Legendary Excursions’ wheelmen demonstrate the tactics necessary for navigating unpaved environments and install adrenaline-hungry guests inside a 190-horsepower, 4-speed manual-transmission Baja 1000–style off-road racing car. During the Ride Along Adventure, patrons ride shotgun as a professional driver steers them through three laps on a tricky, 6.3-mile off-road course at race-like speeds, navigating tough terrain and catching air on jumps. Experts kick-start the Taste of Baja Adventure by honing fear-conquering clients' driving skills and dressing them in racing helmets and other appropriate gear. Once suited up, racers will be formally introduced to their trusty motor-steed, learning all about its controls, safety equipment, and ticklish spots before having their picture taken with it. Adventurers then spend three laps traversing the baja track's jumps, sweeping turns and rough terrain, letting the colossal BFGoodrich tires create swirling dust formations and spew out perfectly cooked mud pies.
Jeep Cherokees trundle over boulders, crevasses, and grassy expanses at Rausch Creek Off Road Park, a sprawling 3,000-acre retreat devoted to off-roading. Divided into northeast, south, east, and west quadrants, the park offers something for every level of driver, with 30 miles of easy, intermediate, and difficult trails traversable by 4x4 and navigated by optional tour guides. Engines rev year-round under the shade of tree-lined stretches or across a 150-foot-wide glacial deposit littered with huge boulders begging to be climbed or lifted onto one’s shoulders in an effort to impress a hard-to-please parent. Under the auspices of park officers Bruce Shallis and Lynn Ehrenfeld, Rausch Creek undergoes constant improvements, from its newly constructed event pavilion, to its local race series, which features both manmade and natural obstacles.
Every year, as the snow starts falling, the town of Jim Thorpe dusts off a charming sense of nostalgia and channels the holiday spirit for their Olde Time Christmas celebration. A parade at the end of November heralds the tree lighting, which in turn kicks off weekends of lights, stage plays, and Victorian touches that evoke A Christmas Carol without all of the blood-thirsty aliens Dickens was so fond of. Historic mansions combine with small-town elegance to create an ideal tableau for the festival, which hosts events that include a gingerbread house contest, historic ghost walks, and a live nativity. Kids hop on a train with Santa while others settle in for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, sending the staccato of clipping and clopping through the streets. Dulcet notes from a choir glide through the air at local churches while patrons walk to and fro amongst local businesses and a stand of handmade wreaths.
Allen Theatre, named one of Moviefone's 12 best local theaters in America in 2010, regales moviegoers with first-run Hollywood features and independent films from within a century-old building festooned with vintage movie posters. Local art complements the theater's art-deco style, which adds a classic feel to modern amenities including a Dolby Digital EX sound system, state-of-the-art projection lenses, and an advanced spoiler-alert system. Enveloped by the buttery scents that waft from a large popcorn, moviegoers will venture into the single-screen theater and feast anxious eyes on a current feature film or films of yesteryear, such as Wall Street showing November 15. Although not included with today's Groupon, viewings can be followed by a stop at MJ's Coffeehouse, where deli sandwiches, soups, and gourmet coffees help to fuel patrons and their automobiles, provided they run on gourmet coffees.
Only the trees remember a time when there wasn’t a theater at 200 Pennsylvania Avenue, and, except for that creepy one, they aren’t talking. Built in 1892 as part of the American Chautauqua movement, the playhouse became a local theater company in 1927 and has been staging summer productions ever since—with the exception of one year. In 1994, a brutal winter buried the theater beneath roughly 150 tons of snow, causing the roof to collapse on February 12. Within two days, though, the company had plans to host their shows under a massive tent until a new stage opened in the summer of 1995, proving that Gretna knows the show must always go on.