Adventure Activities in Pittsburgh - Try if You Dare

by Mary Schneider, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Sep 23rd 2010 06:54 PM

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Adventure Activity Pittsburgh

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When most people think about visiting Pittsburgh, they think of taking in a Steelers game, perusing the fabulous downtown shopping district, or strolling along the Ohio River. The more adventurous, however, might be looking for an adventure activity in Pittsburgh. If you are one of those folks, Pittsburgh offers a variety of thrills, chills and challenges just daring you to try them.


Dare #1: Dare to be enlightened

Start off with a stroll through the surreal at the Andy Warhol Museum, the largest single-artist museum in the United States. Over 12,000 examples of Warhol's pop art and sometimes-controversial films, documentaries and other media can be viewed at this 80,000 square foot former industrial warehouse. In 2009, one of Warhol's silkscreens sold for 100 million dollars, a price only commanded by four other artists in the world. Warhol is considered the father of "pop" art, and one of the most controversial artists of the 20th century. We dare you to view this collection and come away unchanged.

Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212; 412-237-8300; Sat-Sun & Tue-Thu 10AM-5PM, Fri 10AM-10PM, Closed Mondays and most holidays; Adult $15, Senior (55+) and students (with ID) $8, Children (3-18) $5

Dare #2: Dare to be scared

Looking for a different kind of adventure activity in Pittsburgh? Maybe you want the chills and a heebie jeebie or two? Check out Pittsburgh's Scarehouse, less than ten miles from downtown. In October 2010, the Scarehouse is offering an opportunity to meet the Ghost Hunters team. Ghost Hunters is one of the top-rated paranormal shows on television today. Looking for a more authentic ghostly meeting? Take in a show at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and perhaps you'll meet one of the Pittsburgh Playhouse's Ghosts. We dare you to find out why Pittsburgh is known as Pennsylvania's "most haunted" town.

The Scarehouse, 118 Locust St, Etna, PA 15223; 412-781-5885; open 7PM-10PM or 7PM-12AM different days each week, check website to plan; General admission: $18

Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; 412-621-4445; Hours vary by show, check website to plan; Box Office open Mon-Fri 10AM-4:30PM; Admission: Varies by show, usually ranges from $18-$27

Dare #3: Dare to face the Phantom's Revenge

Even when you've had enough ghosts and ghouls, there are still plenty of adventure activities in Pittsburgh to give you chills and thrills! Head on over to Kennywood, which offers thrills from mild to medium to screaming yourself hoarse. Kennywood sports five roller coasters, including the Phantom's Revenge, one of the fastest roller coasters in the world. Phantom, the newest roller coaster, tops out at 85 miles per hour, with a cheek-flapping 230 foot drop. Other thrill rides include the Slingshot, which whips guests around at more than 50 miles per hour, and the Bayern Kurve, which resembles an insane bobsled run. We dare you to defy the Phantom.

Kennywood, 4800 Kennywood Blvd, West Mifflin, PA 15122; 412-461-0500; Open daily May 20-Aug 24, 10:30AM-about 10PM (depending on weather and crowds); Adult $35.99, Child (under 46" tall) $22.99, Senior $17.49

Dare #4: Dare to encounter the wild side

If these dare ideas haven't been enough for you, at Pittsburgh's famous National Aviary, guests who are willing to shell out $100 have an opportunity to go behind the scenes in the Raptor Experience, learning about birds of prey, their habits and what makes them some of the most effective predators on the planet. Guests will have a chance to help prepare the birds' food and join the trainers as they deliver the birds' afternoon meal.

National Aviary, Allegheny Commons West, 700 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212; 412-323-7235; Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12noon-5PM; Adult $12, Child (2-12) $9.50, Senior $11

For a considerably more affordable thrill, try the Pittsburgh Zoo. Visitors can "encounter" komodo dragons, watch the elephants receive their daily baths, and even touch stingrays in their tanks, all for one admission price of $13. Go ahead, pet a stingray. We dare you.

Pittsburgh Zoo, 7340 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206; 412-665-3640; Sept 7-Dec 31 9AM-5PM, Jan 2-Mar 31 9AM-4PM, Apr 1-May 27 9AM-5PM, May 28-Sept 6 9:30AM-6PM; Adult $13, Child (2-13) $11, Senior (60+) $12

Dare #5: Dare to get wet

If you are looking for daring outdoor activities in Pittsburgh, we've got the one for you! With two major rivers on either side merging to form the Ohio River, white water rafting is a popular Pittsburgh attraction. Laurel Island River Tours and White Water Adventures offer adventurous rafters opportunities for wet and wild rides on the upper Youghiogheny River in the Ohiopyle State Park or on the lower Yough for a calmer experience. We dare you to have the ride of your life.

Laurel Island River Tours, Sherman St, Ohiopyle, PA 15470; 724-329-8531, 888-385-8552; Tours offered daily March-October; Prices vary based on tour and date, range from $30-$155

White Water Adventures, 6 Negley St, Ohiopyle, PA 15470; 800-992-7238; Tours offered April-October, dates vary based on tour; Prices vary based on tour, range from $32-$155

Whether you take on Pittsburgh's dares or try the many tamer activities available to visitors, the Steel City is a place full of experiences just waiting to happen.

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