowds are almost always smaller then.
This year, we are offering a limited number of Sensory-Friendly Walks for our guests with special needs. Advanced reservations are needed for these walks. Contact Lynne Phillips to register and to find out when these walks will be held.
Questions? Check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions below. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glen Mar Church presents "Walk to Bethlehem" in December each year.
Guests enjoy entertainment before starting their journey.
A guide from one of the 12 tribes of Israel leads each group.
The prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of Jesus.
While with her cousin Elizabeth, Mary rejoices that the child she is bearing is the Son of God.
Joseph works and waits before traveling to Bethlehem to be counted in the census.
Mary and Joseph journey to Bethlehem to be counted in the census.
A centurion watches guard over travelers.
Angels announce the birth of Jesus to shepherds.
The innkeeper tells weary travelers that no room is available.
After Jesus is born, wise men from the east bring gifts.
First-century travelers stop on their way to the Temple.
Simeon blesses Jesus in the Temple.
Participants visit a first-century marketplace where activities and fun abound.
Frequently Asked Questions
When and where is Glen Mar Church’s 2017 Walk to Bethlehem?
Glen Mar’s 2017 Walk to Bethlehem will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 1, 2, and 3 at the church, 4701 New Cut Road in Ellicott City, MD 21043. Drop by anytime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Visitors must arrive no later than 8 p.m. There is no inclement weather date this year.
Why should I come to Glen Mar’s Walk to Bethlehem?
Come to see and hear the wondrous story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Walk to Bethlehem provides the community a free spiritual and joyous experience at Christmastime. It is also inspiring, educational and entertaining.
What will I see if I attend Walk to Bethlehem?
After registering at the census desk, visitors will wait outside until their group is invited inside to Glen Mar’s peaceful Welcome Area, where entertainment will be provided. From there, guides will lead guests through several outdoor scenes where actors (dressed as Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, Roman soldiers, shepherds, and angels) will enact the events leading up to and immediately following Jesus’ birth. Live animals add to the rustic setting. The star of the drama – the baby Jesus – will be played by a live infant in the nativity scene.
Visitors’ experience will continue inside, where they and their guides will converse briefly with first-century travelers, who recently left Bethlehem to head toward the temple in Jerusalem. A poignant Temple scene will follow, in which Simeon declares Jesus to be “an offering without blemish to cover the sins of the world.”
Guests’ last stop is a marketplace as it appeared in Jesus’ day. The marketplace is packed with educational and entertaining experiences, such as sandal-making and the opportunity to taste dried fruit and mold pottery. Children love the marketplace.
Who can attend?
Everyone is invited! Glen Mar’s Walk to Bethlehem is an activity families can enjoy together, including grandparents and tiny tots. The grounds are wheelchair and stroller friendly. Please encourage your family and friends to attend.
What should I wear?
Because a large portion of Walk to Bethlehem takes place outside, it is important to wear warm clothes.
What does it cost to visit Glen Mar’s Walk to Bethlehem?
There is no charge. Walk to Bethlehem is Glen Mar’s Christmas gift to the community. There will be a basket at the exit for those who wish to give donations to defray expenses, but donating is optional.
Will I have to wait to start Walk to Bethlehem?
Walk to Bethlehem is a very popular event, so you may have to wait before starting the Walk. To minimize the wait time, we encourage visitors to attend even when it is raining, snowing or extremely cold, because crowds are almost always smaller then.
How long does it take to complete Glen Mar’s Walk to Bethlehem?
Allow at least an hour after you start your journey. Guests may linger as long as they like in the marketplace, but it will begin to shut down around 9 p.m.
Are reservations needed?
No. Just drop in anytime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The only exception is visitors with special needs who want to take one of our Sensory-Friendly Walks. See the question below about accommodating guests with special needs who are not comfortable with crowds.
Can you accommodate guests with special needs who are not comfortable with crowds?
This year, we are offering a limited number of Sensory-Friendly Walks for our guests with special needs. Reservations are needed in advance for these walks. Contact Lynne Phillips
to register and to find out when these walks will be held.
Is there parking available?
Parking at Glen Mar is free. We try our best to have ample parking, but this event is popular and a space may not be available immediately. Try to bring as many people in one vehicle as possible.
Are buses allowed at Walk to Bethlehem?
Buses are welcome, but anyone who plans to bring a bus should call Margaret Lang at 410.465.4995, ext. 204 by November 29.
Is Walk to Bethlehem ever canceled due to inclement weather?
Walk to Bethlehem is held in all types of weather, including rain, snow and extreme cold, but it could be canceled in the event of a major snowstorm. If the event is canceled, an announcement will be posted on Glen Mar’s website and Facebook page.
How many people are expected to attend Glen Mar’s Walk to Bethlehem?
If history is our guide, 750 to 1,000 people will visit each night. We have had evenings where attendance topped 1,200.
Who organizes Walk to Bethlehem?
Glen Mar Church sponsors the event. About 300 of its members and friends volunteer for Walk to Bethlehem in various capacities that include building sets, making costumes, acting, and singing. Glen Mar is grateful to God for the volunteers who enable the church to stage such a magnificent event.
If I am not a member of Glen Mar, can I volunteer for the event?
Yes, Glen Mar would love to have you be part of the production! Contact the church office at 410.465.4995 and your call will be directed to the appropriate place.
Can you tell me a little about the history of Walk to Bethlehem?
Glen Mar’s Walk to Bethlehem began in 2008. That year, the church experienced the blessing of moving to a larger site and building. (Our previous facility is about a mile away.) This larger site, with its spacious, level ground and enlarged parking area, enabled the church to undertake this project after a staff member suggested it.
From 2008 to 2011, Walk to Bethlehem was held on the first Saturday and Sunday nights after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The 2012 event expanded to Friday, and Walk to Bethlehem has been scheduled three consecutive nights each year ever since then.