From left, Sarah Esterow, '18, Taylor Airo, '18, and Biannca Smissen, '18, take a break from a ski run on Saturday at Blue Mountain. Blue Mountain is one of the top places students go to ski on the weekends. (Courtesy of Taylor Airo)

Four fun and local winter activities for students in the Lehigh Valley

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For those going a little stir-crazy this winter, The Brown and White shares four COVID-19 safe and fun activities to try near Lehigh’s campus.

Skiing, Snowboarding and Snow Tubing

Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, is less than 25 miles away from campus and takes only about 45 minutes to reach by car. 

Students can rent skis, a snowboard, bindings, boots and poles for $40 a day and can pay an additional $12 to rent a helmet from the Valley Rental inside the Valley Lodge. All rentals must be purchased online.

Lift tickets for skiers and snowboarders cost between $18 and $109 depending on whether customers purchase a four hour ticket or an eight hour ticket as well as the date and time customers choose to visit the slopes. Tickets are strictly available via online order this season as the resort is limiting the number of skiers and snowboarders each day due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Blue Mountain offers snow tubing as well. Blue Mountain Snow Tubing Park boasts 34 tubing lanes, each 1,000 feet long. Ticket passes last for a three hour window and also need to be purchased online.

Face coverings must be worn at all times at Blue Mountain Resort according to their COVID-19 policy. Social distancing measures will also be in place to keep guests safe.

Ice Skating

Steel Ice Center located just a half mile away from campus at 320 East 1 St., offers public skating hours for an $8 admission price. Guests can rent ice skates for $3. According to the Center’s policy, customers are required to wear a mask at all times. Public skating hours are subject to change and can be viewed on the Steel Ice Center’s website

Experience winter at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

Jacobsburg State Park is about a 25 minute drive away from Lehigh University near Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The park has over 19 trails and is known for its snowshoeing, hiking and cross-country skiing trails. Directions and additional information are available on the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center webpage. The park recommends visitors wear fluorescent colored clothing while visiting parts that may be open to hunting during hunting season. 

Visit the Lehigh Valley Zoo

Only about a 40 minute drive away from campus in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, is the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Despite the cool weather, there are still many animals out on exhibit during these months including zebras, penguins and river otters.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The zoo has implemented time ticketing to limit the number of guests visiting at any given time. Admission for a two hour time slot costs $11 per adult. Tickets must be ordered in advance online and customers will be asked to select the date and time they would like to visit upon checkout. Masks are required in the park.

While winter on campus, much like the rest of the last year, looks far different than what we are used to, there are still many safe and enjoyable ways to spend the colder months around school.

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