Have Fun with Your Friends
Tired of the same old? Have fun with your friends by heading to Trundle Manor, racing dragon boats, partying bier-hall style and more.
Grab your buddies and check out Trundle Manor, a modern-day wunderkammer and home of Mr. ARM and Velda von Minx.
Photo by Laura Petrilla
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JUMP OUT OF A PLANE: There is nothing quite like kneeling on the edge of a doorway and staring down at 13,000 feet of open air. And when the instructor yells, “Go!”, you enter a whole new world, dropping out of the sky in uninterrupted free fall. Skydive Pennsylvania offers one of the most exhilarating experiences available to ordinary folks, and thanks to the tandem jump (where you’re strapped to a certified jumper), skydiving is perfectly safe and lots of fun. Promising “maximum excitement,” Skydive Pennsylvania will take you to new heights—all above the bucolic scenery of Grove City. The only real danger of tandem jumping is that you might get hooked. Grove City Airport, 496 Old Ash Road, Mercer County. Info: 800/490-3483, skydivepennsylvania.com
RACE DRAGON BOATS WITH THREE RIVERS ROWING ASSOCIATION: You know you’re better than your co-workers at a lot of things. Now, hit the water and prove it. Three Rivers Rowing Association will put your corporate (or any other) group in two dragon boats so you can paddle for bragging rights. Staff will provide everything you need, including safety gear and coaches. Your teams will do several sprints on the Allegheny River, paddling to the beat of a dragon-boat drum. The dock is located at the association’s Millvale facility, which, conveniently, also provides a great space for a post-race cookout. If you’ve already proven your paddling prowess on the job, check out other dragon-boating opportunities for paddlers of all ages (available all summer). 300 Waterfront Drive, Washington’s Landing. Info: 412/231-8772, threeriversrowing.org
BOWL A STRIKE IN ACID-WASH JEANS: I have no desire to relive the ’80s—mostly because of the awful fashion (and the horrible yearbook photo reminders). But Arsenal Lanes hosts a retro party of Debbie Gibson proportions that makes all that hair-crimping and neon attire worthy of one more trip down memory lane. Every Thursday night, it’s all-you-can-bowl, complemented by all of the big-hair bands you can handle. All-you-can ’80s is split between good fun and cheesy music, and you might even find yourself battling over your favorite teen idol. There are prizes for that—none of which include a scrunchie, I hope. The ’80s strike back, literally. Arsenal Lanes, 212 44th St., Lawrenceville. Info: 412/683-5992
More Fun Things You Must Do:
CULTIVATE YOUR SENSE OF WONDER AT TRUNDLE MANOR: Wunderkammer is a German noun that means “room of curiosities, one filled to the brim with a collection of the weird.” Welcome to Trundle Manor, modern-day wunderkammer and home of Mr. ARM and Velda von Minx. It features everything from a collection of well-worn cleavers to a baffling array of taxidermy (picture a duck with bat wings or a black bear wearing a top hat). And while it may seem strange at first to see a 1920s X-ray machine in the corner near the vintage syringes, by the end, you might find yourself casually discussing the circumstances by which an animal becomes mummified … and maybe that’s the strangest thing of all. 7724 Juniata St., Swissvale. 412/916-5544, trundlemanor.com
MAKE YOUR BOOK CLUB A COOK CLUB AT CHOP, WOK & TALK!: Who wants to spend an evening sobbing over the latest “Oprah” tearjerker? Dry those tears, and reconvene the book club at Chop, WOK & Talk!, a completely hands-on cooking school in Bloomfield. Proprietor Dorothy Tague will design a private-party menu for your club’s tastes and teach you how to cook a meal worth writing about. No club? No problem. Join any of the 12 public classes scheduled each month—they’re just as lively. Greek, Indian, Thai, Spanish … She’ll even let you in on the secret to General Tso’s chicken. By appointment only. 5404 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Info: 412/362-0679, chopwoktalk.com
GET YOUR ZOMBIE ON AT THE EVANS CITY CEMETERY: Critics praise Night of the Living Dead for ushering in the era of modern horror movies. Evans City Cemetery is where it all began: Drive south of Evans City on Franklin Road, and you’ll find the very spot where Johnny playfully joked, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.” Find the gravestones and buildings that viewers caught a glimpse of in that opening scene. Odds are you won’t get mauled by zombies like poor Johnny did, which means you can go home and watch the classic thriller in total safety. Of course, you may want to board up the windows … just in case.
PARTY BIER-HALL STYLE AT THE HOFBRAUHAUS: You might not be German, but after a night at the Hofbrauhaus, you’ll certainly feel like a Deutschmann. Modeled after the legendary hall in Munich, traditions of Germany run as heavy as the steins. And that beer? It’s brewed on the premises and served in mugs larger than the biggest German you know. Grab a bench in the giant hall, and sway along with fellow partiers to live music. The waitresses are costumed in traditional Bavarian dress, and you might see a bartender in lederhosen. Consider it your passport stamp without the hassle of an airport. 2705 S. Water St., SouthSide Works. Info: 412/224-2328, hofbrauhauspittsburgh.com