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 year-round 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. The Kemerer Museum Of Decorative Arts is one of only 15 of its kind 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.
Since its inception in 1919, the historic Oakmont Tennis Club has improved ball-smacking skills and boosted camaraderie and sportsmanship amongst racket-swingers. Tennis pros such as George Henry, once the coach of Venus and Serena Williams, use Oakmont's soft ground of seven maintained red-clay courts for instruction and one-on-one domination. With single or family membership, you’ll get use of the clubhouse, unlimited court time, and discounted rates on lessons. Members can use Oakmont's comfy clubhouse to take a brisk shower, secure their five-leaf clover once kissed by John McEnroe in one of the lockers, and stroll around the wraparound deck.
At Workout Plus, fitness seekers can conclude a blistering group workout with a dip in the whirlpool or a detoxifying jaunt in the sauna. Instructors lead challenging, up-tempo workouts with names such as Kettlebell Khaos or Calorie Killer, and set members loose on a sea of free weights and Star Trac variable resistance machines including treadmills, climbers, and recumbent bikes.
The warm tones of jazz saxophones, the orchestrated quarrels between flutes and oboes, and the reanimated bellows of Elvis Presley can be heard resonating within the walls of the 1,200-seat Allentown Symphony Hall, which has housed the likes of Placido Domingo, Bing Crosby, and Sarah Bernhardt. The venue's schedule swells with symphonic and non-orchestral showings including performances by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Jim Brickman's 15th Anniversary Holiday Concert, California Raisins, Steve Lippia presenting "Simply Sinatra," and more.
The idea that running should be fun is the philosophy behind Run Lehigh Valley, an organization that pairs runners of all levels with running events. Whether the races include giveaways or beer, or just start off with a quirky premise, such as a zombie 5K where runners dress as the undead or a Christmas-themed race where runners dress like undead Santas, all of the events check pretention at the starting line. For their latest venture, Runners Escape, Run Lehigh Valley gathers people for out-of-town races, giving like-minded pavement-pounders a chance to meet friends.
Mulligan's Family Golf Center beckons to birdie-hunters with a scaled-down golf course, an 18-hole mini-golf circuit, and a full-length driving range. With its longest hole measuring in at 108 yards, the center's 9-hole Chip-n-Putt course fosters short-game refinement, as players send balls somersaulting onto small greens from artificial tees or out of one of the layout's three sand traps. Mulligan's graciously rents out golf balls (a $0.50 deposit each, refunded when balls are returned) for use on the course, saving players the hassle of buying their own sleeve or chiseling a bocce ball down to the right size.
For more pressure-free swing practice, Mulligan's 30-stall driving range lets clubbers dial in their wedges, irons, woods, and mannequin legs with five signs demarcating yardages all the way back to the 250-yard terminus. The center also encompasses an 18-hole mini-golf course, where putt-putt posses crouch to demystify tricky breaking putts while the burbling sounds of waterfalls, fountains, and streams set a tranquil tone.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.