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.
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.
The Museum of Indian Culture provides a portal to the cultural history of the Lenape and other American Indian tribes. This history gains form and texture in the Northeast Woodland Room, where handmade basketry, beadwork, and pottery rest on display. Nearby, the Inter-Tribal Room demonstrates the breadth of cultures in the area. Its exhibits include a Lakota morning-star quilt, a Cheyenne sash, and Navajo sand art. For a more hands-on lesson, patrons can see how indigenous people made fire from a bow drill, practice using a dart thrower, or hear stories that were originally told by tribal elders.
In addition to its exhibits, the museum conducts regular educational events. During Saturdays at the Museum, guests can step into American Indian culture by practicing their hunting and gathering skills in the field, going on an insect safari, or learning about societies that existed before Columbus discovered the continent and named it after Amerigo Vespucci. The Museum also sponsors the Roasting Ears of Corn Festival—with flint knapping, tomahawk throwing, and artifact displays—and the Three Sisters Harvest, which donates food and other supplies to American Indian families in need.
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.
Throughout the week, Live Learn and Play abounds with youngsters of all ages, genders, and special needs, frolicking among inflatable obstacle courses, therapeutic swings, and ball pits under the supervision of childcare professionals. During youth classes and camps certified instructors lead classes in art, dance, and music, enriching kids' bodies and minds while distracting them from plots to age. Meanwhile, in the parent-resource center, adults attend childcare-training workshops and an abundance of classes, including kickboxing, nutrition, and yoga. The center even offers mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which utilizes healing oxygen treatments in an effort to improve conditions such as autism, arthritis, and allergies.
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.