PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh welcomes Bluejackets fans to the City of Champions for the upcoming Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Bluejackets Round 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
If you are not lucky enough to have hockey playoff tickets, you won't want to miss a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game throughout the summer at beautiful PNC Park, which was recently named top ballpark in the county by TripAdvisor.com.
It's only a four-hour drive to Columbus' eastern neighbor, which has plenty to offer for overnight visitors. Here is a list of the top five "if it's free, it's for me" activities:
- Downtown Public Art Walking Tour. Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art just published a new exciting guide to art in public places. No matter where you are downtown, you are steps away from experiencing a work of art. By taking this tour, visitors will experience remarkable artwork by nationally and internationally recognized artists. The tour includes photographs and descriptions of over 70 works of art, as well as notes about select Downtown buildings and landscapes.
- Pittsburgh Glass Center. One of the top state-of-the-art glass studios in the United States, you'll experience contemporary glass art as well as other unique exhibitions in the Hodge Gallery. You'll have the opportunity to take a class, explore the glass gallery or watch live hot glass demonstrations.
- Society for Contemporary Craft. Located in the Strip District neighborhood, Society for Contemporary Craft offers cutting-edge art exhibitions presented in craft media by international, national and regional artists. Exhibitions are family friendly with hands-on art activities.
- JazzLive. JazzLive is a year-round free live jazz series taking place at The Cabaret at Theater Square, Backstage Bar and Katz Plaza. This popular Pittsburgh Cultural Trust music series showcases some of the region's finest jazz musicians every Tuesday from 5-11 p.m. in the heart of the Cultural District.
- Pittsburgh Banjo Club. On Wednesday nights, there's no happier place in town than the public rehearsals of the Pittsburgh Banjo Club at the Allegheny Elks Club. Here, a loyal crowd gathers to hear the club's polished practice sessions, which typically includes a stage full of 40 or more banjo players with a little brass backing from a tuba and horns. The mood is lively, the crowd sings along, the beer is cheap and the entry at the door is free (just ring the buzzer). The party begins at 8 p.m.
If it's sports, and only sports, you're into, check out these top five family fun activities:
- Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Sports lovers will want to visit the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in the Senator John Heinz History Center, located in the Strip District. The museum showcases the legendary history of regional sports with one-of-a-kind artifacts and iconic photos, plus interactive exhibits will keep the entire family busy.
- Highmark SportsWorks. What do you get when you mix sports and science? Find out at SportSworks, a part of the Carnegie Science Center, with nearly 30 interactive experiences. You'll climb a 25-foot Rock Wall, pedal a unicycle high above the ground, compare your time against that of Olympic silver medalist or test your reaction speed against an ice hockey goalie.
Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Pittsburgh boasts 24-miles of riverfront multi-use trails and is home to a wealth of rails-to-trails recreation areas. Rent bikes at Golden Triangle Bicycle (which has locations throughout town) and check out the great view of the city from the banks of the three rivers.
- Roberto Clemente Museum. Housed in a historic firehouse in the Lawrenceville neighborhood, this museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of "The Great One," as his fans affectionately called him. On showcase is the world's largest exhibited collection of baseball artifacts, works of art, literature, photographs, memorabilia and related materials which focus on Roberto Clemente's teammates, personal life and humanitarian causes.
- Kayak Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is the city of rivers, so it is only fitting that it be a premier location for water sports. The rivers are the perfect place for fishing, kayaking, canoeing and boating. From spring to fall, this kayak and canoe rental concession is open on the North Shore, near PNC Park.
For additional information on all Pittsburgh events and attractions, visit www.visitpittsburgh.com.
VisitPittsburgh is the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region. It is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.