With summer approaching, are you longing to take advantage of the break from teaching and seminars to do something fun? Do you have a vitamin D deficiency from reading indoors all winter? It’s time to get outside for those summertime funtimes! How to spend this precious time, though… Sometimes, Bethlehem gets a bad rap– the undergrads endlessly lament that there’s nothing to do off campus. But is this true?
Here is a list of fun, free/cheap things to do around town this summer.*
In no particular order:
- Take advantage of McCarthy’s outdoor seating. Get tea and scones, and admire the puppies
- In the alternative, try Tapas. Same plan re: puppies, but with sangria and crepes
- Explore the cemeteries. Beloved Bethlehem poet HD is buried in Nisky Hill, and the north side also features the Moravian settlers’ God’s Acre, a major point of historical interest.
- Walk through the Colonial Industrial district, and bask in our town’s rich history.
- Join a reading group through the Moravian Book Shop, which claims to be the oldest bookstore in the US. They have book clubs focusing on fiction, mystery, and sci-fi/fantasy.
- The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, founded in 1898, is holding its 110th Bach Festival May 19-20. They also hold monthly concerts, Bach at Noon, every second Tuesday.
- The Allentown Symphony Orchestra offers free tickets to students! Call the Box Office at 610-432-6715 for more details, or see the concert schedule.
- Batting cages. It’s surprisingly fun! My preferred locale is In the Zone, and if you go, please invite me. I have a lot of tokens to use up.
- Enjoy the outside. Bethlehem has a number of lovely parks and paths— I recommend the towpath, which you access behind the Ice House, and the rail trail, which goes along Monocacy Creek. I recommend a section of the rail trail that, admittedly, begins in a slightly random place– on the corner of the Union Ave. 378 on-ramp– but it’s worth it, because it leads to the Bethlehem police horses!! The towpath park also has a series of tennis and basketball courts.
- Get some delicious ice cream: the Cup has two locations, Linden Street or Farrington Square, and the shop below Hotel Bethlehem has a mean mint flavor. If you go to the Hotel Bethlehem, snag an outdoor table and– wait for it– watch the puppies.
- The Yoga Loft of Bethlehem offers community yoga classes every Saturday for $8. These classes are introductory level and welcome any and all to attend. You can bring your own mat or rent one for $1.
- Go to a farmers’ market! Lehigh hosts one in Farrington Square Thursdays 11-3. The Bethlehem Rose Garden Farmers’ Market opens June 3, and will run Saturdays 9-1. The Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market is every Sunday, 9-1.
Hopefully some of these options appeal to you! If you have more ideas, please share them below.
*Since Bethlehem has amazing restaurants, some of these suggestions are food-based. However, I’ve tried to limit those.