Adults will appreciate the beautifully told story of public transportation in Pittsburgh and the role it has played in the emergence of modern-day suburbs. The museum itself houses more than 50 wooden street railway cars; guided tours are available by appointment.
The collection includes historic streetcars from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and even the famous “Streetcar Named Desire” from New Orleans.
“Kids love most the chance to ride on an historic trolley car,” says Scott Becker, executive director. “Sometimes they even get to ring the bell.”
From Thanksgiving through December the museum mounts a room-sized train and village display, including an original Lionel train collection circa 1930s, are on view. Avid train collector Lou Redman created the tiny town of Plasticville and collected the Lionel trains with the help of several local collectors.
Looking for a little retro fun with plenty of physical action? If so, there’s nothing like old-school bowling to bring out the competitive edge in a family. Arsenal Lanes in Lawrenceville offers 10-pin bowling 1960s-style, down to the antique wooden pins and vintage décor.
Family bowling hours run from noon to 9 p.m. each day, offering plenty of time for kid parties and group events. Once the clock strikes nine, however, Aresenal turns into a night club for the 21-and-older crowd with live bands, deejays and karaoke right on the lanes.
“Winter is a big season for bowling and we get tons of people every night of the week,” says Matt Mihalko, assistant manager. “Is bowling making a comeback? I don’t think it ever went away.”
Bowling prices depend on the time of day, he says, with the earlier shift costing $3.75 per person. Bumper lanes and shoes are extra. The weekends attract mostly families and Friday nights from 6-8 p.m. are the real deal: $8 a person for all you can bowl, including shoes, a soda and a slice of pizza.
“The atmosphere here is what sets it apart from other lanes,” says Mihalko. “Arsenal is not big and showy with lots of bright lights. It’s very calm, for bowling.”