4th of July Events in Pittsburgh Area

Independence Day is on Monday, and there’s plenty to do in Steel City to commemorate our nation’s birthday.

Have you ever helped fold a 36-foot flag? No? Well you’ll have a chance to participate in a ceremonial folding at Heinz History Center at noon on Saturday and Monday.

If you’d like to start celebrating early, Hotel Monaco is hosting is Biergarten Fourth of July Cook Aht from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, and again on Monday. This free event is taking place in their swanky rooftop Biergarten.

Visit Point State Park for Fourth at Fort Pitt between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday to hear revolutionary war era military music and witness the raising of the garrison flag at 11 a.m. Point State Park will be alive with food, music, and activities throughout the day, with festivities culminating in the annual fireworks display at 9:35 p.m.

The free annual Heinz Field Fourth of July Celebration takes place from 2 to 10 p.m. Live music starts at 5 p.m., and the field boasts the best view of the fireworks display.

Prudential Realty Company wishes everyone a happy, safe Independence Day!

 

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Memorial Day Pool Openings in Pittsburgh

Memorial Day weekend is, of course, America’s unofficial pool opening weekend, and there are some great options available around Pittsburgh.

pool
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, and it’s a great way to stay cool on a hot day. (Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.)

Sandcastle is opening its gates for the 2016 season at 11 a.m. on Saturday. There are a variety of ticket options, so check their website for details.

The Mt. Lebanon Swim Center opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday for an hour long adult swim before opening to the general public for the season. Season passes are available, but admission at the gate is also an option.

The Dormont Pool is slightly less expensive than the Mt. Lebanon Swim Center, and people living in the Keystone Oaks School District enjoy resident pricing. The Dormont Pool opens at noon on Saturday. Daily hours start on June 11, after school lets out for the summer.

The Alvern Gardens pool will open for the season at noon on June 11. Season passes for residents are available now at the leasing office.

Pittsburgh Celebrates Earth Day

We’re posting a little bit early this week so we can tell readers about all the exciting things happening this Friday for Earth Day in Steel City.earth-405096_640

Paint the Square Green is taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Market Square. The event includes live entertainment, local vendors, and educational stuff as well. This family friendly events coincides with the Solar Powered Food Truck Festival taking place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on 10th Street. All the food trucks will be powered by the sun. Also taking place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. is the Mellon Square Lunchtime Bluegrass Concert and Market.

Art + Artifact Market will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This is another all ages event featuring live entertainment, local artists, and more Earth friendly vendors.

All of the above events are free and open to the public. There are more ticket required events taking place throughout the weekend.

To coincide with Earth Day, Phipps Conservatory is hosting the grand opening of its Butterfly Forest in the Stove Room on Friday. Butterflies are vital to biodiversity, so it’s fitting that these pollinators are being celebrated on Earth Day.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, Phipps will host screenings of The Power of One Voice and Sustainability Pioneers to kick off its environmental film series. Tours of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes will also be available throughout the weekend, and there will be two open houses showcasing the SEED Classroom from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Also happening on Sunday at Phipps: free outdoor family yoga at 11 a.m. on the front lawn (weather permitting, RSVP required).

To round out the Earth Day celebrations at Phipps, on Monday, anyone wearing a green shirt will get half price admission, and Cafe Phipps will be celebrating Meatless Monday with a vegetarian special.

Spring into action with these seasonal events

Spring is in the air in Pittsburgh this week, so we decided it’s time to check out what’s happening in the area. As plants begin blooming, animals begin waking from hibernation and returning from migration, us humans are getting moving too. Here’s what’s going on in Steel City this spring.

Spring events in Pittsburgh
Spring and Easter are just around the corner, and there’s plenty to do all around Pittsburgh as the weather warms up.

Trax Farms

Starting on Monday, the Trax Farms store will be open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. If you’re looking for the perfect wine for your St. Patrick’s day, check out Trax Farms’ Green Apple. For the kids, the annual breakfast and lunch with the Easter Bunny kicks off next weekend and continues through Easter. Tickets for Easter events are $8 and are on sale now. The store will be closed on March 27 for Easter Sunday. On April 23, there will be an Arts and Crafts Show. Also arriving in early April: perennials, shrubs, and trees.

Soergel Orchards

Soergel Orchards has green apple wine for St. Patrick’s day as well. For any aspiring gardeners, there’s a $5 class at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 all about cultivating a lush lawn. Their Bunny Festival is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, March 26th. Unfortunately their meals with the Easter Bunny are sold out. The festival, however, is free to attend and it features an Easter egg hunt, a scavenger hunt, crafts, and other activities. Plus, you can order your Easter baked goods from their Bakery now. They even offer peanut free and gluten free options.

