Ice Skating, Carriage Rides, Reindeer and More!

Some First Night activities, like ice skating are fun to do with lots of people. Others, like a carriage ride, are best when shared with that special someone. No matter what you chose to do at First Night, adding a little bling—and some blink—will make it even more fun!

Ice Skating

Sponsored by Geisinger

Ice skating is First Night State College’s most popular event, and makes a great way to slide (or triple Salchow) into the new year. Skaters glide and dance to music provided by Larry Moore Productions in the Pegula Ice Arena on the Penn State campus. Skating sessions begin at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 p.m. Ice will be resurfaced at 45 minutes past the hour. A First Night button is required to access the arena; ice skate rental is included with the purchase of a First Night button, courtesy of Geisinger.

Skating takes place on the lower rink at Pegula Arena. The entrance to the rink is from the parking area between Pegula Arena and Holuba Hall.

Carriage Rides

At Mayor Welch Plaza, two carriages drawn by Percheron draft horses, take you back in time as they carry you through downtown State College. Dress warmly – it’s difficult to turn up the heat in an open carriage. Rides are offered from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. Due to high demand, not all of those wishing to ride may be accommodated. Carriage rides are $5 a person and require a First Night Button.


As all American children and adults know, Santa Claus’s reindeer pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Mr. Claus deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. Santa’s first eight reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, were named by Clement Clarke Moore in his 1823 poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas. Rudolph did not join the crew until 1939, though his fame did not become widespread until 1949 when Gene Autry recorded the now familiar Christmas song.

Reindeer, also called caribou, spend the other 364 days a year as residents of the polar regions of North America, Siberia, and Europe. Our friends from Spruce Run Farm in Bloomsburg will be visiting  Sidney Friedman Park with two of their reindeer on December 31 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm.

Puttin’ on the Glitz

This contest, open to Centre County homes, celebrates how we use our homes to share the joy of the holiday season. From the electric candle in a window to the over-the-top extravaganza of the Griswold family in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, our decorations are a way we share holiday joy with friends, neighbors, and people we’ve never even met.  Greenery, dried flowers and fruits have been used for wintertime decorations since at least the mid-19th century. The internet age has seen holiday decorations taken to a new level, as spirit-filled suburbanites cover every available surface with lights, add a musical sound track, and post videos of the show on YouTube. Show us how creative you are!

The entry deadline was December 10 at 5:00 pm.

Sponsored by The Richards Stover Group at Kissinger Bigatel and Brower

Let it Snow

No matter the weather outside, you can bring winter’s beauty indoors with simple paper snowflakes…like the kind you made when you were a kid.

For a First Night State College community craft project, we’d like you to make and send us your paper snowflakes. Let your creativity bloom—don’t limit yourself to white paper! One of the best things about snowflakes is that each one is unique. Just like us.

We’ll display them in various locations in the Centre Region. The variety of snowflakes will reflect our diversity.

Buy a Button!

A First Night button gets you into all performances and some activities – for just $10!

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