Visiting Pittsburgh is a great idea no matter what time of year or when, but 2017 is THE year for city fun! It’s actually got something for everyone: a booming foodie scene, ambitious outdoor activities, and its love for visiting families is not covert. If you’ve visited recently and are thinking about visiting before the end of 2017 (or if you’ve never visited before and are planning a visit!), good news! There are plenty of new things to discover in Pittsburgh. Here’s why you need to plan a visit to Pittsburgh in 2017.
For my family, a trip to Pittsburgh, PA, is always on the top of our list. Family-friendly and clean, there’s so much to offer families that we find ourselves heading into the city at least once a week. We love visiting for the food and museums any season, but it’s the annual and special events that make us circle the date on our calendar to visit. Here are just a few of the special reasons to visit Pittsburgh this year.
1. 2017 Pittsburgh Pride Fest
Mark your calendars and get your dancing shoes on because the 2017 Pittsburgh Pride Fest is full of amazing entertainment! If a Michael Jackson tribute, MJ Live!, wasn’t enough, Jennifer Hudson is slated to be a headlining performer. Pittsburgh Pride Days take place from June 2-11, 2017 and will offer a Fun Run and outdoor concert. The Fest itself will be on June 10-11 and will have one of many firsts: a 300-feet long zip line down Liberty Avenue.
2. Kennywood Park Sky Rocket: Real World or VR?
I’m a thrill ride junkie, but there are a few that I just say “nope” and move on. These include the Sky Rocket. This year, Kennywood’s Sky Rocket fans will have two choices – a real world flight or a virtual reality experience. While the real Sky Rocket is available to guests with Kennywood Park admission, you’ll need to wait until later this summer for the VR version. I’m game for the VR version and, if I like it, I just may give the real one a go.
3. Open Streets Pittsburgh
If you’re looking for a healthy, active city to visit, Pittsburgh is your go-to town! On May 28, June 25, and July 30, streets will close to allow for three different routes for guests to walk, bike, skate, dance, and play. How’s that for happy days? It’s a great chance to see areas of Pittsburgh via its streets that you’d normally not get to unless you’re in a crosswalk!
4. A Tribute to Pittsburgh’s German Heritage
The North Side will transform for the Deutschtown Festival on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15, 2017. With 200 bands and soloists scheduled, there’ll be plenty of reasons to hang out and practice your German. Two blocks will be closed on Saturday, July 15, to allow for food and art vendors to take to the streets. My tip? Take the kids on Saturday and let them check out the fun Pittsburgh art scene, grab a bite to eat, and practice your German.
5. Warhol Always Did Love Celebrities
From June 16-September 24, 2017, The Andy Warhol Museum will offer a special exhibit, Stars of the Silver Screen, that will highlight his fascination with celebrities and stardom. Paintings, drawings, and film excerpts will be available for viewing with paid museum admission. While I find the museum itself geared more toward adults, exhibits like these that give families a reason to visit as well.
6. There’s Nothing Dainty about The Frick Except for Dainties
Okay, maybe the antiques are delicate, but The Frick will be giving visitors a full view of its exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear beginning October 21, 2017. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the dainties shown will give the history of intimate clothing. Body manipulation and silhouette shape changes through the years will be touched upon as well. Runs through January 14, 2018. Sure, the kiddos may giggle at the dainties of yore, but they’ll definitely realize the freedom of the present!
7. Josephine, Get Out Your Old Flying Machine
Well, kind of. The 2017 Three Rivers Regatta will have a fun competition, Flugtag, on August 5, 2017. Teams will create their best version of a flying machine in the hopes it does just that. If not? They’ll be landing in one of the three rivers. Winners will be based on the longest flight over the Allegheny River. My advice? Grab a spot at Point State Park and watch the whimsy of folks trying their best to fly.
8. What’s the Big (Foodie) Idea?
Smallman Gallery has a big idea that’s booming in the Pittsburgh culinary scene and its name is Smallman Galley. Located in The Strip District, four chefs get their turn in the spotlight for an 18-month run. They’re able to showcase their best culinary creations with the big idea of eventually opening their own restaurants. It’s this opportunity that gives families a fun way to teach kids about unique foodie creations. Heck, they may even find a new favorite dish to create at home!