Things to do in Pittsburgh

A Ph.D. might span ~240 weekends. If we assume that 1 weekend / month is spent relaxing, watching movies and TV and running errands, 1 weekend / month is spent working ūüėĀ, and 4 weekends per year are spent traveling, that leaves about 100 weekends to explore Pittsburgh, if you are a student here. Here’s a list of 100 things to do during those weekends. “Rules” for the list: (1) no restaurants — most of these activities could be capped with eating at some interesting place to make a full packed day; (2) most items should be walkable or a short rideshare¬†from CMU, with a few longer day trips that require someone with a car; (3) the items should be open to the general public and not require extensive commitments or memberships; (4) a few items are best done on non-weekend days; (5) some items clearly cannot be “finished” in a day and would reward repeated trips (e.g. theaters could be visited each time there is a different play, museums that are too big to visit just once, etc.) — these items get listed only once. (6) the list should have a mix of activities, and most of them should be off campus (of course there are may clubs and events on campus). ¬†This is not a complete list of things to¬†do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh has a vibrant chess scene (Pittsburgh Chess Club), several running clubs, etc.

The list is in no particular order; everything is within 10-20 minutes travel from CMU, unless otherwise noted. Some of these are annual events that take place during certain weekends.

  1. Phipps Conservancy [walking distance, free for students]
  2. Carnegie Natural History Museum [walking distance, free for students]
  3. Carnegie Art Museum [walking distance, free for students]
  4. Andy Warhol Museum [free for students, free for students]
  5. National Aviary [free for students]
  6. Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium
  7. Kennywood Amusement Park
  8. Sandcastle Water Park
  9. The Frick (Art, Car, House museum + restaurant)
  10. Children’s Museum
  11. Penguins Game
  12. Steelers Game
  13. Pirates Game
  14. Carnegie Science Center [free for students]
  15. The Strip District (shopping)
  16. Schenley Frisbee Golf (walking, free, byof)
  17. Boyce Park Skiing (~25 minutes)
  18. Hidden Valley Skiing [60 mins]
  19. Fallingwater [60 mins]
  20. Greek Food Festival [walking distance]
  21. Bach, Beethoven and Brunch Classical Music Series (Sundays during Summer, free)
  22. Duesquane Incline /Mt. Washington [free for students]
  23. Point State Park / Fort Pitt Museum
  24. Heniz History Center
  25. Rivers Casino
  26. Mattress Factory (art museum) [free for students]
  27. Soldiers and Sailors Memory Hall (museum) [walking distance]
  28. Cathedral of Learning Tour and Nationality Rooms [walking distance, free]
  29. Hartwood Acres Park [30 minutes]
  30. Byham Theater
  31. Carrie Furnace Tour
  32. ToonSeum
  33. Kayaking on the rivers
  34. Frick Park Hiking / Frick Environmental Center https://www.pittsburghparks.org/frick-environmental-center (free)
  35. A Fair  in the Park (Mellon Park art festival; early September) (free)
  36. Ohiopyle [1.5 hours]
  37. Eire, PA [1.5 hours]
  38. Sorgum Apple Picking / Hayrides
  39. Pittsburgh Symphony
  40. Carnegie Mellon School of Drama Performances
  41. Niagara Falls [3 hours]
  42. Bayernhof Museum
  43. Randyland
  44. St. Anthony’s Chapel
  45. Pittsburgh International Race Complex
  46. Laurel Caverns [1.5 hours]
  47. Pittsburgh Marathon (+ half marathon and 5K; May)
  48. The Great Race (10K) (September)
  49. Shadyside 5K (September)
  50. Gateway Clipper Cruise
  51. Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
  52. Idlewild & SoakZone
  53. Pittsburgh Glass Center
  54. The Meadows Casino
  55. Hershey’s [4 hours]
  56. Gettysburg [3 hours]
  57. Pittsburgh Opera
  58. Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
  59. Allegheny Observatory
  60. CMU Carnival (April)
  61. Pittsburgh Grand Prix (July)
  62. Schenley Ice Skating Rink (winter)
  63. Schenley Public Golf Course
  64. Pittsburgh-Washington, DC Bike Trail (free)
  65. River Bike Trail (free)
  66. Market Sq Christmas Tree lighting (November, free)
  67. 4th of July Fireworks @ CMU [walking distance] (free)
  68. Old Allegheny County Jail Museum
  69. Pittsburgh Farmer’s Markets (June – August)
  70. 5K Race for the Cure (Mother’s Day) [walking distance]
  71. Three Rivers Art Festival (free)
  72. Rachen Carson Homestead
  73. Powdermill Nature Preserve
  74. Standup Paddleboarding
  75. The Climbing wall and Ascend
  76. Dirty Dozen Bike Race
  77. August Wilson Center
  78. Anthrocon (June/July)
  79. Carnegie Music Hall [walking distance]
  80. Kelly Strayhorn Theater
  81. St. Anthony’s Chapel
  82. Bicycle Heaven
  83. North Park (Zipline, former largest pool in USA, nature center, kayaking)
  84. Three Rivers Regatta (August)
  85. Bike Pittsburgh
  86. Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Classes
  87. Woodville Plantation
  88. Friday Concerts at the Frick (Fridays during Summer)
  89. Squirrel Hill Night Markets [walking distance]
  90. ZombieFest
  91. Picklesburgh (July)
  92. Frick Park Lawn Bowling
  93. Dover/Berlin, Ohio (Amish country including The Farm at Dover, two Warther carving museums, cheese factory shops, and several good wineries) [2 hours]
  94. Wiggle Whiskey tour
  95. Clemente Museum
  96. O’Reilly Theater
  97. Stage AE (music venue)
  98. Rex Theater (music venue)
  99. Brewery Tours — The Beer Museum (not open yet) has a list of many breweries and many give tours
  100. Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza (June)
  101. Outdoor movies in Schenley Park (summer, free, walking distance)
  102. Row House Cinema (single screen, second run theater showing classic movies)
  103. RADical Days (free arts/culture events across the city; October)