CSVFD Annual Carnival

Next week is the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department’s annual carnival.

Funnel cake 20040821 172200 1.1655x1275
Funnel cake is our favorite carnival food. What’s yours? Tell us in the comments below an share where in Pittsburgh you’ve had the best!


It’s not too late to get your $1 ticket for the car raffle and enter for your chance to win a Chevy, up to a $30,000 value.

The carnival starts at 7 p.m. each night and runs from Monday the 25th to Saturday the 30th. Closing times of the carnival will depend on attendance and the weather each night. The carnival takes place at the CSVFD, right off the Memorial Hall stop on the Blue Line of the “T”, and walking distance from Place Seville Apartments and Alvern Gardens Apartments.

Ride tickets can be bought for $2.50 at the ticket booth at the carnival. The typical carnival games of chance are also featured at the event, including poker tables and a duck pond.

There will be delicious carnival food: hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, hot sausage sandwiches, cheese sticks, french fries, funnel cake, ice cream, cotton candy, snow cones, and more.

This carnival is a key fundraiser for the Volunteer Fire Department, so we hope lots of people turn out to play games, ride rides, and enjoy tasty food. And, of course, one lucky visitor will drive home in a new Chevy!

Parking is free, but limited, so if you can take the “T” or walk, we don’t recommend driving to the carnival.


Phote by Lorax at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Pd THOR at en.wikipedia. (Taken by user Lorax and released under the GNU FDL) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons


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.

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.

Goblins! Ghosts! Ghouls! Haunted houses in the Pittsburgh area


No, that wasn’t very scary, but read on if you dare for places where you can get some serious frights in the Pittsburgh area this Halloween season.

Phantom Fright Nights

Happy Halloween
Visit the haunted houses of the Pittsburgh area if you dare.
Source: By Cindy (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Kennywood’s 13th annual Phantom Fright Nights kicked off on Sept. 26th and run 7 p.m.-1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday through Nov. 1. Bonus: Fright Nights will also be open 7-11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 12.

Tickets are available at the gate for $32.99, for a discount of $3 online, and for a discount of $5 at Giant Eagle stores. If you’re serious about your scares, you can get a Phantom’s Fright Pass, granting you unlimited visits for the 2014 Fright Nights.

On Oct. 12 and 31 and Nov. 1 tickets are half price for season pass holders and college students.

If you’d like your scares to be preceded by a ghoulish feast, you might want to attend the Phantom’s Pre-Scare Dinner at 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 11. But be warned: the menu includes “Succulent Rat Ribs, Haunted Bell Tower Squab, Graveyard Stuffed Cabbage,” and more.

Hundred Acres Manor

Located in South Park, Hundred Acres Manor is close to several Prudential Realty Communities. If you’ve ever dreamed of shooting zombies with paintball guns, their new attraction this year lets you do just that. Plus, there’s going to be a Halloween party this year (check their website for updates). On top of it all, this place is touted as one of the best haunted houses in the entire United States.

Considering the high accolades, the price of admission isn’t the least bit scary. It’s $10 per “victim” for Zombie Paintball on its own, but you can add it to general admission for the Manor itself: general admission $18, $25 if you add Zombie Paintball. There are also various VIP tickets available online: for $20 you can skip the general admission line at the Manor any day except Fridays and Saturdays ($27 if you add Zombie Paintball), for $25 you can skip the general admission line any day ($30 if you add Zombie Paintball), and for $35 you get to skip the line, take advantage of preferred parking, and you get a T-shirt ($40 if you add Zombie Paintball).

On Wicked Wednesday College Nights, presenting your student ID at the door gets you into the Manor for just $10. Students also get $3 off general admission on Thursdays and Sundays. On Military Mayhem Thursdays, presenting your military ID makes general admission just $10. On Wednesdays and Sundays, there’s a $3 military discount.

There’s also a few places in the Pittsburgh area that sell tickets for a discount of $3-$5.

The Scarehouse

Looking for frightening fun just north of the city? Check out the Scarehouse in Etna, PA. This one is so terrifying, Guillermo del Toro said he could live there. The spookiest part? The Scarehouse has two levels: the regular haunted house, and the basement. The basement is a place you may only enter after signing a waiver. Why? Because the actors down there are allowed to touch you.


Celebrate Fall in Pittsburgh

Fall is a beautiful time of year here in the Pittsburgh area, and there are plenty of festivals celebrating the season. Here are few to consider attending.

Historic Trax Farms

The 45th Annual Fall Festival starts this Saturday (Sept. 20th) at Trax Farms. The festival will run every weekend through October 26th and offers free admission. Once you’re there, it’ll cost some money for extra activities such as feeding the animals in the petting zoo (petting them is free), bounce house, rock wall, bungee jumper, the classic hayride to the 4 acre corn maze and pumpkin patch, plus much more. Dads: Steelers games are on air in the events room and all events are free for kids 2 and under.

Castle Shannon

The 3rd annual Castle Shannon Fall Festival starts at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Sept. 20) and goes until 3 p.m. on Willow Avenue between Park and Poplar, right down the street from Alvern Gardens Apartments, Place Seville, and Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments. The free event will feature live music, artisan crafts, activities for kids, local food, and more.

