Cool Picks Sunday, February 3, 2013

1. Is it spring yet? We’ve got at least a few more weeks of snow and slush to endure, but Phipps Conservatory is offering a mini tropical escape every Sunday in February. Tropical Sundays invite us to relax under palm trees while swaying to the sounds of steel drums and tasting tropical fruits. Wear a tropical shirt and get 50 percent off admission—which is already way cheaper than a flight to the Bahamas. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. One Schenley Dr., Oakland.

2. For a perfect trifecta of bites, booze, and blues, check out Bobby Reed’s Jazz & Blues Review at the James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy. The menu features cocktails, an extensive beer list, and a variety of appetizers and entrees. 6 – 9 p.m. 422 Foreland St., North Side.

3. Shen Yun Performing Arts is an impressive production bringing 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to life at The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. The show promises to be breathtaking, with nearly 100 artists, 400 costumes, and the only orchestra in the world featuring both classical Western and Chinese instruments as permanent members. 2:30 p.m. 237 7th St., Cultural District.

4. What’s not to love about getting produce for the week and Sunday entertainment all in one trip? Local acoustic folk band The Squirrel Hillbillies are hosting an Open Stage at the Pittsburgh Public Market. Musicians, magicians, storytellers, and other performers are encouraged to come share their talents. 1 – 3 p.m., Old Produce Terminal Building, 2100 Smallman St., Strip District.

5. Enjoy some damn fine banjo pickin’ and string pluckin’ with the Calliope Folk Music Society’s Old Time Appalachian Jam at Hambone’s Pub. It’s just what it sounds like—a bunch of musicians drinking beer and jamming to old-time Appalachian music. Attendees are welcome to bring a stringed instrument and join in. 6 – 9 p.m. 4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville.

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Rick Handler

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