Last Updated on November 7, 2021
Discover all the fun and free things to do in Pittsburgh!!
Are you looking for something fun and free to do in Pittsburgh this weekend? After spending many years exploring the Pittsburgh area we’ve been able to come up with a pretty comprehensive list of the best free things to do in Pittsburgh. While many of the top things to do in Pittsburgh like the major museums, the zoo, and Phipps Conservatory cost admission, there are a lot of affordable and free things to do in Pittsburgh for people of all interests.
Free Things to Do in Pittsburgh this Weekend
We’re going to get started in this post by first talking about some sightseeing that you can do in Pittsburgh. Even though sightseeing is usually reserved for tourists or people that don’t visit the city very often, there are lots of cool things to see around the city that aren’t tourist destinations or sightseeing. instead, they’re more hidden corners of the city that have really interesting history meeting and stories behind them
Experience Canton Ave
Interestingly home to the steepest residential street in the country. Canton Avenue located in the neighborhood is a cobblestone street with a 37% grade. Pittsburgh is known for its Hui landscape so the city hosts the dirty dozen bicycle race which features 12 of the steepest hills in the city for bicyclists to tackle. Canton Avenue is one of these hills.
Sightsee along the North Shore
During the springtime, the Three River’s Heritage Trail along the North shore becomes a hotspot for biking and walking. While you’re walking along the North Shore, stop at some of these sights to have some fun, learn about Pittsburgh history, and view the city skyline.
Find the Cherry Blossoms during the Spring
During the spring, the Cherry Blossoms along the Three Rivers Heritage trail bloom! The cherry trees are located in front of the Alcoa building.
Splash Around at the North Shore Water Steps
The North Shore Water Steps are a public fountain meant for getting your feet wet! During the summer, the Steps attract families and kids for splashing around!
Mr. Rogers Statue
Mr. Roger was born in our hometown of Latrobe Pennsylvania and spend his life living in the Pittsburgh area. Mr. Rogers is a hometown hero to locals and is honored with a beautiful statue along the North Shore. His statue is posed looking over the city and the surrounding structure plays music from Mr. Roger’s Nieghborhood.
Visit the Memorials Along the Three River’s Heritage Trail
When walking along the North Shore Three River’s Heritage Trail, you’ll find many memorials. Stop by the Pittsburgh Law Enforcement Memorial, the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, the Bill Mazeroski Statue, and the United Steelworkers Statue to remember these people!
Immaculate Reception Statue
On December 23, 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers had their first playoff game in franchise history. On 4th down with only seconds to go in the 4th quarter, one of the most famous and controversial plays in American sports history occurred right here in Pittsburgh!
Quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass to receiver John “Frenchy” Fuqua, and the pass was either batted away by Raiders Safety Jack Tatum, or the ball bounced off of him and was scooped up by Franco Harris just before it hit the turf. Harris ran the ball for a touchdown, and a Steelers victory, just as the clock ran out.
The Immaculate Reception is memorialized right where it happened at Three Rivers Stadium between the modern-day Heinz Field and PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Visiting Washington’s Landing
Washinton’s Landing, or Herr Island, is one of the islands in Pittsburgh along the Allegheny River. On the east end of the island, along the walking trail past the tennis courts, you’ll find a scenic overlook of the river. Here you can see the 40th Street Bridge (also named Washinton’s landing). When George Washington was in Pittsburgh in the mid-1700s during the French and Indian War, his small riverboat capsized while crossing the Allegheny River! This area is believed to be where this event occurred.
See Old Town Pittsburgh
While driving along Fort Pitt Blvd, you might have never noticed a line of shorter row-style buildings that look older and empty. While many of these stand empty today, these buildings were once the heart of Pittsburgh! These buildings (now known as the First side Historic District) were home to the businesses that served the Monongahela River trade. The next time you’re walking or driving along Fort Pitt Blvd, take a look at the intricate architecture!
View the City From Mount Washington
Even though it’s a little touristy, taking in the city views from Mount Washington is always a fun free thing to do in Pittsburgh. We always enjoy going up to Mount Washington and walking around with a beautiful view!
