Venture Outdoors Festival

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Website: Venture Outdoors Festival
Address: Point State Park, 601 Commonwealth Pl., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Cost: FREE

Many festivals and events are designed to encourage people to get outside and play, but few do it as well or as vigorously as the Venture Outdoors Festival. Venture Outdoors Festival bills itself as a free celebration of the outdoors for everyone, and their not messing around. This ode to outdoor recreation is not just free, it’s impressively free, and by all accounts the festival invests a lot of energy into being an event accessible by all. How, you might ask. Well, being the enigmatic non-profit that it is, Venture Outdoors has teamed up with multiple state agencies and community organizations to bring all the fun. So whether you’re an adrenaline junkie that can’t stay still, or a family looking to get the kids outdoors and moving, this is definitely the event for you. No seriously, it’s the event for you. Go. Run. Kayak or Paddle or something, just go!

Free activities at the Venture Outdoors Festival are almost unbelievable, both in scope and selection. The obligatory favorites like a Climbing Wall and Kid-zone are accentuated by the breadth of what they offer. For instance, the climbing wall is big, and the Kid-zone is bigger. In fact, the Kid-zone features a wide berth of activities and crafts designed to spark the imagination. Kids can take home their creations. There is also sidewalk chalk drawing, a giant bubble machine, self-guided scavenger hunts and geocahing, not to mention their awesome bike rodeo, and photos with Jo the Venture Outdoors mascot.

Visitors to the Venture Outdoors Festival are encouraged to explore the North Shore on bike. Guided tours and maps are available, and if you can’t bring your own bike don’t worry, you can borrow one from the festival sponsors. There are many demonstrations and classes throughout the day designed to include and invigorate guests. Capoeira – a Brazilian form of martial arts – will be demonstrated with opportunities for people to jump in and learn some moves. Full Yoga sessions are available to all every half hour throughout the day. And this is Point State Park, so you know that the For Pitt museum will be in on the fun, and they sure are! The museum is open for tours during it’s regularly scheduled hours, but it also offers many fun and engaging demonstrations related to outdoor leisure during he mid 1700s. Demonstrations include everything from old techniques of hunting and fishing, to lawn bowling.

Also, being the Point state Park, the Venture Outdoor Festival is surrounded on three sides by water, and the sponsors take good advantage of this fact. Free fishing is available on the Monongahela side. Rods and bait are provided if needed, and no fishing license is necessary for this event. Kayaking on the Allegheny. Even if you’ve never kayaked or been on the water before, no worry. These boats are flat-bottomed and designed to handle beginner paddlers. There is also Dragon Boating, which is a form of team rowing and is perfect for groups of friends. As a fitting punctuation to the fun, the RiverQuest Explorer will be docked at the festival. This vessel is the worlds first ‘green’ boat built for river education, and it will be open and operational during the festival.

Admission and almost all the events are free and many provide the needed equipment. Parking is on-site and in town and will be limited.


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