Love is in the air—after all, it is the month of romance. But not every date has to be the same old, same old. There are a lot of opportunities for a fun date that is a bit outside the box.
Ice cream lovers can have a ‘sweet’ date by touring Millie’s Ice Cream Works in Homestead. The well-known local ice cream company started offering tours of their manufacturing facility last year. Led by Quinn Strisco, the tours offer a behind-the-scenes viewpoint.
“The tour was designed to be a sensory experience; not only are guests seeing the machinery and hearing about the process, but they also have the opportunity to interact with some of the ingredients we use to make our ice cream, be it via smell or taste, to give a well-rounded understanding of everything that’s going into creating our product,” Strisco said. “We end the tour with an ice cream tasting to bring it all together.” In addition to the taste samplings, guests are given a pint of ice cream at the end of the tour.
Fallon and Dan McConnell, self-proclaimed foodies, enjoy exploring the local food scene. As soon as they learned about the ice cream tour, the Shaler couple immediately booked one.
“Millie’s is our favorite ice cream, and we love to check out new spots and activities around the city,” Fallon said. “We learned so much; it gave us a great appreciation for all that goes into making their quality ice cream, and our tour guide Quinn was so knowledgeable. We loved it.”
Dan agreed. “I would recommend the tour for a fun activity and for anyone who wants to see how Millie’s makes Pittsburghers smile.” For more information or to book a tour, visit www.millieshomemade.com/tours.
Foodies and local lore buffs alike will enjoy offerings from Burgh Bits and Bites, a food tasting adventure and historic walking tour of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Sylvia McCoy, founder, said they connect people to communities through food.
“Not only are you learning about Pittsburgh’s history, but you’re tasting great food along the way,” she said, noting that food tastings on the tour are equivalent to a meal. “In addition, guests are introduced to small local businesses and the stories behind the shops and the food that they serve.”
Guests can choose from tours of Brookline, Lawrenceville, Southside, the Strip District, and Saxonburg neighborhoods, or book a custom tour. All are perfect for a date, McCoy said.
“There are so many opportunities to interact in various ways from tasting new foods, to learning local history and fun Pittsburgh facts together,” she explained. “It’s a great way to bond over a mutual experience.” For more information, visit www.burghfoodtour.com.
Movie night is always fun, especially when coupled with great drinks and snacks. Copper Still Theater at Lucky Sign Spirits features vintage films where guests can enjoy adult beverages made from one of Lucky Sign Spirits’ specialties.
Located in West Deer Township, Copper Still hosts double-feature movie nights every other Wednesday and movie trivia nights on alternating Wednesdays, according to co-owner Christian Kahle. As a movie buff himself, Kahle said that the distillery decided to make good use of the space they had and offer the movies as another way for guests to gather and have fun. The Copper Still location is open Wednesday-Saturday for cocktails, snacks, and retail sales. Visit www.luckysignspirits.com. For movie tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/o/lucky-sign-spirts-cinemonster-54450502993.
While the weather might still be a bit chilly, spring is right around the corner, and it isn’t too early to plan a date at Old Economy Village. “Old Economy Village is a unique, 200-year-old, historic site with incredibly fascinating history, beautiful gardens, and a variety of historic buildings to see,” said Kaitlyn Karczewski, marketing and museum store associate. Reopening in April, guests can take guided tours during the weekends, enjoy several self-guided areas, and see a variety of volunteers demonstrating things like blacksmithing, woodworking, printing and more.
“The gardens are incredibly beautiful and are a great place to have a picnic lunch during your visit,” Karczewski said. For a whole-day date, Karczewski had several suggestions.
“After a visit to Old Economy Village, you can enjoy a variety of things that Ambridge has to offer. You could take a walking tour of the historic district of Ambridge, visit the variety of local antique shops, have lunch or dinner at any of the restaurants, and have a beer at one of the local breweries in town,” she said. For more information, visit www.oldeconomyvillage.org.
Those looking for a ‘hot’ date may want to check out the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC). “Date night at PGC Center is an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind experience. Couples work together in one of our studios and create one work of glass art together. Because it takes teamwork to sculpt, blow or fuse glass, this is definitely a compatibility test,” said Paige Ilkhanipour, marketing director.
PGC has several date nights slated throughout the year. “After your hands-on studio time, we’ll provide small bites and wine or beer. Glassblowing and flameworking demonstrations will take place throughout the night,” Ilkhanipour said.
PGC also hosts other events that while not labeled ‘date nights,’ are a fun outing, including Gather and Brew nights where guests visit with a partner brewery and make their own beer glasses. Visit www.pittsburghglasscenter.org for more information.
Stephanie Kardos and her partner, Aaron Humphrey, enjoy date nights at Spring Street Studios in Zelienople. “We find breaking glass to form beautiful shapes therapeutic, especially after a week of work in healthcare, said Kardos. “Also, you cannot make a bad piece as once your project is fired in the kiln, they all come out looking great.”
Kardos and Humphrey will often double-date, taking a class with friends. “Classes are small and quiet, which we love for a date, because it allows time to work together and interact when making our projects,” she added. “After class, we’ll grab lunch or an early dinner at one of the local restaurants, and it makes for a great day.”
Studio co-owner Liz Fortunato said that they host several classes a month as well as drop-in classes. “Classes are a lot of fun and can be a quick and easy project like our hearts and suncatchers or a longer project like one of our bowls,” she said. They also represent over
40 artists in their retail area. Visit www.thespringstreetstudios.com.
Rivers of Steel, home of the historic Carrie Blast Furnaces, is a great date venue for several reasons, said Carly McCoy, director of communications. “Our metal arts workshops are an amazing way to explore creativity through hands-on traditional craftwork while connecting with the region’s heritage,” she said.
Situated in the shadow of the Carrie Blast Furnaces, these workshops offer a one-of-kind experience. “No experience is needed—only the desire to try something new,” McCoy added.
And while the workshops kickstart the season, McCoy said that by May, visitors can also explore the Carrie Blast Furnaces on an Industrial Tour, which is the main attraction at this National Historic Landmark.
“Other experiences include a graffiti and style-writing workshop, photo safaris, and additional blacksmithing and iron-casting workshops,” McCoy said. Visit www.riversofsteel.com.