Spring has sprung, and the Pittsburgh area is buzzing with activities for the whole family. Here are the ten activities we are so excited for spring here at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community.
1. The Point
The fountain at Point State Park is a great attraction to see with family. It marks where Pittsburgh’s three rivers meet and is a must-see tourist attraction for those visiting Pittsburgh. You can visit the Fort Pitt museum or take a walk downtown for lunch or dinner. It’s an easy walk from Market Square, where you can enjoy steak, tacos, oysters, or a Primanti’s sandwich!
2. Baseball Games
Pirates baseball is back! And with excitement still looming from last year’s successful season, it’s bound to be a beautiful spring and summer at PNC park! With affordably priced tickets compared to other ballparks, and something to eat and drink for every member of the family, PNC park is a great place to catch some sun – and maybe even a foul ball.
3. Public Parks
Pittsburgh has a beautiful collection of public parks for you to explore, and plenty of activities going on in each of them! Try a walk for a good cause, a picnic in the grass, or event take part in the senior games!
Sometimes it’s nice to be a tourist in your own city. And you can be one by land AND by sea with a Just Ducky Tour! You’ll explore many areas of the city in a boat that can drive down the street and then hop into the river. It’s a fun experience for the whole family and a great opportunity for you to appreciate the city you call home.
We had Kennywood on our summer list, too, but the park Opens May 3! Locals have their own idea of what the best part of the amusement park is, from the funnel cakes and ice cream to the whip and the Olde Kennywood Railroad. Nothing says that summer is on its way more than walking into the entrance of Kennywood.
If you’re looking for an area of the city to shop, eat, and catch a movie – without having to look for parking between each activity – try SouthSide works! Southside works requires little walking and holds popular restaurants such as Hofbrahaus and the Cheesecake factory! It’s a great place to take teenage grandchildren and adult children for a beautiful day out.
7. Gallery Crawls
Pittsburgh’s cultural district and upcoming artistic communities in neighborhoods such as Lawrenceville and Garfield often have gallery crawls which feature local artists. They vary in location and price, but they are usually quite affordable and fun for anyone who enjoys art and is able to walk around well!
There is so much more to enjoy at the National Aviary than the beautiful weather. Like penguin feedings, bat feedings, and flamingo encounters. Get your whole nest together and flock together to the aviary to check out some of the nation’s most beautiful birds.
Mount Washington is home to some of the most beautiful views in the city. You’re just a incline ride away from some of the most high-end restaurants in the city, too. Mount Washington is great for date night! Start with a ride on the incline, stop to take some photos at the outlook, and dine in style at the wide range of restaurants available, which vary from formal locations to fun pubs.
10. Dog Parks
Want to spend a fun day with man’s best friend? Spring is the perfect time to get out and get active with your favorite four-legged friend at one of Pittsburgh’s many dog parks!
No matter what your favorite season is, you were probably happy to have some sun and see the snow melt. We love spring here at Sherwood Oaks… and it should be clear why. There is SO much going on around campus now that everything has defrosted. Here are just a few things that you can look forward to this spring:
Our Weekly Walking Group
Our “Take a Walk with a Friend” program will have you mastering our walking trails, which go through the woods, around the lake, and over the three miles of designated walking space on our 84-acre campus. It both social and physical, which helps keep our residents happy and healthy!
Our Farmer’s Garden and Perennial Garden
Have a green thumb? You’ve laded at a gardener’s paradise! You can grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers in our Farmer’s Garden, which features raised beds that are tilled up and ready-to-go for residents who love local product. Really, really local produce!
We have a full selection of outdoor activities for residents to enjoy with their family and friends, from Outdoor games such as bocce ball, shuffleboard, corn hole, a new volleyball court, a Wimbledon court, badminton, basketball and horseshoes at Sherwood Oaks’ Summer House. There is also a designated area for outdoor games and grills for outdoor cooking! And for the little ones in the family, there is a playground to enjoy.
Trips and Tours
Sherwood Oaks has a Trips and Tours Committee run by the residents that plan day trips and occasional overnight trips to see local sites and tourist attractions. Attractions may be that a three or four hour bus ride away that would require an overnight (or two-night) stay. Be on the lookout for news about upcoming trips!
Looking to branch off of campus to enjoy some sunshine? Be on the lookout for our upcoming post, “10 Reasons to Love Springtime in Pittsburgh.”
