Centre County, Pa. (WTAJ) —All Summer long we are showing you unique places to visit across our Keystone state. Centre County is home the following five destinations your family may want to check out.
Way Fruit Farm
Our first destination is Way Fruit Farm.
Located in Port Matilda, this “farm” has different things to offer for every season.
From special rides through their apple orchards to festivals and a grocery store that sells fresh produce and includes a cafe, there is something for everyone.
Most recently though, they’ve added something new to their menu.
“We have the lunch in the back where we just started doing new personalized pizzas, as well as all of the rest of our menu,” Jason Coopey, Co-Owner of Way Fruit Farm, said.
What’s so special about the pizza?
The oven it’s heated in!
Taking only 90 seconds from the time its put in to be ready for you to enjoy.
“We just bought 9 picnic tables, we just put them outside, as well as we have tables on our porch,” Coopey, said. “So, there’s lot of ways, people can come out and enjoy, but still maintain safety.”
By late July, Coopey says “you pick” sweet corn will also be available in their corn fields. To keep up with Way Fruit Farm’s current “you pick” season and other events you can go to their website.
Arboretum at Penn State.
An 18-minute drive north from Way’s will bring you to the Arboretum at Penn State. The seven-acre garden has eleven hundred different plants in a given year.
“A visitor to the arboretum now, should definitely make sure to visit our lotus pool, which is in our oasis garden, that’s where we have all of our water lilies and it is beginning to look absolutely stunning this time of year,” Shari Edelson, Director of Horticulture and Curator for the Arboretum at Penn State, said.
Edelson, says kids can go on a scavenger hunt, looking for the different bronze animals in the Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden, or for music lovers…
“We also have a number of outdoor musical instruments that are installed in the children’s garden, so either by yourself or with other folks you can come and jam out for a while, play our chimes,” Edelson, said.
Penn State asks you to keep yourself and others safe when going to the garden, by wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, staying 6 feet apart, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and staying home if you feel sick.
Visit their website learn more about the Arboretum at Penn State you can go to:
Rhoneymeade Sculpture Garden
If the Arboretum at Penn State is well-known, Rhoneymeade Sculpture Garden in Centre Hall is a hidden gem.
Rhoneymeade is German for “Rhone’s Garden”. The garden dates back to the 1800’s and was first owned by Leonard Rhone, who was also one of the founders of the popular Centre County Grange Fair.
Visit here and you will see dozens of bridge-sculptures. These were gathered from sculptors both local and non-local. You can take pictures, paint the scenery or go on a scavenger hunt to find all 30.
“After you see one or two or three, then kids really get engaged and look for the next one, “Hey mom, hey Dad, look at this. What do you think it is?”, James Lesher, Executive Director at Rhoneymeade, said. “Or, a kid will call a plaster bus a dirty sock sculpture, you get all these great reactions.”
There’s also a new feature this year-a new two mile hike from the garden to the farm.
“You can walk across one of those hay fields and take in the views, you can down an old stage coach road that forms our eastern boarder, you can walk along 800 feet of old Lewisburg and Tyrone railroad bed,” Lesher, said.
To learn more about Rhoneymeade you can visit the website.
Staying in Centre Hall, Encore Farms offers horse course training.
“Some horses and ponies can only jump certain heights, based on their abilities,” Shira Houser, Horse Trainer at Encore Farms, said. “So sometimes you start of with a smaller ponies and then once you get more advanced, then you move up to the bigger horses that can jump bigger.”
Students of all ages work with the horses around and over these different jumps.
“When they get more advanced you tell them where to go, you tell the before hand the course and then they learn the course and then they go over the horse course, Houser said.
Our final destination, Woodward Cave, is just about a half hour away from Encore Farms.
“The Seneca Indians lived in this area, years ago and they used to come up into the room that we’re at now, room 4 and 5 and they would have their fires and they’d have a controlled temperature of 48 degrees, year-round, so they could keep their food decent,” Jason Bierly, Manager at Woodward Caves, said.
Manager, Jason Bierly says you can take a public tour, which is easy to social distance, or you can take a private socially distanced tour, just for your family.
“Our largest room, which is four and five, is over three hundred feet long, sixteen thousand square feet, and you can go up on top of it and look down into crystal lake, we actually have a spot where the Indians had gotten their water, so they had fresh water year-round,” Bierly, said.
Crowd favorites include the tower babel, Nittany Lion and of course, bacon.
“You’ll actually see what we call cave bacon in our third room, which is very large that we have a light on, it’s look like bacon and it’s really neat,” Bierly, said. “Some of the other features, you’re going to see a gorilla in the cave, you’re going to see hanging bananas, we have an alligator coming down off the wall.”
So if you’re looking for something to do, pack up the family and visit a few of these unique destinations, you won’t be disappointed.