2017 will bring unprecedented expansions, historic anniversaries and iconic birthday celebrations, and we’ve rounded up just a few of the reasons Pennsylvania should be on your must-see list in the coming year.
Opening of the Museum of the American Revolution - Philadelphia
The Museum of the American Revolution will open in Philadelphia on April 19, 2017, adding yet another museum to America’s most historic square mile. The new state-of-the-art facility will encompass 118,000 square feet, featuring three stories of galleries, theaters and education spaces. From General Washington’s Headquarters Tent to Boston’s Liberty Tree, the full-scale exhibits will engage visitors in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution.
Re-Opening of Longwood Gardens’ Main Fountain Garden - Kennett Square
Longwood Gardens, the world’s premier horticultural display garden, is home to the most significant fountain collection in the United States. The crown jewel of that collection, the Main Fountain Garden, is set to reopen in the spring of 2017 after an extensive two-year, $90-million revitalization. It will feature 1,719 jets rising as high as 175 feet and recirculating more than 31,000 gallons of water each minute and will be the highlight of the Festival of Fountains, which is returning to Longwood Gardens May 27 – September 30, 2017.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday - Laurel Highlands
Frank Lloyd Wright is celebrating his 150th birthday in 2017, and Pennsylvania is home to a trifecta of Wright’s architectural masterpieces – there’s no better time to plan a road trip to see the stunning structures. Visitors will enjoy the views at Fallingwater, named one of the “12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world;” soak in the history at one of the last homes Wright designed, Kentuck Knob; and sleep over at the Duncan House, one of only a few Wright homes where you can stay overnight, and the only one in Pennsylvania.
Hershey Triple Tower™ - Hershey
In 2017, Hersheypark will debut Hershey Triple Tower™, the nation’s first choose-your-thrill triple tower. Ranging from 80 to 189 feet, riders can choose three different ride experiences of varying heights, thrills and speeds. The daring and unafraid will face the Hershey’s Tower, featuring two gravity-defying experiences coined “Space Shot” and “Turbo Drop,” while those who enjoy a slower pace can take on the Kisses Tower or Reese’s Tower.
The Mattress Factory’s 40th Anniversary - Pittsburgh
The Mattress Factory – a contemporary art museum that presents art in a big way, as in room-sized environments – will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017. Located in downtown Pittsburgh, the museum has exhibited installation and performance works by more than 650 artists over the years. And for those who enjoy the Steel City’s unexpected, funky art scene, a visit to the nearby Andy Warhol museum is a must-do.
Re-Opening of Laurel Mountain Ski Area - Ligonier
After 10 years of dormancy, the Laurel Mountain Ski Resort will re-open for the 2016-2017 season. Nestled in Laurel Mountain State Park, this iconic and revered mountain boasts the highest vertical drop on the Laurel Ridge and the steepest slope in Pennsylvania along the double diamond Lower Wildcat run. A historic gem, these slopes were originally designed by European skiing legend Johann “Hannes” Schneider, the inventor of the modern alpine ski technique. As a sister resort to Seven Springs and Hidden Valley, Laurel Mountain will add to the diverse ski resort options in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands region.
Expansion of Kalahari Resorts - Pocono Manor
While Pennsylvania welcomed the opening of Kalahari Resorts in 2015, the next phase of Kalahari’s grandest resort to date will roll out in the spring of 2017. With the addition of iconic water rides and new wave pools, this resort will become the largest indoor waterpark in the country. And that’s not all – the expansion also includes additional guest rooms, meeting space, an interactive arcade and expanded outdoor waterpark.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center - Plymouth Meeting
The Plymouth Meeting Mall will become home to the first LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Pennsylvania, and one of only nine in the U.S. As the ultimate indoor LEGO playground, children and parents alike will marvel at the scale models of Philadelphia-area landmarks, a 4D cinema and several PlayZones with unlimited supply of bricks.
Expansion of Waldameer Water World - Erie
Waldameer Water World, one of Pennsylvania’s oldest and most charming amusement parks, will undergo its largest expansion project to date before opening for the 2017 season. The $2-million expansion will bring “The Battle of Lake Erie,” a new family water complex playing homage to Erie’s role in the War of 1812. The complex will feature 103 water attractions, including seven new slides a 40-gallon tipping bucket and Erie’s own tall ship, the U.S. Brig Niagara, atop the structure.
Andrew Wyeth’s 100th Birthday - Brandywine Valley
The Brandywine River Museum of Art will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its favorite local artist’s birth. Displaying more than 100 of Andrew Wyeth’s famous pieces on canvas and paper, visitors can deeply emerge themselves in the life and work of the artist who was born in Chadds Ford, Pa. The exhibit will open in June 2017.