by Carrie Havranek
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Lehigh Valley is one random place. We are home to all kinds of institutions, schools, businesses, farms, and museums and more. And not to mention all the amazing, talented, and unusual people who make this place hum. This means there’s no reason you should be bored or unchallenged. A change of scenery, a change of stimulus, and a change of pace can do us all a world of good. Here are five cool places to learn something new.
1. Baum School of Art, Allentown. Inspired by Project Runway and its ilk and want to learn how to sew? You can do that at the Baum School. Dying to learn metalsmithing and jewelry making? They’ve got that covered, too. Or if you’re into more traditional media such as painting and drawing, the Baum School can help you find your inspiration. They’re pretty good at it, too; the Baum School’s been around for 85 years and teaches both adults and kids alike. 510 Linden Street, Allentown; 610-433-0032.
2. Flint Hill Farm, Coopersburg. Operating with the motto “Feeding the Spirit, Educating the Mind, Preserving the Community,” Flint Hill Farm is a 28-acre agricultural educational facility that offers many different opportunities to learn about traditional farm life. Think blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, but also cheesemaking, planting a Dixie cup garden, and meeting the farm animals. It’s a great place for a scouting troop or a class trip. 1922 Flint Hill Road, Coopersburg; 610-838-2928.
3. Lehigh Carbon Community College and Northampton Community College, Schnecksville and Bethlehem. Both of these community colleges have active curricula geared toward the average person—otherwise known as community education. Classes are ongoing, all year long. You can learn all kinds of cool things, such as a new language and how to brew your own beer, or opt to study more traditional subjects such as biology, math, or English. LCCC: 4525 Education Park Rd., Schnecksville; 610-799-2121; NCC: 3825 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem; 610-861-5300.
4. Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, Allentown. I bet you didn’t know we had a grand prix track in the Lehigh Valley. I’ll admit that I didn’t until a few days ago. Although the Nazareth Speedway may be long gone, the love of speed lingers here in the Valley. Don helmets and other protective gear and get ready to reach speeds up to 45 mph in you go-kart at this indoor track. 649 South 10th Street, Allentown; 610-432-RACE.
5. Museum of Indian Culture, Allentown. Housed in an 18th-century stone farmhouse, the museum provides exhibits about the Lenape and other American Indian tribes that once inhabited the region. You’re bound to find the usual artifacts, such as ceramics, carvings, stone tools, moccassins, baskets, feathers, and the like. But the museum also holds several events throughout the year, such as Artifest (June 9 & 10) and the Roasting Ears of Corn Festival (August 18 & 19), which also happens to be Pennsylvania’s oldest American Indian Festival. 2825 Fish Hatchery Rd., Allentown; 610-797-2121.
Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who thinks it’s important to learn at least one new thing every day.
“Horse camp” photo is from Flint Hill Farm Educational Center’s blog.