10 Great Ways To Have Fun in Pittsburgh

Family-friendly Pittsburgh is home to world-class museums, champion sports teams, excellent restaurants, and great amusement parks. With so many ways to have fun things to do in Pittsburgh, it’s hard to list just 10.

Things To Do In Pittsburgh

The following is an eclectic list of fun adventures you’ll want to experience whether you live in or are just visiting Pittsburgh.

1. Ride the Incline

For a panoramic view of Pittsburgh and its rivers, nothing beats the top of Mount Washington. And the Inclines are the fun way to get there. Constructed in 1870 and later restored.  The Mon (Monongahela) Incline boards at the Station Square shopping complex; the Duquesne Incline, which is a mile away, still has the original cable cars. Either one will deliver you to the top of Mount Washington. Where you’ll find a range of restaurants, casual to upscale. As well as a gift shop to enjoy along with the spectacular view. You can also learn a little Pittsburgh history at the museum in the Duquesne Incline’s upper station.

Ride the Incline for free if you are 65 or older with proof of age. The lower stations are not wheelchair accessible. But the Incline can be reached via the upper station at 1220 Grandview Avenue for those in a wheelchair.

Here’s A Video On Duquesne Incline Pittsburgh Pennsylvania FULL RIDE in HD

2. Sail the Three Rivers

There is a myriad of options for enjoying Pittsburgh’s three rivers. Those who like to be in control can rent a kayak. The competitive types can check out Dragon boats, and leisure lovers can take a sightseeing or dinner cruise. Whatever your inclination, seeing Pittsburgh from the water is a must-do.

Pittsburgh was ranked by National Geographic as one of their top six cities for kayaking. Kayak Pittsburgh, located next to PNC Park, offers rentals by the hour. If you’re a first-timer, the staff will teach you the ropes. They occasionally offer special guided tours if you want to paddle by moonlight or watch fireworks on the water.

A team paddling competition, dragon boat racing originated in China. The Steel City Dragons offer a free introduction to the sport of dragon boat racing at their practice sessions. Or, if you have a group of 14 or more, you can purchase a package program from the Rivers Rowing Association to try out this ancient sport.

If you prefer to relax and let someone else do the work. The Gateway Clipper has provided cruises for over half of a century. Choose a one-hour sightseeing trip or opt for a Sunday brunch or sunset dinner cruise. On Friday evenings in summer you can set sail for a moonlight dance cruise. Whatever your choice, the view from the water is a great way to see Pittsburgh.

Here’s A Video of Lisa Hannigan – A Sail Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival Dollar Bank 6/12/2013


3. Travel the Nationality Rooms

The University of Pittsburgh’s magnificent The Steel City Dragons, designed by Charles Klauder. Is a home to 30 classrooms known as the Nationality Rooms. Construction on the 535-foot gothic-style skyscraper began in 1926, as did planning for the rooms. Which highlight and celebrate the culture of those nationalities that had a significant population in Pittsburgh.

The nationalities featured range from African to Yugoslavian. And while most are European, they also include Chinese, Indian, Turkish and Korean. The various ethnic groups were tasked with forming a committee and designing and constructing the rooms to exemplify their heritage. The rooms are furnished with products and artifacts that reflect that ethnic culture. The Nationality Rooms function as classrooms, so weekends or May through August are the best times to take your mini-world tour.

Here’s A Video of Holiday Tour of the University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Rooms

4. Commune at the National Aviary

Bird lovers should flock to the National Aviary located on the north side of Pittsburgh. This indoor facility houses over 150 different species from six continents, including some species that are extinct or nearly extinct in the wild. And offers truly unique experiences. Exhibits include the Canary’s Call, Tropical Rainforest, and Condor Court.

Besides the opportunity to see egrets, flamingoes, parrots, and laughing kookaburras, to name only a few of the birds. You can also enjoy a butterfly garden or check out the Malayan flying foxes (megabats with a 2-foot wingspan), attend the African Penguins’ daily feeding or head up to the roof to see the birds of prey hunting. An additional fee can buy you a close encounter with some of the birds.

For a real thrill, if you’ve longed to soar through the sky like a bird. you can try Birdly, a 10-minute virtual flight through New York City with a fan providing headwinds as you lie on the simulator and flap your “wings.” Not only is this a fun and educational experience, but a visit to the National Aviary helps support conservation efforts.

Here’s A Video of National Aviary Tour -Things to Do Pittsburgh

5. Romp at the Highmark Sportsworks

Carnegie Science Center, one of Pittsburgh’s four Carnegie Museums, is home to the Highmark Sportsworks, where learning meets the playground. You can become a human yo-yo, climb a rock wall, and try a zip line, or test your balance and coordination, your batting swing speed, skateboard stability, and reaction times. For the medically minded, there is a giant version of the “Operation” game and a CPR Training Kiosk where you can learn the life-saving technique to the tune of “Staying Alive.”

