When Michael Manning made his first batch of home brew in 2001, he thought he had found his calling. Beer, however, turned out to be a stepping stone toward his ultimate beverage of choice—mead. In 2009, using a recipe the American Homebrewers Association published for Mead Day, he concocted his first batch of the honey-wine. Eventually, his personal recipe earned a Best of Show at 2011’s Valhalla mead competition. These days, he uses modern tools and his mastery of fermentation to craft The Colony Meadery’s many styles of mead, which range from strawberry- and kiwi-flavored versions to hoppy, IPA-style variations. The meads are available to sample at The Colony’s in-house tasting room, as well as various taverns throughout the state.
Rather than a competition, the instructors at Lehigh Valley Shihou-ken Karate treat their self-defense style as an art form. Sensei Charlie draws from more than 40 years of martial-arts training to lead his team in training students as young as 9 or old enough to be technically immortal. In classes tailored to specific ability levels, the instructors drill students in strikes, blocks, and kata—a choreographed series of fighting moves. All classes focus on the shihou-ken style, which blends elements from three forms of traditional Japanese karate and also introduces principles of muay thai, boxing, and judo.
Universal Athletics Fitness Center LLC prizes varied fitness curriculum available around the clock. Open 24 hours a day, the center hosts personal-training sessions and well as classes in disciplines such as MMA, boxing, and Shotokan karate.
Arcades typically just contain video games, but Rascal's Food & Fun doesn't house a typical arcade. Inside, guests can scale a 25-foot climbing tower or explore a two-story maze full of rope ladders, secret passageways, and cannons that launch thousands of foam balls.
More labyrinthine fun awaits in the laser-tag arena, where players dodge incoming fire while navigating a maze awash in Day-Glo decorations. Elsewhere, bumper cars collide, balls careen down miniature bowling lanes, and blips and bleeps pour out of more than 70 games, including Whack-a-Mole and the less popular follow-up version, Apologize-to-a-Mole.
The arcade is far from the 24,000-square-foot amusement center's only attraction. Rascal's two restaurants serve plenty of pub favorites, from housemade crab cakes doused in garlic-lime aioli to wings with 24 sauces, including Bangin' Bourbon. Adult beverages are available at three bars, where the day's biggest games unfold on 12 HDTVs and one 171-inch HD projector. These only skim the surface of Rascal's adult-oriented entertainment, which ranges from Texas hold 'em tournaments to live bands and DJs.
Racing past the multilevel arena's black-lit arches, barriers, and pathways, phaser-wielding players navigate their way through a foggy arena in pursuit of opponents. Such battles are the main draw of Lehigh Valley Laser Tag, where participants aged 7 and older compete for victory in three games during each 40-minute laser-tag session. After arrival, a short safety video screened in the staging room explains the game's equipment and confirms there's no need to wait 20 minutes between eating and playing before guests strap on their vests and ready their phasers. The arena hosts regular team-versus-team game play as well as special format rounds, all of which end with reports that compare each player's score to the results of friends and teammates. Afterward, groups reenergize by noshing on fare from the snack bar or playing abundant video games in the arcade.
BounceU welcomes kids to descend upon an inflatable, climate-controlled playground where they can bounce and ricochet in safety. Along with birthday parties and group outings, BounceU hosts open-bounce sessions that let sock wearers of all ages imagine they're synchronized leapers in a futuristic moon performance as they carom around the inflatable stadium, expending energy with every leap. Adults are welcome to act like 8-year-olds and join the vivacious youngsters in the playground.