State College Is Not Just for College Students

Happy Valley is a Destination for Retirees and the Young at Heart

Happy Valley is becoming well known as the perfect place to retire. But when the older population comes to town, don’t expect them to slow down. Shows, museums, sporting events and outdoor activities offer plenty of options to keep you on your toes. While there’s no reason that retirees can’t enjoy the main attractions in the area—award-winning golf courses at Toftrees and Penn State, nature centers like Shaver’s Creek, and Spikes’ baseball, there are some great places and activities in Happy Valley that are geared especially for seniors.



Centre Region Active Adult Center

Nittany Mall, State College

After moving to a larger location within the mall and changing its name to reflect the “active” part of the experience, the former Centre Region Senior Center has many of the daily activities you expect, like bridge lessons, Rummikub games and line dancing. But the Center also sponsors weekly local hiking trips, computer education classes and bus trips to New York City.

Formerly at a downtown State College location, the Center made the move to Nittany Mall just a year ago, doubling its square footage. The easier access and location central to neighboring towns doubled the Center’s membership. This increased demand is an indication of the growing retiree population throughout the region.


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

Throughout Centre County

Central Pennsylvania residents who want to spend their retirement increasing their knowledge about, well, just about anything, can take semester-length or one-day courses taught by Penn State professors and local experts. A sampling of recent courses include Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Ethics in Everyday Life, Climate Change and 3D Printing. OLLI also has nine social and special interest groups and they offer both regional and international travel opportunities.

And, if you have expertise in a particular are and you’d like to share your knowledge with other retirees, you can volunteer to be a program leader.


Second Winds Band

State College

Currently on the hunt for new members, the Second Winds band performs around the region with a medley of swing, jazz, modern and show tunes. A small time commitment of weekly rehearsals is expected and monthly shows are performed at the American Ale House and at the summer festivals.

Contact the Active Adult Center for more information.


Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

420 Holmes St., Bellefonte

Established in 1985 to connect local residents with volunteer opportunities, joining RSVP is a great way to stay involved with the community. Volunteers are aged 55+ and can choose from opportunities at more than 70 local agencies that depend on volunteer support.


YMCA of Centre County

Locations in Bellefonte, Moshannon Valley, State College, and Penns Valley

Our local YMCAs participate in the Silver Sneakers program, which gives seniors and retirees access to all facilities at each area Y. Silver Sneakers participants also get access to free events and recreation opportunities. For most retirees, membership is free with Medicare or other insurance policies.


Centre County Pa Senior Environmental Corps (CCPaSec)

Offered through RSVP, 420 Holmes St., Bellefonte

Working closely with ClearWater Conservancy, senior volunteers join teams to monitor a designed site along local streams. Volunteers chart water quality, educate children on class trips, clean up the area as needed and plant trees. CCPaSec offers training programs, ongoing education opportunities and monthly meetings where volunteers can share their team’s findings.

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