Warm Weather Equivalents for Pittsburgh Winters

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Indoor Driving Range
As soon as the winter weather hints of a thaw and the grounds are ready, dedicated golfers flock to courses to play a round. During the winter, when Pittsburghers otherwise must either travel south for a round or wait for spring, The Cool Springs Driving Range in Bethel Park can fill the need. The range is a two-story, fully turfed space with covered, open-air hitting mats. It’s open year-round and has heated bays for respite from the cold. For golfers who want to avoid being outside, the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center golf dome provides an enclosed range that offers three bucket sizes.
Cool Springs Driving Range: 1530 Hamilton Road; 412/831-5080, playcoolsprings.com; RMU Island Sports Center: 7600 Grand Ave., Neville Island; 412/397-3335, rmuislandsports.org

Indoor Trampoline Parks  
If jumping on the trampoline makes you think of childhood summer days, think again. Sky Zone Trampoline Park is redefining the trampoline for children and adults. With locations in Leetsdale and Monroeville, the park is a perfect place to get a summertime feel during the winter. Both locations include open-jump sections, a foam pit, a SkySlam dunk zone and dodgeball courts; they also offer fitness classes. The trampoline parks also host birthday parties, corporate events and group outings.
Sky Zone Leetsdale, 740 Bricksworks Drive, Leetsdale; 724/251-6100; Sky Zone Monroeville, 160 Levin Way, Monroeville; 412/810-0200, skyzone.com/pittsburgh

photo by chris reidenbaugh


Indoor Water Park
While a summertime glow may not come with this pool experience, the Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center offers aquatics amenities that will make it feel almost like the sunny season. Offering an indoor lap pool, a resistance channel of moving water and a recreation/leisure pool, the center keeps all water temperatures at or above 82 degrees. In addition to an open-swim area, the recreation/leisure pool offers multiple structures and play features, such as water geysers, dumping bells, slides and water cannons.
Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center, 1551 Mayview Road, Upper St Clair; 412/221-1099, twpusc.org/crc/aquatics

by kristi jan hoover


Indoor Biking Facility 
Hiking and biking trails abound in Pittsburgh, but when your favorite trails are covered in snow, ➌ The Wheel Mill offers a warm and dry spot to get a biking fix. With 80,000 square feet of ramps and trails, this facility has something to offer for riders of all ages and skill levels. Local bikers designed and built many of the features, 75 percent of which incorporate reclaimed lumber and materials. The park has eight rooms, a foam pit, jump lines and much more. —JM
The Wheel Mill, 6815 Hamilton Ave., Homewood; 412/362-3693, thewheelmill.com

Learn Something!

Glassblowing Class
When there’s ice outside, you can play with fire inside (safely, of course) at one of the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s many workshops. In December, get into the holiday spirit with the center’s Blown Glass Ornaments class, which takes place every weekend (except Dec. 23-25). In the beginner-level class, you can add color to a hot glass bubble and take home your creation. Another beginner class offered in December is Flamecicles, at which you can learn to melt Borosilicate glass rods and turn them into icicles to hang in your home. For both classes, you can schedule a private workshop for four or more people for the same registration fee you’d pay for a group session. —LD
Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave., Friendship; 412/365-2145, pittsburghglasscenter.org

Cooking Class
Chop, WOK & Talk! began offering cooking classes in 2002 for those looking to pick up skills in southeast Asian cuisine. Since then it’s expanded to classes in cuisines from across the globe with numerous options offered each month. In December alone, you can learn how to craft homemade pasta, tapas, Tex-Mex or a full Moroccan dinner — and those are just a few of the options. Groups, private parties and individuals are welcome to sign up for the registration-required classes; prices can range from $70-$150. Go hungry, and come away satisfied. —LD
5404 Penn Ave., Bloomfield; 412/362-0679, chopwoktalk.com

Sweat Like It’s Summer

photo by paul g. wiegman


Phipps Conservatory
There is no better balm for the winter-weary than to stand amidst the verdant fauna of warmer seasons. At Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, you can leave the frost behind for afternoons of fragrant air, vibrant colors and blooms everlasting. Clear your lungs by breathing deeply in the aridity of the Desert Room. Feel the gentle spray of the waterfall in the Tropical Forest Congo. And visit the Orchid Room to relish the familiar humidity of a Pittsburgh summer, which you’ll no doubt be griping about come July.
1 Schenley Drive, Oakland; 412/622-6914, phipps.conservatory.org

Hot Yoga
All winter long the brittle air carries with it a haunting little whisper. You hear it in the tinkling of icicles, in the scraping of the heavy snowplow blade. When the thaw of spring finally arrives it rings clear through the crisp air: beach-body season. Kill two birds with one stone and stay fit all winter long while indulging in summer temperatures by taking a hot yoga class. You can throw a snowball and hit a dozen studios in Pittsburgh, but Amazing Yoga is one of the most established. With four locations in the area, you can vinyasa your way through the coldest, darkest days of the year and be bathing-suit-ready by the time the crocuses pop up.
Locations in South Side, Wexford, Shadyside and Lawrenceville; amazingyoga.net

Sweaty Dance Parties
One of the best ways to get your body temp up is to shimmy and shake at one of Pittsburgh’s many dance parties. Thanks to the diverse selection of DJs around town, there’s a little something for everyone, from the thumping world music of Pandemic to the poppy post-punk of Strangeways. You can get down in a different style every weekend at venues such as Spirit, Brillobox, Belvederes and Ace Hotel Pittsburgh. —CG