Memorial Day Fun (CPs Mon., 5/26/14)

1) “Kennywood’s open.” No, we don’t mean the local slang usage, we mean the actual amusement park. The park’s latest attraction, Black Widow, is  a high-spinning/swing adventure that gives riders a nice view of the park.  For roller coaster enthusiasts, there’s  Thunderbolt, Racer, Jack Rabbit, Phantom’s Revenge, Exterminator, and Sky Rocket. If it’s a hot day and you feel like getting a little wet, check out the Log Jammer, Pittsburg(h) Plunge, and Raging Rapids. Kennywood also features thrill rides, classic rides, dark rides (snuggle up with that special someone, hee hee), Kiddie Land, daily entertainment, AND the park’s famous Potato Patch French Fries. 10:30 a.m – 10 p.m. daily. 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin.

2) Sandcastle’s now open and featuring the “maximum thrill” Dragon’s Den tube ride, where you slide around the rim a while before entering the belly of the beast for a dark mist-filled trip. There’s also the Lightning Express speed slide,  where you zoom down a 60-foot open water slide.  What a concept! A water amusement thrill that combines fear of heights with fear of water. A real two-fer. Luckily, Sandcastle has good people who look out for us “regular Joes” and make it a fun and safe experience. If that’s too scary, there’s always the leisurely Lazy River raft ride and Wet Willie’s Water Works and for the kids, the cleverly named wave-pool, Mon-Tsunami. Sandcastle is open today from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and next weekend, May 31 and June 1, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It then re-opens June 7 for its summer run, 11 a.m. –  6 p.m. daily. 1000 Sandcastle Dr., Homestead.

3) The Baja Bar and Grill’s outdoor deck and Tiki bar are now open for dining, drinking, and dancing with live bands and DJs. Today’s band is Shot O’ Soul. 2 p.m. 1366 Old Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel.

4) Got a taste for BBQ? If you want some great grilled meat without the fuss, we have a place for you. Union Pig & Chicken Chef Kevin Sousa’s barbecue and fried chicken restaurant and bar is serving up some delicious, tender beef brisket along with ribs, chicken, mac and cheese, greens…and whoopie pies.  Specials daily at 5 p.m.  The East Liberty hot spot is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.;  Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. ’til 1 a.m.;  and Sunday  10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (for a hearty chicken and waffles brunch) and 3 – 9 p.m., for regular service. Their second floor counterpart—Harvard and Highland—is open for cocktails until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 p.m. Sunday. Happy Hour is 5 – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Check your watch, sure, but once you’re in either domain, “all food and beverages all the time” makes it easier. 220 N. Highland Ave.