Point State Park

May 17
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Free and open to the public

National Geographic has dubbed Pittsburgh a top urban adventure city, so get out there and see for yourself why the region is a 21st-century hub for outdoor recreation. Put down that weed wacker and head to the Venture Outdoors Festival where your very own urban playground beckons.

Boasting daylong activities, sports, games and workshops for toddlers, adventurer enthusiasts and seniors alike, the 14th annual Venture Outdoors Festival takes place on Saturday, May 17th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Downtown’s recently revamped Point State Park. Get active with everything from hiking and yoga, to biking and climbing. Blending the more artful side of active outdoor fun, the festival will also feature the rich cultural tradition of Brazilian Capoeira.

Strap on a harness and a helmet and secure your carabiner at the event’s Climbing Wall, where festival-goers can scale the 24-foot structure and check out the view from two stories up. Next, hop on a bike to explore the North Shore and traverse the bridges of Downtown, the South Side or the Eliza Furnace Trails on two wheels.

Don’t miss the chance experience the grace and beauty of Capoeira, the fast-paced and challenging Brazilian martial art form developed by African slaves 500 years ago. In the festival’s KidZone, children of all ages can make nature-inspired crafts, draw with sidewalk chalk, blow giant bubbles, go on a scavenger hunt, try geocaching, and join a bike rodeo.

Swing by the Fort Pitt Museum to learn about outdoor leisure activities that occurred at the site during the 1760s, such as rifle demonstrations, archery, preparing deer hides, cooking and lawn bowls. Need a breather? Stop by the Yoga Tent to reboot and practice your sun salute during workshops led by some of the city’s top yoga instructors.

New to the Festival is the event’s Adaptive Recreation Initiative, which will provide demonstrations and opportunities for people with disabilities to try specially adapted equipment for cycling and more.

Experienced Venture Outdoors’ staff and instructors will be on-site to offer guidance and demos, local clubs, organizations and businesses will provide resources about parks, trails and outdoor recreation in the region, and area outdoor shops will display their latest gear and services.

Ditch the car and head Downtown by bike, bus or T.

Please note: Due to unsafe river conditions, the Festival will not offer boating or fishing activities. The Festival does plan to ramp up its land-based activities and programming for all ages.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...