Photo courtesy of Kennywood Park.

The Kangaroo bounces back at Kennywood

The Kangaroo, a Kennywood classic that was retired in 2020, is returning to the amusement park in 2022 … and you can have a say in its design.

Photo courtesy of Kennywood.

Debuted 60 years ago, the ride served as the inspiration for Kennywood’s mascot. In partnership with Premier Rides, one of the amusement industry’s leading manufacturers and innovators, the “flying coaster” will be fully refurbished, including getting a new LED lighting package, vibrant colors and a state-of-the-art operating system.

From now through Nov. 21 at 11:59 p.m., thrill-seekers can vote online between a classic or vintage design option.

Restored South Park Cascades make a splash

The historic South Park Cascades have been restored.

Last week, Allegheny County officials and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation rededicated the manmade water feature which was built in 1927 using stratified rock quarried from the park. Paul B. Riis, the famed Swiss-born landscape architect who designed North and South parks, created the network of waterfalls and wading pools.

The site served as a summertime destination for families until the mid-1970s.

In July of 2018, the county kicked off a $1.2 million restoration project, which included adding barrier-free access and a new fountain circulation system. After a year of construction, the Cascades are open to the public once again. Although visitors can no longer wade in the stone pools, they can soak up the sights and sounds of the park’s natural heritage and immerse themselves in nature.

The fountains will be drained and winterized in the colder months although the site will remain open year-round. Additional landscape restoration work will be completed in the spring of 2022.

Elfburgh Christmas in Bethel Park

Hundred Acres Manor is switching gears from terrifying to twinkling with Elfburgh, a drive-thru Christmas display.

The family-friendly event operates on select nights from Nov. 26 through Dec. 23. The Elf Trail features more than 500,000 lights through a forest leading to Santa’s Ice Castle. You can even pass St. Nick your wish list without leaving the car.

Tickets, which are $25 per vehicle, can be purchased online.

Get your Hilltop holiday shopping passports

Celebrate Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27 in Allentown and Mt. Oliver

The two business districts — located primarily on E. Warrington Avenue and Brownsville Road — are offering passports to encourage patrons to venture up to the Hilltop to do their yuletide shopping.

The Allentown Passport features 18 local businesses. When you spend $5 or more at the participating establishments, you will receive a sticker on your passport. After collecting stickers from five different businesses, you will receive a $25 gift card to a shop of your choice in Allentown. Passports are available at participating businesses and can be returned at the dropbox inside Dollar Bank (820 E. Warrington Ave.).

The Mt. Oliver Passport boasts 28 businesses. You will receive a stamp on your card after spending $10 at a business. Rack up five stamps and you’ll get a $25 gift certificate to a local retailer of your choice. Collect 20 stamps and you’ll be entered into a grand prize drawing to win $500 cash. Stamped passports can be returned to the Mt. Oliver Borough Building (150 Brownsville Rd.) in person during business hours or they can be placed in the secure dropbox by the door.

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Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.