10 Great Reasons to Visit Pennsylvania in 2017

10 Great Reasons to Visit Pennsylvania in 2017

With 2017 now here, you’re probably thinking about what places you want to visit in Pennsylvania in the new year. While there are many great things to do in PA throughout 2017, there are a few anniversaries, new attractions, and special events that are worth planning your travels around.

I’ve scoured the internet, reached out to sources, and done a lot of research to bring you 10 of the best new and once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Pennsylvania in 2017. Whether you are looking for a reason to visit PA or are still trying to figure out where to head in the coming year, check out these 10 great suggestions.

Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship in Pittsburgh – March 8-12

If you love college basketball, you won’t want to miss Atlantic 10 Men’s College Basketball Championships. Being held at PPG Paints Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, this competition will pit some of the best Division One teams against each other, including Pittsburgh’s own Duquesne University.

This five-day tournament will be televised nationally and feature 13 games, with the tournament winner heading to the the NCAA Division 1 Tournament later in March.

For more information about the tournament and for tickets, visit the tournament’s website.

Opening of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia – April 19

Things to do in Pennsylvania in 2017: Opening of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philly.

The Museum of the American Revolution will be opening in Philadelphia this spring. (Photo used courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution)

One of the most anticipated openings in Pennsylvania in 2017 is the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The museum will tell the entire story of the revolution from its earliest beginnings through the foundations of the United States. And, of course, where better to tell that story than in the nation’s first capital city.

I have no doubt that this museum will add a great new dynamic to the historical sites in downtown Philly. For more information about the museum and updates on its status, visit the museum’s website.

NFL Draft in Philadelphia – April 27-29

In 1936, Philadelphia hosted the very first National Football League Draft, and it will be returning to its birthplace this spring. Over the course of three days, some of the best amateur football players in the country will be selected by all 32 NFL teams. 

In addition to the players and executives in town for the draft, it is estimated that up to 200,000 fans will come to Philly during the draft to see who their favorite teams draft.

For more information about tickets and packages, visit the website of the NFL Draft.

Reopening of the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square – May

Reasons to Visit PA in 2017: Longwood Gardens

Longwood Garden’s Main Fountain Garden will be reopening, joining smaller fountains like the one pictured above.

Longwood Gardens in the suburbs of Philadelphia is known for its beautiful gardens and wonderful fountains. However, one of its main attractions, the Main Fountain Garden, has been closed since late 2014. Fortunately, after undergoing a $90 million upgrade, the fountain is slated to reopen in May 2017.

The new fountain will have entirely new technology that will send water 175 feet into the air. There has also been major restoration work done to some of the other fountains in this portion of the garden that are certain to leave guests speechless.

For updates on the work and more information about the restoration work, visit Longwood Garden’s website.

The Expansion of the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor – Spring 2017

The Pocono Mountains are already home to some of the most fun indoor waterparks in the country, but Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor is stepping things up a notch in 2017. Once they complete construction on their Phase II project, the resort will be home to a 220,000 square foot indoor waterpark, the largest indoor waterpark in the country.

For more information about this fun attraction, visit the resort’s website.

Opening of the LegoLand Discovery Center in Plymouth Meeting – Spring 2017

Opening in the Spring of 2017 in Plymouth Meeting Mall is the LegoLand Discovery Center. The ninth such center in the United States, this playland is perfect for kids that love to build things. Activities include rides, a 4D theater, interactive games, and, of course, the chance to play with Legos. There are even some permanent Lego creations on display that are sure to amaze.

For more information on the discovery center, click here.

Happy Valley Jam in State College – July 8

Reasons to Visit Pennsylvania in 2017 - Happy Valley Jam in State College, PA

Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania, will host its first concert in 2017. (Public Domain)

Beaver Stadium, the home of Penn State football, is the second largest stadium in the United States (In fact, it was just featured in our list of man-made wonders of Pennsylvania). However, despite being more than 50 years old, it has never hosted a concert. That is, until July 2017.

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    This summer, music fans will be able to visit the stadium for Happy Valley Jam, which will feature some of the biggest country music stars in the country. The line up includes Blake Shelton, Big and Rich, Chris Young, and others.

    For more information and tickets, visit

    New Rollercoaster at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster – Summer 2017

    Dutch Wonderland is one of the best theme parks in the country for kids, but it’s bringing thrills for the whole family this summer. Their new rollercoaster, Merlin’s Mayhem, will be a hanging coaster that travels on more than 1,300 feet of track. This isn’t a normal rollercoaster, however. It will feature special effects and invite all riders to search the park for Merlin’s missing dragon, Mayhem. In keeping with their family-friendly atmosphere, this coaster will only have a minimum height requirement of 39 inches, despite having two helix turns.

    For more information on this exciting new rollercoaster, visit Dutch Wonderland’s website.

    100th Season of the Erie Playhouse in Erie – July 28-30

    Reasons to visit PA in 2017: The Erie Playhouse

    The Erie Playhouse will be celebrating its 100th season in 2017. (Photo used courtesy of Visit Erie)

    Did you know that Erie, Pennsylvania, is home to the 12th oldest community theater in the United States? In their 2016-2017 season, the Erie Playhouse is celebrating their 100th season. The playhouse features a variety of performances throughout the year.

    In addition to a full host of shows like Oklahoma!, James and the Giant Peach, and A Chorus Line, the playhouse will also feature several special events to celebrate their anniversary. The highlight, however, is their Family Reunion Weekend on July 28-30, which will feature the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra.

    For more information on the Erie Playhouse and their shows, visit their website.

    250th Anniversary of the Borough of Huntingdon

    Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, will be celebrating their 250th anniversary throughout 2017. During the year, you can learn about the history of the region through historical displays at the Historical Society Exhibit Hall and see art from the region sponsored by the Huntingdon County Arts Council. There will also be a 250 Years of Huntingdon Celebration from June 9-10.

    To stay up-to-date on plans for the 250th anniversary celebration, check out the borough’s website.

    Do you know of any once-in-a-lifetime celebrations or special anniversaries occurring in Pennsylvania in 2017? Let us know about them in the comments section below.

    Do you have an upcoming event that you would like to promote on UncoveringPA? Click here for more information and to submit your event.

    AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

    Jim Cheney is the creator of Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited all 67 counties in the state. Jim has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.


    • Carolyn Flemish

      Thanks so much, Jim for all you do for us. You are so appreciated. Pennsylvania is a great place to live , work and play. We never have to leave home to get the best out of life. Best wishes to you for a fantastic 2017. Keep up the good work. Thanks!

    • Marianne Diacont

      Would enjoy visiting some of these places.

    • karen stains

      we visit many places you have posted and not disappointed once. you’ve put some on we didn’t know of , and showed us reasons to visit some we didn’t think was interesting enough to make a trip. keep up the good work we really do appreciate your enjoyment of GOOD OLD PENNSYLVANIA. thank you.

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