Sunny Days Ahead: A Summer with Penn State Outreach

While school might be out, the excitement is just beginning for Penn State Outreach. This season, we’re busier than ever, offering a vibrant array of programs, trips, and camps designed to engage, educate, and inspire. From exhilarating outdoor adventures for children to enriching educational workshops for our 50 or better members at OLLI — and everything in between — our lineup has something for everyone.

Here is a listing of just a few of the incredible opportunities that await our community this summer!

The Arboretum at Penn State

Yoga in the Gardens

When: Select Wednesdays this summer
Where: Event Lawn

On select Wednesdays this summer, join us for a serene yoga experience amidst the beauty of nature! Unwind and rejuvenate with our Yoga in the Gardens sessions. Remember to bring your own mat for optimal comfort, but fret not if you forget — we have extras available. Embrace tranquility, stretch, and find your inner peace in the heart of nature. Reserve your spot now for a harmonious journey toward wellness.

Palmer Museum Volunteer Planting Session

When: Throughout the summer
Where: H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens

This community volunteer event aims to beautify our campus landscape and foster a sense of environmental stewardship and connection with nature and each other. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice simply eager to get your hands dirty, this is your chance to make a tangible impact on the new Palmer Museum landscape!

Volunteers planting grasses as part of the Arboretum's Palmer Plant-Out

Nature Sketching

When: Select Tuesdays this summer
Where: Overlook Pavilion

Channel your creativity and capture the beauty of nature during our drop-in nature sketching program. During this instructor-guided class, you will explore new artistic techniques and share your work with other participants at a wrap-up salon. All materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own sketchbook if you prefer. All levels of experience are welcome.

Check out all the events happening at the Arboretum this summer

OLLI at Penn State


a man sketches a tree in a notebookConnecting with Nature and Art: Longwood Gardens and Brandywine River Museum

When: Wednesday, June 26
Where: Longwood Gardens and Brandywine River Museum
Fee: $185 members/$210 nonmembers

Explore the highlights of Longwood Gardens while gaining an appreciation of the heritage and horticultural excellence on a guided 60-minute stroll. Get an inside, expert-led look at the diverse gardens. Following the tour, participants will have time to explore the gardens on their own and grab lunch at The Café.

At the Brandywine Museum of Art, a converted 1864 grist mill, art, nature, and history meet in a scenic riverside setting. Enjoy the opportunity to admire this renowned collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art, which features works of art by three generations of the Wyeth family (N.C., Andrew, and Jamie), early portraits, and pastoral landscapes, in a guided 60-minute tour. After the tour, explore the museum and grounds on your own.

Learn more about traveling with OLLI


OLLI at Penn State University Park is offering more than 30 courses this summer — no homework, no grades, no tests — solely for the love of learning!

Franco Harris Pittsburgh Center

High-Performance Building Summer Program

First- and second-year university students are invited to spend three weeks in Pittsburgh for a cross-cultural educational program with students from Northern Ireland. Through a combination of lectures from high-performance building experts, hands-on activities, and site visits, students will learn the latest in high-performance building design, featuring Passive House design standards. They will better understand how these design and construction principles make buildings more sustainable, more efficient, and healthier for people and how to help tackle the built environment’s significant contribution to climate change. Upon completion of the camp, attendees will be primed for future Passive House certification. This program is a joint initiative of the Penn State Global Building Network, the Franco Harris Pittsburgh Center at Penn State, and Northern Ireland’s South West College.

Students from City Semester and High-Performance Building Summer Program on a field trip around Pittsburgh

City Semester Pittsburgh

City Semester Pittsburgh is a unique learning experience for Penn State students of all majors and backgrounds who would like spend a semester learning about Pittsburgh’s urban dynamics. While participating in the program, students will intern with a prominent community partner and take an engaging course in sustainability. Students will further explore real-world issues in climate action, architectural design, clean energy, landscape architecture, urban equality, education, and more.

Learn more about the Franco Harris Pittsburgh Center

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

A man with binoculars watches for birdsMeet the Creek

Get to know our animals and explore the natural world through our guided Meet the Creek programs. Join Shaver’s Creek naturalists as they share many fascinating components of central Pennsylvania’s native flora and fauna. Each weekend, we’ll explore different themes that relate to changes in the seasons.

Self-Guided Activities

Shaver’s Creek gives you space to enjoy many self-guided activities such as nature journaling, nature photography, and hiking.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out the Shaver’s Creek’s Summer Bucket List

Readiness Institute at Penn State

Summer Discovery

The Readiness Institute Summer Discovery is a six-week paid experience for rising high school seniors in Pittsburgh and Central PA that helps them become community and future ready. Participants will have the opportunity to establish relationships and rituals, participate in essential skill workshops, complete projects that address real-world problems, and create personalized road maps for future success. After the program concludes, participants will have continued access to support, including mentorship, additional learning experiences, and peer networking.

Learn more about the Readiness Institute

A group photo of students in front of the Lion Shrine


Daniel Tiger MascotWPSU Kids’ Day at DelGrosso’s Park

When: Saturday, June 22nd
Where: DelGrosso’s Amusement Park

Enjoy a day full of fun activities and character photo ops on the Park Main Stage w/ Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

Come see WPSU at Arts Fest 2024!

Looking Ahead

If you think summer seems busy, just wait until fall — we’re planning the Pumpkin Festival at the Arboretum, WPSU Music Festival at Tussey Mountain, The Global Impact Forum in Philadelphia, and much, much more! Stay tuned!