Add these flying saucer roadside attractions in Pennsylvania to your itinerary the next time you find yourself road tripping near Pittsburgh. When it comes to road trips, I’ve devised a fun formula. I plan my route and then find roadside attractions and stops along the way to enhance my experience.
Let’s face it, is it really fun to drive from Point A to Point B without seeing a few things along the way? I don’t think so.
I often seek to find stops along the route I travel so I can stretch my legs and see something new without deviating too far from my course.
This past summer, my husband and I traveled to the Outer Banks and, in the process, spotted some roadside attractions that are out of this world!
If you’re interested in other places to stop on a road trip make sure to read this post with 30+ things to do on a road trip that is free or low-cost.
Flying Saucer Roadside Attractions you won’t want to miss!
Playthings, Etc. is a Flying Saucer Shaped Toy Store
Address: 2483 William Flynn Hwy, Butler, PA
Phone Number: 724-285-7529
Hours: Monday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Our first stop should have been to Playthings, Etc. but unfortunately, I didn’t find out about this unique store until we were too far out of the way. My husband humors me and will drive me to nearly every quirky attraction my heart desires to see- he only has one rule. We do not backtrack. Period. So as hard as I tried to convince him to bend his rule this one time, he was steadfast. A visit to the stealth bomber shaped (I know, it’s not really a UFO) toy store will wait for another day but I did take a bit of time to learn about the store.
According to the website, this family-owned and operated store features more than 3,000 unique items that range from classic to futuristic toys, for toddlers to adults.
About an hour north of Pittsburgh, this fun toy store claims to be “the world’s coolest toy store” and while I’ve not yet stepped foot inside, there are plenty of 5-star reviews on Google and TripAdvisor that agree. And until I have a chance to return to the area, I’ll cast my vote in that direction based solely on the exterior. After all, how could you go wrong with a building like this?
A Flying Saucer Roadside Attraction in Mars
Address: 100 Pittsburgh St, Mars, PA 16046
About 30 minutes south of Playthings, Etc., you’ll find Mars, Pennsylvania where the small town wholly embraces the extraterrestrial name. My husband and I made a quick stop downtown to snap a few photos of the flying saucer that is on display.
The town was originally called Marshall before it was shortened or renamed to Mars, though no one seems to know why. At this point, does it really matter? 2,000 people who live in the small burb seem to have embraced the title as Martians. And they’re not the only ones. NASA even held a conference in Mars a couple of years ago and each week tourists are spotted taking photos in front of the UFO.
The flying saucer was made about 20 years ago from two oil tanks and weighs about 2,800 pounds, enough to ensure that no one walks off with the town icon.
The Real Deal- A Must Stop for UFO Lovers
Address: 5123 Water Street, Kecksburg, PA
Just over an hour southeast of Mars lies the even smaller town of Kecksburg. While Playthings, Etc. and the Flying Saucer in Mars is fun and kitschy, the community of Kecksburg shares a tale full of controversy and possibly a conspiracy. Why? Because on the night of December 9th, 1965 they claim to have seen a ball of light flash across the sky and crash in the nearby woods. Shortly after, the U.S. military arrived, cordoned off the crash site and whisked something away giving rise to what some claim was a UFO landing. You can read the tale here, which I admit is fascinating whether you are a proponent of UFO’s and aliens or not.
Eyewitnesses from that night claim the object resembled a large acorn and today, you can see a replica of the object, complete with weird hieroglyphic-like markings near the Volunteer Fire Department. The “Space Acorn” as it is called by Roadside America, was constructed by the TV show Unsolved Mysteries when filming a show about the Kecksburg UFO.
When the filming was over, and the crews were ready to depart, they decided to leave the object behind. The Space Acorn was bolted to the town’s barn and forgotten until 2005 when the town decided to capitalize on the 40th anniversary of the crash. Today, the town hosts an annual UFO and Paranormal Festival and sell UFO-themed souvenirs in their gift shop which you’ll find at the above address. Just pull up and ring the bell or call ahead.
Are you ready for UFO encounters? I admit the UFO sightings in Pennsylvania on my road trip are as close as I ever want to get to the real thing. If such a thing is out there.
More Quirky and Roadside Attractions in Pennsylvania for you Enjoy
More Roadside Attractions to See Throughout the US
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Before you head out to find these UFO roadside attractions you’ll want to spruce up your wardrobe a bit and do a bit of research. You can watch this short documentary of the Kecksburg UFO on Amazon so you’re familiar with the story before you arrive to check it out. And how cute are these socks and t-shirts?
And don’t forget to grab your copy of the roadside attractions adult coloring book before you start your road trip.
Have you visited any of these flying saucer locations? Do you want to?
© 2020, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.