Exploring PSU's Main Campus
Penn State dominates the landscape of State College, and most people think of one of two things when they think of the campus: education and football. However, there are other great things to enjoy on the university’s campus. Whether you love football or would rather skip the game, here are a few things to keep you busy on the Penn State campus.
Penn State Berkey Creamery
The Penn State Berkey Creamery is one of the most well-known places to get ice cream in all of Pennsylvania, and even better, it’s incredibly delicious.
The university’s first creamery was established in 1865, and they have been making delicious ice cream on campus ever since. The Creamery is part of Penn State’s Department of Food Science, and they have spent years perfecting ice cream, all, of course, in the name of academic excellence. If you need more proof that this is the place to get ice cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield graduated from the school’s ice cream making course prior to starting Ben and Jerry’s.
The Creamery makes over 100 different flavors and popular options include Peachy Paterno and Bittersweet Mint. However, don’t think you can mix flavors. The only person ever allowed to mix flavors here was President Bill Clinton.
Whatever other activities you have planned on the Penn State campus, don’t leave without at stop at The Creamery.
Penn State All-Sports Museum
Located in the southwestern corner of Beaver Stadium, the Penn State All-Sports Museum showcases the athletic highlights from every varsity sport in the school’s history: 34 in total.
Each sport is given a gallery where they can display memorabilia from their history including uniforms, equipment, and trophies. It’s interesting learning about all of the university’s varsity sports, including former ones like bowling.
With the exception of game-day visits, it’s often possible to take a peak inside Beaver Stadium while touring the museum. Even if you aren’t a football fan, it’s impressive standing inside the world’s third largest stadium.
The museum is also home to the taxidermied Nittany Lion. Said to be the last mountain lion killed in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, this animal is now the mascot of the university.
Palmer Museum of Art
Do you love art? A visit to the Palmer Museum of Art is a great choice while visiting the Penn State campus. While you might expect it to be the home of work by students and former students, the museum actually features an impressive collection of nearly 10,000 pieces of art from around the world, with some pieces dating back hundreds or thousands of years.
The museum’s collection is showcased in nearly a dozen galleries, some of which are reserved for temporary exhibitions. The collection showcases a wide variety of mediums from throughout history including ancient South American and Asian ceramics, Renaissance paintings, and pieces of Contemporary art.
State College Spikes
In addition to world-class college sports, the Penn State campus is also home to a professional sports team. The State College Spikes, the Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, play in Medlar Field, which is also home to Penn State’s baseball team. During the summer months, baseball fans can catch a game at this great stadium and cheer on some of baseball’s top prospects.
This state-of-the-art minor league stadium offers fantastic professional baseball on Penn State’s campus. These family-friendly games not only feature great baseball, but also plenty of in-game entertainment between innings. If you are traveling to Penn State during the summer with your family, make sure to check out a Spikes’ game.
Penn State Arboretum
The Penn State Arboretum might just be the most beautiful corner of the Penn State campus. The Arboretum is home to seven beautiful gardens offering a variety of plantings and experiences for outdoor lovers.
Take a stroll through the Fragrance Garden (which smells great), the Tropical Grove, and the Grove of the Ancients to get a feel for this magical place.
Another great spot is the Children’s Garden. This garden features plants that are both beautiful and whimsical. The entire area is set up as an example of the ridge and valley system that dominates the landscape of central Pennsylvania. The garden features children’s activities, a stream, and even a cavern to explore.
Even better, the Children’s Garden is completely enclosed, allowing parents to let their kids explore the grounds on their own without worrying about them leaving the garden.
Jim Cheney is the creator, primary writer and photographer of UncoveringPA.com.