Forks in the Road: Food and Travel in Central PA - A Community Blog

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12 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Central PA

Written by Adrienne Wolter, Community Blogger | Jul 9, 2015 2:59 PM

There's something refreshing about the rain - unless you've planned to spend your day outside. Don't worry, though: Central Pennsylvania has plenty of places to hide out on days when clouds loom overhead. If you're feeling like even more of a pioneer, you can curate an indoor activity of your own.

I pulled together a dozen of the best things to do while precipitation passes, either out and about or at home. You might just find yourself wishing for rain so you can check them all off of your list.


Photo by David Flores

1. Harrisburg: Capitol Complex

Pennsylvania has a little piece of Rome and Paris in its capital city. Interestingly enough, Saint Peter's Basilica and the Paris Opera House inspired the intricate, classic design of the state's government buildings. You can tour the grounds seven days a week, though tour times vary by day.

2. At Home: Lounge in the Tub

You get ready for work, you make dinner, you watch TV ... but do you truly relax at home? If the answer is no, spend your next rainy day pampering yourself within the confines of your abode. First, run a warm bath and make its waters all the more soothing with a homemade moisturizer. For example, mix a mild soap with honey and an egg white. The combination softens skin and makes bubbles last a while. You've got nothing but time, so enjoy it!

3. Hershey: Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

The amusement park might get all of the credit, but Hershey has plenty to offer on a rainy day when rollercoasters are a no-go. The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, so you know it has to be good. You and your family can peruse an incredible array of vehicles from the 1890s to the 1980s.


Photo by Kaboompics (CC0)

4. At Home: Set a Tea Time

A day at home is the perfect excuse to lounge around, but you could also spend it in sophistication. Invite friends - or wrangle up the kids - for a tea party, complete with beverages, finger sandwiches and tiny cakes. You can even set a dress code or give your guests accessories so they feel exceptionally posh as they sip and snack.

5. York: Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations

Bikers and nonbikers alike love the tour of the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations Center. You can see how bikes are manufactured and assembled, as the tour takes you right onto the factory floor. Finally, you can see where bikes are roll-tested before they're given the stamp of approval and sent on the road.

6. At Home: Binge Read Wikipedia

Take advantage of the crummy weather to learn something new. Or lots of somethings. I sometimes spend hours binge-reading Wikipedia, whether that means learning more about deadly diseases like tuberculosis or trying out a random article and seeing if it leads to Philosophy. (Fun fact: almost 95% of Wikipedia articles eventually lead to the page about philosophy if you click the first link in every entry.)


Photo by Brent Schumacher

7. Williamsport: Pike Drive-In Theatre

This activity should be saved on a day that's just rainy enough to ruin your outdoor plans, but not too rainy. Your windshield wipers will keep the screen clear as you catch a flick at one of the state's remaining 40 drive-ins. It's typically closed in winter, so pack up the car and head over in summer, spring or fall.

8. At Home: Reclaim the Kitchen

A busy schedule might deter you from putting your chef's hat on, so let a rainy day be your excuse to get back in the kitchen. Find a new recipe online that tickles your fancy or whip something up that you've made countless times before. Either way, you kill two birds with one stone: You're not bored and you have something delicious to eat for dinner. That's a win-win.

9. Mechanicsburg: Allegro Vineyard

A rainy day with your significant other might lead you to Allegro Vineyard. Here, among rustic wine barrels and crimson walls, you can sample up to 12 different varieties of their wines. Options include white, rosé, fruit, dry red and reserve wines. Cheers!


Photo by Julie Rybarczyk

10. At Home: Color

A rainy day is the perfect time to embrace your inner child. Coloring is a quiet, therapeutic activity that gives you a chance to unplug and be creative with little risk. I put a list together with my favorite 75 adult coloring books here.

11. Centre Hall: Penn's Cave and Wildlife Park

You won't get rained on when you're inside of Penn's Cave and Wildlife Park, but you'll be on the water: Guides conduct the limestone cavern tours by boat. You can make your way through some awe-inspiring rock formations. Who says you can't enjoy nature on a rainy day?

12. At Home: Curate a Film Festival

You can't make it to Cannes this year, so set up a film festival in your living room. Choose family favorites, edgy Indies, silly romantic comedies - whatever you and your audience want to watch on this yucky day. Then, provide everyone with all of the theater snacks they could ever crave and start the movie.

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