Ring in the New Year with a night of festivities in State College. State College’s First Night, is a splendid evening of family entertainment that is a great way to close the book on one year and begin anew for another.

Stay at the Days Inn Penn State (link), which sits right in the heart of all the New Year’s Eve fun. In fact, as one of the event’s sponsors, The Days Inn frequently hosts its own First Night entertainment.

Last year the hotel hosted a puppet show titled The Perfect Pearl. Master puppeteer Carolyn Koerber performed the show. Koerber, who’s performed since 1970, has taken her talents to the Smithsonian, The National Theater and various entertainment venues in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Days Inn is also pet friendly, meaning you don’t have to leave your pet at home alone on New Year’s Eve. Bring them to State College and let them enjoy the fun too!

So what makes First Night State College such a great evening? Here are several reasons.

Live music

First Night provides terrific live musical performances at many different venues. The night features many different styles of calm and soothing music. From folk, blues, and jazz bands to individual performers, there is a type of music that everyone can enjoy.

Ice Sculptures

The streets of downtown State College are turned into a winter wonderland with these artfully crafted sculptures situated at various points around town. More than 80 sculptures are available for public viewing.

A great way to view all the ice sculptures is with a cozy carriage ride drawn by Percheron draft horses. The carriage rides leave from the Mayor Welch Plaza.


There are arts and crafts workshops geared towards children 12 & under. Children can decorate gym sacks or New Year’s badges.

Last year’s event also featured workshops for participants of all ages. One of which was improvisational belly dance lessons held at the Faith United Church of Christ.


Of course, what’s a winter festival without hot and tasty food?

Stay warm with some homemade chili at the Faith United Church of Christ or visit Sydney Friedman Park for sweet kettle corn made fresh by the Hanson family. The Hanson family also serves hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee. The State College Rotary Club provides hot dogs, soup, chili and nachos as well as hot beverages. That’s not to mention that downtown businesses are open and ready to offer up food and drinks long into the night.

5K Resolution Run

The Resolution Run begins and ends on College Avenue, and goes along a flat, wheel-measured course around the Penn State campus. Whether you run or walk, have some fun and dress up! Costumes are encouraged and prizes are awarded for best and most original costume.

To get into many of these events, a First Night button is required. A button is $8 and can be purchased at businesses throughout the Centre Region. Children five and under are free.

For a map of First Night venues click here.

Make it a relaxing and fun New Year’s getaway when you stay with Lion Country Lodging

Days Inn Penn State - (814) 238-8454

240 S. Pugh Street State College, PA 16801