By Mario McKellop
As the unofficial kickoff to summer, Memorial Day offers Pittsburgh families the opportunity to get away from the distractions of the daily grind and reconnect with what’s most important in life. Luckily, the City of Bridges will serve as the setting for a number of fun events in the last weekend of May. Whether families want to see some fireworks, take in a parade, get some exercise in, while away the day in a waterpark or honor the troops, Pittsburgh has it all. Here are four Memorial Day events that offer tons of family fun.
1000 Sandcastle Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15120
For the last 28 years, Pittsburgh families have been able to escape sweltering summer temperatures by visiting the Sandcastle Waterpark. On May 27, the amusement park will open its doors for the first time this season. That means locals can spend Memorial Day weekend jetting down waterslides, lazily drifting around a quarter mile long river or swimming through the massive 20,000 square foot Mon-Tsunami wave pool. It’s an ideal place for families to create memories that will last a lifetime. The park will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for all of Memorial Day weekend. Admission to Sandcastle Waterpark is $35.99 and children 3 and under are free.
Soldiers And Sailors Memorial Hall And Museum
4141 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Families seeking a traditional Memorial Day celebration should head to the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum on May 29. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum will present a host of patriotic and fun-filled activities. Things kick off with a ceremony honoring armed service members who gave their lives to the war against terrorism. Then, adults can participate in a raffle/auction that features a range of cool prizes while kids can get their faces painted and hop around a bouncy castle. Afterward, the entire family can come together to enjoy a performance by the 6th Regiment USCT Drum Corps.
2017 Lawrenceville Memorial Day Parade
40th and Butler Street
For more than 100 years now, the neighborhood of Lawrenceville has honored the fallen with its annual Memorial Day parade. This year’s event will begin around 10 a.m. on May 29 at the intersection of 40th and Butler Street and will run approximately 45 minutes. The parade will conclude at the Allegheny Cemetery for a ceremonial wreath laying. As the Lawrenceville Memorial Day parade is one of the area’s most hallowed traditions, families should arrive early to secure a good vantage point along the parade route.
Forbes Avenue and Market Street
Those interested in getting a little exercise in during their family bonding time should definitely check out OpenStreetsPGH. On May 28, the Market Square area will be blocked off from car traffic, so locals can bike, skate, run or walk through Downtown Pittsburgh. Families can partake in some outdoor group fitness programs, take advantage of the specials offered by Market Square shops and eateries or participate in various one-, three- or six-mile runs. The fun begins at 9 a.m.