Things to Do This Weekend: March 26-29
Class up your stay-at-home weekend with new theater, recent History Center favorites and a great meal.
Virtual Tours at the Sen. John Heinz History Center
The special installations at the Strip District museum are always fascinating, remarkable collections of artifacts and information. My favorite — as someone who owns such a high quantity of Funko Pops that I stopped trying to keep an accurate count long ago — was “Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s,” a retrospective on play and playthings that opened in 2016
I try to see each temporary exhibit, but I’m sorry to say there’s a few I’ve missed. Fortunately, the History Center is inviting virtual visitors to take a look back at several recent exhibitions while we all stay home. The Virtual Tours collection includes short video roundups of exhibition highlights, along with a wealth of articles and activities. The revived exhibits include “We Can Do It! World War II,” “Vatican Splendors,” “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” and, yes, “Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.”
Inevitably, I dove right back into the toys. There are rabbit holes, here; click on the blog post offering a written history of the Slinky and you’ll also find footage of rainbow-colored toys “racing” down the stairs in the History Center’s Great Hall. You can also take the “Which Classic Toy Are You” quiz and learn about the history of Pittsburgh-based Wolverine Toys, among a number of diversions.
There are many resources on the History Center’s website for parents looking to spice up an at-home lesson plan, as well. Dive into the treasures from your laptop — and make a note to schedule an in-person visit later in the year.
Virtual Performance of “Cry it Out”
Pittsburgh City Theater
Through April 5
In “Cry it Out,” a new comedy by Molly Smith Metzler, new mothers — baby monitors in hand — meet for coffee just outside their buildings while the tots nap. The funny and heartfelt exploration of motherhood and friendship, directed by Kim Weild, had its run cut short; fortunately, the production was taped and is available for home viewing as a virtual performance.
Starring Julianne Avolio (a comedy powerhouse well worth your attention), Sarah Goeke, Rebecca Hirota and Tim McGeever, “Cry it Out” will be available for home viewing through April 5. Your pay-what-you-like (starting at $10) ticket purchase will help support the theater during the closure — and get you back in a Pittsburgh institution for a few hours.
Take-Out Pick of the Week
Burgers and “Mocktails” from Independent Brewing
I’ve had several friends rave about the to-go offerings from Independent Brewing Company in Squirrel Hill. Recent specials include pierogies, a breakfast sandwich featuring bacon and egg on a biscuit and, last Friday, a delectable-looking fish sandwich. (I’m crossing my fingers that that one returns this week.) Pair your grub with “mocktail” mixes from sister establishment Hidden Harbor; they’ll give you booze-free vessels of all the other ingredients, you add your own liquor at home. An expanded license also allows Independent to offer both beer and wine to-go with your food order.
Run/Walk of the Week
South Side Riverfront Trail
The most memorable part of the South Side’s riverside trail network takes runners and walkers past the new marina on the Mon and weaves between the South Side Works and the water. There’s much more to this long, well-paved path, however. Start either in Station Square or near the north end of 18th Street; when you get to the Hot Metal Bridge, you can either cross the street and continue past the Steelers training field (and all the way to McKeesport, if you’re feeling limber) or pivot over the bridge and reach the “jail trail” on the north side of the river. Whether you’re planning a virtual marathon or knocking out a few quick miles, you’ll find the South Side welcoming.