A new year means new fun adventures and celebrations across PA! Learn about the brand-new attractions coming to the Keystone State as well as the destinations celebrating centuries of memory making.
Prepare for liftoff at one of Steel City’s newest museums! The Moonshot Museum officially opened its doors in Oct. 2022 and promises out-of-this-world fun. As PA’s only museum dedicated to space, visitors can watch real lunar spacecraft being built for future missions to the moon, go on their own simulated lunar mission, and find their place in the future of human space exploration at this “Only in Pittsburgh” attraction.
Route 22 Huntingdon County Visitors Center
Be sure to stop by the new Route 22 Huntingdon County Visitors Center to see its upgraded space and to plan all the things to do and see in the area. Opened in Dec. 2022, this convenient stop gives you the inside scoop on where to dine, shop, stay, and play around Raystown Lake. The center is also home to the Juniata Reflections Gift Shoppe to take care of your souvenir needs during your Ray-cation.
Completed in 1882, the brown sandstone Second Empire architectural-style mansion, Heidelberg Hall, is quite a sight to behold. What’s new is that tours of this gorgeous structure are now available on Saturdays starting in Spring 2023. Bring the whole family to explore this historical building with its 9 fireplaces, 110 windows, 60 doors, 12 staircases, and three floors spanning more than 12,000 square feet of living space.
Senior National Games
Let the games begin! The 2023 National Senior Games are coming to Pittsburgh, Jul. 7-18. Watch as some of the best senior athletes in the nation compete in a variety of individual, team, and “non-ambulatory” sports, including pickleball, swimming, basketball, archery, golf, soccer, bowling, and cornhole along with several other sports. Be sure to visit Beaver County to watch the triathlon and archery events.
The Yorktowne Hotel
Built in the Renaissance Revival style and spanning 14 floors, The Yorktowne Hotel has been magnificently restored to its former grandeur. Considered the “Cornerstone of York” since it first opened in 1925, the newly refurbished hotel offers all the modern amenities while retaining the elegance and charm that made it the premier lodging destination for such musical and historic icons as Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and even British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Located in the heart of historic downtown York and with its new rooftop bar providing stunning views of downtown., it is the ideal location for visitors and lovers of art and history to stay.
Disney100: The Exhibition
Celebrate 100 years of Disney magic with the world premiere of Disney100: The Exhibition at the Franklin Institute, now through Aug 27. The Disney Company has dived into its archives to showcase several rarely seen items of iconic memorabilia including 250 rarely seen original artworks, artifacts, costumes, and props. Immerse yourself in the company’s most beloved stories through 10 themed galleries and 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. The exhibit showcases 23 of Disney’s “Crown Jewels” including the Carousel Horse used by Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins, the First Order Stormtrooper Armor from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Engineer Mickey Mouse used by Walt Disney on Opening Day of Disneyland, 1955. This is one exhibit you won’t want to miss!
Beyond The Battle Museum
Immerse yourself in more than three centuries of American history with a visit to the brand-new Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum. Opening in April, the 29,000-square-foot space will feature 12 galleries of immersive exhibits including 360-degree special effects technology. See, hear, and feel how civilians felt during the Civil War in the “Caught in Crossfire” exhibit, a detailed, 360-degree Battle of Gettysburg experience. As also the new home of the Adams County Historical Society, hundreds of Gettysburg's rarest artifacts will be on display, many for the first time ever!
Gettysburg Mercantile Museum
In Spring of 2023, the Gettysburg Mercantile Museum, an 1860s-style shop selling items to Civil War reenactors, will open adjacent to The Maryland Sutler store with merchandise geared to Civil War reenactors. The museum will showcase everyday items from the Civil War era for admirers to view and even take-home pieces of history from the town’s newest mercantile store.
Rocket Blaster Water Coaster
Buckle up and have a blast with more water-ful fun this summer when riding Waldemeer Park and Water World’s latest attraction, the Rocket Blaster Water Coaster! Touted as “the most thrilling water attraction the park has ever had,” the new water coaster is more than 60-feet tall and 800-feet long propelling riders on inflatable rafts at high speeds through a 450-foot course of thrilling turns and uphill stretches, intertwining with existing water slides.
Mount Pleasant of Edinboro’s New Lift and Lodging
Ski bunnies, rejoice! Mount Pleasant of Edinboro recently upgraded their facility to include a new 120-foot covered conveyor lift – ideal for new skiers and snowboarders at the newly expanded beginner’s terrain. There have also been major renovations at the rental shop with an expanded area for renting and getting fitted for boots. Also new, the Mount Pleasant House – a six-bedroom, short-term winter and summer rental lodging option – will make its debut in summer 2023, allowing families and friends to vacation slope-side all year round.
New and Improved FDR Park
Originally designed by the sons of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, FDR Park in South Philadelphia has long been one of the gems of the city’s park system. This gem is getting an infusion of $250 million with transformations that will ensure the park remains a key place for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the great outdoors. The first phase known as “The Gateway Phase” is currently underway and scheduled to open in 2023 includes a Welcome Center with an open-air courtyard, food and beverage vendors, water views of the repaired Pattison Lagoon, and the new Pattison Playground, “a world-class destination play space that encourages nature play for all ages and abilities.“
Franklin Institute’s New Space Exhibit
With a $3 million gift from Boeing, a new out-of-this-world exhibit is coming to the Franklin Institute in fall 2023. Located between the first floor Fels Planetarium and the fourth floor Holt & Miller Observatory, the future-focused space exhibit will expand the museum’s current space exhibit with the addition of a two-story, 7,000-square-foot immersive experience for future space cadets to learn and explore galaxies far, far away and what it takes to live, work and play in outer space, as well as the many careers tied to space exploration.