A lot of families come to visit Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community each year, including those growing-like-a-weed grandchildren! It can sometimes be difficult for residents to think of activities to do with their grandchildren that everyone will enjoy. Generation gaps can really mess up plans, huh?
But with some creative thinking, you can plan a fun day for everyone that you and your grandchildren will remember for years to come.
For the younger ones…
When young grandchildren grow up, they will cherish the time they spent learning from you. The time they get to spend with you will help shape the people they become, so make the most of that time!
- Pittsburgh Children’s Museum – Open seven days a week, the Children’s Museum is floors and floors of fun for kids and kids at heart! Explore permanent exhibits like the water play area, or attend an artist residency exhibit, like the XOXO: Love Letters Project that is taking place this weekend.
- Carnegie Science Center – Robots, railroads, space stations, and magnetic forces. Does this sound like your idea of an adventure? Then take your favorite little explorer with you to the Carnegie Science Center. This trip will prove to be both fun and educational… and not just for the kids!
- Stay In! – A night in with your grandchildren is filled with possibilities. From reading them your favorite books as a child to catching up on their favorite movies, you don’t need to get fancy in order to entertain! You can even plan a family game night or show them how to make their favorite food, asking them if they would like to help where they can.
- Take Them for a One-on-One Lunch – Everyone enjoys dressing up for a nice afternoon of good food and big laughs. Take your grandchild to a formal lunch, one-on-one, so that you have a chance to talk to them and teach them table manners. If they are good, don’t forget dessert!
- Outdoor Playground – Sherwood Oaks has a wonderful outdoor playground for grandkids and families to enjoy.
And the older ones…
Teenagers and adults obviously have different interests and hobbies than children, but just because your grandchildren are big, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have beautiful little moments with them!
- See a Show – We’ve previously written about the wonderful cultural experiences that Pittsburgh has to offer, and it’s an exciting moment when your grandchildren are old enough to truly enjoy them with you! Treat them to a night at the Benedum and Heinz Hall and grab a bite to eat in one of the Cultural District’s delicious restaurants after.
- Visit the Carnegie Museums – Another cultural activity that your grown grandchildren may enjoy are the Carnegie Museums, which includes the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Whether you and your grandchildren bond over art or history, one of the museums will be sure to get you talking.
- Work on a Family Tree – As grandchildren get older, they often show more interest in where they came from. Help them explore your roots and make discoveries yourself by working on your family tree. You can start online with Ancestry.com or MyRelatives.com.
- Stop by the Billiard Room – Sherwood Oaks had a billiard room, just in case you want to challenge your grandchildren to a friendly game of pool!
- Visit the Zoo
- Go to a Baseball Game at PNC Park
- Enjoy the walking trails around the lake and through the woods at Sherwood Oaks
- Or stop by our picnic area, complete with barbecues and outdoor games like shuffleboard, bocce ball, cornhole, badminton, basketball, lawn darts, horseshoes
- Take a dip in our indoor swimming pool. Grandkids are more than welcome as long as there is someone else in the pool area. No swimming alone permitted!
- Don’t live near the grandchildren? Set up regular visits with them over Skype and send letters in between visits!
Tips for visits with grandchildren:
- Make sure to be clear with your children on how often you would like to see them and your grandchildren so that all of you can work it into your schedule
- If the grandkids are visiting without mom and dad, make sure you ask what the rules are!
- Make sure to baby proof the house if little ones are visiting
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter in Pittsburgh and at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community. And while winter doesn’t officially kick in until December 21, winter activities in and around the city are already happening!
We’ve already made some suggestions for a few wonderful holiday shows, but our city has plenty more to offer. So we’ve made a list, checked it twice, and decided to share our top 10 Pittsburgh winter activities with you!
1. Gingerbread Houses
The PPG Place Wintergarden is one of the best places to get some holiday cheer in Pittsburgh. Each year, dozens of Gingerbread Houses call the building home for the Gingerbread House Display Competition. Many groups, from elementary schools, professional organizations, families, and nonprofits, will decorate gingerbread houses in hopes of getting named the number one gingerbread house in the city! You can see all of the winners for free every day through the New Year.
2. Ice Skating!
Whether you are a fan of ice skating or enjoy seeing family and loved ones on the ice, you have plenty of options right near home! The Rink at PPG Place allows skaters to circle a beautiful Christmas tree while skating with Santa and taking in a great view of the city. Plus, it’s close to some other fun winter activities in Market Square that are also on our list! To avoid some of the holiday rush, you could also visit the Schenley Skating rink.
