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What to Do in the Dwindling Days of Summer

School has started, Labor Day has come and gone, and for many, that means summer is over. 

But much like this week’s warm weather, the cornucopia of outdoors events and activities scheduled for the next few weeks is telling a very different story: summer's demise has been greatly exaggerated.

“There are always things that go on in the city of Pittsburgh,” said Timothy Ishman, Pittsburgh Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation.

This weekend, Frick Park will play host to the Alphabet Tales and Trails event. The 14th annual free event sets up 26 stations along the Alphabet Trail that will help to promote early- and elementary-aged literacy.  

“They’ll do some book reading … some hand painted story sets that (the kids) will do themselves,” Ishman said.

The city’s spray parks will remain open at least through Sunday afternoon, according to Ishman.

“If we get a hot streak, one of the beautiful things about spray parks is they are easily turned back on, unlike filling a swimming pool,” he said.

Ishman also encourages residents to hit the trails throughout the city, and if you want to keep that summer feeling a bit longer he recommends stopping by one of the farmer’s markets that will stay open into November or whenever the produce and baked goods dry up.

Activities in Allegheny County parks are also far from over for the year. The Kitchen Gardens series has one more weekend in its run, and guided nature and history hikes continue for the next two weekends.

Harrison Hills Park environmental learning center will be talking about bees Sept. 22, and for those who want to do a little more gardening a class on transplanting lilies will be held Sept. 21.

There is also still time to grab a free movie. While the city has put away its screens for the year, Allegheny County has one more showing of “Oz The Great and Powerful” at Deer Lakes Park Friday.

For many, summer means outdoor festivals, and there is plenty of that to go around. High on the list is the Free Burgh Fest Saturday. The Schenley Plaza event includes free games, free music and information about other free events around the region.

If you are looking to get one more organized running or biking event under your belt there is still time for that as well. Two of the region’s largest events are still to come. 

The 11th Annual Tour the Montour includes rides of 6, 15, 24, 44 and 62 miles on the Montour Trail in the South Hills. All of the rides start at the 0 mile marker Sept. 21. 

The Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race winds its way from Frick Park to the Point Sept. 29.

And if you are looking for something different, Ishman suggests you give disc golf a try.  

“Those that get real serious about it actually carry a bag that has different types of discs for different distances and purposes," Ishman said. "But for the novice that just wants to get out there and get some fresh air and walk the course and try it, they can do it with the most basic equipment.”

The city has set up permanent disc golf courses in Schenley Park and at the Phillips Rec Center. Pittsburgh will host the Professional Disc Golf World Championships in 2015.

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