Kennywood

The 2016 season of Pittsburgh’s amusement park kicks off on Saturday, May 7. Although that’s still a while off, now is the time to look into season tickets. The Ride and Slide pass for $134.99 gives you season access to Kennywood as well as Sandcastle (which opens Saturday, May 28). The $129399 Premium Pass is limited to Kennywood, but it comes with some pretty sweet perks. You can use it to get into the park 15 minutes before it opens, you get 5 parking vouchers, a souvenir cup, 1 VIP coaster tour, and more. Now, if you don’t need all that, a regular season pass is $89.99, and you’ll get a discount when you renew it next year (this year, renewals are $5 less than buying a new season pass). If you’re 55 or older, you can get a Senior Pass for just $54.99. Is a season pass worth it? Well, if you go to the park at least 3 times with your regular season pass, you’ll have saved money. The Park’s diner, Johnny Rockets serves up some seriously good burgers. Plus, Noah’s Ark just got a renovation, so that classic is all shiny and new again this season.

Market Square Farmers Market

Once more farmers markets start announcing their 2016 seasons, we’ll be posting a roundup of all of them. For now, we can confirm that the Market Square Farmers Market is coming back on May 12, along with the Lunchtime Concert Series. It runs through October 27. Keep an eye out for the list of this year’s vendors, set to be announced later this month. This will be the 12th season of the market, and with 30 vendors hawking their fares each week last summer, you can bet this year will be just as, er, fruitful.

More tips on how to introduce a second cat

Francis the Cat
Is your cat lonely? The linked article will help you make the perfect introduction between your current cat and a new companion.

Two weeks ago, we wrote about how to introduce a second cat into your home. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have another excellent article for helping you make a furry love match.

Always remember to clear the introduction of a new pet with your landlord before moving forward with an adoption.

Looking for a pet friendly apartment community? Alvern Gardens welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. Call us at 412-561-4663 or email alverngardens@yahoo.com for our current availability!

Christmas safety

By this time of the year, most halls have already been decked, but for those who haven’t gotten around to trimming their tree, here are some safety tips.

  • Know what kind of tree you’re allowed to have. If you’re living in a rental, chances are your landlord doesn’t allow real trees. Real trees are a much more serious fire hazard, so make sure you follow your landlord’s rules.

    Dogs welcome at Alvern Gardens Apartments
    Don’t let me eat the Christmas lights!
  • Decorate the tree evenly. If your decorations are concentrated too densely on one side of the tree, the extra weight could cause your tree to topple, so distribute weight as evenly as possible.
  • Keep decorations away from heat sources. Make sure no tinsel is touching radiators and that nothing is dangling into the fireplace.
  • Use only indoor lights indoors. Christmas lights are designed to for use either indoors or outdoors, so if you want to string lights inside your home, make sure they’re designed for indoor use.
  • Also, use only outdoor lights outdoors. Just like indoor lights are designed for safe use indoors, make sure the lights you use to decorate the outside of your home are designed for outdoor use.
  • Secure decorations so they can’t be torn down or damaged by children or pets. The safest way to do this is to place or hang them well out of reach.
  • When in doubt, don’t put it up. If you’re not sure it’s safe, don’t use the decoration. This is especially important with regard to fire hazards and child safety.

Fun things to do in Pittsburgh this holiday

It’s that time of year again where families come to town to celebrate the holidays, the kids are home on winter break, and everyone needs to get out of the house and do something fun. Here are some ideas for things that’ll get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Winter fun in Pittsburgh
We might not have snow on the ground yet, but the holiday season is in full swing here in Pittsburgh.

Kennywood’s Holiday Lights is in full swing, with millions of lights decorating the park. The park is open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Though it will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the park will be open the following Saturday and Sunday. The 4-D Theater in the park is showing The Polar Express: A 4-D Experience, there’s a petting zoo in Kiddie Land featuring all the usual critters plus two camels, and a few kid-friendly rides are open. Tickets are still available for Dinner with Santa on the 19th and 20th of December at 4 p.m. The most affordable park admission tickets are on sale at participating Giant Eagle stores.

If you’re looking for a less traditional version of the ubiquitous photo with Santa, visit the National Aviary  on any Saturday from now until Christmas for a pic with the big guy and his penguin helpers. Parents can enjoy a night without the kids while the kids enjoy a night with Fleury the Snowy Owl at the Aviary from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 19th. Plus, the seasonal show Wings in Winter is playing through January 3rd.

The People’s Gas Holiday Market is back at Market Square downtown. It’s the place to go for unique gifts, and it’s open through December 23rd, perfect for last-minute shoppers. The market opens at 11 a.m. daily, but closing hours vary. Santa is in the house starting at noon daily. Plus, enjoy the BNY Mellon Season of Lights show every half hour after sundown. One of the best parts of the Market is the food: haluski, sausages, and hot beverages. It’s free to walk around the market, and it’s close to the Gateway T stop so no driving downtown required.

Phipps Conservatory Winter Flower Show and Light Garden offers fun for all ages. The Light Garden is open 5 p.m.-11 p.m. and includes candlelit walkways and live music. For the kids, Santa visits between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus on December 21st through the 23rd. Pictures with Santa are free with admission to Phipps. Phipps has some cool post-Christmas events coming up as well, so be sure to ask about them when you visit.

Now that winter is here, the penguins of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium are going on parade again at 11:30 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. There are also winter camps, a New Year’s Eve event, and other exciting things happening, so keep an eye on their website for news and events for all ages.