Penn State vs Purdue, tailgating

Penn State fans tailgate before the Penn State vs Purdue football game on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at Beaver Stadium.

The brief period of a temperate fall bliss since my column on the beauties of fall has now passed — we are officially in the cold season in Happy Valley. The change in season also indicates one sad thing for the football town: the end of home Penn State football games. Besides the annual Rutgers, post-Thanksgiving weekend game, tailgate season is coming to an end.

Every year, football season brings times of bonding, celebration and over 100,000 people to State College every game. Now that it is over, here are some things you can do during the State College cold.


Even though Thanksgiving is approaching fast, you can still have time for Friendsgiving. What makes Friendsgiving great is its unconventionality and flexibility — if you and friends don’t have time to squeeze in a potluck dinner before Thanksgiving, you can host one in December. The most important parts of Friendsgiving are simply friends and food, so get your best cooks or hopefully snag some leftovers from home to feed the group.

Countdown until the holidays

Many love the countdown until the Christmas and holiday seasons, whether that be for a longer break from school or work, the enjoyment of gift giving or simply the Holiday spirit that covers towns. The holiday season is fast approaching with only 15 school days until finals week and less than 40 full days left until Christmas. To increase the festivities in your State College home, you could pick up an advent calendar or make a paper chain countdown to the approaching holidays.

Pick up some Penn State apparel for every one of your family members

Since attending Penn State, my go-to gift is some type of Penn State merchandise. For most families, having a child that goes to school at Penn State either continues the tradition of bleeding blue and white for those with alumni parents, or introduces a new one to the family. I know my family always enjoys some fresh Penn State gear.

Watch Penn State play from home

With an away game against Ohio State on Nov. 23 and the Rutgers game soon after, Penn State football is still playing, just not with the same Happy Valley tailgate experience. Depending on where Penn State’s season is taken in the future, there are still possibilities to look forward to in the end of the season.

Make a new email every Saturday so you can continue getting free Disney+

The winter season seems to double your time indoors, and conveniently, Disney just released their new streaming service Disney+ on Nov. 12. The movie and show offers are narrower in focus than other streaming services, exclusively offering Disney owned movies and shows. Personally, I plan on binging my favorite childhood movies and shows through the service over my Thanksgiving and holiday breaks.

Go to one of Penn State’s lakes or Pegula Ice Arena

As below freezing temperatures arrive at Penn State, potential outside time is limited — but one possible day-trip to do in State College is go to the frozen lakes around town for makeshift ice-skating. Coyler Lake and Beaver Pond are two examples of day trips one can take to explore in the snow days. As these are only accessible by car, students can also take advantage of the Pegula Ice Arena. The Arena offers student tickets for $6 and schedules can be found online at

Take a Walmart trip

This one may be an unconventional way to spend a weekend, but I know whenever I take a late night Walmart trip with friends it stems an experience like no other. The idea stems from my experience in living in an hour outside of Philly suburbia, but the surplus of Walmart offerings makes it a fun day to explore and find things you need. Whether you have a car, a friend with a car, or can take the HV bus from campus, Walmart trips for some groceries and exploring is always a fun way to get out of the house.

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