York County Cultural Trails
Various locations in York
Hit the trails in 2023 with Explore York’s new Cultural Trails program. Designed to celebrate strength, diversity, perseverance, and the entrepreneurial “makers spirit” that defines the area, the first two trails in the series, Women Power and African American Excellence, will bring historical accounts of local, legendary heroes to life and will interactively share the stories of black- and women-owned businesses. More trails will be added to this series soon and complement the experiences found in the first two trails.
While it won’t be officially unveiled until fall 2024, one of the nation’s most notable and historic botanical gardens is expanding. Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden experience is underway and in 2023 visitors will start to see some of the new exhibits come to life. The centerpiece of the project will be the stunning, 32.000-square-foot West Conservancy, “built on the great 19th century tradition of glasshouses and enhanced with new, sustainable technologies.” Although no official updates have been publicized, you can watch the progress of the new West Conservancy here.
30th Anniversary of Ron Maxwell’s “Gettysburg” at The Majestic Theater
From Oct. 13-15, film fanatics will want to venture to Gettysburg as the town celebrates the 30th anniversary of Ron Maxwell’s masterpiece film, “Gettysburg.” Stay tuned for more details and to purchase tickets. Fun fact: at 254 minutes, the film is one of the longest films released by a major film studio in the U.S.
50th Anniversary of Hershey’s Chocolate World
This year is looking extra sweet for Hershey’s Chocolate World as they celebrate 50 years of pure fun! Join them all year long for exciting events, new adventures, and endless amounts of tasty treats. Be sure to mark your calendars for Jun. 30, because you’re invited to the official 50th Birthday Celebration. This all-day event kicks off with the rededication of Hershey’s Chocolate World and will feature Hershey’s characters, team members, and Bean to Bar Band with even more surprises in store throughout the day.
100 Years of Allegheny National Forest
Celebrate a century of PA’s only national forest. Honor the Allegheny National Forest all year long leading up to September 24, 2023 – the official birthday of the forest – with an abundance of centennial events like the Welcome to Warren event and a Bigfoot Festival. Established in 1923, this must-visit PA destination has brought more than 600 miles of four-season trails, the iconic Kinzua Sky Walk, and some of the best fall foliage views in the country to PA. Cheers to 100 years!
100 Years of the Erie Art Museum
The Erie Art Museum celebrates a century’s worth of stand-alone art sculptures and tremendous exhibits. Help to ring in 100 years of the museum by touring unique collections that feature more than 8,000 objects from local, regional, and national artists. Selected works of art from current artists living, working, or studying within 250 miles of Erie City will be on display at the 100th annual Nicole & Harry Martin Spring Show, Mar. 17-Aug. 11.
125 Years of Kennywood
Kennywood amusement park is celebrating 125 years of thrilling fun in 2023! This year brings a brand-new ride, Spinvision, exciting new experiences for guests, an enhanced in-park atmosphere, and a jam-packed lineup of special events. Come along for the ride and make another year of memories at the park!
Reading Terminal Market: Party for the Market – Celebrating 130 Years
Philadelphia’s beloved Reading Terminal Market is 130 years young in 2023. Open year-round, this National Historic Landmark is one of the largest and oldest public markets in the country. The market is home to more than 80 merchants, providing fresh baked Amish goods, produce direct from the field, unique spices, flowers, and so much more.
150 Years of the Rain Day Festival
In 1873, a local farmer commented to the pharmacist at the JT Rogers & Co. Drugstore that it always seemed to rain on his birthday, Jul. 29. The pharmacist and many others throughout the decades have kept track of the weather for that date, revealing that the farmer was right! As of 2022, rain has fallen on Jul. 29 in 117 of the past 149 years. The town of Waynesburg has embraced this annual meteorological event with the Rain Day Festival for a day packed with live entertainment, arts and crafts, delicious food, fun children's games, and competitions including the Umbrella Decorating Contest and annual Hat Bet.
160th Anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg
July 2023 marks the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg when the town’s surrounding hills, fields, and woodlots were the scene of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Watch while reenactors recreate key scenes from the battle during “Acts of Valor, 160th Anniversary Reenactment,” Jun. 23-25. Reenactments will also take place at the Daniel Lady Farm, Jun. 30-Jul. 20 and will feature a major battle each of the three days corresponding with the three days of the original battle, as well as other living history presentations and exhibitions including military camps and a medical museum.
Westmoreland County’s 250th Anniversary
Celebrate Westmoreland County’s 250th Anniversary throughout 2023! There will be special events including a presentation series at the Rostraver Township Historical Society, exclusive discounts including a 25% discount for the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra concert, “Scottish Fantasy” on Feb. 11, and celebrations at the Ligonier Country Market and other local favorites.
For more inspiration on what to see and do in 2023 in PA, check out visitPA.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state.