Playthings Etc. in Butler is Truly the World’s Coolest Toy Store

If you drive by Playthings Etc. in Butler, PA, you'll know it.

That isn't because of the signage or an unusual display, but rather that the toy store itself is shaped like a stealth bomber!

If that isn't enough to make you want to stop, we don't know what would (but we're going to try to convince you all the same). Going inside this one is even better than the outside!

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Exploring the Prairie at the Jennings Environmental Education Center

The Jennings Environmental Education Center is one part museum, one part park near Slippery Rock, PA. 

The park itself is known for its roughly 20-acre prairie, which is one of the only protected and public prairies in the state. Not only does this make the location unique in its own right, but the park is home to a gorgeous museum and many more hiking trails to check out.

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A Behind the Scenes Tour of The Palace Theatre in Greensburg

The Palace Theatre in Greensburg is a popular performing arts space that is known for its history as much as its world-class performers that take the stage each week.

While I am still looking for the perfect show to take in a performance at the theater, I was able to get in on a behind-the-scenes tour to check out more of the history of this iconic spot!

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Stand Up Paddleboarding at Moraine State Park with SurfSUP Adventures

Moraine State Park is one of our favorite parks in the area as it is quite large, accessible in about 45 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, and offers a wealth of things to do when visiting both on and off the water.

On a recent visit, I got to try out something that I've been eyeing for quite some time- stand up paddleboarding with SurfSUP Adventures. I've got to say, this one was a ton of fun!

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Polymath Park is a Testament to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy

When it comes to Frank Lloyd Wright in the Laurel Highlands, you likely know of Fallingwater. You've probably also heard of Kentuck Knob just a few miles away. But did you know that there is a third site containing the acclaimed architect's work?

This location is Polymath Park- home to two Frank Lloyd Wright houses and two more built by his student, Peter Berndtson.

But the Wright houses here are rather unique- the two houses were completely relocated to the park in the last few decades!

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Barking Slopes Conservation Area Is a Quiet Spot East of Pittsburgh

Barking Slopes Conservation Area is a rather small park located near Oakmont and New Kensington, PA- about 40 minutes east of Pittsburgh.

The park is roughly 150 acres and is managed by the Allegheny Land Trust as a conservation and biological diversity area due to its unique geological features.

For the casual hiker, this one is not much different than other conservation areas in the region. But the park offers a nice hike out in nature with potential wildlife spottings all the same.

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Exploring the Historical Jail Museum in Downtown Pittsburgh

If you've spent some time walking around downtown Pittsburgh, odds are good you've seen the old Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail. This historical building is one of the most stunning in the city and even includes its own Bridge of Sighs walkway that connected the two buildings.

Today the jail has been decommissioned and converted into a Common Pleas court, yet many artifacts from the era exist and are available on display in the Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.

But if you want to check this one out you'll have to plan accordingly- it is only open from 11:30am to 1pm on Mondays, February to October!

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An Attraction and Dining Guide to Pittsburgh’s East Liberty Neighborhood

If there is any neighborhood in Pittsburgh that has changed the most in the last few years, it would be East Liberty.

The neighborhood is the poster child for gentrification and is now home to luxury lofts, numerous restaurants, and easy access to the growing tech hub in Bakery Square (in nearby Larimer).

While we could spend a long time discussing the gentrification of neighborhoods like these (we encourage it in the comments!), in our neighborhood guide series we want to take a look at what East Liberty is now and highlight the history and some of the spots we visit when exploring the neighborhood- namely the restaurants and a few limited attractions.

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The Behind the Scenes Tour at PNC Park is a Must for Baseball Fans

PNC Park is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and is also considered to be one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country.

While a great place to be during a game, the park is also home to a behind the scenes tour that goes to a number of interesting spots inside the stadium that you normally won't see in a regular game, including:

  • Legacy Theater
  • The Clubhouse (away days only*)
  • Batting Cages, Tunnel, and Dugout
  • The Press Box
  • Club Level and Suites

Taking this tour was high on my Pittsburgh bucket list, but I always had trouble scheduling a visit to coincide with a date I could get inside the Clubhouse. Now that I finally made that happen, it is time to share a few highlights from the tour!

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Learning About the City With Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours

Whenever we travel (especially abroad), we always love finding free city tours as a means to get our bearings in a new location and to also learn more about the city/country's history.

While Pittsburgh does have periodic, free city tours run by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, they are often limited in frequency and location. We, as a city, simply needed more.

It wasn't until late 2018 that Pittsburgh finally got its own free walking tour, put on by the appropriately named Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours. Naturally, I jumped on this one in early 2019 to give it a try and really enjoyed the tour overall!

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