By Matt Mattei - [email protected]

Crayola Experience, Two Rivers Brewing Company, Martin Guitar make Easton an attractive travel destination

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A daughter shows her mother her creation after an activity at Crayola Experience in Easton.
Courtesy of Crayola Experience
A tour group watches and listens to a craftsman explain the precise, intricate process of creating a Martin Guitar at the Martin facility in Nazareth.
Submitted photo
One of the burgers offered by Two Rivers Brewing Company. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the peanut butter, bacon, cheddar burger.
Submitted photo Courtesy of Two Rivers Brewing Company
Two Rivers Brewing Company offers an extensive kids’ menu and a quick beer for families coming from the Crayola Experience.
Submitted photo Courtesy of Two Rivers Brewing Company

About 70 miles along I-80 East and 33 South travelers reach the city of Easton in Northampton Country. Appropriate for a day trip or an overnight, Easton offers a vibrant arts culture, a rich history, several entertainment venues and a multitude of eateries.

The Crayola Experience is a must for any family with young ones. The Two Rivers Brewing Company boasts an award winning chef and in-house brewmaster serving up Two Rivers originals, and Martin Guitar, just a short drive away, in Nazareth, combines both history and love of music into one intriguing travel destination.

In 2013, the Crayola Factory, at 30 Center Square, reopened its doors as the Crayola Experience, turning a one-floor attraction into a four-floor jungle gym of imagination and creation.

“We reopened with 26 hands-on activities and attractions inspired by Crayola products and technologies,” said public relations manager Kelly Suarez.

The Crayola Experience offers iconic experiences that cater to the tradition and history of Crayola to new and innovative engagements.

In Wrap It Up, children are allowed to wrap and name his or her own crayon, complete with the date so they can remember when they made it.

“Every time people come, they can’t believe it’s something you can do,” Saurez said. “It’s a real Crayola crayon, not different from the crayons in the box.”

Crayola offers what Suarez calls cutting edge attractions.

“You can bring your art to 4-D life,” Suarez said. “If you color a dragon, you scan it, and the dragon comes to life on the screen. It beats its wings. It breathes fire. You can automate him, and at the end, you can flip the camera around and take a selfie with your creation.”

General admission for children and adults is $16.99 per person.

After working up an appetite creating, a hungry family can head to Two Rivers Brewing Company at 542 Northampton Street. A brief walk for most.

Executive chef Jeremy Bialker, said the menu was designed to feature fresh, gourmet comfort food with a Louisiana thread or southern twist. The restaurant features locally sourced food such as beef, bacon and eggs from Breakaway Farm in Mount Joy.

The menu features elevated bar items to fine dining-esq entrees.

“Our burgers and our hand cut Belgian frites and duck fat fries are our bread and butter,” Bialker said. “But people do come in for the shrimp and grits. Right now, we have a hot marinated hanger steak that we make with hot oil, shallots, a touch of lemon, and we steep fresh hops in it. That sells like hot cakes.”

A few interesting menu items might beckon the adventurous eater, Bialker said.

“My first thought would be the peanut butter, bacon, cheddar burger. It kind of has a cult following. The duck fat fries are just awesome. They get Pecorino Romano cheese, sea salt, rosemary and some truffle oil and a Dijon aioli. They’re pretty decadent.”

The house features five flagship beers including Bankers Brown Ale and Mt. Vernon Lager, which Bialker said are agreeable to domestic beers drinkers, and the Pine St. Blonde and Getter Island Pale Ale for fans of craft brews.

“The Colonel Left Eye IPA is my personal favorite,” Bialker said. “It has really nice, bright citrus and hoppy flavors.”

Two Rivers features live jazz music on Friday nights, and other varieties of music on Saturday nights, a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and what Bialker calls a pretty decent kids’ menu.

“We get a lot of people coming in from Crayola, so a lot of the parents need a beer right away,” Bialker said.

An 18-minute drive back toward the Wyoming Valley takes travelers to Nazareth, where Martin Guitar has been since 1833.

Director of community relations, Cindy McAllister, said the experience begins at the main factory at 510 Sycamore St., with the museum and factory tour.

“Each artifact in the Martin Guitar Museum has its own story,” McAllister said. “The Konter Ukulele was carried to the North Pole on the 1926 Byrd Expedition by Richard Konter, a ship’s mate who accompanied Byrd. The instrument bears as many as 100 signatures including notable Arctic and Antarctic explorers … significant political figures and celebrities of the day.”

Other displays feature the first guitar to enter space and a tribute to Martin’s invention, the dreadnought body style.

The free factory tour, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on a first come first serve basis, offers insight into the more than 300 steps to making a Martin Guitar.

“Martin Guitar has achieved a beautiful blend of hands on craftsmanship with state of the art technology,” McAllister said. “If an instrument does not meet the required specification and cannot be corrected, it is destroyed.”

McAllister said Martin Guitar is a great stop for anyone.

“A tour of the Martin Museum not only depicts the history of the Martin Guitar Company, but allows for the visitor to see how music changed as the world changed,” McAllister said. “In the Summer of Love section … a visitor can reminisce about the Beatles and how they conquered America during the British Invasion.”

Crayola Experience, Two Rivers Brewing Company, Martin Guitar offer reachable, sought after destinations

By Matt Mattei

[email protected]

A daughter shows her mother her creation after an activity at Crayola Experience in Easton.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Meltdown-12-14-copy.jpgA daughter shows her mother her creation after an activity at Crayola Experience in Easton. Courtesy of Crayola Experience

A tour group watches and listens to a craftsman explain the precise, intricate process of creating a Martin Guitar at the Martin facility in Nazareth.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Factory-Tour-Martin-Guitar.jpgA tour group watches and listens to a craftsman explain the precise, intricate process of creating a Martin Guitar at the Martin facility in Nazareth. Submitted photo

One of the burgers offered by Two Rivers Brewing Company. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the peanut butter, bacon, cheddar burger.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Burger.jpgOne of the burgers offered by Two Rivers Brewing Company. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the peanut butter, bacon, cheddar burger. Submitted photo Courtesy of Two Rivers Brewing Company

Two Rivers Brewing Company offers an extensive kids’ menu and a quick beer for families coming from the Crayola Experience.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_TwoRivers.jpgTwo Rivers Brewing Company offers an extensive kids’ menu and a quick beer for families coming from the Crayola Experience. Submitted photo Courtesy of Two Rivers Brewing Company
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Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]