BETHLEHEM, Pa. — After the snow melts, fall for these fun date ideas on Valentine’s Day.
From picturesque drives to an Irish whiskey tasting, there are plenty of romantic things to do on Feb. 14 — and beyond.
Play some games
Back to the Arcade: The types of games played at this spot won’t cause any heartache, but instead bring back some nostalgia.
Located inside the South Mall, play some 80s and 90s retro arcade games like skee-ball, pinball, NBA Jam and Defender.
Info: 3330 Lehigh St., Allentown, facebook.com/backtothearcadeAllentown/
Cedar Beach Parkway: When the weather warms up, plan a stroll at the popular park known for its pristine grounds and romantic sunsets.
Work up a sweat: Onsite there are more than 2.3-miles of multi-use trails, two beaches, four basketball courts and two volleyball courts.
Info: 2600 Parkway Boulevard, Allentown, allentownpa.gov/Department-of-Parks-and-Recreation
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, learn how to make Celtic cuisine with McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub chef, Jill Oman.
Stimulate your senses during the two hour class, while Oman shares Irish and Welsh food facts and recipes
Tickets are $35 per person. The next class takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on March 5.
For the 21-and-over couples: the pub will host a St. Paddy’s Jameson Irish tasting class during the season of luck featuring four handpicked whiskeys.
The tasting will occur at 7 p.m. on March 14.
Info: 534 Main St., Bethlehem, redstagpub.com
Romance on a bridge
Embark on a romantic road trip with the Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge Tour. The map, available to download online, takes drivers through a tour of seven historic covered bridges and scenic drives through the surrounding countryside.
Photo op: The Kreidersville Covered Bridge, the oldest on the tour, was built in 1839.
Add in some lunch: On sunny days, plan on packing a picnic for two for a romantic interlude.
This tour is self-guided, so you and your significant other can sightsee at your own pace.
To download the map, click here.
Li’l-Le-Hi Trout Nursery:
Located down the road from the Museum of Indian Culture, check out one of the oldest trout nurseries in the country (the nursery opened in 1883). Currently, the nursery boasts 15 large tanks that house thousands of fish including a trophy trout and on display.
Its location makes it an ideal place to take a stroll and feed the fish (vending machines are located near the tanks). Even better, it’s free to enter the grounds.
Hours: 7 a.m. to dusk, daily.
Info: 2901 Fish Hatchery Rd, Allentown, Lil-Le-Hi-Trout-Nursery
Mates for life
Lehigh Valley Zoo:
Endangered wolves, boisterous bobcats and friendly giraffes are on display at the zoo which houses close to 350 animals and reptiles.
For some commitment inspo, take a cue from the zoo’s African penguins, who form monogamous pairs and mate for life.
Tickets start at $11.
On the drive out, walk the grounds of the Trexler Nature Preserve, another romantic spot filled with 18 miles of nature trails, creeks, and refuge space for bison and elk (visitors can greet the beasts through a fence, just don’t get too close!).
Info: 5150 Game Preserve Road, Allentown, lvzoo.org
A rose so sweet
Malcolm Gross Rose Gardens:
While you might have to wait until summer to see the roses ( the flowers typically peak in June and July), the park is still known as one of the most picturesque in the region.
Located between Hamilton Street and Linden Street, the Rose Garden is a popular spot for engagement and prom photos and weddings.
The 1.3-mile walking loop is a nice place to hold hands and take a stroll before dusk.
Info: 3000 Parkway Boulevard, Allentown, Malcolm-Gross-Rose-Garden
Lock in the love
While it’s no longer permitted, this picturesque park was once home to the Love bridge (visitors put locks and sentimental messages to the bridge as gestures of love until the city cut it off in 2019).
Locks or not, the park is still a good place to unwind and relax under the shade.
Info: 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem, bethlehempa.myrec.com
Barrels of fun
Lehigh Valley Wine Trails: Wine aficionados take notice.
The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail — a non-profit organization of wineries whose mission is to promote Pennsylvania wines from the region— includes visits to nine wineries.
From reds to whites, stops include Amoré Vineyards & Winery (6811 Steuben Road, Nazareth); Big Creek Vineyard and Winery (120 Keller Road, Kresgeville); Blue Mountain Vineyards (7627 Grape Vine Drive, New Tripoli); Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery (9850 Newton Road, Breinigsville); Franklin Hills Vineyards (7833 Franklin Hill Road, Bangor); Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery (255 Winter Mountain Drive, Andreas); and Vynecrest Winery (172 Arrowhead Lane, Breinigsville).
First appeared on www.lehighvalleynews.com