A Guide To Making The Most Out Of Your Winter In State College


Katie Stewart

A skier at Tussey Mountain. The ski area is beloved among State College locals, and is a common recreational area during the winter time.

Katie Stewart, Staff Writer

Winter is a thrilling time in State College. With snow-covered grounds and the community’s holiday spirit, the town feels straight out of a movie. Despite the cold, there are plenty of winter activities to do to keep oneself occupied during the chilly season. 

Tussey Mountain 

One of the most popular spots during the wintertime in State College is Tussey Mountain. Spending a day at Tussey is the perfect way to get outside and enjoy the snow. You can snow tube, ski, and snowboard, or go to the Ski Lodge, which has sweeping views of Happy Valley. State High even has an intramural ski program, and you can go after school to ski with friends. 

“I ski at Tussey Mountain often, it’s a fun activity I do during the winter, and I get to enjoy the snow,” State High freshman Ben Moser shared. 

Slab Cabin

The exhilarating feeling of speeding down a snow-white hill is tough to beat. Going to Slab Cabin is one of the best ways to embrace the snow and sled for free in the community. Every winter, Slab Cabin roars with sledders, since it is the perfect place to spend a snow day or a weekend in the winter. State High freshman Victoria Castano is among the many students who have made memories at Slab Cabin.  

“Going to Slab Cabin with my family and sledding is one of my favorite memories that I have,” Castano shared. 

Pegula Ice Arena 

Pegula Ice Arena is home to Penn State Ice Hockey and Figure Skating. There is a 6,014-seat multi-purpose arena, where you can watch men’s and women’s ice hockey.  Going to the arena, which has two NHL-size ice surfaces, is an excellent pastime during the winter, whether you want to play or watch a hockey game, free skate, or figure skate. 

The Nutcracker 

Centre Dance and Nittany Ballet perform their versions of “The Nutcracker” every winter at local theaters. Going to watch the ballet is a wintertime tradition for many families and a truly whimsical experience. 

State College Christmas Lights

Every winter, a number of State College houses and businesses go all out with decorations, allowing the holiday spirit to shine. The 12 days of Christmas on South Sparks Street and The State College Holiday Lights show at 107 Harvest Run Road are totally worth taking time out of your day to go and experience. The dedication (and price of the electrical bill) pays off, as the Christmas lights bring joy to the citizens of State College. State High Freshman Kennedy Stahl described her family’s holiday tradition of driving around and checking out the festive lights.

“During the winter, I always go around State College and check out the Christmas lights with my family. It definitely puts you in the holiday spirit,” she said. 

Winter Festivals

Light Up Downtown and First Night State College are two beloved winter festivals in town. They both include plenty of exciting activities and performances. Light Up Downtown is a magical night, with dance performances, a tree lighting ceremony, trolly rides, a toy drive, and several downtown locations enhanced with lights. First Night State College celebrates the passing of the old year with musical acts, a holiday market, ice sculptures presented around downtown, and a 5K resolution run.

State college is full of various activities to keep yourself busy during the winter months, and events that spark merriness among the community during the holiday season. So bundle up, and banish those cold-weather blues!