Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center

Heinz History Center
February 19
7 – 11 p.m.

This Friday, it’s time to fashion yourself a Gumby, G.I. Jane or Mr. Potato Head costume, because you’re invited to get uncorked at The Senator John Heinz History Center.

Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center.
Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center.

For the 18th annual edition of its popular History Uncorked benefit bash, the Strip District-based destination is calling all young professionals—and fans of retro games—to celebrate everyone’s favorite toys of yesteryear. Dubbed Play Time!, the cleverly-themed event is inspired by the museum’s upcoming Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s exhibition.

Showcasing the History Center to the city’s young creative set, History Uncorked will feature toy-themed fun on all five floors of the museum. Test your skills playing giant versions of Jenga, Connect Four, Twister and Hungry Hungry Hippos, and more. Next, go for the high score with 20-plus vintage pinball machines and arcade video games on loan from the Replay Foundation.

Play Timers will be treated to dance floor tunes by DJ Mad Maxx and live music by The Delaneys, and can bid on items in a silent auction such as an “Insta-winery” (read: 53 bottles of wine), a diamond necklace from Chapel Hills Jewelry and a package from Treesdale Golf & Country Club.

On the menu for the retro revelry is fare by local food and drink purveyors such as Penn Brewery, The Summit, Las Palmas Casa Rasta, Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, Wigle Whiskey, Pretzel Crazy, Randita’s Café, Pittsburgh Candy Buffet and others. For a late-night snack, stop by the Bacon on the Fly and Pittsburgh Halal food trucks which will be parked in front of the History Center from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center
Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center

Opening March 4th, the 8,000-square-foot exhibition, Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, will showcase the country’s most popular toys while also exploring their historical context via the perspectives of inventors, children, parents, child development experts and advertisers. Boasting hundreds of memorable childhood favorites—from Slinky, Simon and Atari, to Hot Wheels and Rock’em Sock’em Robots—the new exhibit will also examine how these iconic toys reflect three decades of pivotal changes in American society.

General admission tickets are $75, and include access to the entire museum, two drink tickets, food and drink samples, appetizers, and an “e-favor bag” featuring special deals and live entertainment. All proceeds will support The Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Event chairs are Nicholas and Kelly Kennedy.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in February feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.