Penn State bucket list: How many have you checked off?

– by Art LaBan

Whether it's your first time at Penn State or you are a regular, Penn State and the Happy Valley community provide an experience unlike any other. Our bucket list covers some of the spots that make up the quintessential Penn State Experience.

Penn State White Out
  • Visit the Berkey Creamery: The Penn State Creamery is world famous and has been around for over 150 years! With flavors like Alumni Swirl and Death by Chocolate, it's no wonder that multiple presidents and stars have visited while in Happy Valley.
  • Go to a home game. Gameday in Happy Valley is unlike anything else when over 100,000 fans will pack Beaver Stadium — the second-largest college football stadium in the country — to cheer on the Nittany Lions. This season James Franklin led the Nittany Lions to a 10-win season and a Rose Bowl victory!
  • Book a table at The Corner Room. The Corner Room has been a Penn State staple since 1855 when it was founded as “Jack’s Roadhouse Restaurant” and was later renamed The Corner Room in 1926. From Brunch to lunch to dinner, The Corner Room is a favorite for newcomers and alumni alike.
  • Get tickets for other Penn State Division 1 Sports. Penn State is home to more sports than just football. Penn State men's basketball and women’s basketball headline the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State hockey plays at the Pegula Ice Arena. There are so many Division 1 sports to see at Penn State year round!
Penn State Old Main
  • Stand in line at The Original Waffle Shop. The final version of The Original Waffle Shop was established in 2004, but it's been around in some form since 1978. The Original Waffle Shop has been serving up breakfast foods to students at Penn State for generations now. Make sure to get there early if you're going downtown, there's always a line!
  • Enjoy a theme dinner at Cafe Laura. Located in Penn State's School of Hospitality Management, Cafe Laura provides an opportunity for the students to work in a working restaurant. During the day, the cafe serves up especially good sandwiches and entrees, and at night, themed dinners await. Make sure to look at the schedule on their website and make a reservation when you're in town!
  • Get your picture taken at the Shrine. The Nittany Lion Shrine is home of the Penn State Mascot, the Nittany Lion. The shrine was carved by Heinz Warneke in 1942 and has remained a fixture of Penn State's Cain Campus since! It is a symbol of Penn State pride and beloved by alumni across the world.
  • Take a tour of campus. Walk on the tree-lined sidewalks past some of Penn State’s most iconic buildings, including Old Main. In 1855, what was then known as Farmers High School of Pennsylvania decided to build the building as the main fixture of its new campus. Today it is home to administrative offices and the famous bell tower heard across campus.
Penn State White Out_1
  • Visit the Arboretum at Penn State. The Arboretum at Penn State features 370 acres of plants, gardens, and trails. Designated by Penn State’s Trustees in 1914, the Arboretum offers a peak into Happy Valley’s natural landscape. With the new Pollinator Garden open, there is so much to see!
  • See art, free, at the Palmer. The Palmer Museum of Art is a free admission art museum with the largest collection of art between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It just celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and offers a unique collection of art to see. The Palmer Museum of Art will be moving to a new location located at the Arboretum soon!
  • See a show with Penn State Centre Stage. Penn State Centre Stage is a professional theater company located within the Penn State School of Arts and Architecture. Located on campus, Centre Stage puts on productions year round with tickets for sale online. Recent productions include Rent, Everybody, and Into the Woods.
  • Stop at the Tavern. The Tavern is a quintessential part of the Penn State experience. Located in the heart of State College, the recently renovated restaurant offers an upscale dining experience for lunch and dinner with a full bar. If you’ve never gone, it’s a must. If you’ve been a hundred times — it’s time for a return trip.

Interested in finding more adventures? Visit for more information!

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