Phipps Conservatorypresents 'DinoQuest'
Beware: There are lifelike dinosaurs placed among lush tropical plants at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
"DinoQuest" is visiting the Pittsburgh center from May 11 through August 18. Phipps will display the relatives of the plant families that were present when the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.
Guy Darrough, a self-taught paleontologist and founder of Lost World Studios in St. Louis, Missouri, created "DinoQuest" in 1998. The creatures are very realistic life-sized dinosaurs ranging from 6 inches to 32 feet tall. Beginning with wire, foam and wood frames, Darrough uses clay and silicone rubber to construct the body. He completes the features with plastic and fiberglass.
Phipps, at 1059 Shady Avenue, is open year-round Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students and $3 for children. Guided tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For more information, visit www.phipps.conservatory.org on the Web or call (412) 622-7363.
Group plans trip onsteam-powered train
On June 8 the Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association will operate a special steam-powered passenger train from Dennison, Ohio to Sugar Creek, Ohio.
The train will be pulled by the Ohio Central's newly restored 4-8-4 steam locomotive No. 6325. This is a former Grand Trunk Western Railroad steamer, and it is the largest steam locomotive owned by the Ohio Central Railroad.
The train will depart from the former Pennsylvania Railroad Passenger Station in Dennison at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Sugar Creek at noon.
During the trip, a stop will be made at the Ohio Central Steam Shop at Morgan Run. Passengers will be able to take a brief tour of the shop, and see another of the Ohio Central's steam locomotives undergoing a major overhaul. Passengers will have three hours in Sugar Creek to enjoy shopping, sightseeing, and Amish restaurants before boarding the train for the return trip to Dennison.
Coach tickets are $69 each and can be purchased with a Visa or Mastercard by calling (800) 571-1199 or by sending a check to MVRH, P.O. Box 3055, Youngstown, Ohio 44511.
Ala. officials work onimproving port facilities
MOBILE, Ala. -- Officials are attempting to improve port facilities in hopes of keeping cruise ships in Mobile, pointing to trial voyages in March that generated an estimated $6.2 million in local business.
The Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines' eight voyages were virtually all sold out, with about 1,600 passengers and 660 crew members on each trip. Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz says the port's infrastructure and the ease of getting around for the vessel and passengers are very important in keeping the ships.
"The larger issue is whether there's a market to support a cruise ship long-term. That's something we're continuing to analyze," she says.
Carnival also will look at where the passengers came from, as well as the potential for drawing people from a larger region, she says.
A license plate survey of passengers in March, completed by the convention office, found that only 32 percent of them came from the Mobile area.
Al St. Clair, the city's point man on the cruise ships, said the city needs a terminal on the waterfront to handle the passengers. During the trial voyages, the city erected a big tent at the Alabama State Docks as a temporary terminal.
Building a permanent terminal, he said, will require cooperation from Carnival and regulatory agencies.
Champs Sports Tourshas Oriole Park offer
Champs Sports Tours is offering day-trip packages to 12 games this summer at Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards, including June 29 and 30 when the Phillies will be the visiting team. The packages include coach transportation, refreshments on the bus and a game ticket. Cost is $60, or $85 for a lower box seat ticket. Champs offers several other packages as well, such as nine Yankee Stadium games, the Phillies against the Mets at Shea Stadium, and a couple of three- and four-day road trips. Also in the lineup is a package to Cooperstown, N.Y., July 27 and 28 for the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, where Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas will be honored with the Ford C. Frick Award.
Contact Champs Sports Tours in Philadelphia at (215) 331-9700 or (800) 382-8087.