Plenty of Places For Fun in Downtown Pittsburgh Pennsylvania!

Looking for fun for your family in historical downtown Pittsburgh? There are a ton of fun activities and attractions in Pittsburgh to satisfy all types of interests and budgets. Here is a list of just some of the great things you can do and see in downtown Pittsburgh with friends or family:

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Weather you’re a local or a visitor the David L. Lawrence Convention Center offers a wide verity of events and exhibits every year. You may be surprised to know that the DLLCC is well known for its innovative green practices. Its massive skylights bring in 75% natural light and are sure to “light up” any event! Plus, with ample Pittsburgh Convention Center lodging nearby, you won’t need to worry about calling a cab to get to your hotel afterwards.

Point State Park

You would never guess that this beautiful 36 acre state park was once part of the slums in the 40’s. Among the beautiful landscaping, visitors will also enjoy the 100 foot tall water fountain located in the park. This fountain was constructed in 1974 completing the parks 29 year reconstruction.

Carnegie Museums

Probably one of the most well known attractions of downtown Pittsburgh is the Carnegie Museums. Museums include an art, science, and natural history museum. While strolling through the museums is a wonderful experience, some visitors may also enjoy a lecture or a class. Currently Carnegie offers a wide verity of art classes and lectures for all types of interests. Children may also enjoy a more hands on experience in one of the many classes, camps, and sleepover opportunities the museums offers.

The National Aviary

This amazing exhibit of over 600 endangered and exotic bird collections is among the largest in the United States. Visitors can walk through the aviary’s many climate and habitat simulations and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. Newer exhibits include Penguin Point and the Grasslands. The National Aviary also offers a variety of classes for anywhere from preschool to high school students!

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

This 77 acre zoo and aquarium features over 475 species of animals. Imagine being able to view 4000 animals from across the globe all in one zoo! The Worlds of Discovery program even offers children and visitors the opportunity to meet with some of the smaller animals and reptiles of the zoo up close and personal. Ranked by top magazines as one of the best zoos in the country, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is truly committed to offering a unique experience for every type of visitor.

Great Hotel Options for the End of the Day

No one wants to get in the car and drive back home after a long day visiting all the sights of Pittsburgh. Fortunately, there are Pittsburgh PA luxury hotels readily available for your lodging. So put your feet up and relax at the end of your busy day.

Class Trips to Southeastern Virginia to Study Science

Many student trips to Virginia focus on early American history and the study of the Civil War. With sites like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Island, Yorktown Battlefields, Arlington National Cemetery, Monticello, and the historic homes of numerous presidents, it is no surprise many school trips to the Commonwealth focus on history. Yet a school trip to Virginia is also a great choice for the study of science.

In previous articles I have written about science destinations in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. and an Eco Tour of Virginia. This article will focus specifically on destinations in Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia Beach. Destinations on the science tour of Virginia can be combined with a student trip to Washington D.C. or Williamsburg or taken as a stand-alone educational tour of Virginia.

Nauticus, The National Maritime Center
Nauticus is located on the harbor in Norfolk, Virginia. The Museum is a 45-minute bus ride from Williamsburg and is well worth the trip. Nauticus is home to battleship Wisconsin, the last battleship built by the U.S. Navy. Students learn about the way science impacts Naval history and economics and methods and instruments used in navigating the sea. School groups tour the battleship Wisconsin and the nearby museum. Afterwards, groups can have lunch at Waterside, and explore downtown Norfolk.

Mariners’ Museum
The Mariner’s Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia, and encompasses 60,000 square feet of exhibition space. Students can learn about maritime history and view artifacts from the Monitor battleship and exhibitions on topics such as the Chesapeake Bay watermen. Groups touring the museum will see handmade ship models, paintings, and photographs related to the history of work on the sea from world class collections. If the weather is nice, school groups can take a walk around Mariners’ Museum Park and Noland Trail, a naturally wooded setting surrounding Lake Maury.

Virginia Air and Space Center
The Virginia Air and Space Center is not far from NASA Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, where America’s space exploration program first began in earnest. The museum exhibits document over 100 years in aviation and provide visitors with an overview of space exploration that includes artifacts from space flights. The Virginia Air and Space center houses over 30 planes. With its high tech interactive exhibits and an Imax theater on site, it is sure to be a popular destination for student groups.

Hampton Roads Harbor Cruise
One way for students to see and learn about life in the Chesapeake Bay region is to climb aboard a boat that gives students a view of the harbor. Harbor cruises leave from either the port of Norfolk or Hampton, Virginia. Each cruise includes slightly different views and points of interest. Students will see the awe inspiring Norfolk Naval base, where aircraft carriers, submarines and other support vessels are docked. Groups will learn about other points of interest in the harbor that date to the time of the first English settlers and the Civil War. The harbor cruise takes approximately two hours and offers a perspective that is stimulating and different from a walking tour.

Lifesaving Museum of Virginia
Student groups can take a trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia to explore the Lifesaving Museum of Virginia. Here they will see the remains of shipwrecks, and learn about lifesaving and techniques and equipment used to rescue people from the sea. Groups may elect to take a guided School of the Surfman tour that includes an overview of skills honed by rescuers and their stories.

The Southeastern corner of Virginia, also known as Tidewater Virginia, is the perfect place for students to engage in active learning about scientific topics. It is rich in maritime history and the innovations of space exploration. The Tidewater area of Virginia is also home to the largest Naval base on the East Coast and several U.S. Coast Guard stations. Depending upon curricular objectives, student tour leaders may also elect to add other destinations to the science tour such as a visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Virginia Marine Science Museum, the Virginia Living Museum, or the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Cleveland Attractions – Great Lakes Science Center

Cleveland Ohio is home to some great attractions for tourists and residents. There is the Cleveland Zoo, West Side Market and of course there is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you have kids there is one more attraction that is just as noteworthy. That place is the Great Lakes Science Center. Read this article and you will see what makes it such a great kid friendly attraction.

The Great Lakes Science Center is located in Cleveland near the lakefront and next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is a 55 million dollar museum that teaches kids about science through the use of hands on interactive displays. There are over 320 different hands on experiments for children to experience on their visit. For example, there is “The Indoor Tornado.” This exhibit simulates an actual tornado. It stands over 8 feet tall and the kids are able to actually reach in and touch the tornado. Another exhibit is the “Shadow Room” which teaches kids about photoluminescence. Kids can learn why a watch can glow in the dark and how sea creatures are able to see each other in the deep ocean. Of course there is also the “Great Lakes Story” exhibit. It teaches kids about how the great lakes were formed and about all of the different creatures that live in it. They will learn about the area ecosystem and about how fragile it actually is. In addition to these exhibits there are several others to delight and entertain your children. This makes it a must see attraction that any kid will love. Check it out on your next trip to Cleveland.

If you would like to visit the Great Lakes Science Center you can find it at 601 Erieside Ave in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. For more information you can call the information line at 216-694-2000. Have fun.