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.
In the summer, Captain Don Cartwright migrates from Florida to New Jersey to captain fishing trips off Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays aboard his 35-foot boat, the Bill Chaser. Cartwright, who has a US Coast Guard master's license and more than 20 years of fishing experience, helps groups hook everything from striped bass and bluefish to larger catches such as bluefin tuna and shark.
Inside Cinema Center, moviegoers are enveloped in a state-of-the art film-viewing environment to enjoy the latest Hollywood flicks. Bring a friend or frenemy to catch a new release, such as The Dilemma, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, or The Green Hornet, a quirky take on the superhero genre starring Seth Rogen. Indulge eardrums with the mellifluous luxury of digital surround sound while Cinema Center theaters’ stadium seating ensures clear sightlines and good angles for not throwing popcorn.
Skydive Jersey’s certified instructors help humans activate adrenaline and whittle away at life checklists with airborne adventures over pastoral Pittstown. The tandem trip, highly recommended for first-time free-fallers, includes a padded harness and a qualified companion jumper to pull one of the two parachutes and whisper book recommendations. Each excursion begins with a one-hour training session, which prepares participants for airplane exits, basic free-fall body position, and the ins and outs of piloting a parachute. After the aeronautical education is complete, thrill-seekers will embark on a 30-minute one-way flight, where they'll excuse themselves at the side door for 60 seconds of free fall, 10 minutes of parachute floating, and a lifetime of respect from birds.
Nationwide Bowling orchestrates a cacophonous symphony of clanking pins and cheering bowlers at 11 modern bowling centers located throughout New Jersey. Center size varies from the Hudson-Bayonne location where 60 lanes with automatic scoring, a grill, sports bar, and arcade games accommodate armadas of bowlers to Garden Palace, which houses 16 lanes, a bar, and a snack shop. At all locations, staffers host birthday parties and corporate events and organize leagues for competitive bowlers or people who just like to chuck heavy objects as hard as they can.
Since 1979, the staff of Lehigh Valley Racquet and Fitness Clubs has made it their mission to obliterate any barriers keeping their members from working out. Each club is open 24 hours a day year-round, with free childcare available during specific times of day. That commitment to availability helps even the busiest people find time to hop on Hammer Strength and Cybex strength-training circuits, StairMasters, and other equipment. Group fitness classes get students sweating as they execute punches in Turbo Kick cardio-kickboxing sessions or dance to Zumba's Latin-inspired workouts. Full-body boot-camp workouts are also available, mixing in calisthenics, strength training, and agility drills to continuously challenge bodies. All of the clubs’ personal trainers hold bachelor's degrees in health-related fields or have national certifications from accredited organizations.
After their workouts, members can unwind in the whirlpool, sauna, or steam rooms, then drop off their free rental towels for cleaning. For sports lovers, the Allentown location also boasts basketball, volleyball, squash, and badminton courts, as well as 11 outdoor and 8 indoor tennis courts.