'Tis the Season for Celebrations in Happy Valley

It's a well-known fact that we like to celebrate things in Happy Valley – our most famous trademarks are hugely attended celebrations like 4th Fest, Arts Fest, Homecoming and Blue-White Weekend. So when it comes to Christmas, it’s only fitting that we have some of the most fun and festive celebrations around, and you don’t want to miss any of them. Here’s your one-stop guide to the holiday festivities coming up in and around State College this season.

Tait Farm Open Houses

Various times, dates

Tait Farm Harvest Shop

Tait Farm Foods welcomes the holiday season with its signature Annual Open House that features all the delicious holiday treats and gift ideas you could want. Then, be sure to return to the Harvest Shop throughout the season for Tait Farm’s Sampling Saturdays:

  • November 25 – Holiday Cheeses and Italian Pizzelles
  • December 2 – From Hot Toddies to Yule Mules
  • December 9 – Small Plates for Holiday Entertaining
  • December 16 – Holiday Bakers

Christmas Crystals at the Cave

November 24-26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Penn's Cave

Start the holiday season off with lantern tours, Prospector Pete's Merry Maze, and specials on gifts at Penn's Cave's inaugural Crystals at the Cave. Visit after sundown to enjoy the lighted displays throughout the grounds.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

November 28, 6:30 p.m.

Bryce Jordan Center

The most famous reindeer of all is coming to State College! You can see Rudolph, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius and the rest of the iconic cast in the critically-acclaimed onstage version of the holiday classic, which is being praised as a “holiday staple” and an “utterly charming, top-notch production.” Visit bjc.psu.edu for tickets.

Christmas in Lemont

December 1, 5 – 8 p.m.; December 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Granary in Lemont

This German-style Christmas market offers local products and crafts for sale, music, delicious foods and drinks, and lots of holiday cheer. The picturesque scenery of Lemont Village in the wintertime is an added bonus.

Breakfast with Santa

December 2 & 9

The Nittany Lion Inn

On December 2 and 9, your whole family can enjoy breakfast with Santa and then take home a complimentary photo with Santa himself. These events fill up fast, so make reservations now at 814-865-5890!

Winter Craft Market

December 2, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center

More than 70 artists and vendors set up shop for the 42nd Annual Winter Craft Market at its new location, The Penn Stater, after last year’s record-breaking attendance! It’s the perfect way to shop local and find one-of-a-kind, handmade Christmas gifts for anyone on your list.

Arboretum Winter Celebration

December 8, 5 – 7 p.m.

The Arboretum at Penn State

The Arboretum transforms into a real-life winter wonderland for this breathtaking spectacle of decorated trees and holiday displays, along with live musical performances from groups like the Pennharmonics.

Bellefonte Victorian Christmas

December 8 – 10

Throughout Bellefonte

The 35th Annual Bellefonte Victorian Christmas is the ultimate Christmas festival, complete with horse-drawn carriage rides, performances of “A Christmas Carol,” a gingerbread house contest, an arts and crafts show, the popular Victorian Christmas Homes Tour and much more. For a list of all the festivities, visit bellefontevictorianchristmas.com.

Festival of Trees and Holiday Marketplace

December 8, 5 – 8 p.m.; December 9, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; December 10, 12 – 4 p.m.

Central PA Institute of Science and Technology, Pleasant Gap

This weekend-long festival rings in the holiday season with an expo of more than 60 decorated live trees, Santa, food and drinks for sale, live entertainment, craft vendors and kids’ activities. The festival takes place in partnership with the Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, and a free shuttle is offered between the two locations.

Santa in the Cave

December 9 – 10, 1 – 4 p.m.

Lincoln Caverns

Feeling adventurous? Visit Santa in the historic Lincoln Caverns for a one-of-a-kind meeting and photo-op! You can also stop into the gift shop to pick up some unique Christmas gifts.

Santa Express Train Rides

December 15 – 16

The Train Station in Bellefonte

The whole family can journey to the North Pole right here in Happy Valley! Hop aboard the Santa Express at the Bellefonte Train Station to meet Santa and his friends, who stop to visit passengers in every train car along the way. Visit bellefontetrain.org to see the schedule of departure times and to purchase tickets.

First Night State College

December 31

Downtown State College

To cap off a season full of celebrations, State College ends the year with the best New Year’s Eve festival around: First Night. Featuring amazing ice sculptures, a Grand Procession, carriage rides, vendors, tons of live entertainment and the popular 5K Resolution Run, First Night is a magical atmosphere and a fantastic way to ring in the New Year no matter your age.


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