by Carrie Havranek
1. America on Wheels, Allentown. Yeah, we’ve got an auto museum right here in the Lehigh Valley–betcha didn’t know that. Officially, it’s tagged as a “museum of over the road transportation,” and current exhibits include an homage to British cars (think Austin Healy, MG) and soapbox derby. Admission is modest ($7 for adults; kids 5 and under are free), and it’s open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.
2. DaVinci Science Center, Allentown. It’s hands-on. It’s interactive. It’s all those other museum catchwords. Experience the weightlessness familiar to NASA’s astronauts with the Gyrosphere; look at the Earth’s offerings with the “What On Earth?” exhibit, or marvel at the montage of the Fossil Wall. Admission for adults is $11.95; children ages 4-12, $8.95 and kids 3 and under are free. Open Monday-Saturday, 9:30am-5pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm.
3. Martin Guitar, Nazareth. Take a factory tour and see how the guitars that put this company on the map have wowed musicians and made them loyalists–this includes everyone from Thom Yorke and Beck to Sheryl Crow, the Indigo Girls, Willie Nelson, Keb Mo, and Eric Clapton. The visitor’s center is relatively new, and the gift shop was designed to echo the shape of a guitar. Visitors Center and Museum open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm; guided factory tours given free of charge at regular intervals between 11am-2pm, Monday-Friday.
4. Sigal Museum, Easton. (pictured above; photo does not do it justice . . . you have to go see the indoor tree!) JustBorn, inexplicably, doesn’t have its own tour or museum, but you can see exhibits that highlight the company’s confectionary contributions to the world at this brand spankin’ new museum in downtown Easton. You can also see lots and lots of other heritage and history here, too–Native Americans and Revolutionary War along with the likes of candy and guitars–because it’s the beautiful new home of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society. Admission is just $7 ($5 for those ages 3-12), and it’s open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:3oam-3pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.
5. Steel Ice Center, Bethlehem. Miss your days of ice skating as a kid, or want to teach your own children how to do it? Steel Ice Center is SouthSide Bethlehem is your place. They’ve even got open hockey and stick time for those who want to brush up on their skills. Admission $7 (seems to be a theme here and skate rental is $3. Hours vary based on activity.
Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who is grateful for indoor winter activities that don’t involve the mall. No offense, mall.