Find Snoopy’s Doghouse
Built by a Pittsburgh Public Works carpenter, the doghouse keeps electrical conduits and wires out at bay in a precious tribute to the classic cartoon character. At the corner of Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, you can find Snoopy taking a nap on his doghouse.
Read more about the most unique things to do in Pittsburgh
Discover Roslyn Place
Like Canton Ave., Pittsburgh is home to another really interesting residential street. Located in Squirrelhill Roslyn place, is a street made of wooden bricks. Roslyn please is actually one of the last remaining wooden streets in the country! This cul-de-sac is on Pittsburgh‘s historic register because of its historical significance and preservation of the wooden street.
Find Your Happy at Randyland
Of many of the unique things to do in Pittsburgh also happen to be free! Randy land located on Pittsburgh‘s north side is the most colorful and happy part of the city. Created by the artist Randy, Randy land is an outdoor art space where you can come and be yourself. Using upcycling and his creativity, the artist Randy has put together an ever-transforming outdoor art collection for everyone to come and enjoy. Randyland has received both local and national recognition for its creativity and mission.
Free Events in Pittsburgh
Here is a list of free events in Pittsburgh throughout the year!
Movies in the Park
If you’re looking for something fun and free to do during the summer in Pittsburgh, don’t forget about the movies in the park! The Pittsburgh Park system during the summer offers free movies in the park! Google Pittsburgh movies in the park to learn more when the season rolls around.
Open Streets is another free summer event where city blocks are blocked off from traffic so the public can walk, bike, and enjoy the summer days without the hustle and bustle of traffic! Food trucks and local businesses get involved to make this event super fun!
Bicycle Heaven in Pittsburgh is the world’s largest bicycle museum! This museum is home to 6000 bicycles from rare and historic to brand new! Some of bicycle heaven’s most notable bikes are the Bowden Spacelander, the first fiberglass bike, and a 19th-century wooden bike! This museum is one of Pittsburgh’s free museums and offers visitors a unique experience!
Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden
The Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden is a free garden in Pittsburgh that also happens to be one of the most unique! All of the plants in this Botanical Garden at the Rodef Shalom Synagogue are cited in the Old Testament. This biblical botanical garden is the only of its kind in North America! This small garden is a lovely place to take a stroll and unwind near Oakland and Shadyside.
See the Remains of Forbes Field
Built-in 1909, Forbes Field was the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates for almost 60 years. It was over this wall that Bill Mazeroski hit his famous walk-off home run in the 9th inning of Game 7 during the 1960 World Series, giving the Pirates victory. Today you can visit the retaining wall in Oakland!
Hike at Panther Hallow
This quiet little lake is located right in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh! Panther Hollow is one of the hidden lakes within the city and makes for a great walk on a beautiful day. Panther Hollow Lake is located in Schenley Park and is hidden from the rest of the city! ⠀
Snap at Pic at the Southside Wings Mural
A #whatliftsyou mural is located on S 16th Street and East Carson St. This street art is like the many others scattered around the country and makes for a fun photo opp! The piece was painted by @KelseyMontagueArt
Explore Pittsburgh’s Parks
One of the best free things to do in any city is getting outside and exploring parks. Regardless of the time of year take some time to get outside and explore Pittsburgh parks. Panther Hollow in Schenley Park is one of our favorite places to walk throughout the year. The point located at the point of the three rivers in Pittsburgh is another one of our favorite parks to visit if we’re looking to walk along the water and enjoy the beauty of the city.
Read more about Pittsburgh’s parks and green spaces!
Free Museums in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is home to quite a few free museums which is great for people that want to visit something other than top museums like the Carnegie Museums.
Tour the Nationality Rooms
The nationality rooms located in the Cathedral of learning and are themed classroom with decor and interior designs from around the world. Here you can see classrooms designed in the style of Asian countries African countries and European countries. The nationality rooms are open for the public to visit on Saturdays and Sundays. Tours of the nationality rooms are available however if you don’t want to schedule a formal for you can walk through them at your own pace.
