Don't miss out on these activities during THON weekend
UNIVERSITY PARK – The heart of Happy Valley beats through generations of residents, students and alumni — through the community that forms from the Penn State pride, the Nittany Lion roars and the memories of State College symbols and staples.
That roar of Happy Valley is loudest, though, when the community fights for causes as rich and impactful as THON — for families and children that deserve the world at their feet, instead of weighing down on their shoulders.
Being an alumnus of Penn State thus allows for having ties to a life-changing fundraising weekend. It means being that voice behind the lion’s roar — being the blue and white patron of that lion’s pride.
THON is a tradition within itself, but if you’re an alumnus or a student looking to celebrate the many traditions and keepsakes of State College this weekend outside the Bryce Jordan Center, look no further!
Stay at a Shaner Hotel: Toftrees or Carnegie Inn and Spa
Toftrees Golf Resort: 1 Country Club Lane, State College
Carnegie Inn and Spa: 100 Cricklewood Drive, State College
Need a place to stay this weekend? Stay in hotels with quality service and rooms. Toftrees Golf Resort has 102 different guest rooms and suites with private patios or balconies. This secluded State College destination is also home to the Field restaurant where yummy burgers, soups, salads, field fries, handhelds and shakes are a must to try. If you’re looking for an inn much more quaint and familiar-feeling, check out the Carnegie Inn and Spa. This inn is known for its personalized feel thanks to the tranquil woodlands that surround the European country manor. The spa experience is also applauded; the Inn’s spa was mamed “The Best Spa in America” by Industry Source and “Best Day Spa” by State College Magazine in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Enjoy massage therapies, steam rooms, body wraps and more and let this State College say unfold before you in the sweet aroma of a getaway weekend.
The Lion Shrine
University Park, State College
Okay, you definitely saw this one coming. The Lion Shrine is a classic photo-op, perfect for any size frame, any screensaver and most importantly, any social media account. The shrine was a gift from the Class of 1940 and was built by sculptor Heinz Warneke out of 13-ton Indiana limestone. It has since been one of the most iconic landmarks of Penn State University.
Visit Old Main
Pollock Road, State College
Not many people know this, but anyone is allowed inside! And what’s even more fascinating is that once you go inside, you’ll see beautiful artwork that uncover Penn State’s history. President Lincoln is painted on the center wall and all around him are the 1,300 square-foot Land-Grant frescoes and mural. The frescoes were painted in three phases throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Rich with depth and depictions of the past, Old Main is a treasure even more bright when looked upon from within.
Ye Old College Diner Grilled Stickies
Nostalgia is a thing. So Ye Old College Diner Grilled Stickies is a thing. These grilled sticky buns are made fresh daily at the College Diner and are incidentally absolutely delicious. Soft and warm and available in multiple locations including the Creamery, McLanahan’s and Ye Old College Diner itself.
Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building, University Park
Speaking of the Creamery … go! Penn State’s Creamery is the largest university creamery across United States, doling out around 750,000 scoops a year. The Creamery is also a tale of making it big but starting out small; in1865, the Creamery ice cream was produced in college barns behind Old Main in the late 1800’s. Today, the Creamery is known as the Berkey Creamery and is located in the food science building on Curtin Road. Don’t forget the ice cream rules: only blue and white sprinkles and only one flavor allowed!
Head over to the Corner Room
100 W. College Ave., State College
Meet me at the corner! Located on the intersection of College Avenue and Allen Street, the Corner Room has been greeting customers since 1855, the exact same year the university opened its doors. The staff is inviting, the prices don’t thin out your wallet and the legacy of being as old as Penn State is just too good to pass up. And so is that opportunity to enter through that antique revolving door that honestly is an adventure in itself.
Hintz Family Alumni Center, University Park, State College
The pond, the gazebo, the flowers — what’s not to love? The Hintz Family Alumni Center is known as "home away from home" and inside the center there lie La Vie yearbooks for alumni to flip through. The gardens are exactly one acre and are just waiting for you to come by and relax in the peace and quiet of pebble paths, looming archways and a pond so picturesque Monet would wish he had lived to paint it.
The Arboretum at Penn State
E. Park Ave. and Bigler Rd, State College
The visit is free, the experience priceless. Gardens upon gardens loom and bloom among the 370 acres, all ready for visitors. The Children’s Gate, the sun clock, the fountains and the quiet resting point at the Overlook Pavilion are just a few of the gems spread throughout the arboretum whose vision is to enrich visitors with feelings of beauty, renewal and discovery.
Penn State Shopping
Yes, your closet is at this point is probably all blue and white, but is enough every really enough? State College has plenty of stores to feed your Penn State apparel pride; new t-shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants and quarter-zip designs are always available at the Family Clothesline, McLanahan’s, the Student Bookstore and Lions Pride are just a few of the many stores you can visit and stock up on your PSU apparel that looks good and roars loud, no matter the season.
Visit the Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery
300 Houser Road, Centre Hall
Get this — wine tasting is always free at the Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery. Just six miles from State College, this winery rests above the historic village of Linden Hall. With beautiful views, access to picnic tables and quality wines, the winery is a perfect setting for making memories this weekend. Relax and enjoy a bottle of Lion Country Blush, Rock Hill Rose, Tailgate Red, or maybe Spring Creek White, to name a few. Buy a bottle to take home with you so that the State College mist and spirit can be poured into your very own glass, a taste of Happy Valley right in your own home.