"It's the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings,and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!"

— Winnie the Pooh, Pooh’s Grand Adventure

One of the many benefits of western Pennsylvania is the change of seasons. As hot hazy summer days turn into cool and crisp nights, the lure of fall fun is in the air.

Pittsburgh has an abundance of opportunities to explore and the back-to-school season is the perfect time try some new places. Here are just a few we suggest giving a try!

1. Follow the foliage.

Looking for a little adventure (made even more gorgeous when the leaves begin to change)? Then try a visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Fallingwater (near Ohiopyle) or a trip to Hartwood Acres. Activities include mansion tours, teas, a fun off-leash dog area, and cross-country skiing, walking, hiking and bridle trails.

2. Set your sights on cider.

Chilled or hot, alcoholic or not, nothing beats the taste of apple cider in the fall! And Pittsburgh has a variety of orchards for you to pick or drink your fill. Two to try: Arsenal Cider House in Lawrencevilleor head to Threadbare Cider House in the North Side. Or scope out a local orchard with their own blend of cider, brewed right on site!

3. Fright Night Delight.

Pittsburgh has a north side and a south side — now head to the dark side. Find your fright through a local ghost tour, available from September 5 through early November. If you like to hear about Western Pennsylvania's creepy history — stories that will raise the hair on the back of your neck and leave you feeling a tad uneasy before you shut out the lights at night — then this is the tour for you.

4. Pumpkin Spice, for the win!

One of the best traditions for fall is finding the perfect pumpkin! Check out this great list of local pumpkin patches to find one that’s closest to you. Our top pick: Shenot’s Farm and Market on the north side has social distancing and CDC safety measures in place, and the pumpkin patch is open September 26 through October 31. Then the weekend after Halloween, bring your jack-o-lantern for rolling and wrecking at the annual pumpkin smash!

Although 2020 might have brought some changes and cancellations, one thing is for sure: Fun is not canceled! Which new spot will you try?

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Before you go: Be sure to verify times and locations for any updates due to seasonal adjustments or COVID-19 restrictions.