Looking for a weekend away from NYC with the kids this winter? One that involves stimulating and unique options to get their minds and bodies moving during these cold months? Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania is a good option. It’s close, affordable and is filled with museums, restaurants, antique shops and things to do. Here are our favorite options. By Holly Rosen Fink.
Where to Stay
You can’t beat the amount of space and comfort that the Hyatt in Bethlehem offers and it’s a great value. Located in the center of town, you can walk to restaurants, antique shops and galleries. It includes free parking in a covered lot, breakfast is and Wifi. Rates range from $149-$299 per night for a standard room or suite.
Where to Play
Kids will love a museum dedicated to some of their favorite creative tools on earth: crayons and markers. The Crayola Factory teaches kids how they’re made and about their history, while allowing them to be creative at the same time. They’ll wonder around coloring on race cars, painting on walls, playing with chalk, coloring on canvases with wands that glow-in-the-dark and partaking in countless art projects. Admission is $9.75 per person/children ages 2 and under are free.
Where to Eat
Perfect for lunch and full of other families, the Pearly Bakery, located directly across from the Crayola Factory, has both pub fare and more upscale entrees. They offer delicious salads, sandwiches, soup and casual fare. Kids will love the children’s menu, priced at $5.95 each, featuring a choice of mac & cheese, chicken fingers, fish sticks, grilled hot dogs and PB&J on wheat with carrot sticks. The excellent service is also part of the pleasant culinary experience.
Where to Discover
With 10,000 square feet of science and technology activities for children of all ages, the Da Vinci Science Center is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Kids will go from exhibit to exhibit, learning about the earth, the environment, light and electricity, forces, machinery, planets and animals. Not only will they read and touch, they will interact, build and design. At their current featured exhibit, KEVA Build it Up!, they offer an interactive visitor experience in which curious minds of all ages can enjoy showing off their design and building skills using the popular KEVA planks. The museum is $11.95 for adults; $8.95 for children ages 4-12, seniors ages 62 and up, active military members, and veterans; free for toddlers ages 3 and under and members.
Where to Ski
Located closest to central Lehigh Valley just 12 miles from Allentown, Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center sits on more than 330 acres of scenic land. The resort features skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing winter activities, along with spacious banquet halls, meeting facilities, bars and restaurants. Adults will love the Spa at Bear Creek, which features an indoor pool and hot tubs, along with The Grille at Bear Creek for amazing food and cozy times by the stone fireplace.