Warm, Winter Activities in Pittsburgh

It can get pretty cold in Pittsburg in the winter, but that doesn’t mean the city isn’t worth a visit! There are plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy and warm during the colder months. Here are some of our favorite places where you can take off your scarf and coat and stay a while.

1. Andy Warhol Museum
Pittsburgh is home to an amazing and large collection of works from one of the most famous pop artists, Andy Warhol. The Andy Warhol Museum is located in downtown Pittsburgh and contains thousands of pieces spread out over seven floors. You’ll get to see some of is most famous works like the Campbell’s Soup Cans, and see recreations of The Factory. Don’t miss the museum shop on your way out for some unique gifts (for others, or yourself!) Bonus – if you’re really a big Warhol fan, then take a drive by his childhood home, where Andy spent the first fifteen years of his life, at 3252 Dawson Street.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Game
Winter in Pittsburgh? One of the best things to do is embrace the season and attend a hockey game. The city us home to one of the best teams in the league, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team won the Stanley Cup in 2009. The Consol Energy Center, where you’ll catch the game was recently opened in late 2010. Don’t worry about being cold, it may be chilly out on the rink, but you’ll be comfortable in your seats.

3. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Class up your evening by taking in a performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the beautiful and historic Heinz Hall. The building has been around since the 1880’s. The Symphony’s Winter 2015 schedule include A Night in Russia, the music of Casablanca with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and BeethovenFest. Also while you’re welcome to dress up, tuxedos and ballgowns are not required, to take in a show.

4. SW Randall Toyes and Giftes
If you’re traveling to Pittsburgh with your children, then a trip to SW Randall Toyes and Gifts is a must. Their downtown toye store is one of the largest we’ve seen, and it will remind you of the toy stores in famous movies like Big. This place will keep you and your kids warm and occupied for hours, as there are many toys open to play with in the store.

5. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Want to get up close and personal with a T-Rex? Then head on over to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History and find their Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit. In the early 1900’s, Barnum Brown found the fossils of two T-Rex’s that together formed the most complete skeleton of the creature that existed. Along with the mighty T-Rex, you’ll find 12 other dinosaur specimens in the exhibit. The museum is also home to informative exhibits on anthropology, ecology and geology.

After all that sightseeing, you may find yourself wanting to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee. Pop by one of Pittsburgh’s best coffee shops, 21st Street Coffee and Tea. The space is beautiful, lofty with lots of exposed brick. They have a clover machine, so you can be assured that you’re guaranteed to get a good cup of coffee here.

Hopefully these sights will keep you busy, warm and entertained while visiting Pittsburgh. See you soon!

15 Budget Travel Tips for 2015

1. Stay in One Location Longer
Avoid hopping around multiple destinations. While you might feel the urge to see as much as possible, lingering in one area, for a week or more, mean that you’ll really get to know your destination, and it will save on travel costs like fuel and flights.

2. Travel With a Buddy
Solo travel is great, but spending a trip with someone else can help in the cost sharing. You can split gas money, rental fees, accommodations etc. And you’ll have someone to share your memories and experiences with.

3. Self Cater
Eating out three times a day can quickly eat up your travel budget. Choose accommodations that come with a mini-fridge, microwave and more. You’ll save a ton of money if you shop at the grocery store and make most of your own meals.

4. Save Up & Make a Budget
If you know you’ll be traveling, set aside a portion of your income each week and don’t touch it until you travel. Then when the time comes, add up your money, and divide it by the amount of days you’ll be away. This will give your your daily budget, try and stick to it as close as possible.

5. Download a Budget Planning App
To stick to your budget in #4. download a budget planning app on your phone to help you track your spending. Some budget apps let you scan your receipts, and are very helpful.

6. Research Admission Princes
Many attractions offer free or reduced admission on certain times or on specific days. Look up the attractions you want to visit on your trip, most websites list the admission times and prices.

7. Ask for a discount
If you can’t find reduced admission prices online, try asking what discounts an attractions offers when you arrive. Many places quietly offer discounts to seniors, students, AAA members, military, etc.

8. Search the Web for Coupons
A week or two before you head out on your trip, do an internet search to see if you can find any coupons or deals. Attractions may be offering 2-for-1 admissions, restaurants will often offer free appetizers etc.

9. Use Your Feet
Walking is a great way to explore a city. Along with some great exercise, you’ll save on fuel, parking and more. To get the most out of your walk, see if there are any free walking tours or tour apps that you can download.

10. Take Public Transit
Can’t walk to your destination? If your destination has a good transit system (like Chicago), it can be a good way to save some dollars. It will also save you the hassle of trying to find parking, and you’ll avoid the stress of road rage.

12. Skip the Souvenirs
Don’t feel guilty for not buying any gifts to bring back to people. They are often poorly produces and made overseas from the same factory as the stuff you could get at home. One alternative is to send the person a postcard, people so rarely get snail mail for anything other than bills, so it will be a nice surprise in their mailbox.

13. Put Your Phone in Airplane Mode
Be careful with your data package if you travel out of state. Many carries charge roaming fees, which can add up quickly, To avoid these, put your phone in airplane mode unless you find a place with free wireless.

14. Travel Off Season
While some popular destinations are expensive all year round, many destinations are considered seasonal. If you travel during a time that a destination is not popular, you can save with off-season rates, and in most cases the destinations are still worth visiting!

15. Travel Off the Beaten Path
Skip New York this year and head some place a little less known. Prices are often lower in smaller cities and lesser known areas. In 2015, why not try Memphis, Tennessee instead of Nashville, and El Paso Texas, instead of Austin.

Where are you planning on going in 2015?




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