Stuck in the city? A primer for Pittsburgh summer fun

By Zachary Landau | A&E Editor

Whether you’re hanging around for an internship or for the love of the city, you can find a lot of stuff to do in Pittsburgh during the summer months. Better still, a lot of these events are relatively close to Duquesne’s campus and are either free or really cheap (gotta use those student discounts while you can, right?), so here is a quick list of things to see and do until classes begin again in the fall.

1. The obvious

Let’s get these out of the way first. There are tons of great museums, parks and landmarks throughout Pittsburgh, especially Downtown and in Oakland. Everybody should go to the Carnegie Museums and the Carnegie Science Center, of course, but smaller galleries sprinkle Pittsburgh’s landscape and often host fascinating local artists that warrant checking out. Unique museums, such as the ToonSeum in the Cultural District and the Mattress Factory on the North Shore, also offer exhibits that are not available anywhere else, so give them a shot when you can.

The natural sights of Pittsburgh are to be seen, as well. Mt. Washington and Point State Park typify the Pittsburgh landscape, but a lot of people forget about the variety of other landmarks available. The Cathedral of Learning offers a fantastic view from its 36th floor, as well as houses the Nationality Rooms, a collection of 30 classrooms that reflect the different nationalities that make up Pittsburgh. The view from Station Square, which overlooks Fort Pitt Boulevard and Downtown, is also definitely worth checking out.

2. Get your art thing going

Pittsburgh hosts many art galleries and festivals, so why wouldn’t anyone living here go check them out? The Cultural Trust holds four Gallery Crawls — a free event that exhibits art in various galleries in the Cultural District — throughout the year, and the next one is July 7. There is also the Three Rivers Arts Festival from June 2-11, a much larger gathering that spreads over much of Downtown. Whether you are someone who loves art or could not care less about it, there is always something worth checking out at these events.

There are also plenty of other artsy things to go to as well. The Trust’s website offers an easy-to-use search engine to find an event that matches whatever your interests are and even has a “Free” filter. If live bands are your thing and you are 21 or older, then bars are the way to go. Many host great local bands, and there are few things better than relaxing with friends while listening to some live music.

If you’re more a movie fan, your local library most likely hosts its own movie nights (such as Carnegie’s Downtown branch). In fact, if you are living in Pittsburgh for any amount of time, it is probably worth it to get yourself a library card. Libraries offer tons of free stuff and host some events that are actually really fun, especially if you bring your friends along. But for a really unique event, try making time to watch a movie in the evening at one of Pittsburgh’s many parks, such as Schenley Plaza every Sunday.

3. Market economics

If you’ve got some pocket change (or significantly more than that) sitting around, then maybe markets are your fare. The aforementioned Gallery Crawl and Three Rivers Arts Festival feature their own open-air markets for artists and craftsmen to sell their wares, and they are definitely worth checking out. There is also the Night Market at Market Square every Saturday that also features a live DJ.

If fresh produce is actually what you go for, then the Farmers Market, also in Market Square, is definitely worth the visit. The city hosts a number of other markets, too, like in the South Side and Mellon Square, well into the fall months.