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Gone are the days of the brutal winter season and it’s time to look forward to planning a family picnic. Spring has sprung and just in time to celebrate National Picnic Day. The Pittsburgh region is the perfect place to spread out a blanket and enjoy being together with family and friends. There are a variety of venues to enjoy the beauty, history and culture of the  Pittsburgh area which offers a dazzling scenic background that makes the experience one to remember. The fun doesn’t stop with the picnic, as there are a host of activities that involve recreational, cultural, educational and historical experiences for all members of the family.

Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 422-6523

If your looking for green space in Pittsburgh, then Schenley Park fits that description and the multitude of blankets are indicative of the voracious activity within those grounds. Spread out the blanket and get out the lawn chairs for a picnic place that affords a city view of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon and a great place to watch a sunset. There are ample places to walk, bike, toss a frisbee, and a playground area for the kids and a wonderful place that is pet friendly. There seems to be something going on all the time and from a picnic bench you may enjoy the scenery and take in all the ambiance Schenley Park offers. Relaxation is a key ingredient for a picnic and well after the meal is a chance to explore Phipps Conservatory, museums and nearby neighborhoods within the city.

South Park
Buffalo Dr.
South Park, PA 15129
(412) 835-4809

A visit to South Park, which is part of the Allegheny County Park system has enough acreage for a picnic. There are shelters available for families to engage in special occasions. A perk of the park is the pet friendly confines and an off leash facility and enough room for exercise for both pet and owner. But, that isn’t all and the winding trails, hiking, biking and  enough swings to please the entire family. After munching on a prepared picnic meal, the family may try out the natural setting of the park that is adorned with wildflowers in the Spring for a casual walk near a stream. Families who want more action may be involved in golf, tennis, skating and the ballfields and back to the blanket for some picnic dessert.

Related: Best Spring Break 2015 Destinations Near Pittsburgh For Families

Harrison Hills Park
5200 Freeport Road
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
(724) 295- 3570

Take a jaunt north from Pittsburgh to Route 28 just off the Freeport exit for an exciting educational adventure and an exhilarating view over three counties. Try out the picnic shelters which have a playground and swings nearby for the kids and there are enough picnic tables to accommodate a well-designed picnic spot. There are enough trails for walking, jogging and biking with an abundance of trees and plants for an environmental experience. The park offers guided walks and camps and there are enough scheduled events to prompt a return to explore all the educational and recreational possibilities.

Highland Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 682-7275

Highland Park seems to have a neighborhood feel that prompts families to feel safe and comfortable to plan a picnic celebration and the surrounding acreage makes for a perfect destination. There is a playground area for the kids and enough trails to hike, bike and walk for all fitness enthusiasts and a pet friendly area to walk with your favorite four-legged friend. The park is near the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and the emanating  sounds offer a  soothing and relaxing place to bring a family for a picnic in carefree comfort.

Mellon Park
6300 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 662-7275

Located in the Shadyside neighborhood is Mellon Park. This is an integral part of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and a viable area of green space to plan a comfortable picnic. There are enough grassy places to unfold a blanket and kick back to enjoy a picnic lunch, while taking in the beauty of the park. There is an uplifting array of plants, gardens, trees and architecture to enjoy, and the park benches are a respite from a walk around the grounds, as the kids frolic and play ball. A special project is the Walled Garden and throughout the year there are specialty programs, art shows and concerts for families to explore the culture of the park. A relaxing picnic would top off an entertaining day.

Related: Best Spring 2015 Art Events In Pittsburgh   

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