Getting to Know the Neighbors: Hannah Morris

By |Published On: December 12, 2023|

“Getting to Know the Neighbors” is a series where awesome locals share their local favorites. 

Known around town (and on Instagram) as “your State College mom friend” Happy Valley Hannah, Hannah Morris has been a State College neighbor since 2016!

If you’ve been hanging out on Instagram lately, you may have come across Happy Valley Hannah, Hannah Morris’s virtual homebase for all things local family and fun. After moving to the area with her husband, Paul, in 2016, Hannah got started exploring all of the things that make our town such a great place to raise their two young kids — and sharing the resources, local treasures, and Happy Valley life hacks she’s collected along the way with her growing fan base. We asked Hannah to fill us in on some of her favorite things about living here and hope you’ll discover some new-to-you State College experiences to explore!

Day to Day

On a typical weekday, you’ll find me… sipping a matcha latte with oat milk at Elixir Coffee and creating new Happy Valley Hannah content!

And the weekends are for… kid’s activities- ice skating or swim lessons, children’s choir or Schlow Library!

If State College had its own TV show, my character would be the one who is always… on the go. I’m never in one place for too long and I’m always exploring the latest and greatest in Happy Valley.

Awesome Local Alert!

I’m probably most well-known around town as… Happy Valley Hannah, but I can also be found anywhere there are kid activities!  My three- and five-year-olds keep me busy!  I volunteer at both of their schools when I can, and I love that it gives me a glimpse into the amazing education they are receiving here in State College.

The thing I’m most proud to be contributing to our community is… my adoration for State College and Happy Valley. I love connecting people to new places, businesses and events around the area, like last week when I visited Studio 814 on WTAJ to talk about shopping local this holiday season!

Favorite Things

To me, a perfect day in State College looks like…  A latte from Chew Chew Bun, a stroll through the Arboretum with my kids, a cryo facial treatment at Happy Valley Healthy Beauty, and a date night with my husband at Pine Grove Hall.

The season I love most in State College is… summer, because everything is in bloom, Welch pool is open and the outdoor Farmers Markets provide the freshest of foods!

I consider Mimi Barash Coppersmith State College royalty.  I was lucky enough to have had “Lunch with Mimi” recently and was astounded by her wit and grace, and all that she has done for our community.

One downtown restaurant that I just can’t get enough of is… Mezeh.  It is delicious, fresh and affordable with so many veggies! I like to order online and swing in to pick up!

The best day trip destination within a 2-hour drive from State College is… Hershey!  There is always something exciting for everyone:  A concert, food, shopping, Chocolate World.  The list could go on!

Favorite local park? Tudek Park. I love that there are two separate playgrounds for different age groups! The park is spaced out to where it isn’t tempting for toddlers to climb too high on a slide or to try to run away to the bigger equipment. It’s also wonderful that there are bathrooms!

Something I didn’t think I’d like about living here that has really grown on me is… all of the sporting events. I am not athletic in any way and know nothing about sports, but give me tickets to a Penn State game and I am there!

My go-to “Spend an Evening Downtown” itinerary looks like… Dinner at Allen Street Grill, a cocktail at Central Reservation and a show at The State Theatre.

The Local Experience

On game days, you’ll find me… either in the stands, or at the grocery store!

A neighboring town that I love to explore is… Bellefonte.  They have an awesome community of female business owners that I love to support every chance I get!

The 3 things I’d miss most about State College if I had to move are…the friendships I’ve made, the beautiful parks (and community pools), the intelligent community.

The coolest, under-the-radar thing in State College is… Miss Ruby’s Supper Club by The Hummingbird Room! Chef Eric spent several years working in some of the most famous restaurants in France and creates fabulous take-out menus alongside his wife, Claudia. The only way to access the menu is via their email list, so make sure you subscribe on their website! 

My personal list of State College hidden gems includes… Pegula Ice Arena’s ice skating programs for kids, Schlow Library’s lapsit and “Caregiver & Me” classes (how I met my best friends!), and the Greek Salad with Blackened Chicken from Champs N. Atherton.

If I had to sum up life in State College in 3 words? Charmed. Supportive. Bright.

Want to learn more? Connect with Hannah on Instagram at Happy Valley Hannah!

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