It’s that time of year: making the trek home for the holidays to see the fam. If you are coming back to the Lehigh Valley to visit family, friends, or just to get away for a little while, welcome. We’re happy to have you back and can’t wait to show you some new spots in Lehigh Valley since you were last here.
Whether you’re looking forward to the extra family time or need a chance to get out of the house for a little “you” time, here are 10 new spots in Lehigh Valley to do with (or without) the family while you’re home. Just make sure to check each spot before you go for updated visitation guidelines.
- Easton Public Market. First there was the Easton Farmers’ Market, which started way back in 1752 (the oldest, continuous open-air market in the nation). Now there’s Easton Public Market, an outgrowth of the original Centre Square market that’s open more days (Wed.-Sun.) and houses some of our favorite places to eat in Easton. Check out craft butcher Saylors & Co., a warm bowl of ramen from Mr. Lee’s Noodles and Modern Crumb Bakeshop for a treat.
- Downtown Allentown Market. With a similar vibe but different flavors from its Easton brethren, this Allentown food hall is a favorite stop to fuel up while shopping downtown or touring the city’s ArtsWalk. Sweet treats from Batch Microcreamery, fresh sushi from Shinsen, a flavor-packed Mediterranean bowl from Zahra, Korean tacos from Little Miss Korea, or pizza al taglio from Tavola are always solid options to consider.
- Winter Village in Historic Easton. The City of Easton is creating a winter village in beautiful downtown Easton to bring out the holiday feels in force this year. There will be a 40 x 60 foot synthetic ice skating rink with skates for rent and more than 20 local businesses in holiday huts around the Easton Peace Candle and Centre Square with scheduled entertainment for residents and visitors to enjoy. Click here for up-to-date information on the Winter Village.
- John M. Mauser Nature Education Trail System. If skating’s not your thing, check out this new trail system in Lower Mount Bethel Township that’s part of the Martin’s Creek Environmental Preserve. Formerly known as the Tekening Hiking Trails, the park contains four miles of well-marked trails for hikers, joggers and bikers, with approximately 1.3 miles enjoying frontage along the Delaware River. Some are easy, while others present a challenge.
- Lehigh Valley’s Breweries. Lehigh Valley’s craft beer scene offers something for every palate. From those that have been here for decades like Fegley’s and Weyerbacher to recent additions such as Lost Tavern and Bonn Place, beer lovers have plenty of options to choose from – and they’re all really, really good. New ones to arrive on the scene in the last year or two include Seven Sirens in Bethlehem, McCall Collective in Allentown, Taylor House in Catasauqua, Separatist Beer Project in Easton and Bangor Trust in the Slate Belt. Enjoy a pint on site or grab or cans, bottles, crowlers and growlers to go. If you visit Bangor Trust, add extra time to check out the new murals in downtown Bangor.
- Simon Silk Mill. A beautiful old silk mill is brought back to life in Easton, making the perfect setting and one-spot stop for an evening out or after a stroll along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. Grab a drink from your choice of Separatist Beer Project, Boser Geist Brewing Co., The Easton Wine Project, or County Seat Spirits, a meal from the Aussie-inspired Tucker Silk Mill and dessert at Owowcow Creamery.
- THE LINK Trail Network. Bundle up and hit the trail on any of THE LINK’s 125 miles of routes for hikers, bikers and joggers of all skill levels. One trail might take you through the urban cores of Bethlehem, Easton or Allentown. Another will wind you through one of our smaller towns and boroughs to make you feel a little more one with nature. Regardless, THE LINK is a great resource to find the right trail for you.
- National Museum of Industrial History. Celebrate the region’s roots at this recent addition to the former Bethlehem Steel plant. The museum is a Smithsonian affiliate that takes visitors from the start of the Industrial Revolution, through Bethlehem’s role in World War, all the way to present day. A current exhibit on display, Machines of Interest: The Selected works of Stephen Mallon, features captivating, riveting, and thought-provoking pieces from critically-acclaimed photographer Stephen Mallon. The Museum is currently operating at a reduced capacity and offering Virtual Visits as well. Please check here before you go for up-to-date hours, procedures, and precautions.
- Lights in the Parkway. Allentown’s Lights in the Parkway has been around for quite a while, but it’s sure to be a popular activity this year since it can be enjoyed from the comfort and warmth of your own vehicle. A spectacular drive-through light display transforms more than a mile of Lehigh Parkway into a winter wonderland while you’re serenaded with holiday music. The best part? It’s only $15 to enter with a car/SUV with up to 8 people.
- Visit Christmas City, USA. Congratulations! You made it all the way to #10 and we’re going to throw a curveball your way. This one’s also not ‘new’ (it’s literally older than America…), but how can we not mention a visit to the Christmas City, Bethlehem? The city has been working hard to ensure visitors and vendors are safely enjoying the holiday season this year. Christkindlmarkt has transformed to an outdoor market on ArtsQuest’s campus, on the SouthSide with nearly 80 artisans in huts and appearances from St. Nick. Shopping on Main Street in Bethlehem is a must-do around the holidays. The Huts on Main are surrounded by sparkling white lights adorning trees in the Historic Moravian District and another new feature this year includes Christmas in the Quarter, with pop up shopping, Putz displays, a winter art exhibition, and warming stations.
Whether you’re checking out these new spots in Lehigh Valley or looking forward to spending time with loved ones at home, we hope your time in Lehigh Valley is rejuvenating, enjoyable, and just what you needed. Lehigh Valley is a great place to call home … again.