Family anniversary "experience" in/near Pittsburgh?
May 20, 2019 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Pittsburgh folks to the rescue! My parents are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year. My brother and I offered to throw a party, but they said they just wanted something with the immediate family. Can you suggest something special we can do together so our memory is of more than just a nice dinner?

I feel like I've kind of failed in not coordinating more of a 'big thing' for them, but they told me last week they didn't want to deal the possible drama of a party and wanted to just do dinner with their kids and grandkids. Ok, that's fine, but I'd like for it to be a bit more memorable than that.

They've lived in Pittsburgh for about 25 years so I think we've probably done all the typical sightseeing/touristy things over the years, although maybe there's new stuff we don't know about, although my mom takes a pretty active interest in keeping on top of what's going on in the city. I haven't lived there in almost 20 years, but my brother is still there if I need someone local to coordinate. Asking here b/c I don't want to put all the local planning on him, I want to come with my own suggestions, ideas.

There will be 7 of us - 2 young kids (under 10), 5 middle age and older adults. I'm thinking a non obvious day trip and in the city experience they may not have already done/encountered. Unusual river trip? Hot air balloon? That sort of thing. We'll celebrate in July when we're visiting for a few weeks. Def willing to splurge here in terms of booking something private/custom, etc. Coordinating dinner suggestions are great, but I'm less concerned about that, I'm sure we can figure that part out. Whatever we do won't be a surprise, we'll give them a heads up, make sure they are enthusiastic about it.

The only restrictions I can think of are a couple mobility issues in the group (so say a hike would be out, but they do walking tours, etc.), and loud events, my father has ear nerve damage and loud events (and restaurants) are tough on him. They are fairly open interest wise - my mom is very interested in history (is currently a docent for childrens historical architecture tours), they are both retired educators, they go to speaker series, plays, etc. They aren't super outdoorsy people/camping type - they are more likely to go to to phipps than to take a walk through frick park if that makes sense. And it should be relatively kid friendly, otherwise it won't be fun for any of us. Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by snowymorninblues to Travel & Transportation around Pittsburgh, PA (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So, I was going to suggest renting one of the homes at Polymath Park for the weekend, but they do not accommodate kids under 10. However, they do tours of the homes and there is a very well-regarded restaurant there, so you may be able to make a special day of it anyway even without staying over night.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:27 AM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

What if you did a family experience? Digitize lots of family photos and make a slide show. Have each member of the family come up to tell a story about a fun time in the past. Make favorite family foods and print a cookbook. That kind of thing.
posted by CathyG at 9:03 AM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Do they have particular favorite places in Pittsburgh like the Phipps? My MIL had a milestone birthday last year and we got a photographer to do family pictures in a nice outdoor setting.

I also think a vow renewal on the Gateway Clipper is the most yinzer thing I can imagine :)
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:26 AM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Falling Water seems to check the boxes. Nemacolin is just a few minutes away and has fine dining, activities for the kids, and spa.

There is also a tiny, rentable tiki hut for cruising on the water if you've already done Falling Water 100 times.
posted by Alison at 9:42 AM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

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