Once the calendar turns to March, set your sights on these 5 spring things to do in the Lehigh Valley. After a particularly rough winter, the first signs of the season are especially comforting. Plan a mini break to enjoy the early holidays of spring and experience some of the simple pleasures afforded in and around Bethlehem. Longer days and warmer temps are extra motivation to get moving.
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1 Bethlum Go Bragh (March 12-19)
Lucky for us, the Irish Cultural Alliance has joined forces with Get Downtown Bethlehem to present a week of Irish festivities. Enjoy Celtic-inspired music, entertainment, food, cocktail to-go trails, Irish Elves, and a scavenger hunt. Those over 21 can take a trip on the Cocktail-To-Go Trail. Get a passport to visit participating restaurants and businesses and pick up St. Patrick’s Day themed samples to take home and enjoy. Vote for your favorite online afterward to be eligible to win a “Pot of Gold.” Everyone can join in the Clever Clover Scavenger Hunt. Search throughout the Historic District for items on the Clever Clover Card. Snap a pic when located and upload it to GetDowntownBelthelem.com. People with the most correct uploads will be in the running for a special prize drawing. Amateur sleuths and puzzlers will love The Irish Elves. Solve limericks that lead you to a location. Take a selfie and upload it to the Heart of Bethlehem Facebook or Instagram page with the hashtag IrishElvesinBethlehem to be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate.
Relive a more gracious era every Thursday afternoon at The Sayre Mansion. In the grand tradition of the great estates of the 19th century, guests may enjoy a socially distanced traditional English tea from 2 to 4 p.m. amid the elegant surroundings of the 1858 mansion. Guests may be seated in the formal dining room or elegant parlor. The menu boasts the delicate finger sandwiches, scones and decadent desserts that are customary for afternoon tea. The Sayre Mansion in-house caterer, Karen Hunter, chose sandwich selections such as Salmon and Curried Egg Salad, Herbed Chicken and Cherry Salad plus Date and Nut Cream Cheese. Guests may also delight in a variety of tea scones accompanied by Devonshire cream and preserves. The elegant dessert options feature Lemon and Almond Madeleines and miniature fruit tarts. Refreshment also include freshly brewed tea or unsweetened iced tea. Reservations are required.
3 Storywalk at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Set out to discover the first signs of springs and enjoy a tale along the way. Storywalk is a great family activity. The self-guided trail extends a third of a mile with pages of a storybook placed throughout the route. The trek ends in the garden with a special surprise. Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is a 1,168-acre state park located at the foot of Blue Mountain in Northampton County. The natural area boasts countless hiking trails through Henry’s Woods, an old growth forest surrounding Bushkill Creek.
Revel in a timeless Easter celebration. Gather at The Sayre Mansion on April 4 for an Easter Brunch. The family style meal prepared by in-house caterer Karen Hunter will feature glazed ham, lamb shanks and miniature pancakes plus an assortment of savory sides and delectable desserts. The landscaped lawn of the 1858 mansion will also host an Easter Egg hunt for the younger set. Photos with the Easter Bunny will round out the fun festivities. Don your Easter attire and enjoy a day of family, food and frivolity.
5 Slainte (March 17-20)
Get in on all the shenanigans at the Steelstacks. This new festival is a four-day celebration of Irish heritage with a focus on fiddles and whiskey. Several bands direct from Ireland will perform including Irish folk band The Jeremiahs. Neville Gardner, owner and operator of Bethlehem’s Donegal Square/McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub has planned several whiskey and food pairing events. The festival also features a fiddle competition on Sunday. Pennsylvania’s own Celtic group, House of Hamill, will kick off the festivities on St. Patrick’s Day.
Experience springtime at The Sayre Mansion. The first blossoms on the picturesque grounds announce the arrival of the season. Sunlight pours in through the floor to ceiling windows and we throw open the doors to the veranda with sweeping views of Bethlehem’s Southside. Celebrate spring with a stay in an elegant guestroom to soak in the peace and quiet. Check out the specials and packages and book your spring escape today.