At Deer Lakes Bowl and Lounge, balls rumble down the lane before they send pins a-clatter. Between frames, bowlers munch on delicious food from the lounge. Whether they just want to snack on breaded banana peppers or zucchini fries, share a pizza, or wipe their hands on a hoagie, the food makes for better fuel than just drinking a whole bunch of cola. For those interested in rolling with a crowd, but who don't want to join a league, Deer Lakes also offers group rates that can support up to 40 people.
Wildwood Highlands serves an all-ages buffet of adrenaline-filled rides and fun-soaked activities that visitors can access with fistfuls of tickets. For five-minute intervals, go-karts whip through a winding, 1,000-foot course that challenges mini-motorists' reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and familial bonds with each cutoff to the inner rail. Visitors can captain bumper boats through the 5,000-square-foot Wildwood waters, thumping vessels as they pass fountains and circumvent the island. Woody's Den enchants small children with calliope music and magical animals who steer tots toward the spinning slime-bucket ride and old-fashioned train. Two 18-hole miniature-golf courses school putters in the principles of geometry and psyching out competitors with inopportune coughs and cackles.
Wildwood's arcade entices button smashers with more than 70 games that they can play to win tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes such as stuffed animals and action figures. While bouncing from attraction to attraction, thrill seekers can recharge their energy with pizzas, wraps, pretzels, and cotton candy at the snack bar.
Since 1952, North Park Batting Range has facilitated outdoor baseball training on its open-air range. In each of 10 open-air baseball cages, automated pitching machines fire balls into the strike zone at 30–80 miles per hour. Five open-air softball cages loft pitches at various speeds for batters training for slow-pitch or fast-pitch leagues. On the 18-hole, par 40 miniature golf course, family-owned and operated since 1961, flourishing shrubs, sharp corners, water hazards, hills, and windmills create obstructions for golfers.
At North Versailles Bowling Center, bowlers hurl spheroids down well-waxed lanes crowned with a stunning diorama of the nighttime Pittsburgh skyline, taking timeouts to enjoy frosty beverages and cheesy pizzas from the nearby snack bar. Saturday nights are celebrated with glowing lights and music played by a live DJ, and ball hurlers attempt to celebrate the memory of Sir Isaac Newton by temporarily suspending the laws of physics with each roll. When they aren’t racking up strikes on the lanes or browsing Columbia, Storm, and Brunswick gear in the pro shop, visitors watch Pittsburgh sports teams on the lounge's five HDTVs or challenge each other to friendly rounds of billiards or trivia.
More than 50 years ago, Mr. John E. Connelly set his sights on cleaning up Pittsburgh's polluted three rivers and returning them to their former glory as the Steel City's heart and soul. As then-treasurer of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, John was in a prime position to complete his ambition. With the belief that he could get the public engaged and committed to a cleanup, he decided to give the local people access to the rivers via boat tours, knowing the city's characteristic architecture as viewed from the rivers would engender a genuine appreciation for the region's waterways and environment.
After getting his nephew, Captain Jack Goessling, on board, John purchased a 100-passenger fishing boat they would christen the Gateway Clipper, which would later launch from Monongahela Wharf for the first of its many pleasure cruises. Today, with Gateway Clipper Fleet, his dream of engaging locals and visitors in the city's history and waterways thrives with a fleet that has grown to five boats capable of accommodating 2,500 guests. Through the years, the fleet has ferried more than 25 million passengers, treating them to dinner cruises, sightseeing tours, and entertainment jaunts along the clean, blue waters of Pittsburgh's three rivers.
Rising six floors above the historic Strip District, the Senator John Heinz History Center's handsome, redbrick exterior houses 275,000 square feet of exhibits and materials devoted to Western Pennsylvania. Long-term exhibits include From Slavery to Freedom, which traces the quest for equality from the antislavery movement to the modern struggles for Civil Rights, using indenture, manumission, and freedom papers from the Allegheny County recorder of deeds as starting points. Pittsburgh: A History of Innovation highlights the land's original inhabitants, the journey of Lewis and Clark, and the modern superhighways, whereas the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum delves into the history and lore of local athletics, from the Steelers? Immaculate Reception to Bill Mazeroski's title-clinching home run in game seven of the 1960 World Series. The museum also hosts nationally renowned traveling exhibits; click to see a list of current exhibits.