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Can You Dig It

A wheel good time

My son, who turned 3 in February, occasionally enjoys hopping into the driver’s seat of my Volvo after I pull it into park, turn it off and unbuckle him from the constraints of his child seat.

For me, it’s a joy to see him grab the wheel and pretend to drive, his grin growing wider while I hold the key safely in my hand, knowing one day he’ll be uttering the phrase, “Can I have the car keys, dad?”

Being a boy, he loves anything with wheels and can name just about every truck there is.

So I thought it would be a great idea to spend Father’s Day at the America On Wheels Museum in Allentown. I’d never been, but I was curious to take a look inside – and I knew he would, too.

After watching a mini train go round and round in the hot summer sun by the entrance for a few minutes, we went inside.

We saw old cars, new cars and all manner of things that move, from trucks to bikes to race cars and fire engines and motorcycles (another of my son’s favorites). Some looked creaky and ancient; others looked sleek and futuristic.

Of course, his immediate response was, “Can I ride it?” But the models were fenced-off, which meant you couldn’t touch, let alone climb into any of the displays. So I started wondering if this was the best place to be. Yes, he enjoyed looking at the different, vehicles but that’s not the same as climbing on board.

But then we came across a race car that you could climb in, turn the wheels and steer. His limitless imagination did the rest as we watched the TV screens of a roaring drag race in progress above us.

Then, we came across a model of a Mack Truck that you could climb in and drive, turning on all of the lights and controls while a screen in front of you showed your navigation skills.

While my son felt this was a little too scary, he wanted to get in and watch me drive, which we did again and again.

Did I mention the museum has a gift shop, too? It’s stocked with one-too many cars and car-related stuff big and small. We didn’t pick up anything that day, but I could imagine myself visiting again when a certain holiday rolls around. It’s a nice reminder of the many local treasures you can find throughout the Lehigh Valley.

In all, it was a bright, sunny day, and we both got to experience the joys of driving together. Hey, the teenage years are still a long way off. What more could a dad ask for?


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