March 20 is both the first day of spring and Fred Rogers’ 91st birthday, so plan to celebrate by exploring the Fred Rogers Trail! The trail features locations in Latrobe — Rogers’ hometown — and the city of Pittsburgh, where his beloved show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was produced.
Spend an adventurous day at Idlewild & Soak Zone, recognized as the “Best Children's Park in the World” by “Amusement Today.” Take a trolley ride through Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. “Daniel Tiger” was the first television series inspired by the original “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.”
At the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent's College, you will find an interactive exhibit that features recorded interviews with Fred, a look at his life “before the sweater,” and other memorabilia.
In Rogers' birthplace, Latrobe, you'll want to stop by Latrobe High School, which houses a large display of items from Rogers' school years and “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” production memorabilia. The display is open to the public during school activities.
As Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister, you'll want to see where he attended church as a child: Latrobe Presbyterian. At the Latrobe Historical Society, delve into the history of the town, its heritage firsts, and famous citizens, including Fred and golf legend Arnold Palmer who attended high school together.
At James H. Rogers Park, named in memory of Fred's father, take a selfie with the statue of Fred sitting on a bench. In front of the park is the Rogers Building, which today houses the Latrobe Art Center and Ricolita's Café. Grab a snack and snag some Rogers merchandise while perusing local art.
Before you leave Latrobe, take a moment to visit Fred Rogers' final resting place and reflect on his legacy at Unity Cemetery, which offers panoramic views of the Chestnut Ridge of the Laurel Highlands.
Following Fred-filled time in Latrobe, make the hourlong drive to the Senator John Heinz History Center to view the world's largest collection of original items from the “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” television set, including King Friday XIII's Castle and Mr. McFeely's “Speedy Delivery” tricycle.
Enjoy the views of downtown Pittsburgh from the “Tribute to Children,” a 10-foot bronze statue of Rogers sitting and tying his sneakers — just as he did at the beginning of each episode.
At the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, explore the “Fred Rogers & Us” exhibit that features original puppets, including King Friday XIII, Queen Sarah Saturday, and Henrietta Pussycat in the Nursery.
Before you leave town, take a selfie in front of the place where “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” was filmed: WQED Studios, the nation's first community-supported television station. The show was produced by Family Communications, Inc.
You can't truly complete the Fred Rogers Trail without taking a trolley ride. Just 40 minutes away in Washington, PA, is the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Here, you'll also discover where Mister Rogers filmed the iconic “Grandparents” episode.
To learn more about the Fred Rogers Trail, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don't forget to sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter so you never miss an update.