Top 10 must-dos in the ’burgh
For students looking for entertainment off campus when they aren’t working, Pittsburgh has a wealth of things to do and see. Many of these are exclusive to Pittsburgh, and are great places to just relax, hang out, and enjoy the Pittsburgh culture.
Located behind Porter and Baker halls, Phipps Conservatory (pictured below) features a gorgeous fusion of botany, blown glass, and featured exhibits. Eight stunning pieces of blown glass art created by Dale Chihuly have become permanent fixtures at Phipps over the last year, and the harmony between the plant life and the glass sculptures is indescribable. Currently at Phipps is the Chocolate! exhibit, which features the history of chocolate, a demonstration on how it’s made, and free chocolate samples. And the best part is that it’s free with a student ID!
Schenley Skating Rink
Make no mistake — winters last long in Pittsburgh. But to chase away those cold weather blues, grab a few friends and go ice-skating at Schenley Skating Rink, an outdoor rink a mere 10 minutes walking distance from campus. The rink offers discounts with student ID, and even features college skating nights!
Also free with student ID, Duquesne Incline is one of two inclines that visitors can take up to Mount Washington. The incline takes a slow ride up to the top, and Mount Washington is home to lots of great restaurants and a breathtaking view of the city of Pittsburgh.
So what if the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t that good of a team? It’s always fun to go watch your own favorite team beat the Pirates. Even for non-baseball fans, Pirates games are a good time to enjoy the river-side view with friends, eat all sorts of great food including overloaded french fries and Dippin’ Dots, and occasionally tune into the game. And who doesn’t love the Pierogie Race? Tickets are usually cheap, and SDC often sponsors trips to the games.
Light Up Night in Market Square
Another highlight of Pittsburgh winters is Light Up Night in Market Square. Light Up Night gets Pittsburghers into the holiday spirit as everyone gathers to view fireworks, and the first lights of the holiday season are turned on. People can ice skate in PPG Plaza, go shopping in Fifth Avenue Place, and even check out the gingerbread house competition.
Two words: fries and coleslaw. Those are included on any traditional Primanti Brothers sandwich. A Pittsburgh specialty, a Primanti Brothers sandwich, no matter how unhealthy, is absolutely something that everyone must try if they want a true taste of Pittsburgh.
One of “Pittsburgh’s Best,” Dozen Cupcakes in Squirrel Hill started out as a dream for owners James Gray and Andrew Twigg, but has since blossomed into one of the most innovative and insane cupcake shops ever created! Try flavors such as Jack & Coke, Thai Ice Tea, Pancakes & Syrup, and Rice Krispies Treat. So if you’re bummed about that D on your Heat Transfer test, head up to Murray Avenue and treat yourself to a large, scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth cupcake. At $2.50 apiece, it’s totally worth it.
In need of an adrenaline rush? Head over to Kennywood and enjoy the park’s roller coasters, rides, and games. If the roller coasters aren’t enough to scare visitors, during October, the traditional amusement park also features a Phantom Fright Night. Tickets are also often subsidized through SDC.
The Strip District
If you’re looking for fresh or exotic foods, try the Strip District. This area is easily accessible by taking the 54C, and features farmers markets, Asian food marts, and gourmet coffee houses, including the original location of Wean Hall’s La Prima Espresso. At night, the Strip has an exciting nightlife with bumping clubs and lively concerts.
Pittsburgh is home to a borderline-ridiculous number of galleries, both large and small. To visit them all, many people elect to do the Gallery Crawl, a staple of art enthusiasts. For the night, all the museums in the Cultural District are free and open to the public, so visitors can float in and out of different galleries, taking in as much work as humanly possible.