Weekend Easy in Cumberland Valley this winter, and find plenty of inexpensive activities to keep you warm and cozy. Our scenic valley is picture-perfect year-round, our walkable downtowns offer plenty of shops and restaurants, and our event calendar is full of fun.
1. Attend An Event
There are plenty of free and low-cost events year-round in Cumberland Valley. This winter, keep an eye out for Carlisle's Wonderland Weekend. This special weekend is full of merriment and cheer, featuring visits from Santa, a parade, holiday performing arts, and special shopping events.
Celebrate New Year's Eve at several locations along the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail.
You won't want to miss Carlisle's Ice Arts Fest in February. This annual event features ice sculptures, art demonstrations, and carriage rides.
2. Enjoy the Scenery
If you don't mind the cold, winter is still a great time to hike in Cumberland Valley (with precautions). The foliage clears away to reveal undistracted views of the Valley.
Even if you don't love the cold, you'll want to wander out after a fresh snowfall to enjoy the peaceful sight. Below are a few suggestions for picture-perfect post-snow locations.
- The back porch of the Mansion at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center (Note: please ensure the roads have been cleared before attempting this journey. King's Gap is located at the top of a four-mile, winding hill.)
- Ramp's Covered Bridge
- Cumberland Valley Rail Trail (pictured above)
- Laughlin Mill
- Pine Grove Furnace State Park
- Negley Park
- Downtown Carlisle and Dickinson College
- Downtown New Cumberland and New Cumberland Borough Park
3. Tap, Tour & Try a Pint
With more than 25 breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries, the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail will delight you with its variety of local craft beverages. Sign up for our free digital Cumberland Valley Beer Trail passport to begin your journey and check-in at participating locations to win prizes.
4. Find Culinary Delights
Pennsylvania recently introduced new culinary trails highlighting the role that food and agriculture play in Pennsylvania's history, economy, and culture. Several Cumberland Valley locations are listed on each trail. Whether you're hosting a fancy dinner party, an indoor picnic, or serving up a mini charcuterie board, incorporate these culinary delights into your planning.
5. Play a Game
Challenge your friends to some friendly competition indoors this winter. Play arcade games, laser tag, or try the indoor go-karts at the Carlisle Sports Emporium. Watch a game, play arcade games, and bowl at The Coliseum Megaplex. Dave & Buster's is a crowd favorite featuring a large arcade and is located inside a mall perfect for window shopping. Mini-golf indoors and follow up with a few rounds of bowling at Trindle Bowl. Try ax throwing at Hops & Hatchets, the Fraxture Factory, Autobahn Indoor Speedway, or Midway Bowling.
6. Grab a Cup
Grab a warm cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at a local coffee shop and people or snow-watch from the windows. On a warmer day, get your coffee to-go and stroll the streets of our walkable downtowns. Don't forget to indulge in a delicious pastry to accompany your coffee.
7. Uncover Local History
Cumberland Valley served as the Great Road West, and the people that traveled through left their mark on the Valley through their interests. Find a quirky and unexpected blend of by-donation museums covering the Cumberland Valley Railroad, Roll Royce & Bentley motor cars, fashion through the ages, fly fishing, and more. Or, download a free self-guided tour and explore our communities by foot or car.
The U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center is a not-to-be-missed, free location offering an indoor museum with interactive exhibits and a one-mile, outdoor trail featuring full-sized exhibits.
8. Take in the Arts
Looking for something a little different? Catch a foreign or independent film at the art-deco Carlisle Theater or learn how to swing dance at The Green Door.
The Playhouse at Allenberry is run by the local theatre group Keystone Theatrics. Or head to the recently-renovated West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland, where you'll find a lineup of movies, theatrical performances, and musical entertainment.
Cumberland Valley's higher education facilities offer free or low-cost visual and performing arts experiences year-round. Some of the exhibits are created by students, while others are fine-art displays from notable artists. View the Events tab of each performing arts gallery to see upcoming shows.
- Dickinson College: The Trout Gallery, Rubendall Performance Hall, and Mathers Theatre
- Shippensburg University: Kauffman Gallery and H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Gallery
- Messiah University: M. Louise Aughinbaugh Gallery and High Center; also be sure to visit the Oakes Musuem