The Best of State College, PA in the Summer

The Best of State College, PA in the Summer

When most people think of visiting State College, football season is the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I enjoy more than cheering my Nittany Lions to victory in Beaver Stadium, but there are plenty of other events happening in Happy Valley throughout the year that make it a special place to visit. Personally, I love State College summers. When the students leave, the pace of life slows down a little. It is the perfect time to relax and take in all the idyllic little community has to offer. Here are some of my favorite things happening in the coming months:

  1. Special Olympics PA

The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games will be held on Penn State’s campus from May 31 – June 2 this year. This wonderful event brings together more than 2,000 athletes and 750 coaches from across the commonwealth. Come out and support the athletes as they compete in aquatics, basketball, equestrian, tennis, gymnastics and more!

  1. Trash to Treasure Sale

This year’s Trash to Treasure sale will be held on Saturday, June 2 at Beaver Stadium. Individuals may purchase early bird shopping passes for $5 and shop from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. General admission is free from 9 am to 1 pm. Now in its 17th year, the Trash to Treasure sale is made possible by student donations and benefits Centre County United Way.

  1. Central PA Tasting Trail Summer Craft Beverage Expo

The 2nd annual Summer Craft Beverage Expo will take place Sunday, June 17th from 3 pm to 7 pm at Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte. Enjoy delightful music, tasty drink samples, and scrumptious food at this fun afternoon event. Guests 21 years and older will be able to purchase tickets in advance for $10 that include admission, a souvenir tasting glass and free tastings at vendor booths. It is truly one of the summers most affordable events and one you won’t want to miss!

  1. Happy Valley Culinary Week

Happy Valley Culinary Week will take place this year June 11 – 17. A seven-day celebration of local food, State College restaurants will offer a discounted, multi-course fixed menu so that patrons can sample all that the participating restaurants offer. Additionally, local chefs will hold demonstrations and other special events throughout the week. Don’t miss out on this fun time to dine out in State College.


  1. Hike Mt. Nittany & other great trails

One of my favorite summer activities is hiking in central Pennsylvania. With trails for every hiking ability, few things beat getting out and exploring the beautiful mountains. The recreational trail system around Shingletown Gap and Tussey Mountain are part of Rothrock State Forest and are easily accessible from State College. If you haven’t, I would also recommend hiking Mt. Nittany at some point during the summer! PAHikes is a wonderful resource should you have any other questions or want more information.

  1. Catch a Spikes Game

State College is fortunate to be a town where you can catch a sporting event nearly all year long. If you’re looking for a fun night out this summer, I would highly suggest a State College Spikes game. The team’s home opener is Saturday, June 16 at 7:05 pm with fireworks to follow. Make sure to check out the Spikes’ full schedule for an updated list of promotional events.

  1. Central PA 4th Fest

State College sure knows how to put on a spectacular Independence Day celebration every year. Central PA 4th Fest is a daylong celebration of the 4th of July, complete with one of the best firework displays in the country. The fun-filled day also includes the Firecracker Fun Run in the morning, an Independence Day parade in the afternoon, and live entertainment and demonstrations throughout the day. Make this a 4th of July to remember in Happy Valley!

  1. WingFest at Tussey Mountain

Few things are more enjoyable in the summer than WingFest at Tussey Mountain. For more than 18 years, WingFest has been a hit at Tussey on Thursday evenings June through August. Thousands of hungry wing and beer lovers flock to the slopes of the local ski resort to take in live music and delectable food from some of the area’s most popular restaurants. Each week, WingFest-goers vote for their favorite wings of the evening as local wing vendors compete against each other for the chance to win a coveted spot in the Wing Championship at the end of the season. The first WingFest of the season will be held on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at 6:00 pm with The Dave Matthews Tribute Band performing.

  1. Lift for Life

Penn State Uplifting Athletes’ signature event, “Life for Life,” will take place Saturday, June 30 at Holuba Hall. Beginning at 11 am, the 16th annual Penn State Lift for Life will feature the football team’s offense taking on the defense in a series of intense workout competitions. All proceeds from this wonderful event benefit rare diseases through Penn State’s Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. A donation of $10 for adults and $5 for kids is suggested to attend the event. The football team will also host a kid’s clinic from 11 am to 1 pm at the cost of $15. As a charity event, all proceeds from Penn State’s Lift for Life supports Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to rare disease research. If you want a glimpse of Penn State’s football team before this fall, head on out to Lift for Life and support not only the team but also a great cause!

  1. Central PA Festival of the Arts

Perhaps one of the best-known events that takes place in State College each summer is the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Bringing more than 125,000 people to the area each July, Arts Fest is truly a one-of-a-kind event. Shop the nationally recognized sidewalk Thursday through Sunday and take in performances at indoor and outdoor venues all over town. Don’t forget to indulge in tasty festival food throughout the weekend. If you have kids, I suggest heading to town early and exploring Kids Day the Wednesday before the festival starts. It is a day that children and parents can enjoy together. For more information, please visit Central PA Festival of the Arts’ website.

  1. Test Out Local Ice Cream

Let’s face it, Central Pennsylvania should be crowned the “Ice Cream Capital” of America. With a bounty of dairy farms in the area, there is incredible ice cream in nearly every town. State College is no exception. Happy Valley is fortunate to not only be home to Penn State’s famous Berkey Creamery, but also Meyer Dairy located on South Atherton Street. If you’re visiting State College this summer, please do yourself a favor and grab a scoop from both places. Your tummy will thank you!

I’ve shared some of my favorite summer activities in Happy Valley and would now love to hear from you. What is on your must-do list when you visit State College in the summer?