With nothing but their legs, a launch pad, and a little wind, paragliders achieve mankind's ancient dream of flight without the help of motors or fancypants pilots. A dedicated revolutionary against the tyranny of gravity, paragliding instructor Jon Potter invites one and all to join him atop the hills of Pittsburgh for a flying lesson that can be tailored for students of any experience level. Potter gladly hurls himself from virtually any flyable hill in and around the city. Beginners start by taking wing from bunny hills, and more advanced gliders tackle the more challenging courses.
Steel City Airsoft's safety-conscious staff hosts adrenaline-pumping showdowns for recreational warriors as well as for law enforcement or military groups looking to train in a close-quarters, indoor environment. A modular building design allows staffers to reorient the walls, hallways, and doorways that honeycomb the 30,000-square-foot facility, ensuring unpredictable, action-packed bouts amid a hail of whistling pellets. With an emphasis on responsible play, the staff members steadfastly enforce the facility's rules and advise patrons either to wear clothing that covers any bare skin or to don their family's coat of arms. Steel City Airsoft is open on Fridays from 5 p.m.–midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.
HappyFeet founder Andy Barney boasts a lengthy resumé: the Oxford, England, native was a semipro soccer player by the age of 16, studied physical education in college, and coached youth soccer for 10 years before moving to the U.S. In America, he coached at Avila University and wrote the book Training Soccer Legends, but one day he found his extensive experience challenged by an unlikely group—preschoolers. He had agreed to spend what he thought would be an easy afternoon leading tots in a soccer workshop, only to end up exhausted yet inspired to design a curriculum specifically for younger kids.
His research eventually led to HappyFeet, where instructors play with kids aged 2–6 using a proprietary lesson plan the company dubbed “story time with a soccer ball.” Each kid receives a ball, and beyond practicing basic skills such as dribbling, striking, and autograph signing in a noncompetitive setting, the incorporation of stories, nursery rhymes, and songs enables kids to exercise both physical and mental faculties. The 45-minute indoor classes, which were reviewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune, are held onsite at preschools and sports facilities such as PISA. Little ones can also be enrolled in HappyFeet’s leagues, where a 15- to 20-minute mini class precedes a 30-minute game.
Making their first foray onto the indoor gridiron this season, AFL newbies the Pittsburgh Power begin the year by taking on sure-to-be-cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Soul in a game of fast-paced, potentially high-scoring arena action that pigskin fans inherently crave. Head coach Chris Siegfried has assembled a team led by quarterback Bernard Morris, who leads his associates using rushing and passing skills honed from a previous stint with the Jacksonville Sharks and an internship with the maitre d' of a busy restaurant. The Power's dance team, The Sparks, entertains the crowd between plays. All the action takes place at the newly built Consol Energy Center, which also serves as home to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and a hangar for invisible dirigibles.
The annual Pittsburgh International Auto Show brings brand-new cars and auto enthusiasts together for four days of gazing and gear talk. An expansive layout of sparkling domestic and exotic international rides unfurls within the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where show-goers can snap pictures with the auto industry’s latest crop of carriages. Daily events keep attendants abreast of new, innovative technologies and reveal how automakers fit live horses into today’s car engines. The Pittsburgh International Auto Show also keeps youngsters occupied with kid-focused entertainment like the SimZilla extreme racing simulator and a NASCAR racing simulator Hank the interactive robot. For those who are not-so automotively enthused, there are plenty of other forms of entertainment including a 30 ft. ultimate gaming experience trailer, spa treatments, car raffles, and tons of other giveaways and attractions. Discount parking and free shuttles from Smallman St. in The Strip are also available.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.