Last weekend my family and I decided to check out “Weather Permitting,” a new family-friendly, backyard BBQ-style, summer concert series held on Sunday evenings at the Shadyside Nursery on Maryland Avenue. One of my greatest friends in Pittsburgh (who also has a 3 year old AND is a gifted musician) recommended it to me for a) the great quality of the music and b) the exceptionally kid-friendly atmosphere. And she was right! It was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a Sunday evening with our two little ones!
My husband and I got to listen to some talented bluegrass musicians, drink some craft beers brewed by Rock Bottom Brewery (for only a $2 suggested donation!), and eat a picnic dinner while our kids ran around barefoot with a pack of other kids. They played in a sandbox, experimented with hula-hoops, played with squirt guns, and even got their fingernails painted by the charming daughter of the event’s host! Nestled in the lush, verdant grounds of the Shadyside Nursery, we all felt a little bit like woodland fairies. Which is EXACTLY how I want to feel at twilight on a late summer’s Sunday!
Every week they have a different lineup of really interesting artists. For example, last weekend the Mon River Ramblers and Shelf Life String Band performed bluegrass music for “Bikes and Bluegrass” in honor of Pittsburgh’s Bike Fest 2013. This week (August 18, 2013) they will have a number of intriguing artists, including Batamba, a Latin-Asian, pop-infused, funk and soul group and AppalAsia, a group combining both Appalachian and Asian musical traditions! Information on other upcoming artists is located here. The event also features various Pittsburgh food trucks and a farm stand. And you can buy some plants at the Shadyside Nursery, too!
It runs from 5-9pm on Sunday evenings and the cost is $10 for adults (kids are free). If you bring your ID, you can also get a wristband and try out some beers too! If you want to purchase food, there are several food trucks there. Or you can also just bring your own picnic dinner, which is what we chose to do. In general, the whole setup is extremely kid-friendly. The grounds are pretty well fenced off, there’s a big sandbox, and there’s even free nonalcoholic punch! Also, it is pet-friendly. Several people brought their dogs and we even got to see an 8 week old puppy!
Although the music, beer, and company were all excellent, I think the BEST part of “Weather Permitting” was the VIBE. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be “comfortable.” It really DID feel like a backyard-style BBQ! As Pittsburgh transplants, we don’t have our own family in the city. If we did, I imagine we would be spending Sunday evenings at family BBQ’s or chicken dinners at Grandma’s house. Instead, we’ll be at “Weather Permitting,” listening to great tunes, getting to know fellow Pittsburghers, and enjoying the last vestiges of summer before it slips away…
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