About 12 miles south of downtown Pittsburgh, young students examine insect larva among the remains of a decomposing log, wade through a creek as they search for salamanders, and test water percolation in forest soils. At The Outdoor Classroom, situated in a 475-acre park, students participate in outdoor field trips where they gain opportunities to connect with the natural world—a new experience for many of these preschoolers and third- to seventh-grade students. The field-trip curricula, such as introductions to ecosystems or examinations of relationships in natural communities, are designed to reinforce the national curricula modules followed by many school districts. In addition to field-trip opportunities, The Outdoor Classroom also sponsors summer day camps and community education programs about topics that reinforce the connection between people and southwestern Pennsylvania's environment, such as backyard gardening.
Dedicated to promoting local and national concerts, Pittsburgh-based Drusky Entertainment presents Ribs on the River 3, a three-day festival and cookout. Along with a different line-up of 10 or more professional tune-makers each day, each night features a special headliner; Kiss's original spaceman Ace Frehley headlines Friday night, bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd tops the bill on Saturday, and rock icon Leon Russell melts any remaining intact faces on Sunday. Guests can keep fingers sticky to avoid dropping a beverage or concert program courtesy of renowned barbecue vendors including Florida Skin and Bones, Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ, and Sgt. Oink's, who serve up saucy, slow-cooked eats throughout the show.
A functional-training studio staffed by experienced CrossFit coaches and former college athletes, Integrated Fitness Training transforms exercisers of all levels into fit, focused athletes. Barbells, gymnastics rings, and rowing machines welcome students to a 3,000-square-foot training floor, where they cultivate the type of strength and coordination they need to meet their fitness goals or slow-dance with a manatee. A variety of group fitness classes matches exercisers with boot camps, scalable CrossFit classes, and cardio-heavy kettlebell workouts. Like a pair of sharpied-on eyebrows, CrossFit workouts increase intensity, incorporating gymnastics-inspired moves such as burpees, muscle-ups, and handstand pushups.
The culinary crew at Calabria's, which is nestled on the crest of Frosty Valley Golf Links's manicured greens, crafts a dinner menu brimming with traditional Italian dishes and meaty entrees. The chicken vesuvius basks in a meadow of mushrooms and artichoke hearts, with a glimmering aura of lemon and oregano ($14.95), while the chicken Romano beckons tempted tongues with Romano cheese battered and sauteed with lemon butter ($14.95). Diners can dive into specialties such as gnocchi ($11.95) or pasta calabria, which showcases penne with spinach and tomato sauce ($12.95). Construct noodles with a choice of five pastas and eight sauces (starting at $9.95) or with mannequin heads and wigs. The newly renovated eatery also boasts a lighter lunch menu, a selection of specialty cocktails, a $20 bottle wine list, and outdoor seating.
The puff pros at Jernigan's, voted one of 2010's top 20 bars in Pittsburgh Magazine, open their walk-in humidor to smokers of all stripes, serving fine spirits and classy cuisine in an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of the collegial camaraderie of an Irish pub. Stogie devotees can chew on a classic Padron Anniversario, aged four years, or parse words with a Hemingway Series cigar filled with earthy flavors, a spicy finish, and terse stories of its youth spent hunting squirrels in rural Illinois.
Established in 1832, J.J. Gillespie Gallery furnishes its walls with a wide range of art from American and international artists. In an attached workshop, a master framer meticulously preserves keepsakes inside custom wood or metal frames. The gallery also hosts an onsite art expert, who can appraise oil-based works or clean and restore them to their former luster.