Memorial Day 2019: Kennywood, Sandcastle, Told Ya So Band at Baja (Mon., May 27/19)

1) “Kennywood’s open.” No, we don’t mean the local slang usage, we mean the actual amusement park. The park’s Black Widow, is a high-spinning/swing adventure that gives riders a nice view of the park and an update of the classic Noah’s Ark. 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 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. There’s also a new Thomas Town based on the popular animated children’s series “Thomas the Tank Engine.” Today is the last day of Kennywood’s Ribs & Blues Festival. 10:30 a.m – 10 p.m. daily. 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin.

Kennywood's vintage Racer still rocks the coaster scene.

Kennywood’s vintage Racer still rocks the coaster scene. Photo: Jason North.

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 for the kids. And Don’t forget the cleverly named wave-pool, Mon-Tsunami. Sandcastle is open today from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and next Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It then re-opens June 8 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 Told Ya So playing a mix of top 40, dance, and reggae. 2 – 6 p.m. 1366 Old Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel.