The nine-hole course at The Club at Blackthorne stretches for nearly 3,000 yards of expansive fairways and receptive greens designed by Palmer Course Design Company, Arnold Palmer’s namesake firm. Players tee off on the 400-yard par 4 first hole—with the eighth, one of just two holes 400 yards or longer—sending their golf balls flying against a horizon dominated by the Laurel Mountains in the distance. The fifth hole’s huge arc of a dogleg presents golfers with a classic risk/reward shot off the tee, much like hitting shots over a pool of lava onto a green made of chocolate. Golfers can attempt to fly the cherry trees in hopes of reaching the green in one stroke—thereby risking a tight lie in the fescue grasses—or they can lay up near the fairway bunker for a short iron shot into the green. The signature ninth hole demands similar theatrics, as a lake and six bunkers team up to force a 200-yard carry just to reach the fairway, and an elevated green renders approach shots trickier than their short length might indicate.
Course at a Glance:
The Club at Blackthorne's rates fluctuate throughout the week and year. Though The Club at Blackthorne sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
The 18-hole course at Rolling Fields Golf Club coils around two large central ponds that have challenged golfers since 1955. Like most courses designed in the heyday of persimmon drivers and golf balls covered in asbestos, the layout isn't especially long, measuring in at a beginner-friendly 6,320 yards. Instead, golfers find difficulty in navigating rolling elevation changes, sloped greens, and fast greens.
Course at a Glance:
At Corks and Canvases, local artists demonstrate how to paint vivid scenes while students sip their favorite wines. After passing out canvases and supplies, teachers guides attendees aged 15 and older stroke-by-stroke through the process of creating projects such as a Van Gogh–inspired starry night over Pittsburgh or a sailboat as it floats at sunset. At BYOB classes, they invite guests to uncork a vintage and nibble snacks brought from home. The studio also hosts bachelor or bachelorette parties, fundraising events, and family nights that let kids and their smartest stuffed animals paint alongside adults.
Dominique Ponko sits at the head of the class, leading yogis through muscle-lengthening postures with the steady flow of her deep, rhythmic inhales and exhales. It’s been a long journey for Dominique. She first sought out yoga at the age of 26 to help her cope with life-threatening seizures and a slow-growing brain tumor. Yoga comforted her through three difficult years, welcoming her into a space for healing spiritually before she was able to find the proper medicine to help her heal physically. Though still a little shaky, Dominique has triumphed and opened four yoga studios—voted Best of the ‘Burgh in 2010—to inspire her students to ease their ailments, build strength, and find inner peace.
During her studio's heated Vinyasa-flow classes, an enthusiastic and supportive instructor guides students through a series of strengthening postures that work to increase flexibility and build muscles. Warm, balmy air courses through the studio, pricking beads of sweat on brows to help detox bodies and loosen stiff muscles into deep, soothing stretches.
Center Ice Arena grants skaters plenty of space to perfect their gliding strides with a trio of NHL regulation size ice rinks that host open skates and lessons as well as the home games of the Allegheny Badgers amateur youth hockey. The arena starts beginners of all ages off on the right blade with its Learn to Skate program, which covers the fundamental mechanics common to speed skating, hockey, and figure skating, preparing participants for national programs or a permanent move to the North Pole. The Learn to Play Hockey program focuses the instruction, helping kids learn to turn and make hockey stops. Students and recreational skaters can show off their skills during the arena’s daily public skates, the times of which can be found on the arena’s calendar of events. A comprehensive fitness and entertainment center, the arena also houses a fitness center open to both skaters and the public, a party room, and a video arcade.
The name, Spaghetti and Steakhouse, perfectly encapsulates the restaurant's menu, which offers a wide range of Italian-style pastas, grilled salmon, and hand-cut sirloin steaks. Just as the name speaks to the food offerings, the decor speaks to the restaurant's pledge to be a family establishment, where groups can sit down at a booth or table, have a hot meal, and discuss the day's events. Upstairs is another world known as The Hot Rod Lounge. The space looks as though it was carved into the trunk of an enormous tree, with exposed rafters, hardwood tables, and bartenders carved from solid oak. Here, clients can drink a brew and shoot pool while listening to the night's DJ.