Pittsburgh Area Offers Many Entertainment, Recreational Activities
Tribune-Review, The, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
From serious culture to professional sports teams, to quirky neighborhood haunts, the Pittsburgh area offers any number of entertainment and recreational activities.
Here are 20 to get you started:
Take a cruise
By sunlight or moonlight, the view from the river shows off the city from a different vantage point. The Gateway Clipper Fleet offers a variety of excursions on its five boats ranging in size from the 1,000-passenger Majestic to the smallest -- the 150- passenger child-friendly Countess. Choose from a 1-hour sightseeing trip or a three-hour dinner-dance cruise at sunset. Details: 412- 355-7980 or www.gatewayclipper.com
Or combine a splash in the river with a driving tour on board a DUKW amphibious truck. Just Ducky Tours provides a joke-filled, quack-filled hour through Downtown streets and the Allegheny River. Tours begin and at Station Square, South Side. Cost is $19, $15 for ages 3-12, $5 for age 2 and younger. Details: 412-402-3825 or www.justduckytours.com
Immerse yourself in art
Now in its 113th year, the Carnegie Museum of Art attracts nearly 1.4 million visitors a year to view its 1,800 works on display out of its 35,000 piece collection. Highlights include the Hall of Architecture, which contains the largest collection of plaster casts of architectural masterpieces in America; the Hall of Sculpture, which replicates the interior of the Parthenon; and a significant range of works from mid-19th century artists to the present. The museum is the creator and host of the Carnegie International, a preeminent survey of international contemporary art. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, until 8 p.m. Thursdays, noon- 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $15; $12 for senior citizens; $11 for students; free for children younger than 3. Details: 412-622-3131 or www.carnegiemuseums.org
Stop and smell the flowers
Pittsburgh's 1893 Victorian glass house -- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens -- continues to evolve and delight. Highlights include the Palm Court with trees stretching to the ceiling, to the steamy Orchid Room, arid Desert Room, brick-lined Sunken Garden and French-style Broderie Room. The Butterfly Garden is in season and the Tropical Forest highlights the "Headwaters of the Amazon." Another exhibit running through Jan. 20 numbers nearly 200 intricate, handmade glass creations from German artist Hans Godo Frabel. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays. Admission is $10; $9 for age 62 and older and students, $7 for age 2-12. Details: 412-622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org
Take a walk on the wild side
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Highland Park features thousands of wild animals, including numerous sea creatures displayed in the giant PPG Aquarium. The zoo's critters -- ranging from tigers and lions to sand tiger sharks and polar bears -- represent more than 400 species, including 22 species that are endangered or threatened. Animals are spread among seven distinct themed areas, including the Tropical Forest with apes and monkeys, and the African Savanna with elephants and giraffes. Today, the zoo will celebrate its elephant herd with the Macy's Elephant Day celebrations, with activities held 11 a.m.-3 p.m. near the elephant barn. The zoo is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $12, $11 for senior citizens, $10 for ages 2-13, free for children younger than 2. Details: 412-665-3640 or www.pittsburghzoo.org.
Step back in time
Time travel to Victorian-era Pittsburgh by visiting the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze. The site tells the story of the wealthy Frick family who helped shape the city's steel legacy. The site includes Clayton, the beautiful home that attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year. The Car and Carriage Museum houses vintage vehicles. Enjoy lunch or high tea in The Cafe at The Frick, which offers award-winning cuisine and shady patio. …