Punxsutawney, Pa., is one of those places kids should see before they grow up, and there’s no better time to visit Punxsutawney than on Groundhog Day (February 2nd). The town of Punxsutawney is the official home of the Groundhog Day celebrations and also home to the cute groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, who is a celebrity in town.
If you’re considering ringing in the Groundhog Day celebrations in Punxsutawney, here is a list of fun things to do with kids for the event:
See Punxsutawney Phil Make His Annual Prediction. Groundhog Phil will be making his annual prediction at Gobbler’s Knob, which is the main event of the Groundhog Day celebrations. Phil will be pulled out on stage by the Inner Circle from his tree stump burrow and you’ll be able to see him as they announce his findings on winter’s length.
Phil’s weather prediction takes place at 7.20 a.m., but before and after there will be entertaining activities for families such as breakfast buffets, dancing, singing and fireworks. Visit the Kid’s Corner at the Community Center from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free Groundhog Day crafts and activities.
Get into the Groundhog Groove. The party actually kicks off on the weekend, leading up to the groundhog’s prediction on Sunday. An annual Groundhog banquet held at Punxsutawney High School takes place on Saturday night with this year’s guest speaker The Weather Channel’s Jen Carfagno. Try a free Phantastic Phil Walking Tour for a guided tour with trivia and insider info beginning at Phil’s Burrow. Scavenger hunts, kids’ activities, S’mores, Bingo, storytime and live music take place all weekend.
But there is more to Punxsutawney than the groundhog! Aside from taking in the magical Groundhogs Day spirit, here is a list of kid-friendly fun:
Learn About the Weather. The Weather Discovery Center is a great place to take the kids and enjoy a fun day out. Kids and adults alike can learn about interesting weather phenomena such as tornados, lightning and thunderstorms. The Center also boasts a TV news weather station where kids can pretend to be a TV weather reporter. The Weather Discovery Center is located at 201 N. Findley St.
Say Hello to Punxsutawney Phil. If you’re heading to Punxsutawney a fews days before Groundhog Day, you’ll be able to meet and say hello to Punxsutawney Phil, who lives at the town’s library with his “wife” Phyllis. Punxsutawney Town Library is located at 301 E. Mahoning St.
Take a Tour. Enjoy free hayride tours of the town, put on by the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. Hour-long tours will showcase the town’s best, and provides refreshments.
Watch a Movie. The Area Community Center is a fantastic place to be for an inexpensive fun day out with the family. The center boasts activities and programs for everyone such as zumba and belly dancing, as well as a cinema (Jackson Theater) where you can watch a movie of the week. Over the weekend, enjoy free showings of the Bill Murray classic “Groundhog Day.”
Spend an Evening at the Elks Lodge. If you are looking for fun things to do in Punxsutawney in the evening, be sure to head over to the Elks Lodge at 205 N. Findley St. The Elks Lodge hosts regular evening events such as live music bands, dinner specials and bingo.
Take a Stroll along Barclay Square. Punxsutawney is home to a beautiful historic town square located in the heart of the town, which is named after the founding father of the town, Rev. David Barclay.
Watch Live Art Demonstrations. Located at 101 W. Mahoning St., it’s the quaint art store, Gilson’s Stained Glass & More, which sells lovely handmade artwork. The store owners also offer art classes for visitors and fascinating stained glass demonstrations for families.
Learn the Heritage of Punxsutawney. If you are family is interested in history, you can learn more about the town’s history at the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society (located at 401 W. Mahoning St.) The Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society has an extensive museum filled with interesting historical artifacts such as early settler tools, early televisions and radio sets, and Native American and Boomtown-era artifacts.
Take a tour of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). While in town, you could also take a stroll inside the IUP and check out the beautiful campus and learn more about the university. The university offers weekly group walking tours, which last approximately 90 minutes.
James Jones lives in California and is a travel blogger for My Travel Guide Posts. James enjoys traveling in Pennsylvania and has visited Liberty Bell, Fallingwater and Presque Isle State Park, as well as the American Civil War Battle Site Valley Forge.