Five Things on Our Summer Bucket List!


Is it just me, or does it seem like summer is nearly over once the Fourth of July is past? Maybe it’s all of the stores pushing back-to-school supplies and Halloween items? Forget it, retailers! Rick and I refuse to let this summer get away from us! Here are our five must do Pittsburgh activities for the Summer of 2019.

1. Visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Phipps seems like summer year-round with its gorgeous Victorian arched conservatory filled with flowers and greenery, but this summer it features a show we do not want to miss – Van Gogh in Bloom. I’ve loved Van Gogh and his fellow impressionists ever since my parents pulled me out of school for the day to visit a temporary Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Now, some of those paintings have been brought to life by Phipps talented botanical creative team. The overall effect is intended to give visitors the impression (see what I did there;) of walking through the scenes the artist painted. Phipps is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. Fridays. For more information, visit

 The Allegheny Observatory
The Allegheny Observatory

2. Stargaze at the Allegheny Observatory.  From April until October, the University of Pittsburgh’s Observatory offers free walking tours of the building ending at the 13” Fitz-Clark refractor. On clear nights you can take a peek at whatever celestial objects are in range of the telescope.  Tours take place Thursday and Friday evenings from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 412-321-2400 between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  We will probably save this activity for early August when the Perseid meteor shower occurs.

3. Enjoy live music at Narcisi Winery.  Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia is just outside of town, but you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Tuscany when you step onto their patio shaded by grape arbors.  We visited a couple of years ago to celebrate my birthday on the patio and I’ve wanted to go back ever since to picnic and listen to live music on their adjacent outdoor stage.  The free shows take place every Saturday from 2 – 5 p.m. until mid-October. Visit for more information.

4. Spend a Sunday morning relaxing with classical music in Mellon Park.  Sunday mornings from June 16 until August 11, WQED presents Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Coffee Tree Roasters sells food and beverages on site, or you can bring your own picnic. Visit for more information.

 Bill Toms and Hard Rain a few years back in Hartwood Acres.
Bill Toms and Hard Rain a few years back in Hartwood Acres.

5. Attend at least one free outdoor concert at Hartwood Acres or South Park Amphitheater. The Allegheny County Summer Concert Series features some seriously eclectic musical variety. This summer’s line up includes acts from symphony to rock, funk to country, opera, blues, jazz, and reggae Check out the schedule here: Food trucks and Hop Farm Brewing Company craft beer are at all concerts.

That’s our summer to-do list as it stands right now. What else should we be checking out? I’ve got to admit, this Jersey girl is seriously missing the beach right about now. Please hit the comments section with any and all suggestions that will bring a summertime feel to the land-locked Burgh:)

8 thoughts on “Five Things on Our Summer Bucket List!

  1. Great list!! I do not want Summer to end either! You’ve already done so many of my favorites!! Have you been to Randyland? Just a crazy little museum on the Northside. The owner/artist, Randy, has collected “stuff” over the years and is all about positivity and fun. Very colorful. Google it. It’s been years since I’ve been there!


  2. Great list! A few years ago, I chaperoned a school tour of the city by the History & Landmarks Foundation. It is a walking tour downtown with docents who tell the rich history of Pittsburgh’s architecture–from the Smithfield Street Bridge, to the Courthouse, Trinity Cathedral and other historic buildings downtown. It’s a great way to connect–whether you’re visiting or have lived here for a long time. It’s fun!


    1. I love this idea! I don’t know much about Pittsburgh’s history and what I do know was gleaned from a duck boat tour a couple years ago – maybe not the most factual source:)


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