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Attractions

The Lost Children of the Alleghenies: A Tragic Mystery

It’s a tragic story that’s steeped in mystery and whispers of foul play. The incident happened 165 years ago, but the echos of the Lost Children of the Alleghenies still linger.   On April 24, 1856 George and Jacob Cox went missing. The children, ages 7 and 5, were the sons of Samuel and Susannah …

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From the Vatican to Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Creche is One of a Kind

For me, one of my favorite Christmas displays is the creche. There are so many variations of the nativity scene located in various places, but did you know the Pittsburgh Creche is particularly special? When you first see the creche, which is located in the plaza of the US Steel Tower, you will notice its …

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Ascend the Holy Stairs at St. Patrick Church in the Strip District

Tucked away on a side street in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Strip District is St. Patrick Catholic Church. From the outside the church is rather unassuming. It has a small, narrow tower and a simple brick exterior. A statue of St. Patrick stands out front.  The building’s simple exterior belies the unique treasure that lies …

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The Tumble Bug: The Midway’s Classic Flat Ride

The Tumble Bug was once a staple of the amusement park midway. A classic flat ride, there were two variations that many parks had. One featured a sort of stubby “face” that looked like a bug, hence the Tumble Bug name. The other variation looked like a turtle and that ride is often referred to …

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Cascade Park’s Legacy of the Roller Coaster in the Woods

Cascade Park in New Castle is probably one of my favorite defunct Western Pennsylvania amusement parks. Maybe its because of its fantastic history as an amusement park, but what I think is even more fascinating about the former park is how much of the old park remains — you just need to know where to …

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Buhl Planetarium: The North Side’s Million Dollar Theater of the Stars

Overall, I haven’t been hugely impressed with some of the “improvements” that have been made on Pittsburgh’s North Side (ahem, Allegheny Center, gag). Anyway, thankfully someone had the foresight to save some of that area’s true treasures including the Carnegie Library of Allegheny, the Allegheny Post Office, and Buhl Planetarium. Buhl Planetarium is one that …

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Four Must-Do Chocolate-Themed Attractions in Hershey

If you are a first-time visitor to Hershey it’s my guess you are probably making the trip in order to experience the town’s one-of-a-kind connection to chocolate. There are tons of fascinating things to do in the Harrisburg and Hershey area, but if it is your first time in the area the chocolate attractions are …

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The Everett Railroad Allows You To Experience the Power of Steam

My boys have always been fans of railroads (If we are being honest, so have I). Maybe it’s genetic since my father is also a railfan and I grew up making model railroads and learning about steam engines with him. Naturally, when we had the opportunity to visit the Everett Railroad in Hollidaysburg, we all …

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Finding Mister Rogers Neighborhood at the Heinz History Center

There is a lot of excitement in the air these days with the upcoming Mr. Rogers movie. Fred Rogers was such an iconic figure here in Pittsburgh that you can find tributes to his legacy in many different places around the area. One of my favorites is the Mister Rogers Neighborhood exhibit at the Heinz …

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Idlewild’s Former Mister Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe Ride

Tucked away in a heavily wooded section of Idlewild is a life-size tribute to the late Fred Rogers in ride form. I’m talking about Mister Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe. During my freshman year of college in 2003, Mr. Rogers passed away from stomach cancer. I felt a special connection to Mr. Rogers, who was …

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Ivyside Park: How An Amusement Park Became a University

I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I was in college I was one of the students who would give campus tours to prospective students. One of my favorite stories to tell the families was the story of how a one-time amusement park, Ivyside Park, eventually became the branch campus of Penn State …

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