Summer Times: Places to Go

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Summer 2009 brings some new attractions to several local cultural institutions.

The robots are coming to Carnegie Science Center, where "roboworld," a new exhibit exploring all things robotic, takes up residence.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be getting a new arena home, and so are the African penguins at the National Aviary. Penguin Point will give visitors new vantage points, including underwater views.

Bob the Builder makes a summer-long stop at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh with a traveling interactive exhibit.


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See all lists of events, activities and places to go.    

4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3131.

EXHIBITS: "The Horse" -- American Museum of Natural History exhibit explores humankind's relationship to the horse, along with paleontology, evolutionary biology, and genetics (through July 5); "DoubleExposure" -- photography exhibit documents impact of global warming on glaciers (June 15-Sept. 19); "Insects, Ink & Inklings: Illustrations by Jane Hyland" -- Drawings of the anatomy of moths (through Aug. 30); "Time Machines: Watches from the H.J. Heinz Collection" (through Aug. 30).

EVENTS: Camp Earth 2009 -- Summer camps for ages 4-12 (weeklong sessions June 8-Aug. 14).

Carnegie Museum of Natural History exhibits and events at Powdermill Nature Reserve, Route 381, Rector, 724-593-6105.

EXHIBITS: "NaturaLuminescence: A Photographic Exhibit by Bob Egan" -- Nature photographs that capture natural light (through June 7).

EVENTS: "Celebration of the Horse," hosted by Powdermill Nature Reserve and the Rolling Rock Hunt Pony Club at St. Clair Show Grounds, Ligonier (May 23, noon-4 p.m.; 724-593-6105); "BioForay" -- museum curators will survey streams and forests in the Laurel Highlands. (June 11-13, registration required, 724-593-6105 ); Family Overnights: Wildlife of the Laurel Highlands (June 20-21; July 25-26; Aug. 15-16; $80/adults, $50/ages 12 and under; reservations: 724-593-6105).


One Allegheny Ave., North Side. 412-237-3400.

EXHIBITS: "roboworld" -- new permanent exhibit devoted to robots and robotics and how they sense, think and act (opens June 13); Darwin Kiosk -- Learn more about Charles Darwin.

EVENTS: "The Dynamic Universe: Observing the Changing Sky Throughout the Cosmos" -- talk by Dr. Michael Wood-Vasey, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh (June 1 at 6 p.m., buffet and cash bar; RSVP: 412-237-1821); "roboworld" Preview Party -- (June 7 at 6:30 p.m., reservations: 412-237-3353); Summer Science Camps: Half- and full-day camps for ages 4-12, 412-237-1637; Laser Nights (Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m.-midnight); Observatory SkyWatch -- view the skies through the Observatory telescope; Fireworks Blowout Evening -- Science Center visit, Omnimax and laser show, and fireworks viewing from the Science Center, for additional $10, you can watch them from the rooftop (July 4; $35); "Pogopalooza" -- Pogo athlete performances (Aug. 21 noon-3 p.m.).

RANGOS OMNIMAX THEATER: "Greece: Secrets of the Past" (ongoing); "Under the Sea" (ongoing); "Grand Canyon: River at Risk" (through Aug. 13); "Beavers" (opens July 3); "Mysteries of the Great Lakes" (opens Aug. 14).

BUHL DIGITAL DOME: "Two Small Pieces of Glass," "A Traveler's Guide to Mars," "Stars Over Pittsburgh," "The Sky Above Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," "Our Cells, Our Selves."


Allegheny Center, North Side. 412-322-5058.

EXHIBITS: "Bob the Builder -- Project: Build It" (June 6-Sept. 27). Special events include Meet Bob the Builder (Fridays and Sundays).

EVENTS: "Mother Goose Meets Father Bach" Party -- Excerpts from new CD performed by violinist Monique Mead, plus students from Carlow's Montessori Preschool reciting nursery rhymes (May 23 at 2 p.m.); Solar Concert Series -- Concert series with solar-powered sound system (Wednesdays, June through August at 12:15 p.m.); The Great American Backyard Camp-out -- outdoor festival with campfire, stories, songs, tent city, sack races and treats (July 11, noon-4 p.m.); Meet the Monarchs -- learn about butterflies with specialist Ba Rea (Aug. 12, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.); "Kindergarten! ... Here I Come!" -- designed to help children make transition to kindergarten (Aug. 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.); The Chicago Youth Circus -- outdoor performance by renowned youth circus (Aug. 23, 3 p.m.).


Cruises depart from Station Square. 412-355-7980.

