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10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh Over Spring Break

If you asked the average in-state Penn State student where their hometown is, most would say that they live “right outside”  either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Since a large portion of students return home over Spring Break, we’ve compiled a list of things to do once the initial excitement of free laundry and home-cooked meals has worn off. 

If you’re like me, you’re stuck in boring old Pittsburgh for spring break. Sucks, right? All your friends are doing something cool (like skiing in Colorado or going on Boombox Guy-sponsored trips to Panama City) while you’re at home avoiding high school acquaintances and counting down the days until you return to State College. But hey, at least you’re not spending the week in Philly. Here are 10 ways to make the most of your break in Pittsburgh:

1.) Get Cultured. The Andy Warhol museum is a fascinating look into the art and life of Andy Warhol, and is well worth the $10 student admission price. The Mattress Factory is another option for if you’re interested in contemporary art that goes beyond painting and sculptures. If you’re feeling extra fancy, stop by the Frick Art & Historical Center for a look into the Frick family’s Victorian era home.

2.) Head to a Penguins game. The Penguins are in the midst of yet another incredible season, and face two huge rivals at Consol Energy Center over break. They’ll play the Washington Capitals on March 11, and the Philadelphia Flyers (BOOO) on March 16.

3.) Hit up a concert. The Dropkick Murphys (March 8) and Austin Mahone (March 9) are both playing shows at Stage AE over break, and Arcade Fire is playing at the Consol Energy Center on March 12. If none of those interest you, a list of all the concerts happening in Pittsburgh over break can be found here.

4.) Explore the Pittsburgh Zoo and Phipps Conservatory. Admit it; you probably haven’t been to either since your third grade class went to each in elementary school.

5.) Check out the Hofbräuhaus. The Hofbräuhaus is modeled just like the one in Munich, and is the first authentic one of its kind in Pennsylvania. The beer is brewed on site, and the menu features a wide array of awesome German food. The place also vaguely reminds me of a scene from Beowulf.

6.) Go to the South Side. The neighborhood is home to more than 80 bars and pubs, so your average 21 year old Penn State student should feel right at home in the South Side. If you’re not of age, there are shops and restaurants to also explore that still make the South Side a fun destination.

7.) Party with Pitt. Yeah, this one’s a bit of a stretch. We all know Pitt is LAME, but chances are you have that one friend who goes to Pitt who’s always telling you how “great” Pitt is and how much “fun” they have in Oakland. Obviously it’s nothing compared to University Park, but you might as well humor your friend and check out the social life that Pitt has to offer.

8.) Take in the views on Mt. Washington. Mt. Washington offers the best view of Pittsburgh (outside of coming into the city from the Fort Pitt Tunnel), and there are plenty of food options that make it well worth the visit. Plus, you probably took ‘awkward high school dance’ group photos on Mt. Washington at some point during high school, and those memories are always fun to revisit.

9.) Experience the Strip District. If there’s one place to fully experience Pittsburgh’s cultural diversity, the Strip District is it. The wide variety of ethnic grocers, meat markets, produce, and restaurants are a lot of fun to take in, and there are various tours to help get familiar with area.

10.) Eat at Primanti Bros. If nothing else on this list interested you, at least stop at Primanti Bros. You can eat your cap and cheese in peace, and say yinzer things like “YINZ” and “N’AT” without someone threatening to punch you in the face. Because let’s face it, Pittsburghese is the worst. Still, the sandwiches are well worth it and it’s the last chance you’ll have to get one until summer rolls around.

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About the Author

Greg Schlosser

Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State. He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports and sandwiches with coleslaw and french fries. You can email him at [email protected] or find him at the Phyrst drunkenly requesting the band to play "One Headlight."

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