The Ice Palace is a nice simple rink in Allentown. The rink has good hours and prices are a little cheaper than others in the area. The downside is that the rink is older and sometimes the ice surface is not as good as it could be. They play music during open skating which makes skating more fun.
There is a snack bar and snack machines that are very reasonable.
You can also rent the rink out usually during off hours for large groups of people, and they do do birthday parties, but I don't know much about the birthday parties.
CONS: sometimes the ice isn't great
CE Roth in Allentown is a great local shop that does first class work for any formal rentals. I have been to them for multiple weddings and they have been great every time.
Their prices are usually significantly cheaper than the national shops for pretty much the same thing. They are only one shop and local to the valley, so the only hard thing is if you have groomsmen that are from out of town, but they can get measured locally and send the information to the shop.
PROS: good prices and service
CONS: only one shop
Bone Appetit bakery in the Main Street Commons is a great place to pick up pet items. They have unique and interesting toys and treats that other pet shops just don't have.
The bakery area is especially appealing as they make cookies and treats that look good enough to serve humans. I got some Christmas cookies for my cousin's dog there and my relatives couldn't believe that they weren't for them. You of course pay more for these gourmet treats, but it's fun for special occasions, or for those who really want to spoil their pets.
You won't be disappointed if you visit this shop.
PROS: great quality stuff
CONS: can be a little expensive
Bear Creek is a nice resort that's usually not too crowded. It's a little on the small side, which is the only reason I give it the 3 star satisfactory rating. If you are more of an expert skier, then this is probably not the place for you, but it's great for beginner through intermediate skiers.
The learn to ski packages are especially good, as I have found them cheaper than others learn to ski places in the area , and you dont' need a big mountain to learn. I took some snowboarding lessons there which were very good.
They also have a tubing park, which I've heard is nice, but have not personally gone there yet.
PROS: good prices
CONS: smaller slope than others
The Discovery Center is a great little local science center that serves the Lehigh Valley. The center isn't huge, but the exhibits are great. Most of the exhibits are hand on, so it's a great place to bring kids and let them experiment and learn. A great alternative to the movies or bowling.
If you are into science centers, an annual pass is a great value, if you get it you can get into more expensive science centers around the countries in other cities. Check out the centers that accept the Discovery Center annual pass online.
PROS: nice place to spend an afternoon
Caps comics and games is more than a comis book shop. Although they have a great selection of comics, both the new monthly issues as well as an extensive back issue collection, they carry much more than that. They have many of the gaming supplies you might need for both roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons, as well as miniature games such as Warhammer, and card games like Magic.
They can special order things they do not have in stock, and they also have a frequent buyers club, where you can get credit if you purchase a cartain amount from the store.
PROS: nice selection
The City of Bethlehem golf course facitlity is great for a city of its size. They have an 18 hole course which is pretty long and challenging, as well as a 9 hole exectuive course which is great for beginners. You can rent golf carts, but it's not necessary, so that keeps costs down if you are okay walking.
Being a resident you can get cheaper rates, and weekday early evening rates in the summer can't be beat. I recommend checking it out if you are in the area!
PROS: not too expensive, 9 and 18 hole options
Northampton Community College is a nice local community college. They have a great selection of both credit and non credit classes. I have taken some non credit classes that are taught by instructors that teach at the local private colleges at a fraction of the cost. The campus is easy to get to from virtually anywhere in the valley, and they have services for almost every different kind of student. I know some students that have gone onto 4 year universities from teh college, and the college does offer some 4 year programs.
PROS: good value
The Army and Navy store has a great selection of outdoor equipment. They have camping, hiking, hunting, and other outdoors equipment, and many of the brands that the chain stores like Sports Authority/EMS etc. do not have. I find that their prices are pretty reasonable as I have purchased boots and disc golf frisbees among other things there.
PROS: good selection
Double Click computer is the Lehigh Valley's Macintosh computer center. The store provides a lot of knowledge if you are looking to purchase a new computer, or if you need service on your computer. They have a good selection of software and peripherals, and when I have gotten service there they have always gotten my computer back up and running in a good timeframe. If you're looking for a Mac it's a good place to check out!
PROS: good and local