SPECIAL DINNER CRUISES: Oldies Dinner Dance Cruise: Johnny Angel & the Halos (June 26); Pure Gold (July 18); The Vogues (July 31); The Skyliners (Aug. 28). Dinner Theater Cruise: "A Dinner with the Godfather" -- Comedy dinner show (June 5, July 10, Aug. 14). Golden Triangle Lunch Cruise: Neil Diamond Tribute by Chris Denem (June 5, 26, July 24, Aug. 14, 28); Bo Wagner's Frank & Dean Show (June 12, July 10, 31 Aug. 21); Randy Galioto Presents Elvis Lives (June 19, July 17, Aug. 7). Gospel Lunch Cruise: Spirit Filled & New Generation (June 14); James Zieglar & Another Level (July 26); Spirit Filled & New Generation (Aug. 16); Kingdom People (Sept. 20).

EXCURSION CRUISES: Mountaineer Racetrack & Gaming Resort Cruise (Aug. 28).

SIGHTSEEING CRUISES: One-Hour Sightseeing Cruises (weekdays June-August, weekends May, September and October). Lords of the Mon Cruise: Steel Coal, Coke and the Men who Moved Them (June 20, July 25, Aug. 15).

FAMILY FUN CRUISES: Good Ship Lollipop Cruise (weekends June through August); Saturday Family Picnic Cruise (June 6, 20, July 11, 25, Aug. 8, 22, Sept. 12, 26); Sunday Ice Cream Social Cruise (Sundays June 14-Sept. 6); Kids Showtime Cruise: Adventures of the Monongahela Mermaid (June 13, July 18, Aug. 15); Pirates of the Mon (June 27, July 11, Aug. 1, 29); Jungle Jane's Three Rivers Safari (June 24, July 8, 22, Aug. 5, 19).

HOLIDAY CRUISES: Father's Day Brunch Cruise (June 21); Firecracker Dinner Dance Cruise (July 4); Labor Day Slovene Polka Cruise (Sept. 7).

ENTERTAINMENT CRUISES: Moonlight Dance Cruise (Fridays June 5-Aug. 28) Buffetman Party Cruise (July 5, Aug. 28); Comedy Cruise (June 12, July 24, Aug. 14, Sept. 18).


Ligonier, 724-238-3666.

Open May 21-25, 30-31, June 5-7, June 9-Aug. 30, Sept. 5-7


West Mifflin, 412-461-0500.

Park open daily through Aug. 25, Aug. 29-30, Sept. 5-7, 12-13, 19-20)

Celebrate America Festival: Live music and entertainment, car shows and parades, fireworks (June 29-30, July 1-5)

Fall Fantasy Parade (Aug. 11-25)


401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella, 724-587-3412.

EVENTS: World Atlatl Competition (June 20-21); 19th Century Independence Day with games, pie-eating contest, more (July 4); archaeologist James Adovasio leads tours of the oldest and deepest parts of the Meadowcroft Rock Shelter. Advance registration required (July 18, Aug. 22, Sept. 26).


Ridge Avenue and Arch Street, North Side, 412-323-7235.

EXHIBITS: Penguin Point -- New outdoor exhibit is the home to the Aviary's African penguins, with kid-size tunnels and ViewTubes for underwater observation (opens May 23).

EVENTS: Rockin' with the Penguins -- Formal reception for the grand opening of Penguin Point; Proceeds benefit the Aviary's conservation education programs (May 22 at 6:30 p.m., $125, 412-323-7235, ext. 240). FliteZone Outdoor Free-flight Bird Show, featuring black kites, Eurasian Eagle owls, eagles, macaws, parrots and others (Wednesdays-Sundays May 23-Sept. 7); Penguin Point Grand Opening Weekend (May 23-25); Early Bird Special -- guided tour with Aviary staff, bird feeding and continental breakfast (June 6 at 8:30 a.m., reservations required: 412-323-7235, ext. 209); Summer Solstice Party -- FliteZone show, sidewalk chalk drawing, cold treats (June 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.); Fathers' Day -- dads and granddads admitted free (June 21); Safety Day -- public-safety program with firefighters, policemen and ambulance drivers (July 11. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.); Night in the Tropics -- summer fiesta/fundraiser features food, music and a visit from the Aviary flock (ages 21+; $50; VIP tickets $100; July 25, 7 p.m.).


Schenley Park, 412-622-6914.

EXHIBITS: Tropical Forest: Headwaters of the Amazon (through 2011); Butterfly Forest (through Sept. 7); Wings of Paradise -- Prints of Silkmoths by John Cody (through June); Darwin 2009 Celebration (through August); Life in the Gardens: Frabel Glass at Phipps -- glass sculptures by artist Hans Godo Frabel (May 20-January 2010). Premiere party May 19.

