“The Weather Capital of the World”
That is what the sign said as we drove into Punxsutawney, PA.
That seemed appropriate since we were there for a weather outing with Molly’s school.
A few weeks ago I heard about a school outing to the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center. I knew all the kids would enjoy the field trip, particularly Ozzie, who LOVES all things weather and whose favorite TV station is the weather channel. He could sit for hours watching weather reports, so I knew this would be thrilling for him.
Yesterday morning we left the house by 10:00am knowing we had a two hour drive ahead of us. Although it was a long car ride, it was a beautiful one. The sun was out and the drive took us through the rolling hills and back roads of Pennsylvania.
When we arrived we discovered that the Weather Discovery Center was located in an old post office that had been repurposed. The building was beautiful!
We arrived 15 minutes before the tour began, and then waited for the other 3 families that had signed up for the tour, to arrive. They never did, so our little family and the school Family Support Coordinator, who planned the outing, had the whole place to ourselves. It was fun having a private tour of this very neat place. There were many hands-on weather related stations for the kids to experiment with. It reminded us a lot of the Carnegie Science Center but was all “weather” themed.
Tyler loved the tornado slide and spent a good amount of his time playing on it.
One of the favorite stops in the tour was the pretend weather report TV station where the kids were able to stand in front of a green screen and try reporting the weather. Ozzie was a pro. All those hours of watching the weather channel had really paid off. 🙂
Another favorite area of the weather center was the “animals can predict the weather” area. Here the displays proved or disproved old weather adages. It was fascinating!
And of course there was “Phil’s Burrow” where we learned about the history of the most famous animal weather predictor
Phil, the groundhog. 🙂
Here are some of the other fun things we did at the Weather Discovery Center:
After a fun and educational day learning about all things weather we decided to take advantage of our first ever visit to Punxsutawney, PA and visit Phil!
During the year, when he is not predicting the weather, he resides in a burrow next to the town library, in the public square. We were able to see Phil and learn a little more about the world’s most famous groundhog.
After visiting Phil we had one more stop to make before we headed home…
What trip to Punxsutawney, PA is complete without a trip to Gobbler’s Knob, home of the annual Groundhog Day festival.
“Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby is a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. On February 2 (Groundhog Day) of each year, the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the legendary groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food. During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of town. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an “early spring.”
The kids loved seeing the town where a favorite movie of ours takes place:
“No matter what the weather, bring your own sunshine!”
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating;
there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” – John Ruskin