Budget-Friendly Things to Do in the Lehigh Valley


May 17, 2017

With a fast-growing population and a booming economy, the Lehigh Valley offers residents and visitors alike a great place to explore.

When you visit, you’ll find many affordable things to do in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, PA, several of them geared toward families. From events to zoos to museums, the area has a wide variety of activities suited for any taste. You can also learn more about art and history when you visit the area. The best part is, you can save money while you have a good time by targeting venues with low-cost options. Here are seven fun things to do in the Lehigh Valley.

1. Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts

Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts (Photo by Hub Wilson and used with permission)
Photo by Hub Wilson and used with permission from www.HistoricBethlehem.org

One of the most notable museums in Bethlehem, the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts displays three centuries of style and design through period-interpretive rooms and changing exhibits. The museum was named in honor of Annie Kemerer, who bequeathed the museum and her extensive collection of Pennsylvania German textiles, priceless Bohemian glass, 200-piece wedding china and exquisite furniture in 1951. The current exhibit, which ends in September 2017, is HairWork: Relics of Remembrance.

Admission costs $10 or you can visit all the museums, including the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, with the purchase of a Multi-Site Museum Pass for $20. Both tickets are valid for one year so you can explore the museums at your own pace. Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites maintains and preserves 20 historic sites.

2. Lehigh County Heritage Museum

The Lehigh County Historical Society runs this museum, which tracks the formation and development of the Lehigh Valley, dating back to the Native Americans who inhabited these lands well before the German settlers came over in the 1700s. By examining local industries such as silk, iron and steel, visitors get a better sense of how the area’s values formed and what local residents held important. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children.

3. Lehigh Valley Zoo

Entrance to Lehigh Valley Zoo - Photo used with permission
Photo used with permission from Lehigh Valley Zoo

Looking for things to do with kids in the Lehigh Valley? The zoo could be the perfect destination. Tickets range from $9 to $15, depending on your age and the season. The zoo provides hours of entertainment with animals hailing from all over the world.

See African penguins, alpacas, prehensile-tailed porcupines and more. The zoo also offers regularly scheduled special programs and a safari event for those who are deaf or have suffered hearing loss.

4. Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

The Allentown Art Museum has been enriching the community for more than 75 years. It was conceived during the Great Depression and initially served as a showcase for local artists. These days, the museum houses works from a variety of sources, many outside the Lehigh Valley. An expansion added in 1975 includes a library that Frank Lloyd Wright designed, which is open to the public. Exhibitions range from photography to origami, and they explore themes such as the role a certain resource played in the Industrial Revolution or multiculturalism.

Ear Corn at Lehigh Valley's Lost River Caverns
Photo used with permission from Lost River Caverns

5. Lost River Caverns

Located a short 14-minute drive from Bethlehem, the Lost River Caverns present a natural wonderland where you and your family can be wowed by just how crazy Mother Nature can be.

Pay $13.25 for adults and $8.25 for children to tour the underground caverns where the Lost River still flows. Hear about the days when college fraternities would sneak into the caverns to hold initiation ceremonies. Town dances also took place in the caverns in the 1800s because of the natural “air conditioning” – it’s always a cool 52 degrees underground.

6. Bogert Covered Bridge

See a piece of history on your way to or from any of these Lehigh Valley activities. The Bogert Covered Bridge, constructed in 1841, is one of the oldest bridges in Lehigh County. It’s only open to bike and pedestrian traffic, and it’s completely free to explore and a great place to photograph.

7. Crayola Experience®

Go to the Crayola Experience® in Easton, where kids can enjoy up to 25 interactive coloring experiences – tickets are around $17.99 apiece online.

While in Easton, check out the historic district, where you can learn more about this great town and enjoy unique shopping and dining experiences.

Enjoy These Cheap and Free Activities in the Lehigh Valley

Take a trip to the Bethlehem, Easton and Allentown areas to explore caverns, enjoy a history lesson or get in touch with your inner artist. Remember, great entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive.

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Feature image used with permission from the Lehigh Valley Zoo.

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