The Science Center offers many educational and interactive exhibits that all ages will enjoy. Plus, for pure fun, it is hard to beat flying along on a zip line or spinning until you’re dizzy at the Sportsworks.

Here’s A Video on Family Fun at Highmark SportsWorks in Pittsburgh

6. Create at the Pittsburgh Glass Center

Who isn’t intrigued by glasswork? The Pittsburgh Glass Center in the East End offers the opportunity to try your hand at creating in a glass. Whether you want to make a blown-glass ornament or bowl or lampworked beads or many other options. The center offers classes for every skill level from newbie to ace. If the calendar of classes doesn’t fit your schedule, you can book a private group or one-on-one instruction.

For those who would rather watch, studio tours and demonstrations are available. And don’t miss Hodge Gallery where you can view displays of contemporary glasswork. Sculptural and functional work by students and acclaimed glass artists are featured in exhibits. As well as the occasional installation that will expand your ideas about glass art.

Here’s A Video Only in Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Glass Center

7. Escape the Escape Room

Are you good at solving puzzles? The Escape Room is an interactive game that challenges you to escape a locked room in just one hour. Working as a team, participants must discover clues and solve puzzles with creativity and logic as well as resourcefulness.

Escape Rooms were first popularized in Asia and Europe before coming to the U.S.; each one is unique. Cousins Joe and Corey Deasy’s version here in Pittsburgh includes Dr. Stein’s Laboratory and Prison Escape, their original two games, as well as Subway Escape, Tomb Explorer, and Carnegie’s Millions. You are only allowed to play each game once and must promise not to divulge the secrets. The Deasys do update the games periodically. If you want to get your inner Sherlock on, this might be the adventure for you.

Here’s A Video on Best Of 2017: Taking On Escape Room Pittsburgh

8. Experience the Mattress Factory

Pittsburgh has a wealth of art museums, from the Carnegie, with a mission to collect the “Old Masters of tomorrow” since its founding in 1896; to the Frick with its emphasis on the Gilded Age; The Andy Warhol Museum, devoted to the Pittsburgh-native and icon of modern art. To really immerse yourself in art, try a visit to the Mattress Factory and explore their installations, where you are not just viewing art but entering it.

The Mattress Factory, formerly a Stearns and Foster Warehouse, maintains 17 permanent installations and each year invites 15 artists from around the world to create room-size exhibits. One dizzying work by Yakoi Kusama is accurately described by its title “Infinity Dots Mirrored Room.” Outside the building is Winifred Lutz’s serene rock garden. For an immersive experience of the Avant-Garde, the Mattress Factory is the place to go.

Here’s A Video on The Mattress Factory: An Interactive Virtual Visit

9. Explore the Strip

The Strip lies along the Allegheny River, in an area previously given over to railroads and warehouses that is now filled with groceries, boutiques, and restaurants of every stripe. The aroma of all manners of foods fill the air and entice you with the sheer abundance and variety of fish, cheese, meats, and spices. Besides Greek, Italian and other European delicacies and baked goods, you will find edibles from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and more, as immigrants import all the foods they love.

Hungry right now? The strip offers 45 different restaurants from grab-and-go to fine dining in a wide choice of cuisines. Shop the boutiques for clothes and unique artistic treasures. Go on Saturday if you love the hustle and bustle that is the city or grab a table on the balcony of Roland’s Seafood Grill and do some people-watching. One trip to The Strip and you will be hooked for life.

Here’s A Video on The Strip District Pittsburgh PA – Locals Give You the Best Kept Secrets in The Strip!

10. Tour the Wigle Whiskey Distillery

As long as you’re in The Strip district, drop into Wigle Whiskey Distillery, named for Phillip Wigle, who helped spark the 1790s whiskey rebellion and barely escaped hanging. With a name that fun to say, you know it’ll be a good time. Besides whiskey, the distillery makes rum and gins using organic ingredients when possible and, on the exotic side, Absent-Minded Absinthe, Eau de Pickle, and Rhubarb Liqueur. Tour and tastings happen on Saturdays, last an hour and end with a tasting of straight spirits.

Here’s A Video About Wigle Whiskey: Reviving Pittsburgh’s Famed Whiskey Heritage

These  10 fun things to do in Pittsburgh are only the beginning. Whether you’re just stopping by for a weekend visit or staying a week, there are plenty of ways to have fun in this exciting metropolis.