Get to Know Everyone’s Favorite Furry Weather Forecaster on Groundhog Day
Punxsutawney Phil, ‘zat you? Whether he’s calling for extra winter or early spring, here’s how to celebrate with the OG (Official Groundhog).
Maria Bailey and Sarah Burns
Heeral Chhibber / Getty
February 2 can only mean one thing: Groundhog Day is upon us — a day when ALL eyes are on the largest member of the squirrel family to predict the arrival of spring! A tradition like no other, Groundhog Day is celebrated all across North America, but the small town of Punxsutawney (say it: punk-za-taw-knee) in Pennsylvania is where it all began, way back in 1887.
Punxsutawney is home to the country's official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps the world's furriest weatherman. Learn how this four-legged meteorologist forecasts the emerging new season, and celebrate this quirky (okay, kinda weird) tradition with fun activities for the whole fam.
Predict the Arrival of Spring with Punxsutawney Phil
As legend has it, if Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow, sees his shadow, and scurries back into his den, we could be in for another six weeks of winter! And if he doesn't, we could welcome an early arrival of spring. Curious minds might be wondering how foolproof this weather-predicting method really is. Well, let's just say Punxsutawney Phil's track record isn't exactly 100%, or 50% for that matter — okay, it's 39% correct — but we'll give the little guy a break for tradition's sake — and the added element of cuteness, of course!
Watch Punxsutawney Phil Make His Forecast
While thousands of people typically ascend on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania each year to witness the most famous groundhog of all do his thing, this year, the festivities will be live-streamed, so that everyone can watch the ceremony at home. Don't miss Punxsutawney Phil emerging from hibernation to make his prediction for the remainder of winter!
Word is, Phil will leave his burrow at 7:25 am, observe weather conditions and look for his shadow before making his prediction. Join the early morning ceremony, with festivities scheduled to start around 6 am local time here. The occasion will mark Punxsutawney Phil's 135th time emerging from his burrow.
Learn About the Unique History of Groundhog Day
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club
Ever wonder how exactly Groundhog Day first came about? How groundhogs became the go-to animal for predicting the weather? History tells us we have our German settler friends to thank, bringing traditions from home and adapting them as early arrivals in the U.S. in the 1700s. Learn more about Groundhog Day's unique beginnings and how it eventually became one of our most beloved (and somewhat wacky) annual traditions.
Test Your Groundhog Trivia
You might know everything there is to know about Groundhog Day, but how about the real star of the show: groundhogs? There is so much to discover and learn about these unique animals, and this fascinating video is a great place to start. Perhaps after you can put your groundhog knowledge to the test by challenging the fam to a trivia night?
Watch the Movie “Groundhog Day”
The 1993 comedy Groundhog Day is great any time of the year, but you can't go wrong watching this all-time classic featuring the hilarious Bill Murray on the actual day!
Make Groundhog Day a Little Sweeter
Figuring out when winter will end is hungry work — and we're just spectators! These charming Groundhog Day-themed cupcakes are a perfect nod to the one and only Punxsutawney Phil and fun addition to the day's activities. Whip up these creative (and delicious) sweet treats together in the kitchen by going to Bakerella for easy-to-follow steps!
Listen to a Groundhog Tale
Groundhogs have short, fluffy tails, about 4-7 inches long – but you can find groundhog tales to listen to on YouTube that run about 13 minutes per story. Try a read-aloud video like this one this February 2nd for a groundhog-centric storytime that goes slowly so kids can read along, and still take in the charming illustrations.
Create Your Own Punxsutawney Phil
Relive the moment Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow time and time again (and maybe get your own improved forecast for spring), thanks to this genius craft for little creatives. This peek-a-boo style Groundhog Day craft takes just minutes to make but provides hours of fun! Go to Typically Simple to learn how you can create your own Punxsutawney Phil.