With July 4th weekend approaching, many local residents are looking forward to taking some time off from their busy schedules to enjoy nature, the pool or some good company.
There’s hardly a better place to enjoy this weekend than right here in eastern Pennsylvania, where there are seemingly endless fun activities to do. We’ve put together the following list of ideas for ways to spend the upcoming long weekend if you’ll be local.
Don’t forget to check out our July 4th LOCAL buying guide for recommendations about where to buy Independence Day weekend essentials, from meat for your grill to craft beer to swimming pool supplies.
Hellertown Pool (Hellertown)
Despite some early uncertainty caused by a lifeguard shortage, the beloved Hellertown Pool is now open for the season. The pool opened last week for the first time in two years, and has quickly become a popular attraction for the community to enjoy once again.
The pool, located at 575 Durham Street, is open from noon to 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. If you are planning to visit, note that there are updated admission requirements in place as of June 30. For more information about the Hellertown Pool, visit HellertownBorough.org.
Bucks County Wine Trail (Bucks County, various locations)
You don’t have to go to Napa Valley to get your fix of fine wine this holiday weekend. With six member wineries, each boasting their own unique varieties of wine, the Bucks County Wine Trail offers plenty of wine tasting and countryside exploring.
The climate of the region is comparable to France’s Bordeaux region, which results in an abundance of delicious, local varieties of chardonnay, chambourcin and cabernet sauvignon.
This summer, five of the wineries are once again offering their Passport to Bucks wine tasting card, which affords guests complimentary wine tastings, unique merchandise and the opportunity to win two cases of locally produced wine.
Lehigh Valley Zoo (Schnecksville)
The Lehigh Valley Zoo will surely be on the list of things to check out for local animal lovers. With 325 animal ambassadors representing over 125 species, the zoo has a little bit of everything for visitors to enjoy.
Whether it’s at the giraffe exhibit or checking out snakes in the reptile enclosure, a visit to the Lehigh Valley Zoo will feel like a mini-vacation right in your backyard.
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton)
The D&L trail is a 165-mile route that encompasses the region’s history as it spans railroads, canals, rivers and trails. The Lehigh Valley’s section of the trail is approximately 48 miles long, and it runs from Jim Thorpe to Easton. Along that route visitors will find mines, breakers, patch towns and other artifacts of coal industry-past.
After a long day exploring the trail, be sure to visit the D&L’s National Canal Museum located at 2750 Hugh Moore Park Road in Easton. The museum is a great place to learn more about the region’s canal history, and visitors may even take a ride into the past on a mule-drawn canal boat ride.
Lost River Caverns (Hellertown)
If it starts to get too hot on the surface, consider beating the heat underground at Hellertown’s Lost River Caverns. Discovered in 1883 during a quarrying operation, the family-owned cave has been welcoming visitors for more than 90 years. A guided tour of the caverns lasts from 30 to 45 minutes, and takes visitors on a 1,200 foot walking path past stalagmites, stalactites and other natural wonders carved out of limestone.
The cave is a brisk 52 degrees year-round, so you may want to consider bringing a light jacket on the tour. Stop by the cave’s store, Gilman’s at the Cave, afterward to check out precious gemstones, metals, souvenirs and other unique items for sale.
Jim Thorpe River Adventures (Jim Thorpe)
Perhaps you’d rather beat the heat by riding the thrilling whitewater current of the Lehigh River? Well then, Jim Thorpe River Adventures is the destination for you.
Three different whitewater rafting experiences are offered, ranging from the leisurely EasyWater ride to the long, intense BigTime Whitewater adventure, which sends visitors on a winding route through the Lehigh River as 900-foot canyon walls tower overhead.
Jim Thorpe River Adventures also offers kayaking and mountain biking opportunities, in case whitewater rafting isn’t exciting enough.
Becky’s Drive-In (Walnutport)
Catching a movie at the historic Becky’s Drive-In might be the perfect way to end a long day of adventuring. One of the last drive-ins in the area, Becky’s has been screening movies at its current location on Rt. 248 in Walnutport since 1946.
On the big screen for July 4th weekend will be F9: The Fast Sage paired with A Quiet Place Part II, and The Boss Baby: Family Business paired with Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.
Levitt Pavilion Summer Concert Series (Bethlehem)
Visitors to the Lehigh Valley as well as longtime residents will find it hard to miss the glowing SteelStacks that tower over South Bethlehem at night, especially on July 4th.
Levitt Pavilion’s Summer Concert Series has been a popular attraction since its debut, and it will make for a great venue to relax and enjoy some good, free music this weekend.
Saturday night’s entertainment is the always-popular party band, The Sofa Kings, whose 10-piece ensemble will have most of the audience on their feet. On Sunday night, the Allentown Band will take the stage for their customary performance of patriotic melodies just before the City of Bethlehem’s Fourth of July firework display lights up the night sky.