Finals week is coming to a close, and with it the 2015-16 school year. It won’t be long ’til townies flock downtown for the open parking spots and quick lines at restaurants and bars, but some Penn Staters will stick around for summer session — whether they be LEAPers getting their first taste of State College, or seasoned seniors grabbing a few extra credits or an internship.
Though there’s no “official” tailgating to look forward to during the summer months, those staying at Dear Old State will undoubtedly be in search of fun things to do in town besides Arts Fest. Here are six recommendations from our staff’s resident townie:
Volunteer At The Special Olympics PA Summer Games
The SOPA Summer Games return to Penn State’s athletic facilities for another three days of sports, friendship, fun, and of course, a bunch of hugs this June 2-4. Whether you’re interested in volunteering with a particular event like golf or track or just want to show up and give encouragement — that’s fantastic. The more smiling faces the merrier, as those involved with the Special Olympics know the pure joy of seeing the athletes have a blast competing and socializing at the always-popular dance party.
Put Your Palate To The Test At Tussey Mountain’s WingFest
Tussey’s annual six-week WingFest seems to get bigger and better each year, with community members turning out in droves to vote on which Centre County restaurants boast the best wing sauce and to enjoy some local music. Plenty of craft beer is always on tap and festival fare from the likes of Doan’s Bones and Rosie’s Pierogies, among other options, await patrons once again starting July 21. WingFest will continue each Thursday evening until the championship round on September 1. Be sure to check out the go-kart track at the Fun Centre, which also features Par 3 and mini golf, a driving range, and a skate park. The CATA B Route is the best way to make it to the mountain from campus.
Attend Penn State Football’s Lift For Life Fundraiser
Penn State’s chapter of Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $1.12 million to help fight kidney cancer over the course of its 13 year history. The annual mid-July workout, held on the Lacrosse Field, always draws big crowds, with the team holding clinics for kids on top of the popular offense vs. defense strength and conditioning competition. Jesse James and Anthony Zettel donated the proceeds raised from their respective reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine to benefit Lift For Life.
Cool Off With An Afternoon At The McCoy Natatorium
While some crave the thrill of leaping off one of the Nat’s outdoor dive towers (the highest non-dive team accessible is 7.5 meters), others prefer to lay out and tan or swim laps for exercise. Even if your diving board skills could use some tuning, there’s always fun and relaxation to be had at the campus pool, especially when it’s sweltering like most mid-summer days in State College.
Cheer On The Spikes At Medlar Field
The State College Spikes captured the 2014 New York-Penn League crown for the first time since the short-season single-A St. Louis Cardinals affiliate came to town in 2006, so the quality of play has certainly improved as of late. However, most fans’ main reason for heading to the ballpark is typically to have a good time with friends and family, enjoy promotions like Dollar Dog Night, or marvel at the one-of-a-kind Cowboy Monkey Rodeo. True baseball aficionados enjoy saying they saw some of tomorrow’s MLB stars at the beginning of their careers before they moved up the minor league food chain. The Spikes kick their home-slate off on Saturday, June 18 against the Williamsport Crosscutters.
Play A Round At The Penn State Golf Courses
Penn State is home to 36 holes of public golf, with the Blue and White courses serving as the backdrop for decades of campus-links history. Students can purchase a reduced-rate membership, giving them access to play as many rounds as they like on the White this summer or fall. The most expensive memberships will set you back $295, but you get unlimited access to tee times between May 1 and August 31 and can easily break even if you play even a moderate amount. Those who are new to the game or simply want to polish up their swing or putting stroke can also enjoy the wonderful practice facilities and driving range.