By the time the phenomenal summer weather hits in May, Penn State students are already off to their respective hometowns. We barely have time to truly embrace State College in its sunny prime. Most of us are cooped up in preparation for finals or packing our bags for the end of Spring semester, too busy to simply lounge around on Old Main and soak up some sun.
Though much of the school year is spent in dreary winter weather, the kick-off to fall semester is always accompanied by warm days and sunny skies. Before the gloomy rain and/or snow clouds hit Happy Valley, make sure you enjoy the few months of nice weather we do get. Here are some of our favorite outdoor activities to to take advantage of.
1. Walk Everywhere
Avoid the CATA bus at all costs. Enjoy your beautiful green surroundings. Remember, University Park doesn’t stay this lush forever.
2. Put Your Summer Clothes To Use
Though leggings, parkas, and North Faces are staples at Penn State, don’t be too eager to throw on the stretchy pants just yet. With weather this ideal, embrace your inner fashionista.
3. Enjoy Some Outdoor Seating
One of the best parts about State College is the downtown scene. You don’t have to be 21 to embrace the nightlife — take your best friends out on the town and grab a table outside. Cafe 210, Inferno, Panera Bread, and Noodles and Company are just some restaurants that boast quaint, breezy seating. My personal favorite? The seating in the back of The Deli.
4. Visit The Arboretum
Got some time to kill between classes? Stop and smell the roses. The Arboretum is a classic Penn State destination; it’s perfect for relaxing and for taking a break from your first week jitters and stresses. Grab some cheap to-go food from North Halls and call it a picnic.
5. Enjoy The Downtown Farmer’s Market
Running on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Farmer’s Market has fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, and all kinds of treats you won’t find anywhere else.
6. Get Out And Play!
Take advantage of the recreational equipment for rent at the Commons desks. Borrow a volleyball, grab some friends, and hit the East Halls beach. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, there are basketball courts in Pollock and North and the IM soccer fields are typically open for anything.
7. Hike Mount Nittany
If hiking Mt. Nittany isn’t on your Penn State bucket list, be sure to add it. Sometimes campus can feel like a giant bubble of blue and white, so embrace the outskirts of State College and get some fresh air by exercising while it’s nice out.
8. Take A Dip!
One of the most underrated facilities is the outdoor pool at the McCoy Natatorium. With a student ID and just three bucks, you’ve got access for as long as you want. Swim some laps or work on your tan after a long day of classes.
When the weather’s this nice it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing as long as you’re doing it outdoors. Grab your shades and enjoy it while you can, because the relentless and unpredictable State College winter will be here before you know it.