Best of the 'Burgh 2012

Our editors pick the best of the best in Pittsburgh.




(page 4 of 5)

Best Nerdy Gamer’s Paradise:
Pinball Perfection

If you miss the heyday of arcade games, consider Pinball Perfection for three reasons: (1) It’s a “museum” of more than 200 machines, the largest public display of vintage games in the city (best visiting hours are on Fridays and Saturdays). (2) It’s a “player’s club,” which means you can actually test your mettle on said machines. (3) Pinball Perfection specializes in “pinball machine restoration,” which means that these guys can fix that old pinball machine you ripped from the wall of a defunct pizzeria. And while Pinball alone is an awesome pastime, you can also try your hand at Sega Baseball, Pac Man and a Mario Brothers machine from 1982. Here, “two bits” still means something. — R.I.

231 Perry Highway, West View; 412/931-4425, pinballperfection.com

Best Fiery Thrill for Two:
Dragon's Den Slide at Sandcastle

If your summer seems to be draggin’, here’s a way to fire up the season: Enter the Dragon’s Den. This newest attraction at Sandcastle is not to be missed. The water park has scaled new heights — literally — with the Den, the park’s highest water wonder and its biggest addition in a decade. You and a partner — each person must be 48 inches or taller — will hop into a tube and go slip slidin’ down. The first slide drops you into a large bowl where you’ll encounter The Dragon — a 9-foot-tall monster spitting a misty faux-fire at all intruders. Several loops around the bowl later, you’ll escape down another slide and splash down into a landing pool — the tail end of a soggy and scaly adventure. — M.M.

1000 Sandcastle Drive, West Homestead; 412/462-6666, sandcastlewaterpark.com

Best Place to Go Off on a Tandem:
Bicycle Heaven

If you want to take a trip down Memory Lane, why not go by bike? While you’re pedaling along, you might ponder what happened to your old Schwinn Stringray — that beloved relic with the banana seat. Perhaps, like many good bikes, it went to Bicycle Heaven. Located on the North Side near one of the city’s bike trails, this combination museum (with specimens from the Civil War era to “Wonder Years”), new-model showroom and rental and repair facility provides a one-stop shop for the two-wheeled world. — M.M.

R.J. Casey Industrial Park, 1800 Preble Ave., Manchester; 412/716-4956, bicycleheaven.org

Best Way to Spend a Sunday:
Free Summertime Concerts at Hartwood Acres

While technically part of the weekend, Sunday evenings can be downright depressing. The antidote? A free show at Hartwood Acres. Presented by Allegheny County, the summer-long series always includes at least a couple of acts that most music fans would eagerly pay to see — someone like blues-rock goddess Grace Potter, who channeled Janis Joplin as daylight melted into darkness during a scorching performance last August, or Cello Fury, who will play July 1. So throw a blanket in the car, stuff some refreshments in a backpack and spend a warm summer evening chilling with thousands of others who refuse to let the grim prospect of Monday morning spoil their Sunday evening. — M.S.

2914 Middle Road, Allison Park; 412/767-9200, alleghenycounty.us

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