What Is There To Do Around Penn State University?

Not to be confused with the prestigious University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Penn State University is a public research university founded in 1855. It is located at University Park, but it has campuses around Pennsylvania. Unlike UPenn, Penn State University is not in the Ivy League, but it boasts of high quality of education and exciting student life. 

They say all book and no play makes jack a dull boy. One of the factors in choosing a college is the environment around the school and the student life in general. The area around Penn State University is called Happy Valley, brimming with untamed forests, fields, mountains, and waterways. The following are some exciting locations to spice up your stay at Penn State University:

  • The Arboretum at Penn State University
  • Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland
  • DelGrosso’s Park and Laguna Splash Water Park
  • Discovery Space of Central PA
  • Penn State All-Sports Museum
  • Lincoln Caverns and Whisper rocks
  • Woodward Cave and Campground
  • The Eastbroad Top Railroad
  • What-A-Blast LaserTag
  • Escape Room
  • Palmer Museum of Art
  • Fisherman’s Paradise
  • Tussey Mountain Ski and Recreation 
  • Mount Nittany Conservancy
  • Shingletown Gap Trail
What Is There To Do Around Penn State University?

The Arboretum at Penn State University

An Arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to trees, and the one at Penn State University contains more than 200 species. It is mainly considered a place of relaxation, but its attraction and romantic appeal are also favored. It is a must-see for flower lovers, and best of all, it is free.

Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland

Over forty species of reptiles and amphibians are on display at Reptiland. It is a specialized zoo for only reptiles and amphibians, but Butterflies and Animatronic dinosaurs are exhibited seasonally.

DelGrosso’s Park and Laguna Splash Water Park

DelGrosso is an amusement park where you can go with your family to have a fun day. It includes rides, the Lazy River, Wave Pool, and other fun-filled activities to reduce stress.

Discovery Space of Central PA

Discovery Space is a center for learning science and technology at State College. It provides an avenue to learn Science and Technology in a fun way through hands-on programs in an interactive environment. It helps teens and adults learn skills to make and fix just about anything. It also has an avenue for people to exhibit their projects. On open Workshop days, individuals can use the equipment to work on their projects for free.

Penn State All-Sports Museum

A university operating since 1855 would have a long history, especially in the sports category(with over 30 varsity sports). The Penn State All-Sports Museum tells its story using pictures, memorabilia, artifacts, and trophies.

Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks

Founded in 1930, it offers interpretive One-hour tours to two crystal caverns. It is located just 3 miles west of Huntingdon, PA.

Woodward Cave and Campground

It was once known as Red Panther Cave after one of the Seneca Chiefs was believed to be buried in one of the large five chambers of the cave. Woodward Cave houses the largest Stalagmite in Pennsylvania. It is also home to rare rock formations and significant passages and rooms. It is located between State College and Lewisburg, PA, on Route 45.

The Eastbroad Top Railroad

Constructed in 1872, the East Broad Top Railroad is a pleasurable family destination and a National Historic Landmark. The railroad is the only available narrow gauge railroad around Penn University. It is one of the oldest in the U.S. It is three feet wide and located in Rockhill Furnace. The EBTR has been inactive for many years, but after being bought by a non-profit organization, it now offers train excursions, trolley rides, and shop tours.


Lasertag is a game for all ages, and a list without a laser tag arena will be incomplete. The ground size is 2400 square feet, which provides enough space for two teams. The arena has mirrors, recliner benches, sniper towers, and a stronghold to make games enjoyable. One of the perks of What-A-Blast is its fully customizable lighting which also includes a blackout option. Additionally, parents can watch their children playing on 3 65 inches 4K T.V.s connected to the 8 H.D. cameras in the arena. 

Escape Room

Like the android game, where each room leads to a puzzle that you have to solve before moving on to the next door, escape Room Inc is a collaborative, exciting puzzle game located in Downtown State College. It involves riddles, different gadgets, and mind tricks. Each team is put in a secluded room for 60 minutes where only problem-solving skills and ingenuity will set them free.

Palmer’s Museum of Art

A museum of Art generally piques the brain and soothes the mind. The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State has a collection of over 7000 works, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, etc. It is located in University Park and is mainly regarded as the most significant academic art museum in the state of Pennsylvania.

Tussey Mountain Ski and Recreation

Tussey Mountain Ski and Recreation is open during the winter and summer for all forms of outdoor recreational activities. Examples include Golf, Skiing, driving range, batting cages, etc.

Mount Nittany Conservancy

Located near State College, Mount Nittany is a prevalent hiking location for University students and Pennsylvanians alike. The trail length is about 4 miles and can be completed within 3 hours.

Shingletown Gap Trail

The Shingletown Gap trail is a prevalent hiking location around Penn State University. It is located in Rothrock State Forest and is easily accessible from State College.


One of the many seasonal attractions of College Town is its football and basketball tournaments. Penn State competes in the NCAA Division I (only a handful of colleges compete in Division I) and the Big Ten Conference(the oldest collegiate athletic conference in the country). For a specified fee at the Ridge Soaring Glider Port, you can glide in the air for about ten or more minutes by licensed pilots. Although, flight times are subject to height and weather conditions since it is a glider without an engine. Penn State University Park has dozens of restaurants and coffee shops such as Berkey Creamery, Café 210 West, Zola, The Field, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there any Baseball team around Penn State University?

Yes, Baseball is one of the seasonal attractions in College town. The State College Spikes is a Class-A minor league team of the MLB Draft League. As a collegiate summer team, their season runs from Mid-June to September, and they play their home games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

  • What are Big cities close to Penn State University?

The closest big city close to State College in Pittsburg, about 114 miles away. Others are Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, 123, 137, and 152 miles away, respectively.