Pandemic-friendly activities you can do this weekend

Local News

(WTAJ) — We’re in a pandemic, it’s winter and many events we hoped to attend this season have been canceled. If you’re feeling the winter blues more than usual this year, there is still plenty to explore outside and unique experiences from right in your home.

Here is a list things you can do this weekend!

1. Blue Knob Ski Resort

There’s nothing better to do in the winter than hit the slopes. If skiing isn’t your style, Blue Knob also has a snow tubing park opened this weekend. The two-hour tubing session must be scheduled in advance, which can be done on their website. And when you’re ready to unwind, the Blue Knob Clubhouse Restaurant will be open for dine-in service. For takeout orders, call 814-239-1024.


JAN. 29: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
TUBING PARK: Opens at 4 p.m.
Blue Knob Clubhouse Restaurant: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

JAN. 30: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
TUBING PARK: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Blue Knob Clubhouse Restaurant: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

JAN. 31: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
TUBING PARK: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Blue Knob Clubhouse Restaurant: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Blue Knob has an updated list of trail maps and current ski conditions. Face coverings must be worn in all indoor facilities, lift lines and chairlifts. No exceptions.

2. Snowmobiling Trails

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, snowmobiling might be up your alley. In Cameron County, the Sinnemahoning State Park and Sizerville State Park offer easy access to the trail system in the nearby Elk State Forest, giving riders endless opportunities or adventure.

The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a snowmobile hotline during the winter that you can call to receive updates on the snow and trail conditions. The number is 1-877-SNOMBLE.

3. Hinckston Run Falls

Have you thought about exploring a waterfall? If you haven’t, Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown might be the place to start! And it just so happens to be a roadside attraction. Yep, that means you can see its beauty right from your car.

A quick search will bring up directions on how to reach the falls that are located right on Waterfall Drive.

Please be respectful as there is private property around and enjoy the view from inside your vehicle.

4. Gallitzin State Forest

The Gallitzin State Forest covers a lot of ground in central Pennsylvania: it spans across Somerset, Bedford, Cambria and Indiana Counties. Visitors can check out the 51 miles of hiking trails, cross-country ski in the Babcock forest area off Route 56 or hit the trails on horseback.

5. Altoona Community Theatre Performance

Alright, let’s bring it back inside for a minute. If you want to stay away from the cold, the Altoona Community Theatre hosting a virtual performance from the Mishler Theatre on Jan. 30 at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 31. Postcards from a Dead Dog is a comedy/drama that takes a look at the dysfunctional, yet devoted relationship of a mother and son.

Tickets for this streamed performance can be purchased here.

Altoona Community Theatre

6. Virtual Cooking Classes

TasteBuds Kitchen in State College, known for its in-person cooking classes has brought instruction online. While you can continue to book in-person sessions, these virtual classes allow you to perfect your cooking skills in the comfort of your home.

From beginners to skilled chefs, there is a class designed for everyone, including kids. This is a hands-on class that requires a shopping list in advance but, no worries, you’ll receive all the details after selecting your class.

Classes aren’t only available during the weekend so, you’ll be able to find a time suited best for you on their website.

7. Flowers in full bloom at Phipps Conservatory

If you’re tired of the grey wintery weather, Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh might brighten your spirits. The all-new Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: A Splash of Brilliances showcases a vibrant display of flowers and other plants that is sure to warm your winter blues.

The exhibit just opened on Jan. 23 and runs through Feb. 28. Tickets must be purchased in advance with a selected entry time.

8. 6-10 Trail

The 6-10 trail. It follows the route of the Allegheny Portage Railroad from the 19th Century. In total, the trail is about 10 miles long. If you don’t want to check it out on foot, there’s a bicycling section on the route of the New Portage Railroad.

The trailheads are at the park Visitor Center (Gallitzin Exit off of U.S. Route 22) and along Dry Run Road in Duncansville. At this time, the Visitor Center is temporarily closed. However, the park grounds are still open from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting.

9. Next Week Extra: Groundhog Day

There isn’t an in-person gathering of thousands of folks from all over the country this year on Groundhog day but, you can still catch the experience! Beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 2, The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club will be live streaming events straight from Gobbler’s Knob.

  • A J Dereume, John Griffiths Al Dereume
  • Groundhog Day 2009_1403808772245376007
  • Groundhog Day 2011_1209184208163455379

Last year, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. On Tuesday we will find out the prediction from the “Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather-Prophet Extraordinary.”

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