Department Personnel

Jane Persa
Recreation Administrator

Mark Atkinson
Recreation Coordinator

Judith Stiles
Parks Secretary (Special Events)

Parks, Recreation, and Public Property

The City of Bethlehem offers a wide variety of recreational programs and opportunities for residents for all ages. The Department is responsible for the management of about 600 acres of public land, 40 parks and a 27 hole golf course. Other responsibilities include the maintenance of all city buildings, including City Hall and the Fire & EMS stations.

Various amenities include a nationally renowned Skateplaza, The Historic Charles A. Brown Ice House, a dog park, and the only outdoor Ice Rink in the Lehigh Valley.

Bethlehem Parks and Recreation offers swimming lessons, fitness programs, ice skating lessons, after-school programs, free outdoor movies, playground programs, summer day camp, tennis lessons, adult basketball leagues, and much more!

Click the links below for more information on programs we are currently offering.

We are now accepting applications for the 2016 Bethlehem Halloween Parade on Sunday, October 30th at 2pm.

Registration Form

The City of Bethlehem operated five pools during the summer months. Memorial Pool, located on Illick's Mill Road is the largest. The four other pools are Clearview, West Side, Stark and Yosko.

All our pools open for the 2016 season on Saturday June 11th. Season Passes are available in the Recreation Office and a daily admission is charged for those without a season pass. Swimming lessons are offered at Memorial Pool throughout the summer.

For a list of times, season pass rates, and Daily admission, please CLICK HERE.

For a full list of our Swimming Lessons, please CLICK HERE.


The City of Bethlehem’s Annual Summer Day Camp is held every summer at the Ice Rink on Illick’s Mill Road. The Camp is for boys and girls ages 7-12 and runs Monday through Friday from 10AM to 3PM. There are four 2-week sessions which beginning in June. The cost is $175 per session. Activities include swimming, arts & crafts, sports, nature programs, games, & special events. Children must bring their own lunch. Swimming lessons at Memorial Pool are also part of the daily activities.

The first session of 2016 starts Monday, June 20th. For more information or to sign up, please CLICK HERE.


The City of Bethlehem offers their annual drop-in parks program at 7 neighborhood parks. Activities include arts & crafts, sports, games, field trips, and much more. Lunch is served during the daytime sessions. No registration required. The playgrounds open for the summer of the 2016 on Monday, June 20.

For more information and for a full list of Playground locations, please CLICK HERE.

Whether you are competitive and looking to play in leagues, the casual player looking to have some fun, or wanting some lessons to better your game, we have it all at Sand Island. We offer lessons and leagues for all skill levels and ages. Sand Island is the home of one of the few public Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts in the Lehigh Valley. Adult clinics are Monday & Wednesday evenings. Private lessons and semi-private lessons are also available. Come out and enjoy one of Bethlehem's treasures. We are open from May - October.

Click HERE for more info.

The City of Bethlehem offers Movies in the Park free to local residents throughout the summer at various city parks. Movies are shown on a 25 foot screen and feature Dolby surround sound. In the event of rain, movies can be postponed or cancelled. Weather updates can be found on our twitter account

All movie titles and show dates, and locations are subject to change.

Click HERE for the 2016 Movie dates and locations.

The summer concert series begins in late May and runs through September. Concerts are held at the Rose Garden as well as the City Center Plaza and Steelworker’s Memorial.

Schedule for 2016

There are three parks in the City where pavilions may be reserved. Illick’s Mill, South Mountain and Saucon Park. The cost on weekdays is $75.00 for residents and $100.00 for non-residents. On weekends & holidays the cost is $100.00 for residents and $150.00 for non-residents. Reservations will only be accepted with full payment. For further information, call the Parks & Recreation office at 610-865-7081.

Pavilions can also be reserved online. CLICK HERE

Rules and Regulations

The Ice House, a Recreation and Performing Arts Center, is located on Sand Island. The multi-purpose facility is used by many theater groups and organizations and is available for private rentals. The Pennsylvania Youth Theater & Mock Turtle Marionette Theater performs their Theater Productions throughout the year, which are open to the public.

Anyone interested in renting the facility should call the Recreation office for availability.

For more specific dates, times & fee schedules, call the Parks & Recreation Office at 610-865-7081 or online.

The City's off-leash recreation area for dogs is available to city residents Owners/Handlers are responsible for their dogs at all times. The dog park is located at 259 Illick's Mill Road.

Dog Park Rules [PDF]

Located at 345 Illick’s Mill Road

The Earl E. Schaffer Bethlehem Ice Rink is open from November-March. The Bethlehem Bureau of Recreation offers skating lessons for all ages, abilities and interests at the outdoor rink in the Lehigh Valley. Our trained and experienced instructors offer a safe, fun way to learn skating basics and beyond. Our lesson program is a member of the U.S. Figure Skating’s Basic Skills Program and is endorsed by USA Hockey.

The Rink is available for rent during the offseason. Please call the Recreation office for more details and availability.

Please check back in the fall for our 2016-2017 schedule.

City Seeks Donations to Return Soldier to Eternal Post

The City of Bethlehem is seeking donations to repair damages to the Captain Jonathan K. Taylor Civil War Monument located in the City’s Rose Garden. A weakening of the soldier’s base was causing the soldier to progressively lean backwards. It was decided to remove the soldier from his base before he fell off in order to avoid further damage to the monument valued in 1994 at $250,000. Repairs to the base and soldier are estimated at $20,000. The City needs your help to raise these funds. Please consider making a tax deductible donation* to the “Cpt. JK Taylor Civil War Monument” fund. For more information, please call the Department of Parks & Public Property 610-865-7081.

Donations are to be sent to:
City of Bethlehem
Parks & Public Property
10 E. Church St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Click HERE to download the Brochure.

Connect with Parks

Bethlehem Parks & Public Property Department
10 E. Church Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Phone: 610-865-7081
Fax: 610-865-7312

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