Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by a small group of Moravian settlers and christened “Christmas City, USA” in 1937, Bethlehem turns its gaze toward the past during the holiday season with guided tours and museum exhibits. The 10.9-mile Heritage Trail snakes through 80 historic stops, including two National Historic Landmarks, Victorian-era homes, and the nation’s oldest gift shop. On historic walks, guides lead tour groups through the now-defunct site of Bethlehem Steel, the city’s oldest cemeteries, and the 1762 Waterworks, known as the first municipally pumped water system in the country. 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 techniques.
Town & Country Lanes is a smoke-free family center that hosts rollers of all stripes, from children using helpful bumpers to pros battling it out during tournaments. Four nights a week, laser lights cut through clouds of fog as players' song requests drown out the sounds of strikes, spares, and self-administered high-fives. Between games, bowlers can keep their fingers busy at the arcade or fuel their stomachs with food and drinks from the snack bar and pub.
Competitors in the Professional Indoor Football League's United Conference since 2011, the Steelhawks prey on the opposition across the 50-yard pitch inside Stabler Arena. With a roster of gridiron stars, many of which were standouts at colleges across the country, the Steelhawks bring a fast-paced style of play to a football-crazed fanbase. The Steelhawks' mascot, Talon, regales fans in the stands during games with signature cheers and seminars on how to build structurally sound nests.
Backed by a score of pulsing music and illuminated by swirling veins of light, bowlers swing their arms back and send pearlescent orbs hurtling down the glossy lanes in front of them. Though it recalls science fiction, this surreal scene is commonly witnessed at Playdrome Rose Bowl's Future Bowl nights. These cosmic escapades are among the many family-friendly events hosted at the sprawling bowling alley in an average week.
Flanked by neon murals and electronic scoring machines, Playdrome's 36 lanes remain open from mid-morning into the wee hours of the night. Bowlers of all ages can satisfy their between-game appetites with hearty fare at Orbits Cafe or practice their aim on three billiards tables. A full arcade keeps fingers loose with button-mashing combos; more serious bowlers can take turns building muscle by lifting the video-game consoles over their heads.