Finding summer fun in Greensburg and Pittsburgh

The Duquesne Incline first opened in 1877 and offers views of Pittsburgh over Mount Washington. Photo from brooklineconnection.com.

Summertime is finally here and many people are trying to find some things to do around Greensburg and Pittsburgh. Have no fear; I have all of the amazing places you can visit with friends and family for summer fun.

In Greensburg, one of the many places you can visit is the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. When you show them your Seton Hill ID, you will get free admission to the museum. Another great place to visit is Bushy Run Battlefield and it only costs $5 to get in! There is an amazing museum and they do a reenactment every year of the battle. The reenactment will be Saturday, August 5 and Sunday August 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with admission being $8.

This is the description that the Bushy Run Battlefield website has: “Our premiere event for the year pits the forces of his Royal Highness King George III against a confederation of Native Americans. See all the colors of war in the vibrant recreations of the two-day battle of Bushy Run that the various reenactors bring to life. Learn about how the battle progressed as well as how people lived in the mid-eighteenth century.” For more information, check out bushyrunbattlefield.com.

Greensburg County Commissioner Ted Kopas kicks off the 2016 Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival. For more information on this year’s events, check out the schedule of events on the Arts and Heritage Festival’s website. Photo from tedkopas.com.

Another popular place to visit in Greensburg is Twin Lakes Park, which includes a dog park, trails and playgrounds. You can rent pavilions and there is a boathouse where paddle boats can be rented. During the summer, Twin Lakes hosts the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival on June 29 and 30 and July 1 and 2. They offer food, entertainment, educational activities and crafts.

The Artist Market is filled with over 200 booths of professional craftspeople. The food at the festival ranges from Italian and Polish to Greek, and this year there will be food trucks! There is a heritage trail that has local historians and blacksmiths. Of course for the kids there is a whole area just for them!

Shuttle bus locations are available at St. Vincent College, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Nicely Elementary School and by the Seton Hill Performing Arts Center. Riding the shuttle costs $2 per round trip with children under 10 riding for free. The shuttles run from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m on Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Zoo recently opened a new exhibit that features giant anteaters, capybaras, fossas and a pygmy hippopotamus. Photo from pittsburghzoo.com.

Now to the big city where everyone loves to visit: Pittsburgh. The first place you can visit is the Andy Warhol Museum, which is $10 for students with a valid ID. Another great place to visit is the National Aviary, where general admission is $14 unless you want to add on a show and a feeding.

To go along with the aviary, you can always go to the zoo. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium will have some new things this summer. These include new baby animals like a baby rhino, baby elephant, baby gorilla and amur leopard cub. There is also a dinosaur exhibit from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, but it is a $6 fee added to the admission fee of $16. The last new exciting thing at the zoo is the Jungle Odyssey. This new area includes new animals like the capybara, pygmy hippo, ocelots, fossas and anteaters.

If you are not an animal person, then you can check out the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens with admission being $16.95 for students. Many of you may already know of Phipps thanks to the Corpse Flowers named Romero and Barbara.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History features a dinosaur exhibit of nearly 75 percent real fossils. Photo from scified.com.

You can also check out all of the Carnegie museums in Pittsburgh. For example, there is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which costs $11.95 with your student ID. You can also always check out the Mattress Factory or ride the incline up to Mount Washington. If you are more into shopping, you can visit Market Square or Station Square. Of course you can always just explore downtown Pittsburgh for so much more.

Two large attractions around this area are Kennywood and Idlewild. Kennywood is Pittsburgh’s No. 1 place for thrill rides that includes modern day coasters and wooden coasters. A ticket to Kennywood will cost you $47.99, but the memories will last a lifetime. The other theme park is Idlewild Park. Idlewild Park was named “Best Kids’ Park” by Amusement Today and not only is it an amusement park, but it is also a water park. For $43.99 you get into both Idlewild and SoakZone! Of course these two parks are better if you are going with family, but it is extremely fun with friends.

As anyone who grew up around Pittsburgh or Greensburg knows, there is so much more to do than just what is mentioned above. The best way to find these amazing places is to ask those who have lived here all of their lives. You will be surprised to see all of the amazing things that have been around this whole time. Now you have something to say when all of your professors ask you what you did over the summer on the first day of classes.

The Thunderbolt at Kennywood is a wooden roller coaster built in 1924 and was originally named the Pippin. Photo from themeparkreview.com.

Idlewild is a historical landmark as the longest-operating amusement park in Pa. Photo by M.Wintermantel/hmdb.org.

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