Visit Thousands of Relics at Saint Anthony’s Chapel
Did you know Saint Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill in Pittsburgh has the largest public display of relics aside from the Vatican? Thanks to a Belgian priest, Pittsburgh became the unlikely home to thousands of religious relics and artifacts because of religious conflict in Europe. Today you can see the relics on display in Saint Anthony Chapel. You can visit the church for free (a donation is welcomed!) or take free a guided tour. We highly recommend the tour! Our guide was able to point out some of the most notable relics in the collection such as relics of the Blessed Mother, Jesus, and the Apostles.
Visit The Center for PostNatural History
The Center for PostNatural History in Bloomfield is one of the most unique and free museums in Pittsburgh. PostNatural refers to organisms that have been engineered by humans through breeding or genetic engineering. So come to the museum to see some of these PostNatural specimens! This Center for PostNatural History is dedicated to interpreting, studying, and recording the complex relationship between humans and nature. Specimens and exhibits from the Center are part of traveling collections as well. The museum is open on Sundays from noon to four and is free of charge.
See the Fort Pitt Blockhouse
The Fort Pitt Blockhouse is the only remaining original structure of Fort Pitt! During your next walk around Point State Park, stop by the Blockhouse to see a bit of Pittsburgh history. During the spring and summer, the Fort Pitt museum hosts reenactment days and opens the Blockhouse for visitors.
- April 1 – October 31, Wednesday through Sunday, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM*
- November 1 – March 31, Friday through Sunday, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM*
Visit the Frick Pittsburgh
The Frick in Pittsburgh is a group of museums and historic buildings that were developed around the Frick family’s nineteenth-century residence. The Frick eatures a cafe, store, art museum, antique vehicle and carriage museum, and the Frick’s residence.
The Frick Family is a famous name in the Pittsburgh area. Henry Clay Frick founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was the chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the founding of the manufacturing giant U.S. Steel. The Frick is a fun and unique free activity to do in Pittsburgh! ⠀
Learn more about 10 amazing museums in Pittsburgh
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated solely to honoring all branches of military veterans and servicemen. In addition to serving as a memorial, the building serves an auditorium and museum. The museum started because local families began to donate artifacts, uniforms, and stories to the organization. Today, there are exhibitions featuring artifacts from the Civil War to modern-day conflicts. ⠀
Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self-Guided Tours
One of the most unique buildings downtown aside from the iconic PPG building is a stone castle-like building. This building is the Old Allegheny County Jail! The Romanesque Revival building features a unique archway over 5th Avenue and served as the jail until the new building was constructed. Today, you can tour the historic halls of the jail on Mondays from 11:30 am-1 pm free of charge.
The Allegheny Observatory is part of the University of Pittsburgh’s astronomy research department and it was actually one of the first in the world! The Allegheny observatory houses three telescopes used to measure distances between stars and conduct other research. You can tour the Observatory and participate in open house events where you can learn about our night’s sky!
Southside Color Park
The Color Park is a colorful space located along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in South Side, between 4th & 6th Street. This spot is a great place to stop during a walk or to take some awesome photos!
While the Southside is full of bars, college students, and restaurants, the Southside has a few historically significant landmarks. When it was unveiled in 1933, the Duquesne Brewery Clock located on the old Dusquence Brewery Building was the largest single-face clock in the world. The face of the clock was used for advertising and is actually twice the size of the clock on Big Ben in London!
Experience Gravity Hill
“Gravity Hills” are scattered all around the country and there is actually one in Pittsburgh! A gravity hill is a place where the surrounding land creates an optical illusion, making a slight downhill slope appear to be an uphill slope. You can find one of these gravity hills in North Park! If you drive up to McKinney Road towards Kummer Road in North Park you’ll come to a stop sign. If you stop just be before the stop sign, it will appear that the front of your car is sloped downwards, towards Kummer Road. Put if put your car in neutral you’ll slowly start to move “up the hill.” Before doing this make sure no one is behind you!! Finding the gravity hill the first time was a little difficult. It’s also very easy to drive past and not realize it, we had to circle back a few times!