Make the most of THON Weekend

– by Jodie Dello Stritto

THON 2024 is from February 16 to 18. If you’re coming to Happy Valley, make the most of the weekend at these spots for great food, unique shops, and lots of fun.

THON Balloons


Start your day caffeinated with a stop at Café Lemont, offering an extensive selection of coffee and tea beverages as well as baked goods and breakfast items. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, or you can order ahead for takeout. If a full breakfast is in order, visit The Original Waffle Shop at one of two locations in State College. Known for its pancakes and waffles, this local favorite also has a selection of unique omelets made with fresh veggies, meats, and cheese.

Enjoy a local, handcrafted cocktail over lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch at Barrel 21 Distillery & Dining. Ask about the chef’s weekend features for the weekend, made from locally sourced ingredients. If you prefer craft beer, Otto’s Pub & Brewery is just next door, serving sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and more in a spacious, comfortable setting.

Pizza and pasta lovers will be in heaven at Faccia Luna. In addition to its famous wood-fired pizza, fresh salads, and authentic pasta and soups, the trattoria has an incredible selection of seafood specials.

For a quick bite and a brew, swing into Antifragile Brewing. On weekends, the brewery hosts Uncle John’s, serving up authentic Philly cheesesteaks using locally-sourced fresh beef and local artisanal rolls from local bakery Gemelli.

For a more leisurely farm-to-table dining experience, featuring local meats and produce and artisan foods from Happy Valley, reserve a table at Gigi’s Southern Table. There’s a full bar and extensive wine list to complement your meal, plus a to-do dessert selection.

THON Football Team


Appalachian Outdoors carries all the best brands in outdoor wear and gear for adults and kids—including Patagonia, North Face, Columbia, and more—plus snow sports equipment and accessories. Stock up for the season!

When in Happy Valley a visit to the Student Book Store is essential for replenishing your Penn State wardrobe with the latest styles of tees, hoodies, hats, and tailgating gear (hey, it’s never too early to get ready for football season). Don’t forget to grab a gift card for your Nittany Lion! For Penn State apparel from brands like Nike, Champion, and Under Armour stop into Lions Pride, and for officially licensed Penn State Lululemon gear check out The Family Clothesline. For more upscale men’s and women’s apparel, including Penn State gear and accessories, check out the selection at Harpers.

Take a coffee break at Websters Bookstore Café, one of Happy Valley’s most unique spots. Browse thousands of used books, records, and other vintage items.

Thon sun am august e content

Family Fun

Traveling with kids? There are plenty of spots for them to enjoy. Have some family fun at Northland Bowl or let the kids get the wiggles out at Get Air Trampoline Park. Check the schedule at Pegula Ice Arena for public skating hours. Rentals are available onsite. Families can also stop by The Makery on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during Open Studio hours for a fun activity. Choose one of their maker bars, like the bead bar or journal bar, or select a maker kit to work on as a group. Discovery Space is a science and technology center for kids with interactive exhibits that make learning fun and hands-on.

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau is your resource for all things Happy Valley. Book your stay with our online tool, check out the Inspiration Guide, and more at!

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at