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TGIF: State College Weekend Events for March 11-13

by on March 11, 2016 6:00 AM
State College, PA

Spring is starting to make an appearance, so it’s a good time to get out and enjoy what Happy Valley has to offer.

In music, there’s live jazz at the Bellefonte Art Museum Friday night and Barry Manilow brings his One Last Time! tour to the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday.

SpikesFest unofficially kicks off spring on Sunday with the State College Spikes hosting an indoor carnival at Penn State’s Multi-Sport Facility

The PA Military Museum in Boalsburg reopens as it celebrates Charter Day Weekend, with a movie festival on Saturday and free admission on Sunday.

Both Penn State gymnastics teams host their final Rec Hall meets of the season, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities around State College to keep kids and parents busy.

We've compiled the highlights from the upcoming weekend's community events in the State College area for you to enjoy. 


Your Regularly Scheduled Family Fun

Today and every Friday morning, children under five and their parents or guardians can visit Discovery Space at 112 W. Foster Ave. for Music Makers. The program includes stories and musical explorations for children and adults to enjoy together. Music Makers is free with paid admission or membership to Discovery Space.

At Penn Skates, 2210 High Tech Road, the regular Friday night Family Skate goes from 5:30-7:30.

Live Jazz

The Bellefonte Art Museum will host Ronnie Burrage & Bob Hart for an evening of live music from 7-9 p.m. Light refreshments are provided and it’s free and open to the public (though donations are accepted).

Gymnastics Senior Night

The Nittany Lion men’s gymnastics team welcomes Nebraska to Rec Hall for Penn State’s final home meet of the season. Action gets under way at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall and the team’s three seniors will be honored. See ticket info here. 


He Writes the Songs

Barry Manilow’s One Last Time! Tour visits the Bryce Jordan Center at 7:30 p.m. Ticket info is available at the Bryce Jordan Center website, or donate a new or gently used instrument at the BJC Box Office and get two free tickets. Details on the instrument donation drive can be found here.

Charter Day Weekend at the Military Museum

The PA Military Museum reopens to the public on Saturday with a Military Movie Madness Festival featuring the first three episodes in the Frank Capra series, “Why We Fight,” documenting America’s entry into World War II. The films begin at 10 a.m. and run to 4 p.m. Regular Admission Rates Apply. 

Sunday is Charter Day and there will be free admission to commemorate the granting of the Charter from Charles II to William Penn which founded “Penn’s Woods” in 1681. Museum hours on Sunday are noon to 4 p.m. 

Build a Monster Truck

The State College Lowe’s Build and Grow program will host a clinic at 10 a.m. for kids to build a Monster Jam wooden monster truck kit. The kit includes a special World Finals sticker sheet so your child can choose their favorite. Kids get a free apron, goggles and a patch. Register here.

Saturday Stories Alive

Kids 2-7 can enjoy a half-hour of stories, fingerplays and a hands-on activity to take home, starting at 11 a.m. in Schlow Library’s Children’s Activity Room.

Women’s Gymnastics at Rec Hall

The Penn State women’s gymnastics team closes out its 2016 home slate with the 2016 Big Five Qualifier. Penn State hosts Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Rutgers in Rec Hall at 1 p.m. The meet will feature a poster giveaway and post-match autograph session. Ticket details.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Early

Ahead of St. Paddy’s Day, corned beef and cabbage is being served up at Mt. Nittany United Methodist Church. Enjoy fellowship and great food from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Takeout is available. Cost is $10 for 12 and older, $5 for 5 to 11, and under 5 is free. The church is located at 1500 E. Branch Rd., Lemont. The dinner is open to the public. To learn more, go to

Snowmobile Racing

It’s warming up but there is still a chance to enjoy a winter activity as Hill Climb Snowmobile Racing comes to Tussey Mountain at 7 p.m. Food and drink will be available on the patio and inside at Edges Pub during the event. Gate entry fee is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and children under 6 are admitted free. Check here for more info. 



The State College Spikes mark the end of winter with their 10th annual indoor carnival, SpikesFest, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility, located across from the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State campus. Admission is free. Parking will be available in Lot 44, adjacent to the Multi-Sport Facility.

The ballpark-style carnival features mascot appearances, kids' games, inflatables, performances by local entertainment groups, door prizes, and much more.

Celebrate the Golden Age of Bands

The Bellefonte Community Band will be featured at student Joshua Long's graduate conducting recital, 3 p.m. in Esber Recital Hall on Penn State’s campus. The band, composed of more than 60 volunteer members who come from many different walks of life, but share a love of music. The band will be performing music from 1880 to 1930, considered the "Golden Age of Bands." Music from composers including Wagner and Sousa will be featured.

Looking Ahead

On Wednesday, musicians Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins and Anaïs Mitchell perform at Penn State's Eisenhower Auditorium. That same night, Karen Abbott, the best-selling author of this year's Centre County Reads selection Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, delivers a free lecture at the HUB-Robeson Center. That afternoon, Penn State women's lacrosse hosts Princeton at 3 at Lacrosse Field.

Penn State's Research Unplugged presents "Breaking Silence: New Approaches for Children with Speech Disorders" at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Schlow Library's Downsborough Community Room. Jessica Caron, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, explains the exciting work of Penn State’s augmentative and alternative communication projects. 

Looking ahead to April, Penn State School of Theatre's production of "Hair" opens April 1 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre and runs through April 9. And April 1-3 the Central PA Home and Garden Show takes over the Bryce Jordan Center with displays, experts, seminars and fun activities.

If all that isn't enough for you, there's more happening in State College. Check out our calendar page to explore the weekend's events, and feel free to add your own if it isn't listed.


Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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