EVENTS: Tropicals in Pennsylvania Landscapes (May 17, at 1:30 p.m.); Planting a Window Box (May 23, 1:30 p.m.); Farmers Market at Phipps (Wednesdays June 3-Oct. 28, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.); Tomato and Garlic Festival (Aug. 16) .


One Hill Road, Highland Park, 412-665-3639.

EVENTS: Plant Conservation Day -- games and demonstrations designed to illustrate the importance of plant life in the Earth's ecosystem (May 18); UPMC National Senior Health and Fitness Day (May 27); Sand Tiger Sharks Grand Opening Weekend -- meet the zoo's new sand tiger sharks, plus island music, beach volleyball and scuba demonstrations (June 5-7); Dragon Renaissance Festival -- meet the zoo's Komodo, leafy and weedy sea dragons, plus period music, knight matches and Renaissance characters (June 20-21); Father's Day Celebration -- free admission for dads accompanied by their kids (June 21); Wild About Cats and Dogs -- meet the zoo's lions, tigers and African painted dogs, along with dogs, cats and rabbits available for adoption at local animal shelters (June 22-23); Kids Kingdom Day -- presentations and activities in the zoo's Kids Kingdom (June 24); Monkey Around Day -- activities and presentations in the zoo's primate section (June 25); It's a Real Bear Out There -- learn more about the zoo's bear species (June 26); Polar Bear Day -- learn about how to protect these bears, while the zoo's polar bears get frozen treats (June 27); Shark Day -- meet the Zoo's sharks (June 28); The Big Chill -- cool off in the sprinkler course, watch ice carving and learn how animals stay cool in hot weather (July 17-19); Summer Safari -- over-21 party, $65-$100 (July 31); Kids' Zoofari Animal Activity Days -- animal enrichment activities (Aug. 8, 15); Kids' Zoofari Kids Activity Days -- family activities (Aug. 9, 16); PPG Festival of Water -- try your hand hand at scuba diving and see demonstrations of other water sports (Aug. 21-23).


1212 Smallman St., Strip District, 412-454-6000.

EXHIBITS: "Lincoln: The Constitution & the Civil War" -- traveling exhibit from the National Constitution Center (opens May 30); "Lincoln Slept Here" -- the History Center is augmenting the Lincoln exhibit with artifacts, including Lincoln's bed and bedroom set from Monongahela House, where Lincoln stayed before his inauguration (opens May 30); "Forbes Field: Celebrating 100 Years" -- photographs, artifacts and memorabilia (opens June 27); "Portrait of the Allegheny" -- photos by John Beale, chronicling a 325-mile journey on the Allegheny River (through September).

EVENTS: "Behind the Scenes Series" -- tours of the museum's collections for History Center members: Library & Archives (June 25); Textile Preservation (July 23); Special Collections (Sept. 17); See Lincoln for a Lincoln -- $5 admission to "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" exhibit (July 4-6); National Negro League Conference -- Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum hosts "Crossroads of Black Baseball," the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference of the Society of American Baseball Researchers (July 16-18); "Pittsburgh's Hidden Treasures: An Antiques Appraisal Show" -- visitors can bring collectibles and heirlooms for appraisal. (Aug. 2).


1000 Sandcastle Drive, West Homestead, 412-462-6666.

Open daily June 13-Aug. 23, Aug. 29-30, Sept. 5-7 (limited operation Aug. 15-23).


Next to Carnegie Library, Oakland.

EVENTS: A Taste of Oakland (May 16); Carnegie Library Read Aloud -- readings for adults by Carnegie Library staff (May 22, June 19, July 24, Sept. 25 at noon); Final Friday Concert -- evening concerts (May 29, July 31, Aug. 28, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.); The Children's Carousel Tea -- circus entertainment, carousel rides and refreshments ($25/children, $50/adults; 412- 682-7275, ext. 208; May 30, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.); Carnegie Library Wizard Rock -- music inspired by the "Harry Potter" series: The Whomping Willows (June 1, 7 p.m.), Remus Lupens (June 16, 7 p.m.); Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Reading Extravaganza -- for children, teens and adults (June 7, noon); Kids Day! -- free carousel rides, face painting and more (June 7, July 12, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.); 12th Annual WYEP Summer Music Festival (June 26); Visionary Arts Festival (Aug. 7-9 at 7 p.m.); Riverhounds Soccer Clinic (Aug. 30); Sundae Flea Market (Aug. 30, noon); Pittsburgh Jazz Society Festival (Sept. 11, 7 p.m.).

Adrian McCoy can be reached at amccoy or 412-263-1865. First Published May 15, 2009 4:00 AM


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