New Roller Coaster at Hersheypark©
The roller coaster count at Hersheypark© will increase to 13 in 2015 when the park introduces Laff Trakk, the first indoor, spinning glow-coaster in the United States. Built inside a family-friendly house of laughs, Laff Trakk will spin riders through colorful characters, a hall of mirrors and a house of cards. Taking riders along 1,400 feet of track, the design of the coaster car will allow for a 360-degree free spinning rotation and will reach a speed of 40 miles per hour.
Kalahari Resorts is launching a $230 million, 150-acre complex in the Pocono Mountains in summer 2015. The center will offer convention and event space, as well as indoor and outdoor waterparks. Featuring 457 African-themed guest rooms, Kalahari will also feature diverse dining options and a family entertainment center.
Kimpton Hotels is bringing Hotel Monaco to downtown Pittsburgh. The hotel will be located in the converted James Reed Building and feature 249 rooms, a rooftop hospitality suite, fitness center, banquet and ballroom space, and a restaurant. Hotel Monaco is now taking reservations for visits beginning February 1, 2015.
Philadelphia Observation Deck
Philadelphia will bring a new observation deck experience to Center City in summer 2015. Montparnasse 56 (or M56) – a Parisian-based company that operates observation decks in the John Hancock Tower in Chicago and the Montparnasse 56 Tower in Paris – will build this first of its kind large-scale observation deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia. Details about the deck including the name are still to be determined. Stay tuned for updates!
Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitors Center
The Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitors Center is currently under construction with an opening scheduled for the fall of 2015. The center will feature classrooms, a small retail store, interpretive programming, and interactive displays focusing on the themes of engineering, energy and the environment with views of the Kinzua Sky Walk. In addition, the state park has built a new trail to the bottom of the gorge, the Kinzua Creek Trail, where visitors can now hike down the side of the gorge and view the fallen towers from the valley floor.
Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark
Camelback Mountain will open the Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark in the spring of 2015. The eight-story hotel is designed in a mountain-modern style architecture and will feature a 125,000 square-foot highly-themed indoor adventure waterpark. The lodge will also offer dining options, a luxury spa and conference space.
New Roller Coaster at Knoebels Amusement Resort
In 2015, Knoebels will add to its repertoire with the unveiling of Impulse, the park’s fifth roller coaster. This new ride features a steel coaster standing 98 feet tall with one big drop and several loops. Reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour, the 2,000-foot-long track will enhance the visitor experience and provide extra incentive for ride enthusiasts to visit during the 2015 season. As America’s largest free admission amusement park, Knoebels offers a diverse selection of rides, including fan favorites like The Phoenix, named one of the “best wooden coasters” by Amusement Today magazine.
New Ride at Dutch Wonderland
In the spring of 2015, visitors to one of the top family amusement parks for children ages 2-10 can enjoy a new ride. “Bon Voyage Balloon Chase” will take guests on a magical ride in one of eight flying hot air balloons where every seat has a view. The ride soars to lofty heights of 20 feet while rotating, allowing guests to control the direction and speed of their spin. Dutch Wonderland was designed for families with young children in mind, offering more than 30 rides, a water play area and live entertainment.
Erie Zoo New Cat Exhibit
The oldest part of the Erie Zoo is getting a makeover in April 2015! The 50-year-old exhibit that once housed lions and polar bears will soon become homes for the Zoo’s pair of Canadian lynx and Amur leopards. This is the first time in over 40 years that the Erie Zoo will house Canadian lynx in their collection. The new exhibit will have double the square footage of the old area with natural surfaces and areas for climbing. A continuous stream will run through both exhibits and visitors will be able to get nose to nose with the cats from behind a glass panel.
North Museum of Natural History and Science Reopening
A new state-of-the-art planetarium, a Nature Explorer Gallery, a larger lobby, and an expanded gift shop are part of the renovation of the North Museum of Natural History and Science that will open in 2015. These expansions will enhance the visitor experience with high-definition video and animations on a 41-foot aluminum dome in the new planetarium.
Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Expansion
The rough and rugged life of the lumber industry is portrayed in this recreated 20th century lumber mill and camp, debuting its renovated and expanded visitors center in spring 2015. Including expanded galleries, new interpretive exhibits, community meeting space and commercial style kitchen space, the new center will continue to highlight the importance of Pennsylvania’s forests and the environmental impact of lumbering activities.
U.S. Women’s Open
The 2015 U.S. Women’s Open will be held at the Lancaster Country Club July 6-12, 2015. This is Lancaster County and Central PA’s first hosting of a major championship. The U.S. Women’s Open reigns as the world’s greatest women’s championship, attracting increasing numbers of entries and spectators.
100th anniversary of the Tunkhannock Viaduct
www.nicholsonheritage.org/tunkhannock-creek-viaduct Tunkhannock Viaduct, the world’s largest concrete bridge, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015. Completed in 1915 to improve the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, the marvel of modern transportation will host a slew of events in 2015 to honor the milestone. Check its website regularly for details.
100th anniversary of the Licensed Battlefield Program
Licensed Battlefield Guides train for years and pass extensive tests administered by the National Park Service to qualify as a certified tour guide. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of this program, which allows licensed guides to take visitors on a personal two-hour tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield by car or by bus.
35th anniversary of Sesame Place
Join Sesame Place, the nation's only theme park dedicated to the television show Sesame Street®, as they celebrate their 35th birthday in 2015. The park will be decked out in festive birthday dÃ©cor and the beloved Neighborhood Street Party Parade will transform into the new Neighborhood Birthday Party Parade. Elmo's Eatery, the largest in-park restaurant, will change from its current cafeteria-style service to an updated technology-based service where guests can order food. Sesame Place will also introduce enhanced seasonal parades and rides for The Count's Halloween Spooktacular and A Very Furry Christmas.
10th anniversary of Tour de Tanks
Dutch Country Roads
The annual Mason-Dixon Wine Trail’s Tour De Tanks event will celebrate its 10th anniversary March 7-29, 2015. The wine trail has increased its number of wineries substantially, with 20 total locations on the trail today. It has also grown geographically to include wineries in Maryland, and has added distilleries and a cidery in the last few years. In fact, 2015 will be the first Tour de Tanks for the Wyndridge Farm, one of only two distilleries on the trail, and the only one with cider. Wyndridge Farm is a new 77 acre property located in southern York County that recently renovated a 120 year old barn, cidery and brewery, along with a majestic tasting room.
75th anniversary of the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival™
The annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival™ honors the birthplace of the Jeep® in Butler, Pa., and is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2015. The festival attracts Jeep® enthusiasts from all over the Mid-Atlantic region and plans to break its own Guinness World Record as part of the 5th annual event on June 12-14, 2015. The Guinness World Records Largest Parade of Jeeps will take place on Friday, June 12 with up to 2,500 Jeeps, attracting more than 20,000 parade-viewers to the city. The festival will also feature off-road events, historical exhibits, vendor displays, children’s activities and more.
250th anniversary of the York Fair
Known as America’s first fair, the York Fair celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2015. The first York Fair was held in 1765, more than a decade prior to the Declaration of Independence. The fair will feature musical performances, childrens events and exhibits.
160th anniversary of the Bloomsburg Fair
The Bloomsburg Fair is the largest agricultural fair in Pennsylvania, covering more than 236 acres. Celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2015, the fair will feature top-notch performances each evening, while visitors explore hundreds of exhibits, a monorail ride, food stands, craft stands, livestock and poultry, and more.