Photo Credit: KDKA

Memorial Day — our nation’s celebration of the brave men and women who have served both at home and away, often giving their lives in the process — is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Pennsylvania’s fallen, educate your children and enjoy the many (often free) outdoor events offered throughout the city. Patronize, volunteer and enjoy one or more of the events listed below.

Soldiers And Sailors
4141 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-4253

Date: May 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On this day of remembrance, visit the nation’s only military museum for a fun and educational community event honoring all branches of service. Beginning at 10 a.m., the programs commence with a tribute and memorial service for all of the fallen Pennsylvanian’s in the line of duty. A flag-raising, parade and wreath-laying service follow, and guests are encouraged to bring provisions to enjoy a picnic on Soldier’s and Sailor’s lawn to enjoy the subsequent car cruise. Admission is free; call or visit the site for further details.

Memorial Day Parade
40th and Butler Streets
Lawrenceville, PA 15201

Date: May 27, 2013 from 10:15 a.m.

2013 marks the 105th year of Lawrenceville’s touching, emotionally charged celebration of all America’s war veterans, commencing with a commemoration ceremony in Allegheny Cemetery at 10:15 a.m. Prepare for a gun salute, tribute to the veterans and wreath laying ceremony, followed by a bevy of family-friendly activities. Treat the kids to face-painting, live music, Civil War reenactments, free beverages and giveaways after the parade and make sure to check out the awesome Pittsburgh SWAT Team demo. All activities are weather permitting, and much of the parade route is uncovered: don’t forget to check the forecast before embarking on your celebration.

Pittsburgh Zoo And PPG Aquarium
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3640

Date: May 27, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Veteran and military personnel with Veteran’s ID or discharge papers receive free admission and 20% off all gift shop purchases on Memorial Day. Plan your visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium around this special offer, and take advantage of extended summer hours, special exhibits and tons of kids activities all day. Even if you’re not a veteran or active military member, show your support of the fallen and deck yourselves out in classic Americana: there’s nothing cooler than a coven of red, white and blue strollers! The zoo also encourages its visitors to pack a lunch, so bring all of your holiday favorites for a real treat and fun day.

Related: The Meaning Behind Memorial Day

Carnegie Science Center
One Allegheny Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 237-3400

Date: Date: May 27, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Memorial Day 2013, all active military personnel can take advantage of 50% off admission to Carnegie Science Center, and bring up to four guests. What better way to spend your day of tribute than by learning, experiencing and playing in one of the nation’s best scientific, hands-on museums? Check out a presentation in the demonstration theater, catch an Omnimax movie, or planetarium show, and end your day of celebration with a tour of the Center’s retired submarine. Call or visit the site to start planning what’s to be an unforgettable trip today.

Memorial Day Service And Parade
Etna Cemetery to Kittanning Pike
Etna, PA 15223
(412) 781-0569

Date: Date: May 27, 2013 from 8:30 a.m.

A Memorial Day service honoring Pennsylvania’s active and passed military will be held at the Etna Cemetery kicking off at 8:30 a.m. After the touching service wraps up, the parade, featuring patriotic pups, crazy clowns, the honorable Boy Scouts, best bike contest and fabulous classic cars will begin at 9:30 am at Etna Express on Butler Street. The parade route continues from Maplewood to Freeport Road and ending in Sharpsburg. To honor veterans and emergency service persons at 11:30 a.m. by visiting the tandem open houses at the American Legion Post #597 and VFW Post #9197. Participate, or volunteer to make a memorable holiday even more special for your fellow Pennsylvanian military personnel.

Related: Memorial Day Photo Galleries

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Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at