Last Updated on November 16, 2019 by Jeremy
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We're going to be honest, the season of fall in Pittsburgh is too short. Not in the fact that the days go by fast, but rather that the ideal fall weather departs almost as quickly as it arrives.
So while this post is tailored to things to do in Pittsburgh in the months that fall between late September and late December, when we think of fall we think of the changing weather. In this instance cooling off, colorful leaves, and everything else that comes before the Pittsburgh winter freeze.
Today we want to share seven of our favorite activities to do in fall in Pittsburgh. To learn more about each spot, click the links below!
Chase the Fall Colors
We know, we know, the fall colors are often limited to just a few weeks from the end of October to early November, but some fall seasons we get lucky and have an extended period of time to enjoy the foliage outside.
But there are other spots worth visiting when the leaves begin to change, such as Fallingwater (near Ohiopyle) and Hartwood Acres which are gorgeous mansions set in the heart of wooded areas that transform throughout the season.
The only downside with this particular one? The peak of fall foliage colors is quite short, so when things change you need to be on it right away!
Drink Your Fill of Cider
Nothing beats a glass of apple cider on a cool fall day, and the Pittsburgh region is most certainly known for producing a quality precursor to this delicious drink in the form of apples!
For those who are looking for the non-alcoholic options, many local Pittsburgh fruit farms and orchards have non-fermented cider for sale at their locations and in local markets.
Drink it up now because this is the best time of the year for the beverage!
So what if cider is not your thing? Don't worry, we don't need too many excuses to drink beer in Pittsburgh. But if you did, Oktoberfest is for you!
This one began in Germany in the early 1800's to celebrate a royal wedding and has grown in popularity as an annual event that is celebrated all over the world. In Pittsburgh celebrations can be found all over the city from the popular Penn Brewery in the North Side, to the private German club Teutonia Mannerchor a few blocks away (with a public Oktoberfest party in early September), or even the Alpine beer hall Lorelei in East Liberty to name a few.
To put it simply, we don't really need an excuse to drink good beer in the city, but when Oktoberfest comes along you should be sure to take in the opportunity all the same!
Hit Up a Sports Game
Fall is one of the best times of the year to take in a sports game in Pittsburgh. Pirates baseball and Riverhounds soccer are winding down for the season and Steelers football, Pitt football, and Penguins hockey are just beginning.
Yes, in early fall you can see all of Pittsburgh's sports teams in any given week (and potentially longer if we are ever fortunate enough for the Pirates to make the post season).
Couple that with the cool fall temperatures and the outdoor stadiums for baseball, football, and soccer are the places to be early in the season. But when the cool winter temperatures begin to arrive at the end, it is time to move indoors for Penguins hockey!
See a Show in the Cultural District
We know that the weather is often not the best in the fall (especially towards the end) and sometimes you want to do something inside. Thankfully, Pittsburgh's Cultural District has an array of things going on in the fall!
Towards the start of the season the Pittsburgh Opera begins its new season, the Pittsburgh Symphony conducts several shows, and the Pittsburgh CLO has many events going on as well. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a weekend that goes by without a show in the Cultural District, so be on the lookout for what is next- and don't forget your Pittsburgh restaurant reservations while you're there!
Get Your Scares on at a Haunted House
Fall also coincides with the Halloween season, and many of which are open from late September through early November.
Three of the most popular haunted houses in the region are Hundred Acres Manor in South Park, ScareHouse just north of the city, and Kennywood's Phantom Fright Nights. The first two attractions offer several themed haunts that can be experienced in one contiguous walking path, while Kennywood's frights are scattered throughout the park for a longer evening overall (albeit with more wait times).
For those who are like us and do not particularly enjoy being scared, try a behind the scenes tour of ScareHouse during the day for some in-depth conversation about how they make all their haunts. A great option we really enjoyed!
Light Up Night
Okay fine, we have to sneak one winter-esque event into this post as we get into the chilly weather quickly in what is technically known as fall. So we'd be remiss if we did not mention one of our favorite events of the year, Light Up Night!
Light Up Night occurs on the Friday before Thanksgiving (still fall!) and is the official start of Christmas in Pittsburgh.
This event is actually the same day as the Santa Spectacular at Point State Park (a distinctly separate event that gets lumped in as “Light Up Night” to most) and includes turning on all the Christmas trees around the city, the start of the downtown Christmas markets, and three unique fireworks displays in the city (typically a brief one on top of the Highmark Building at 7, one for the Santa Spectacular off of Point State Park at 7:45, and one along the Allegheny river for Light Up Night at 9:30- note times subject to change)!
Whether you head downtown just for the fireworks displays or to make a night with all of the events, hitting up Light Up Night is an absolute must during the fall season and is a great option to hustle in the looming winter!