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Exploration is encouraged at the Whitaker Center

Whitaker Center in Harrisburg
Whitaker Center in Harrisburg
Heather Marsh

Those unfamiliar with Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center located in renowned Strawberry Square might be surprised by how many programs and events this place of discovery offers. Many residents of central Pennsylvania have only scratched the surface when it comes to unlocking the secrets of this gem which provides entertainment and education for all ages.

In the entertainment realm…

For those looking for pure enjoyment, the Whitaker Center’s IMAX movie theatre regularly offers films that range from documentaries to popular hits. If you’re not accustomed to IMAX, it might first feel like an assault on your senses; the surround-sound is like nothing you’re likely to encounter! Add comfy seating and incredible visuals, and you’re completely prepped to enjoy a world of IMAX wonder.

Those seeking the delights of live shows will adore the Whitaker Center’s SUNOCO Stage series offering musicians, dancers and theatre. Throughout the year, local and traveling groups perform on this high-quality stage to tremendous accolades from audiences young and old.

In the education realm…

One of the first introductions to the Whitaker Center for the younger set is through the Harsco Science Center. This hands-on world featuring traveling and permanent science-related exhibits can keep kids of all ages occupied for hours. It’s not unusual to see school tour groups here, as students can learn everything from engineering, to nature, to transportation.

Parents won’t be bored at the Harsco Science Center, either. There’s enough higher-end educational information on hand to keep every attendee’s mind occupied and interested. Plus, the staff is trained to explain and encourage.

Getting a deal…

Visitors to the Whitaker Center can purchase a la carte tickets for each area, or they can become members. Memberships provide deep discounts, and are worth the investment if individuals will be stopping by more than one or two times a year. Occasionally, free admission to the Harsco Science Center is available for families on nationally-recognized school/work holidays like Martin Luther King’s Day and Columbus Day. Just be prepared: The free days get pretty crowded!

Another method to enjoy all that Whitaker Center has to offer without paying anything out of pocket is to volunteer. Anyone over 16 can apply for this opportunity, and will get free admission for their time and efforts. Only eight hours of volunteering is required per month, which is quite reasonable given all the perks that volunteering provides.

There’s no need to wait; the Whitaker Center has terrific hours and is calling your name!