A summer bucket list of classic Pittsburgh spots can be a lifesaver for making the most of the lazy days stretching endlessly on until the school bell rings again in September. From the iconic incline experience to remodeled attractions at our homegrown theme parks, keep this list handy for reliving cherished childhood traditions while creating new memories.
Kennywood’s sister park, Idlewild and Soak Zone, is 60 miles east of Downtown Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County. The historic park has delighted kids even longer than Kennywood and has been named Best Kids’ Park in the World for six consecutive years by Amusement Today. This summer brings the opening of the Enchanted Castle, which replaces King Arthur’s Castle in the heart of the park’s beloved Story Book Forest.
“Ever since the castle went away, our visitors always remembered it very fondly,” says Idlewild spokesman Jeff Croushore. “We’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of Story Book Forest and we wanted to bring back something for those people.”
Castle-dweller and Idlewild’s newest character, Princess Lily, is the descendent of the Golden Knight who lived in the previous castle. The Golden Knight kept an eye on Excalibur, the Sword in the Stone. A new interactive Sword in the Stone will be on display in the Enchanted Castle’s courtyard.
“Some people will be able to remove it,” Croushore says. “Not everybody, but at varying intervals throughout the day, some will be able to remove it.”
Complementing the new castle this summer are some new food offerings, including Wild West Kettle Korn in the center of Olde Idlewild and The Swhinery Award Winning BBQ. Loco Roberto’s Taco Stand, in the western-themed Hootin’ Holler, has an expanded menu for 2016.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an interactive trolley ride, is back this summer, as are the popular Daniel Tiger Neighbor Days (July 11th–15th). Kids will get to meet the five main characters from the PBS Kids television series. Other character events are sprinkled throughout the summer, including Maisy (June 14th–16th), Caillou (July 5th– 7th), Garfield & Odie (July 19th–21st), and Princesses Cinderella and Beauty (July 26th-29th).