We are now reaching the fall break point in the school year! By now kids start to feel rambunctious and moms are already thinking of fun field trips they can take with their kids.
Field trips have always been my favorite part of the school year and discovering new places to visit is especially fun! I’m here to help you find your “Adventure in Pennsylvania” and provide affordable options that will give your kids a chance to learn outside the classroom and also give them a chance to use up some of their energy.
Who knew that there were so many amazing spots to visit right here in Pennsylvania! This past summer, my family and I visited Pittsburgh.
Built between 1759 and 1761, this historic fort was occupied by the British military during the French and Indian war and during the American Revolution until 1772.
To start out your adventure in Pittsburgh, take a walk down to the 3-point river. Here you will encounter the meeting of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers. Fun fact – the Allegheny River flows north into New York from northern Pennsylvania and then south into Pittsburgh, where it then meets the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River. Pretty cool!
Following that, you will see the Fort Pitt Block House. The block house is the oldest authentic structure in Western PA. It was built in 1764 as a British fortification in the French-Indian War. Inside the building you will be able to see what the soldiers may have experienced as they fought during the war. You and your students can look through little holes, dubbed as “gun loopholes” where the soldiers would have to look through when faced with enemy invasion. Another fun fact about the blockhouse is that civilian families also lived there at different times in history. Standing in that one room and even looking up at the second floor, gives you a feeling at the differences of living in that part of history than what we are accustomed to today.
The block house was also used as a multiple family occupancy after the war. Imagine living in the building that was located in a fort. Throughout the house you will see “points of interest” where you and your children will read a diagram that outlines changes that have been made in the house over time.
After visiting the house, you have the option of going through the Fort Pitt Museum. While the block house is free, the museum does have a cost for admittance. I believe you can experience just as much without going through the museum. However, if you have older children and are looking for more information for an essay, walking through the museum may be beneficial.
As time allows, another fun aspect of Pittsburgh is just walking around. You are able to walk across the rivers on two bridges. (Caution: only go if you don’t mind heights!) These two bridges are known as the Fort Duquesne Bridge, which crosses the Allegheny River, and the Fort Pitt Bridge, which crosses over the Monongahela River.
Walking through downtown Pittsburgh, you can also visit PNC Park, home stadium to the Pirates, which is especially cool if you are a sports fan like my younger brother.
Pittsburgh is incredible – whether you are a city person or not so much. One final note to remember: leave before the work traffic gets too terrible!
Previous published in the CHAP Magazine
Copyright, 2016, Rachel Rittenhouse