Soergel Orchards

Starting this weekend, Soergel Orchards is featuring several themed fall festivals:

Pittsburgh in Autumn
In addition to enjoying the gorgeous fall foliage that’s already starting to appear around the Pittsburgh area, there are plenty of autumn festivals around too.
By John [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Sept. 20-21 Fall Festival Kick-off Weekend
  • Sept. 27-28 Apple Cider Celebration
  • Oct. 4-5 Apple Blast Weekend
  • Oct. 11-12 Pumpkin-palooza
  • Oct. 18-19 Harvest Weekend
  • Oct. 25-26 Halloween Celebration

Simmons Farm

Want to beat the weekend crowds? Fall activities start tomorrow at Simmons Farm and are open seven days a week. The mazes, slides, petting zoo, and hayrides are available daily. On the weekends, there’s pumpkin carving, pony rides, fiddle playing, a butterfly house, and an apple sling shot.

Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm

The Harvest Festival of Fun will start in October and run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekend that month. This one costs $7 per person, but the price of admission includes all the activities the farm has to offer. In addition to the classics of hayride to the pumpkin patch and a corn maze, there’s pony rides, the boo barn, face painting, scare crow making, pedal go carts, and even cow milking (plus more!).

Penn Brewery

Looking for an adults only fall festival? Consider attending Oktoberfest this weekend. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. tonight and continue until midnight. The festivities will go throughout this weekend and continue Sept. 26-28.  So what’s it all about? Beer, German food, and live music both indoors and outdoors. The featured musicians: Autobahn, Heimat Klang, Kevin Solecki, and Madel Jager.

Back to school safety

Pittsburgh schools celebrated the start of the 2014-2015 school year this week, and there are schools and school bus stops all over the place so safety is important.

While following traffic laws such as speed limits and school zone is advisable year-round, it’s crucial now that kids are back in those school zones. Drivers: lay off the gas, keep your eyes open, obey the crossing guards, and stop when the school bus tells you to.

back to school safety
Motorists need to pay special attention in school zones and areas with school bus stops.

If you’re stopped at a 4-way intersection, you need to wait for the bus to tuck in its stop sign before you continue driving. When the kids get off at an intersection, they could be crossing the street in any direction. The bus’s stop sign is meant to stop all traffic in the area until the kids are off the street.

For your reference, here are some important spots around Prudential Communities to look out for students:

Please do your part to keep our communities safe: don’t speed, don’t text and drive, signal your turns, and keep your eyes on the road.

Where to throw a party outdoors in the South Hills of Pittsburgh

Now that it’s getting warmer, it’s time we look around the South Hills of Pittsburgh for a nice picnic spot.

Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments  can set up their grills at minimum of 15 ft from the building and set out patio furniture for the day. This community has just enough space for a small family cook-out, and any residents looking for a place to have an outdoor birthday party or Memorial Day gathering just need to rent out a pavilion at near-by South Park.

picnic space at Alvern Gardens
Residents of Alvern Gardens have access to green space around the property for cook-outs as long as they set the grill up at least 15 feet away from the building.

In addition to the wave pool, BMX track, golf course, play grounds, etc., South Park has several shelters available for rent. Visitors can even bring their dogs to the party and swing by the dog park.

Riehl Park in Castle Shannon has a pavilion with a full kitchen for rent. The park also has soccer and t-ball fields, bathrooms, a playground, and a walking trail.

Hamilton Park also has a full kitchen, bathrooms, a playground, as well as tennis and basketball courts, and baseball, softball, and soccer fields.

Castle Shannon’s Municipal Park facilities are also available for rent.

No matter whether you’re grilling at home or throwing a party at a local park, always remember to respect the space, clean up, and leave the place exactly how you found it.

If you’re looking for a rental in the South Hills, contact Prudential Realty Company for the current availability at several properties.

What’s it like to live in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is a pretty cool place, but it doesn’t have the prestigious reputation of the country’s bigger cities. So Chi Quach, assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens Apartments and resident of Pittsburgh for over 35 years, took some time to sing Steel City’s praises.

Prudential Realty: What’s your favorite thing about the city?

Chi Quach: The view of the city coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, and going to all of the sporting events.

PR: What are some advantages of living in the south hills?

Bridges: That's what it's like to live in Pittsburgh.
The Smithfield Street Bridge crosses the Monongahela River, connecting the historic South Side to downtown Pittsburgh.

CQ: Having access of the “T” [Pittsburgh’s light rail system]. Having that easy commute to the South Hills Village [Mall] and downtown by the “T” is a bonus because you save time and money on finding parking spaces.

PR: Pittsburgh was recently named the next big food town, and you’re a foodie yourself. Where do you like to eat?

CQ: Wow, that’s a hard question there. I have to say Pittsburgh has the best eateries around from the north, south, east, west. I mostly stick around the south hills when I go out for dinner. Here are some of my favorite spots in the south hills:

PR: What do you like to do for fun in the city?

CQ: I enjoy going down to the Strip District. You can find a lot of great places just by walking up and down Penn Avenue. There’s a lot of restaurants, grocery stores, and a few historical landmarks on every block.

PR: Do you have any advice for people who are new to the area?

CQ: Definitely grab the local magazine and read through it. It has a lot of information on current events, entertainment, and places to eat.

PR: Do you have any pointers for renters looking for an apartment in Pittsburgh?

CQ: Yes, make sure you find a place that is close to public transportation.

Contact Prudential Realty Company to find out about our current availability of apartments close to public transportation, restaurants, and fun in the Pittsburgh area.