Things to Do In State College Over Break

Now that the stress of finals is beginning to wear off, a growing excitement to get back home and do nothing but eat and sleep all day is palpable. But what if you’re stuck in State College over winter break? Whether you’re a townie, or just simply stranded in good ol’ wintry Happy Valley, State College and the surrounding areas will continue to have fun events throughout the three-week break. If you’re in need of something to do during your well-deserved time off, check out the list of events below:

Sunday, Dec. 21: The Nutcracker

Kick off winter break the right way by watching the season’s final performance of “The Nutcracker,” featuring local ballet students from Centre Dance. However, the classic ballet will have a bit of a twist — the dancers will be incorporating other styles of dance, such as hip hop and tap, into the typically austere classical ballet. Be sure to check out this interesting blend of style at the State Theatre, starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person.

Sunday, Dec. 21: Celtic Christmas Concert

If you’re in the mood for some Celtic music to get you in the holiday spirit, Anne-Marie Hildebrandt will be performing a concert at St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 1795 W. College Ave. A singer and harpist, Hildebrandt will be joined by friends to perform both traditional and contemporary Christmas carols in the musical style of the Celtic tradition. The program begins at 3:30 p.m. and is free to the public, although donations are accepted and will benefit the Bellefonte Youth Center.

Sunday, Dec. 21: “Murder in Red and Green”

To get you ready for the charming and heartwarming festivities of Christmas, Duffy’s Tavern, a cozy and historic restaurant located in Boalsburg, is hosting a murder mystery dinner theatre starting at 7 p.m. “Four women named Ann White are invited to an extravagant company Christmas Party only to find… murder under the Holiday tree,” the event advertises. “Could Santa… or maybe the butler have done it?” If you’re interested in supper and a murder mystery show, be sure to make reservations. Tickets are $40 per person and must be purchased in advance.

Monday, Dec. 22: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

The classic Christmas film will be playing at the State Theatre on both Monday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 23. There will be showings of the movie at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on both days, and tickets can be bought at the door for $5 per person. There’s nothing like Jimmy Stewart and some Christmas cheer to set the atmosphere for the week, so grab some popcorn and hot chocolate on your way in, and you’ll be good to go.

Thursday, Dec. 25: Christmas Dinner

For those of you celebrating Christmas and looking for a delicious dinner, look no further than St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, located at 208 W. Foster Ave. The church is hosting an all-you-can-eat Christmas dinner, complete with roast beef, all the trimmings, vegetables, and dessert. This dinner is free to everyone, and will begin at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 31: First Night

There’s nothing quite like celebrating New Years Eve in State College. First Night, an annual celebration of New Years Eve, takes place downtown and includes many awesome activities. The event promotes a family-oriented, alcohol-free New Years Eve, centered around art and music — and it’s also a ton of fun. Ice sculptures, arts and crafts workshops, musical performances, ice skating, dance workshops, carriage rides, a 5K race, and an ice slide makes New Years Eve day packed full of exciting events for friends and families alike. If you’re stranded in State College on New Years Eve, First Night is the place to be. For more information, check out First Night’s website.

Wednesday, Dec. 31: New Years Eve at Indigo

However, if you’re not quite feeling the alcohol-free vibe of First Night, and you are looking to get your dance on this New Years Eve, Indigo is throwing its own New Years Eve celebration. Doors open at 9 p.m., and the New Year will be welcomed at midnight with a champagne toast and confetti blast. Also, all Indigo-ers will receive free New Year’s Eve hats and noisemakers! Tickets are $10 if you preorder them, or $12 at the door. If Indigo isn’t your thing, pretty much every State College bar is hosting some sort of New Years Eve party.

Now until Sunday, Jan. 4: “Sleigh” Rides with the Lion Chariot

Jan. 4 is the last night you can schedule your own “sleigh” rides with the infamous Vamos! Lion Chariot. The special holiday ride will capture all the holiday lights that downtown State College has to offer, with an included hot beverage to follow — perfect for spending a unique and festive night with your friends. Or, if you and your special someone are looking for a romantic evening, the Lion Chariot is offering the “trifecta” package for two: a holiday ride to see the downtown lights, a half-hour jacuzzi soak at the American Spa and Retreat, and a hot drink and dessert at the Corner Room to finish the evening. Check out the Lion Chariot’s website for more information on scheduling and prices.

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About the Author

Jessica Myers

Jess graduated in May 2015, with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in English, and with two minors in Latin and Art History. When she says she's "shippin' up to Boston," she's not just singing the song -- she's actually attending Northeastern University this fall to pursue her master's degree. You can follow her shenanigans at her site,

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