3. Giving Back
It’s the season of giving, and volunteer opportunities are an easy but meaningful way to bring joy to yourself and your neighbors during the holidays. Browse resources like Pittsburgh Cares to search for a volunteer opportunity close to your heart.
4. Light Displays
5. First Night
Ring in 2014 in downtown Pittsburgh at First Night on Dec. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. The evening’s festivities include a parade, children’s activities, live music, fireworks, and more!
6. Winter Sports
Football and hockey will be going strong this season. While we love catching a game at Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center, it’s also fun to curl up on the couch and watch a game from home!
7. The Holiday Market
Located next to The Rink at PPG Place, The Holiday Market is a spectacular display of cultural gifts, food, shows, and more! Pick up a fir tree or a handcrafted ornament while snacking on European sweets.
8. Joy of Cookies!
Sugar, gingerbread, chocolate chip… which is your favorite holiday cookie? No need to narrow it down, because you can get your fill of holiday sweetness with the Joy of Cookies Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville from December 5 to December 8 for free! More than 30 businesses are taking part in the event, where shoppers can enjoy shopkeepers’ favorite cookies at stores throughout Lawrenceville.
9. Pittsburgh Twists
We love holiday traditions, but we especially love when holiday traditions have a Pittsburgh twist. It’s hard not to sing along to the yinzer-inspired carol, “Santa Claus is Coming Dahntahn.”
10. Nationality Rooms at Pitt
Experience holiday traditions from around the world with the Nationality Rooms Holiday Tours. Not only are the tours fun, but you can give yourself the gift of learning something new.
Have the end-of-summer blues? The season of sun and surf may have ended on September 22, but that’s no reason to get down. The city of Pittsburgh has plenty to keep you busy. Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community residents can, of course, enjoy a nice stroll around campus when they want to take in the vivid colors of autumn, but when you want a fun fall day on the town, you have many options. Here are 10 of our favorite reasons to love fall in Pittsburgh:
- A giant duck?
A 40-foot rubber duck is currently floating in the Allegheny River, and you’d better catch him before he’s gone! A series of rubber duck sculptures have been floating in Amsterdam, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo, and Hong Kong, and Pittsburgh became the first U.S. city to host the duck when it arrived last Friday! The duck was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman and will remain at the Point until October 20.
- Pumpkin patches.
Choosing a pumpkin to carve or display in your home is one of the most important decisions you make during the fall. One of the most talked-about pumpkin patches in the Pittsburgh area is Soregel Orchards in Wexford. Their Fall Festival takes place every weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from now until October 31. You won’t want to miss pumpkin painting, a cornstalk maze, hayrides, and more. Choose apples and pumpkins for all of your fun fall needs. It’s perfect for the entire family. Another local pumpkin patch is Trax Farms in Finleyville, Pa.
- Rides on the Clipper.
When you have as many rivers to choose from as we do, it’s a shame to not enjoy them! The best way is to enjoy a cruise on the Gateway Clipper. Along with their regular sightseeing cruises, they have seasonal offerings for tourists and locals alike to enjoy! Throughout October, you can enjoy a Fall Foliage Cruise, a Halloween Whodunnit Cruise, a Halloween Fun Cruise, or a Haunted Halloween Dinner. Ticket prices and times vary.
- Halloween at Phipps.
Phipps isn’t just a beautiful experience in the summer, it’s also a must-visit spot for fall. The fall Flower Show takes place from October 19 to November 10. The stars of the show are chrysanthemums in bright, seasonal colors, which have been featured in the Flower Show since 1893. From 4-8 p.m. on October 25, Phipps has Halloween Happenings for everyone! Kids in costumes are welcome to enjoy an afternoon of spooky fun with parents and grandparents.
When the air gets chilly, it’s a great time to get indoors and enjoy some of Pittsburgh’s most interesting art and history sites. The Carnegie Museums, the Heinz History Center, the Mattress Factory, and the Andy Warhol Museum are some of the most popular options for a fall day filled with art and culture.
- The scenery!
It’s no secret that Western Pennsylvania has some of the most beautiful foliage to view in the country. One of the best perks of calling Pittsburgh home is witnessing the transition from greens to browns, yellows, and reds!
- The shows.
Autumn is the perfect time to catch a show in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. October’s shows include “Defending the Caveman,” “Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa,” “Our Town,” and “We Will Rock You,” a musical featuring music from Queen.
- Pumpkin everything!
