Penn State graduation weekend is one that is full of emotions. There’s the excitement of moving onto the next chapter in life, but the sadness of leaving a great home like State College.

With family members in town for the ceremony, some that have probably never seen the best that Happy Valley has to offer, it makes for a great opportunity to plan some fun activities.

Here are some of the top choices to have fun on graduation weekend.

Campus Tour

Take a stroll through campus for old time’s sake and stop at some of the most notable locations. The Nittany Lion Shrine, Old Main, Beaver Stadium, Arboretum and the Berkey Creamery are just a few of the more prominent places to stop and reminisce. Not to mention, they’re also great spots to take some photos.

Climb Mt. Nittany

A hike to the top of Mt. Nittany should be on the bucket list for every Penn Stater. Not only is it a great way to see the town and surrounding area, but it makes for a fun outdoors family activity. The primary spot to see campus and downtown is the Mike Lynch Overlook. It takes roughly 25-30 minutes to get to this point of the mountain and is 1.2 miles roundtrip.

There are other trails that will take you around the mountain but those are a bit longer. The white trail is 3.5 miles round trip while the blue trail is 4.6 miles round trip.

Get Golfing

Play a full round of golf or just nine holes at the Penn State Golf Courses or Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center.

The Penn State Golf Courses feature two championship 18-hole courses, Blue and White. They also have excellent practice facilities, including a 32-stall driving range and a 7,600 square-foot chipping green with sand bunker. (Map)

Toftrees (which is adjacent to the Carnegie Inn and Spa) is one of the premiere golfing destinations inthe state. It is rated 4.5 stars by Golf Digest and has been named one of Pennsylvania’s Best Resort/ Public Golf Courses. (Map)

Learn more about golfing in Happy Valley here.

Winery or Brewery Tour

One of the biggest secrets of the area is the high quality beer and wine made right here in Happy Valley. Why not go on a brewery or wine tasting tour and experience the best the State College area has tooffer? There are several options to choose from here in Happy Valley.

Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery (Map)

Located on the side of Mount Nittany, just seven miles east of State College, this award-winning family-owned winery will delight you with their wine selections. Popular selections include their “Nittany Mountain Red” and “Tailgate Red.” Tours cost $5 but you may taste wine for free on your visit.

Seven Mountains Wine Cellars (Map)

Seven Mountains Wine Cellars offers daily tours and private tours for groups of 10 or more. The tour includes food pairings, a walk through the 4000 square foot facility, production area and wine cave.

Like Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery, Seven Mountains has won many awards for its wine.

The Gamble Mill Restaurant and Microbrewery (Map)

The historic Gamble Mill in Bellefonte offers brewery tours and beer tastings with the head brew master Mike Smith. For more information, click here.


Enjoy a competitive game of bowling with family and friends at Northland Bowl, which features 32 bowling lanes and a full restaurant menu and bar. Northland Bowl also has billiards and an arcade with interactive games.      (map)

Even if you don’t get the chance to do these activities on graduation weekend, don’t be disappointed.

Whether you visit for a major event like Arts Fest or a regular weekend in March, there’s truly never a bad time to visit Happy Valley.

For those graduating seniors, use Lion Country Lodging as your guide to plan your trips back to Penn State as an alumnus!

All six of our properties are currently full for 2013 spring graduation. Soon after this year’s graduation is over, we will begin selling rooms for 2014 spring graduation weekend.

Be sure to check back with us around that time for more information.

Visit Lion Country LodgingWeb site