The ultimate kids' cold weather bucket list

STATE COLLEGE –  Just because it’s too cold to hike, bike and swim, that doesn’t mean the kids need to stay cooped up all day! There are plenty of fun activities for families looking to get out and about this winter.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer LIVE

The “most famous reindeer of all” takes the stage for the critically-acclaimed “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.” Watch as all the characters you know and love come to life on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Tickets start at $24.50.

Tussey Mountain

Hit the slopes at Tussey Mountain, Happy Valley’s premier spot for outdoor fun. Kids (and adults, too) love tubing, and there are seven ski slopes for the most novice skiers up to the most advanced. Snow tubing is open to ages 4 and up, and the handle-tow lifts make trudging back up the hill for another round a thing of the past. Catch one of the ski lessons on the weekend, for ages 6-12. Have teenagers or older kids who don’t necessarily need your watchful eye? Mom and Dad can cozy up at Edges Pub for a drink and great food, as well as live music on the weekends.

Santa Express

Hop aboard your very own local Polar Express in Bellefonte. The Santa Express runs Dec. 15-17, and features Santa himself, along with a selection of his friends. Buy your tickets quick (lap tickets are free for children under 3). The ride is a little over an hour and departs from the Bellefonte Train Station, and Santa visits every car during the trip to the North Pole (aka, Pleasant Gap Fish Hatchery).

Holiday Festivals

There are a ton of festivals occurring all over Centre County this season, but one of the most kid-friendly is the Boalsburg Hometown Christmas festival on Dec. 4-5. Stop by for another visit with Santa, plus carriage rides, caroling, story time and more.

Downtown Tree Lighting

An earlier holiday event, the State College downtown tree lighting, Nov. 16, 5:30-8 p.m., is the perfect kick-off to the Yuletide season. In addition to the tree lighting, there’ll be caroling, cookies and other holiday treats and, of course, a visit from Santa. The event is free, but donations are collected for the State College Area Food Bank and Toys for Tots.

Pennsylvania Military Museum Kids Day

Not every activity on your winter break itinerary has to be holiday-themed! Stop by the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg on Kids Day, Nov. 18, 12-3 p.m. Children of all ages can try on field and head gear from the museum’s education collection. Additional education stations will be set up throughout the museum for fun activities.

Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania

The best place in Centre County for school-age kids to learn and play simultaneously, Discovery Space just opened in a new location on North Atherton. Check it out, plus sign up for a day camp, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Upcoming day camps include It’s Elemental (featuring hands-on chemistry experiments, with separate camps for ages 6-8 and 9-10) on Nov. 27.

Berkey Creamery

You know kids will dig into a bowl full of ice cream regardless of the weather outside! Take them to Berkey Creamery for the holiday varieties like Peppermint Stick, Egg Nog and Pumpkin Pie. (Just be sure not to stop by during winter break, Dec. 22-Jan. 1, when the Creamery is closed).

Pegula Ice Arena

Don your skates and show off your skills on the ice at Pegula Arena. With plenty of space and tons of public skate times to choose from, you’ll have no trouble fitting this activity into your schedule. Plus, this is a totally affordable new tradition to add to your holiday break plans, at just $7 for adults, and $6 for kids under 18. No skates of your own? Rent a pair for $3.

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