Two Great Summer Date Nights in Pittsburgh
Whether you want to impress out-of-town guests or simply enjoy an evening with your significant other – these suggestions are sure to result in a memorable evening.
phipps conservatory | PHOTO BY Paul G Wiegman
There’s a reason places such as The Andy Warhol Museum and Phipps Conservatory are go-to locations when out-of-towners visit. Both are longstanding institutions with impressive permanent features and vital new programming; if you’re looking to show the city off for visitors, it’s hard to do much better. But don’t wait for the in-laws to roll into town to enjoy all these institutions have to offer; we’ve got suggestions for a great summer date night at either spot. (Plus a bonus for anyone with a zoo membership.)
photos by laura petrilla
Night One: Otherworldly Installations in Oakland. Sit down for a leisurely, Friday-night dinner at Legume, one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2018 Best Restaurants; the seasonal menu will put summer on your mind before you even get outside. Walk from the restaurant to Phipps, where the summer show, Gardens of Sound and Motion, is best enjoyed after the sun sets (look for the light installation woven into the branches of overhead trees, and don’t miss the interactive musical fountain). Phipps is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays, allowing plenty of time for a romantic stroll through its winding pathways. Afterward, make the short stroll to The Porch at Schenley for a nightcap; go for the outdoor seating to end the night in fine form. (legumebistro.com; phipps.conservatory.org; dineattheporch.com)
Night Two: Steak, Art, Whiskey. Another Friday night lineup takes you around Downtown and the North Shore. Spring for a meal at or, The Whale, another of this year’s Best Restaurant honorees, where you can find some of the best steak and seafood in town. Walk through Downtown and over the Andy Warhol Bridge (if you’re not regularly walking Downtown bridges, you’re missing out) and tour the museum for half of the regular admission price — its Good Fridays events keep the doors open until 10 p.m., give you a break on tickets and add a cash bar. Pick a different bridge to cross on your way back and discuss the legacy of Pop Art over whiskey at Butcher and the Rye. (orthewhalepgh.com; warhol.org; butcherandtherye.com)
Bonus: Avoid the Crowds at the Pittsburgh Zoo. This one’s only for those who hold memberships to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium (which is certainly worth it for those with animal-loving kids at home). On Members Only nights, the zoo stays open late and offers food specials, gift-shop discounts and dance parties (presumably for the people, not the animals). You can even bring friends; as long as they enter with a member, they’ll get a discounted ticket. Your enjoyment of the zoo as an adult is often directly related to how crowded it is, and these nights are a great way to reduce the number of other patrons — and eliminate the dreaded field-trip groups — jockeying for a nice view of the tigers. This month’s Members Only Night is scheduled for July 31; enter by 7 p.m. and you can stay as late as 9. Afterward, consider a walk around the Highland Park Reservoir or drinks at nearby Allegheny Wine Mixer in Lawrenceville. (pittsburghzoo.org; alleghenywinemixer.com)