First and foremost a college town, State College, Pa., buzzes with students as well as Penn State football fans. The Central Pennsylvania locale is also a draw for groups looking to hold a memorable meeting, with quintessential experiences appealing to sports fans, foodies, history buffs and even stamp collectors.
Following are six standout ideas that will positively engage attendees outside the meeting room, including fun teambuilding activities, special event spaces for brainstorming sessions and picturesque receptions, and attractions that range from unique museums to a lively ballpark.
The newly renovated Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center was founded in 1976 to act as a community resource and a field laboratory for Penn State students interested in teaching in the natural world.
“Shaver’s Creek is a short 20-minute drive from State College but connects you with nature,” said Shirley Smith, director of sales for the Central Pennsylvania CVB. “It’s a great place to book a custom teambuilding experience for your group.”
Planners are encouraged to work with an on-site facilitator who is trained to create the best team-bonding program based on the group’s makeup, desired takeaway lessons and other factors.
Among the engaging activities is something called the Mousetrap Trust Sequence during which partners work together to set and unset traps, and Planks—a timed progression of challenges to complete a 3-D puzzle.
Groups can also visit Shaver’s Creek without booking a teambuilding program. There is a Discovery Room and hiking trails to explore, a picnic area and a raptor center with resident bald eagles, great horned owls and other beautiful birds of prey.
The Penn State All-Sports Museum is a multistory interactive experience that highlights the university’s varsity sports.
“It is hard to think about Penn State University without thinking about the many athletes, coaches and teams that have made up its history,” Smith said.
Sports presented in the museum include football, of course, as well as tennis, track and field, golf, baseball, field hockey and volleyball. Groups could arrange a specialized highlights tour focusing on three to four sports of interest.
Penn State All-Sports Museum
Groups are also encouraged to book a stadium tour (based on availability), which includes checking out the Nittany Lion locker room and enjoying exclusive access to Beaver Stadium, where the Penn State football team plays.
If the timing isn’t right and a stadium tour isn’t possible, groups can take the opportunity to look into Beaver Stadium from the Mount Nittany Club Level. During stadium views, which are offered at designated hours from Tuesday through Sunday, groups are given a brief history of the facility and time for an unforgettable photo op.
“Get your photos inside the 106,572-capacity stadium, which becomes Pennsylvania’s fourth largest city on game days,” Smith said.