Best 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In Pittsburgh

August 24, 2012 5:55 AM

(credit: KDKA)

Summer break from school is a great opportunity to explore and investigate what the Pittsburgh region has to offer. Explore a vast array of cultural, educational and recreational pursuits for the entire family. Pittsburgh and the surrounding cities provide scenic vistas, riverfront playtime and a skyline that draws people to the plethora of exciting area options for the whole family all year. The most fun, however, should be enjoyed before the kids strap on those school bags.
sandcastle1 Best 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: KDKA

Sandcastle Waterpark
1000 Sandcastle Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15210
(412) 462-6666

Pricing: $31.99/ $21.99 kids 48 inches and shorter/$21.99 senior admission ages 55 and older/free children 3 years and younger

Sandcastle Water Park is the place to kick back and find relief from the sun’s rays before school starts back up this year. Enjoy a variety of thrill rides and slides that will take you through twists and turns at amazing speeds. A choice between the wave pool and lazy river offer fun and relaxation for any family. Cascading waterfalls and pools make for a relaxing respite, and the younger children have their own water playground with smaller slides and wading pool. After a fun-filled day of water attractions, stop by the snack and dining areas.

Related: Staying Safe In The Sun

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Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

PNC Park
115 Federal St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 321- BUCS

Click here for pricing

The weather isn’t all that’s hot this year, the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team are in the thick of a division title. The ballpark, which sits on the banks of the Allegheny River, is an intimate facility offering spectacular views of the city. PNC Park is more than the home of the Pirates, as it offers children an opportunity to participate in activities on Federal Street before the game. Even after the game, the kids may run the bases just like their favorite players. Take advantage of park clubs and programs for an educational and community experience.

Frick Park
6750 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
(412) 682-7275

Price: free

Frick Park in Squirrel Hill is part of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, offering nature education for children and their families to learn about ecology and the environment. Enjoy acres of recreational activities that extend from Regent Square to the Monongahela River. Because many neighborhoods here are connected, it makes for an easy approach to traverse the hiking and biking trails, and playgrounds. The park includes creeks, marshes and a nature center, ball fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, a dog play area and an open space for picnics.

pghzoo Best 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: KDKA

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3640

Click here for pricing

The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium is located a few miles from Pittsburgh in the Highland Park area at Butler Street. Exhibits are arranged in unique habitats from around the world, and at each stop, families may learn about the animals. Jump in on classes and workshops along with hands-on activities to help explain the habitats, wildlife and conservation issues. The adjoining aquarium displays the animals in a state-of-the-art habitat the whole family will enjoy.

phippsconservatory31512 Best 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: KDKA

Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(4120 622-6914

Click here for pricing

Situated in Oakland near Pitt and Carnegie Mellon Universities, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is set up with a plethora of rooms to observe plants and flowers from around the world. Each room boasts a distinct theme that includes waterfalls, streams, healing plants, butterfly gardens and naturally grown plants, vegetables and fruits. The outdoor garden is a shady oasis to enjoy herbs, flowers and a Japanese garden. Don’t leave without trying the esteemed café and gift shop.

Related: Camping Can Be A Great Vacation Choice

Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at

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