Winters in Pittsburgh are rough, we're not going to sugarcoat it.
Between occasional mounds of snow and below freezing temperatures we wouldn't blame you if hibernation was your primary goal. But if you are looking to get out and explore, southwestern Pennsylvania has a lot for you!
The following are some of our favorite things to do when the temperatures are at a minimum.
Ski at the Laurel Highlands
When it comes to hitting the ski resorts near Pittsburgh, there is no spot better than the Laurel Highlands.
This popular outdoor destination is often described as “Pittsburgh's backyard” and is home to not one, not two, but three ski resorts perfect for all skill levels!
If you're a beginner, we recommend heading to Hidden Valley. Intermediates get a thrill out of Seven Springs. And experts, well, Laurel Mountain (newly re-opened in 2017) is for you.
No matter which slopes you hit the Laurel Highlands has a number of great slopes for those looking to ski while sticking close to home!
Go Tubing at Boyce Park
Looking to stick closer to home but want to enjoy the great outdoors? Head over to Boyce Park for their array of winter experiences including skiing on their modest slopes, frequent winter activities (like snow shoeing), and our own personal favorite- snow tubing.
This park is certainly much smaller than the resorts in the Laurel Highlands, but in being located less than 30 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and at a significantly reduced admission price you can get out and enjoy some great seasonal activities for less!
Check out the Skyline During a Deep Freeze
Pittsburgh's skyline is gorgeous any time of year, we have to say, but it looks exceptionally beautiful in the winter during a deep freeze.
This winter treat only occurs every few years after a sustained period of extreme cold (often 10° F or lower for multiple days on end) but when it does it is well worth bundling up and heading out to see!
We recommend heading out to the West End Overlook or the Duquesne Incline on Mount Washington to view the rivers; however, there are many great places to view the Pittsburgh skyline any time of the year too (with or without the rivers visible).
If you can't make it outside for a very brief glimpse, head over to our article showing some great photos of Pittsburgh's frozen rivers during the last deep freeze!
Stay Active Indoors
If you're like us, the above activities sound great in theory but all you really want to do is spend some time inside to enjoy the warmth. As much as we would like to hibernate through winter, we try our best to be as active as possible to kick off the winter blues.
Take a Class to Learn a New Skill
Another activity we like to do in the middle of winter is brush up on a new skill, and Pittsburgh has no shortage of activities to up your game from cooking classes to art classes and more!
Some of our favorites (and others on our to-do list) include:
Stay Warm Inside a Museum
Winter is also a great time to hit a few museums that have been on your list for far too long that you've never been able to visit before.
We always like to recommend the unusual museums in Pittsburgh in these instances as they are often ones you've either never heard of or know but keep forgetting to visit- perfect for winter.
Work on Your Backlog of Breweries, Wineries, or Coffee Shops
If you've made it this far and have no ideas, then you probably just want to relax the winter away and count down the days until spring. But can we encourage you to still get out and work on your backlog of breweries, wineries, or coffee shops?
There are no fewer than 100 of these spots for liquid refreshments in the region, meaning you could head out to a new spot every day of the season and still not hit them all.
So if you're going to relax the winter away, why not do it with a beer, coffee, or glass of wine? Sounds like a perfect winter afternoon to us!
Have a favorite winter activity that was not featured on this list? Comment below to share it!
Help us out! When visiting local businesses or attractions, be sure to say you found them on Discover the Burgh!
Looking for a Pittsburgh hotel? Check out the following!
- Hampton Inn - Free parking in Downtown
- Embassy Suites - Stellar views in many rooms
- Sheraton Pittsburgh - City view in river view rooms
- Hotel Monaco - Highly rated on TripAdvisor
- Hampton Inn Green Tree - Great value option!
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For more products, check out our Pittsburgh shopping guide!