This might not be a regional perk, but we sure do love it, either way! From pumpkin coffee and pumpkin cookies to pumpkin soup and pumpkin gobs, everyone is seeing orange! Enjoy a delicious pumpkin soup at Nicky’s Thai Kitchen on the North Shore or fill up with a pumpkin bagel from Oakmont Bakery. The world might be going crazy for pumpkin, but Pittsburgh is making it a local specialty.
- Phantom Fright Nights.
If you don’t scare easily, you might want to take a chance on Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood Park. Phantom Fright Nights, which is celebrating its 10th year this season, takes place on Fridays and Saturdays through October 26 (Plus October 13), and includes some of Kennywood’s favorite rides, plus tricks and shrieks around every corner. This event is not recommended for children under 13.
- The sports!
We are now in the midst of both hockey and football seasons in the City of Champions, but everyone is talking about the Pirates! Good luck to the Bucs in tonight’s National League wild-card game.
Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy your city. And luckily for our residents at Sherwood Oaks retirement community, we’ve got quite an exciting city to explore. In fact, in June, the “Best Cities To Retire In America List” named Pittsburgh the best metro area for Boomers to retire in.
This is partly because of the easy access to healthcare that comes with Pittsburgh’s top-quality healthcare systems, such as UPMC. However, the vast array of activities for retirees in close distance to Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community is another reason our residents are going to have plenty of fun in the sun this summer.
Here are the top 10 reasons we LOVE summertime in Pittsburgh:
- Free Summer Concerts – Pittsburgh has birthed musicians such as Dean Martin, Perry Como, and George Benson. We continue to keep the tradition of musical excellence going all summer long with free and low-cost concerts throughout the city. Visit Hartwood Acres for their summer concert series, featuring the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and folk rock singer Rickie Lee Jones. Or grab lunch in Market Square downtown and take advantage of their free Lunchtime Concert Series, as well as other events throughout the summer.
- Phipps Conservatory – The Phipps Conservatory public gardens are perfect for those Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community residents with a green thumb, or just an appreciation for one. Seniors 62 and older can visit Phipps for just $14 and take in the beautiful array of flowers and plants all day long. From now until September 2, enjoy the featured Butterfly Forest.
- PNC Park – PNC Park has been referred to as one of the top ballparks in the country. And with the Pirates on a winning streak this summer, it’s a great time to pay a visit! With a wide variety of summertime food favorites and discounted tickets from Giant Eagle, you can spend a night at the ball game that will leave your stomach – and wallet – full.
- Culture – There is no denying the rich culture that Pittsburgh has to offer. This summer, pay a visit to one or many of Pittsburgh’s wonderful museums, including the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Heinz History Center, and the Fort Pitt Museum, just to name a few. Each of these museums have a senior citizen discount.
- The Pittsburgh Zoo – The Pittsburgh Zoo is a great place that our residents can enjoy with their children and grandchildren. Grandparents even get free admission on Grandparents’ day when accompanied by a grandchild! When visiting on a normal day, be sure to use your senior citizen discount and stop by to see the newborn baby tiger!
- The Strip District – If you’re looking for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, pastas, and more to whip up a great summer dish, look no further than the Strip District. For our residents who enjoy spending time in the kitchen, we recommend picking up ingredients at the shops and stands of the culturally eclectic Strip District. While you’re there you can also enjoy shopping for delicious foreign foods and souvenirs for friends and family that are uniquely Pittsburgh.
- Kennywood – Kennywood has been entertaining Pittsburgh residents since 1898. Since that time, their selection of rides for visitors of all ages, shows and entertainment, and food options have expanded immensely. Seniors 55+ can get a fun day pass for just $19.99. And July 11, 15, 30, and 31 are Kennywood’s Boomer Days, featuring a DJ playing oldies but goodies in Pavilion 1.
- The Duquesne Incline – The Duquesne Incline offers a breathtaking view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington, with plenty of dining options near the lookout. It’s the perfect afternoon “staycation” for couples.
- Local Parks – Pittsburgh has plenty of beautiful city parks, great for enjoying some fresh air and getting in some exercise by biking or walking. Most parks offer events all summer long, so be sure to check out the Citiparks website for a full list.
- Cinema in the Park – One fantastic park offering is the Cinema in the Park series, with movies being shown throughout the city – for free!
While we offer only the best in living arrangements to our residents, we encourage them to get out of the house and enjoy all of the summertime activities that Pittsburgh has to offer. What are some local activities and attractions that YOU recommend?