7 Popular Things to Do in Pittsburgh

There are so many things to do in Pittsburgh PA, that you will have no problem filling your time. As the second largest city in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is a bustling metropolis packed with activities that are sure to interest you, your family and your friends.

With many establishments named for the philanthropic Carnegie and Heinz families, you can find what you are looking for in the Steel City. Despite the three rivers flowing through the downtown area, you will find many museums, restaurants and tourist attractions packed into this beautifully constructed metropolis. Check out these activities and opportunities for fun in the ‘Burgh.

1. Wander the Halls of the Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center, located on the banks of the Ohio River, has won many awards for its impressive exhibits and attractions. If you are looking for things to do in Pittsburgh, you can spend at least a day wandering the newly constructed Buhl Digital Dome, the authentic Cold War-era submarine and the Rangos Omnimax Theater at this impressive museum. Make sure that you allow time to try using the robotics in the world’s largest exhibit, to explore the replica of the International Space Station and to view the miniature railroad and village.

The science center is a great indoor option for rainy days, but you will likely find yourself drawn back to the building more than once. Visit between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday, or you can stay until 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The museum offers a variety of ticket options for its admission, including entry to the Omnimax theater, the laser show and the USS Requin. Children ages 3-12 years can have admission to all of these attractions for $23.90, and adults will pay $31.90.

2. Stroll the National Aviary

As one of the foremost bird sanctuaries in the country, the National Aviary on the historic north side of the city is one of the most relaxing and beautiful things to do in Pittsburgh. With more than 500 birds representing 150 different species, this wildlife preserve shelters many endangered and threatened species. You can enjoy interactive exhibits of free-flying birds, as well as the opportunity to hand-feed rare species.

The National Aviary is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Children under 2 years may enter for free, and children up to 12 years pay $13 for general admission. Adults cost just a dollar more. The live bird show, Nature’s Voice, includes flamingos, burrowing owls and vultures. Pay an extra $5 for this show, plus an additional $2 to participate in a bird feeding.

3. Visit Schenley Park

Nestled in the heart of Pittsburgh, you will find the urban oasis of Schenley Park. Donated by heiress Mary Schenley in 1889, the grounds cover 456 acres of trails and woodlands perfect for hiking and biking. In the midst of these natural landscapes, you will find Schenley Oval Sportsplex, which offers swimming in the summer and ice-skating in the winter. Visit the Phipps Conservatory for outdoor concerts in the summer months or the Bob O’Connor Golf Course for a round of 18 holes. The local conservancy has also begun an effort to restore the beauty of Phipps Run stream and the nearby Panther Hollow Lake.

Annual events at Schenley Park include the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure and the Vintage Grand Prix. Although entrance to the park itself is free of charge during daylight hours, you can buy a nice lunch at the Schenley Park Café and Visitor Center or a full-service meal at The Porch at Schenley. You will also find a beautiful carousel donated by PNC. This is one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh with kids.

4. View the Animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

One of the most popular things to do in Pittsburgh is visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. You will find the zoo and aquarium featuring more than 400 different species, including 22 endangered ones, in Highland Park. Visit the African savannah, the Asian forest and several tropical rainforest exhibits that are unlike those at many other zoos. Originally opened in 1967, the impressive PPG Aquarium was the first aquarium in the state of Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Zoo is best toured in the warm and dry seasons from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it is open year-round. During this peak season, you may enter from 9:30 a.m. until the gates close at 4:30, but you can stay until 6:00 p.m. Children ages 2-13 years enter for $12, and adults gain admission for $13. There are also special rates for senior citizens and for military personnel.

5. Listen to a Concert at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts

Home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is a great place to go for things to do in Pittsburgh. The orchestra presents more than 200 performances every year, often with the assistance of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. You will find Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts nestled in the cultural district of the Steel City, but this hall is not small in size. In fact, there are more than 2,700 seats for audience members.

The times and prices vary for each event, and you will have the opportunity to see guest speakers, dance exhibitions and many other types of performances in addition to the PSO. Take a stroll through the Garden Plaza, which features a water sculpture and a beautiful waterfall. There is also a Garden Café that is open for lunches. Contact the box office during its open hours on Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or on Saturday from 12:00-4:00 p.m. to learn more about upcoming performances, times and prices.

6. Watch a Game at PNC Park

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a member of the National League division of Major League Baseball since 1881. The franchise is a five-time World Series champion, and its main rival has been the cross-state Philadelphia Phillies since 1887. The team has been playing at PNC Park since 2001. The stadium features a family fun zone that is free to fans and that offers kids-oriented games and entertainment for Pirates attendees who are ages 14 years and under.

With approximately 81 home games per season, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the park and to watch the Pirates in action. Many single-ticket purchasing options start as low as $20 per seat. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. if you are looking for things to do in Pittsburgh.

7. Dine at Franktuary

With two locations in addition to food trucks around the city, Franktuary is equally well known for its delicious food and for its casual atmosphere. You will find a farm-to-table menu that incorporates fresh produce and other ingredients into its dishes, all sourced from local farms and specialty shops. If you have finished all your things to do in Pittsburgh and you are looking for a great frankfurter made from grass-fed animals, look no further than the beef, pork and chicken options at Franktuary. You will also find house-made ketchup, crispy salads and sweet potato fries to pair with signature cocktails and an impressive selection of bottle beers.

Franks and sausages start at $3-4 dollars with an additional $2 or more for the style and the toppings that you select. There are options for gluten-free and other specialty items available on both the Lawrenceville and the Market Square menus. You will find fewer varieties on the food trucks, but any stop at a Franktuary location is worth it.

There are so many things to do in Pittsburgh PA, that one visit to the city may not be enough for you. After checking out the deliciousness of Franktuary and watching a Pirates game at PNC Park, you will need plenty of time to visit the birds and other creatures at the zoo and the National Aviary. Whether you enjoy musical entertainment or you are more interested in a hands-on science experiment, the Steel City offers you many different activities that are sure to you keep you interested and excited. The second largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, will be a delight for the whole family.

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