8 Behind-the-Scenes Pittsburgh Experiences

There's more to Pittsburgh than what meets the eye.

It's natural to be curious about the way things work, and find out what makes them tick. If you're like me, you know there's more to Pittsburgh than what meets the eye. One of the best ways to go behind the scenes in the Steel City is through Doors Open Pittsburgh, an annual two-day event that provides unique behind-the-scenes experiential access to significant buildings across the City's diverse neighborhoods. If you miss this weekend, however, what is there to do on the other 363 days of the year? I compiled a list of 8 behind-the-scenes experiences that you can have in Pittsburgh to quell your curiosity!

Pittsburgh After Hours Brew Tour

The Pittsburgh After Hours Brew Tour features behind-the-scenes tours of some of Pittsburgh's local breweries with samplings of up to 16 different craft beers. Each tour is around 5 hours long and includes round-trip transportation as well as a dinner at one of the partner breweries. Experience the award-winning Pittsburgh craft beer scene on the ultimate night out with your friends.

Cost: $99 Adults

USS Requin

USS Requin Tech Tour - Carnegie Science Center

A longstanding exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center, you can see the USS Requin, a WWII submarine. On this tour, however, you can go behind-the-scenes and into areas rarely seen by the visiting public. Learn how these amazing vessels and their crew faced the challenges of life underwater. Experience unrestored compartments, see the conning tower, and try out the periscope! Full mobility is required for this tour.

Cost: $15 Members/$20 Non-Members

National Aviary VIP Experience

Not only is visiting the National Aviary a unique experience in itself, you can up the ante and receive the VIP treatment your visit with an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience! You'll get to do things that the general public cannot do, venture into behind-the-scenes spaces and meet up with our beautiful birds. This experience is a great option for couples, families and parent/teen pairs.

Cost: $300 per person, or $500 for 2 people

Photo Credit: Dave DiCello

Heinz Field Combo Tour

Just Ducky Tours and Heinz Field Tours have team up to make touring the 'Burgh easier - and so much more fun. Instead of traveling from the South Shore to the North Shore to enjoy these two great tours separately, you can now do two in one. First you’ll enjoy your behind-the-scenes look at Heinz Field including the new Hall of Honor, Clubs, Luxury Suites, Press Box, Field, and much more! After your Heinz Field Tour concludes you will hop on board the Just Ducky Tour for a one hour, fully narrated land and water adventure. You will waddle through Downtown Pittsburgh before splashing into the river in an authentic WWII amphibious vehicle.

Cost: $35 Adults, $25 children

Carrie Blast Furnace Tours

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area operates tours of the Carrie Blast Furnaces at the former U.S. Steel Homestead Works. Local tour guides lead these experiences, making 125 years of Big Steel come alive. Learn how the steel industry played a major role in shaping not only the economy but also the culture and environment of the Monongahela Valley communities. These behind-the-scenes tours will take visitors through the iron-making process and include the famous 40 foot "Deer Head" art installation crafted entirely of materials found on the site. Carrie Blast Furnace Tours are offered May-October.

Cost: $21 Adults, $14 Children, $17 Seniors & Students with ID

ScareHouse Bunny. I definitely want the lights on.

Scarehouse Behind-the-Scenes Public Tour

Have you ever wanted to learn more about one of America's top rated haunted attraction? On the "Uncovering the Secrets: Behind the Screams of ScareHouse" tour (offered seasonally), you get an exclusive lights-on look at one of America's scariest places. Learn more about the details and originality that goes into a major haunted attraction production. Behind-the-scenes tours are perfect for younger horror fans, haunted house enthusiasts, and anyone looking for something different to do during the Halloween season.

PNC Park Tours

PNC Park offers a general tour as well as seasonal pre-game tours. For the general tours, you can expect to see the Pirates Clubhouse (when the team is on the road), dugout/warning track, batting cages, Pop's Plaza, Pittsburgh Baseball Club, luxury suites, press box, and the Legacy Theatre. Pre-game tours have the additional feature that they will end near the visitor's dugout to view batting practice and/or warm-ups for an extra $10. There are no tours on holidays, Sundays or days of a weekday afternoon game, so make sure you plan ahead!

Cost: $10 Adults, $8 Children & Seniors (general tour), $20 (pre-game tour)

Wild Encounters at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Each Wild Encounter is a unique, behind-the-scenes tour designed to foster positive, lifelong connections to the natural world. These once-in-a-lifetime encounters are available with flamingos, the red panda, reptiles, sharks, sea lions, and more. Make sure to check which animals are available before you book, as some tours are only available at certain times of the year because of weather and animal behavior factors. 

This tour requires some planning - reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. However, the cost is per group, which is up to six people. Gather your friends and get in touch with your wild side! 

Cost: $250 for members, $350 non members