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.
Memorial Day weekend is, of course, America’s unofficial pool opening weekend, and there are some great options available around Pittsburgh.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Gardenoffers 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 Aquariumare 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.
The holiday season is in full swing, and with one huge feast behind us and the next family gathering just a few weeks away, we decided it’s time to share some important cooking safety tips.
Never leave the stove unattended. Even if it’s a turkey that’ll take three hours, make sure someone is keeping an eye on things at all times.
Ventilate by opening windows if you don’t have a range hood. Even just a cracked window can make all the difference.
Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen. If don’t already have a baby gate for your own little ones, invest in one for when you have young guests to make sure they don’t wander into the kitchen and start turning knobs on the stove.
Read the recipe first. You’ve probably glanced at the ingredients list before heading to the grocery store, but if you’re trying a new recipe, it’s always a good idea to read the recipe in full before getting started.
Don’t do too much at once—prep what you can the day before. When you have too many pots to watch at once, things can get overwhelming and messy. To keep things simple and organized, mix dry ingredients for baked goods the day before, and make whatever else you can ahead of time as well.
Recruit an assistant—but not five. Having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen is nice, but too many people can create chaos. You might put someone to work chopping or measuring ingredients in the dining room, but make sure the kitchen doesn’t get too crowded.
Do it potluck style and instruct each guest to provide something. To keep things organized and make sure no one brings doubles, post a list online somewhere for everyone to edit. You can do this through comments on a Facebook event, in a shared Google Doc, or any other web app that’s equal to the task.
So your family is in town for the holiday, it’s the day after Thanksgiving, and no one wants to go Black Friday shopping. What else is there to do in Steel City on November 27th? Plenty!
Family Day 2015 at the Mattress Factory art museum features lots of kid-friendly activities that are free with admission. The Mattress Factory, bursting at the seams with modern art installations, is normally not the most kid-friendly place, but giving kids a chance to make their own works of art, get their faces painted, and participate in a scavenger hunt through the museum.
Allegheny County Park ice rinks will be open in North Park as well as South Park. The rinks will be open 9 a.m.-11 a.m., noon-3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Weather permitting, it might just be the perfect day for a skate.
The Warhol Book Hunt is on! Follow #warholbookhunt on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine to get clues on where the latest book is hidden. Then, go on a scavenger hunt through the city to find the book and return it to the Warhol Museum to be added to the shelf. Finding the book gets you some pretty nice prizes, including free admission to the museum.
A Waltz Tradition at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is at 8 p.m. This kick-off to the holiday season will feature the Pittsburgh Symphony as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School. Close out your anti-Black Friday with some nice culture.
Do you have family coming to stay for Thanksgiving? There are all kinds of things you might need for your home when the whole clan rolls in for the holidays, so we thought we’d compile a list of odds and ends that might be useful if you don’t own them already:
A plunger will be a lifesaver for your overworked toilet.
Extra toilet paper will be a must, so even if you have a few rolls left, buy a jumbo sized backup pack.
Drain strainers for your kitchen sink and bathtub will save you the headache of clogs caused by built up food and hair.
If you’re hosting, you probably already have all the sleeping arrangements worked and won’t another air mattress, but make sure you have a spare pump and a patching kit ready to go just in case.
Your bathroom almost definitely doesn’t have enough towel racks for everyone, but crumpled up towels will stink of mildew after their first use. Luckily, folding drying racks are cheap and easy to store when you no longer need extra hanging space.
Child proofing equipment is a must if you have small children among your guests. You’ll want to at least get locks for your cabinet doors, and a lock for your your toilet seat would be a good investment as well.
Stock up on carpet cleaner (and all other cleaning products, for that matter) in case of spills.
If you have pets and don’t already use calming pheromones or other soothing agents, now is a good time to look into it. A Feliway plug-in will help keep your skittish cat calm in its suddenly full home.
Extra shoe storage will protect your flooring from the wintery mix likely to be blowing outside. Even just a plastic tray to set wet shoes on will be helpful.
Trick or Treating is a Halloween must for all kids, and it’s important for the little ones to stay safe as they walk door-to-door. To that end, the Castle Shannon Police Department has issued a list of safety tips. Be sure to check them out before taking your kids out on Halloween.
Some highlights include:
Wear comfortable, well fitting walking shoes
Make sure costumes don’t inhibit movement or pose a tripping hazard
Put reflective materials on costumes and/or trick or treat bags
Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries
Only approach homes where porch lights are on
Stay on sidewalks and in well-lit areas
Keep a close eye on cars, it’s hard for them to see trick or treaters in the dark
AllCrafts.net needs to hire a new webmaster, sure, but their craft ideas are gold. We can’t wait to make our own grape vine pumpkin complete with twinkle lights!
One craft we saw on each of theses sites: cheesecloth ghosts. They’re a classic craft that’s easy for even the least crafty. Make them any size, stand them up on an end table, or string them up in a light or a mobile. Kids will have fun making them, but they’re not your average cheesy, glittery decoration.