Challenger Sports International Soccer Camp 2020

Review Disclaimer: We have a partnership with US Family Guide – they provide opportunities such as Challenger Sports International Soccer Camp in exchange for reviews on this blog and our social media. All opinions are 100% our own.

Pittsburgh, it is time to welcome Challenger Sports International Soccer Camp back to our city as a summer day camp option for your ‘lil Burghers! Our son Evan is a three year alumni of the program and will be back at one of the fields this summer…and he highly recommends this for any kid who loves soccer or wants to learn more about the sport.

Challenger Sports International Soccer Camp 2020

This program, which brings coaches from around the world (Evan’s had coaches from the UK, Spain, and Brazil) is a nationwide program for ages 2 to 18. Coaches stay with host families and bring their skills to further the love of soccer in our communities. We’ve been part of their “family” for three years but I still am amazed at what they offer kids through this program:

Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camp company in North America is coming to a community near you, and bringing over 30 years of coaching experience. Our international staff will work with your players to teach a fun, technical and tactical curriculum that’s filled with training sessions from five of the world’s leading soccer nations. Challenger’s International Soccer Camp offers instructional camp programs for all age and ability levels! The TinyTykes program, ages 2-5, provides fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories; designed to enhance technical skills along with physical and social development. The Half-Day Camp, ages 5-16, is the most popular program and will provide 3 hours of skill development, games, challenges and competitions each day. The Full-Day Camp, ages 8-18, is a 6 hour program filled with developmental practices, games, competitions and challenges. Register now for Challenger’s International Soccer camp and get a free international soccer ball, t-shirt, poster, player evaluation and access to TopYa!’s Juggling Club sampler! Register 30 days before camp and qualify for a free International Game Jersey!

Source: Challenger Sports / USFamilyGuide
source: US Family Guide

Register Today | Lots of Freebies!

We took a look at the camps offered in the Pittsburgh area and are excited to see a number of options throughout the whole summer. If Evan could go every day, he would. We live about an hour from each camp and usually have to rely on the Grands to get him to/from camp. Thankfully the camp has an easy (and secure) drop-off/pick-up process that works for our family + it gives them a chance to see their soccer dude play his favorite sport. ​​​​​​​We try to get the whole family there on the last day for the ​​​​​​​last “World Cup” game – but our soccer star doesn’t always love our cheers! 😉

Registering early is one of our favorite things to do because there are lots of freebies for those who get it done now:

  • International Soccer Ball
  • T-Shirt
  • Poster
  • Player Evaluation
  • Access to TopYa!s Juggling Club Sampler
  • International Game Jersey – must register 30 days in advance!

Interested in joining in the fun this summer? Search for the International Soccer Camp closest to you and then register. US Family Guide has shared with me that if you register 30 days before camp, your child will qualify for a free International Game Jersey!

Has your child participated in a Challenger Sports summer camp? What did you think? What questions do you have if you haven’t done this camp before? Think about who you can share this opportunity with – or even consider gifting a week of camp to a child in your life.

Personal testimony – when Evan goes to camp, it is so worth the $200 the full day costs. He gets home, eats a bunch of food, packs his own lunch for the next day, then sleeps for hours out cold from the activity! ​​​​​​​Share this post on Pinterest so a mama or daddy who needs a good rest can check this out!

MasterChef Junior, Live! – Pittsburgh

Disclaimer: In exchange for sharing details about the upcoming MasterChef Junior, Live! Performance coming to Pittsburgh, I will receive tickets to attend and review the show. All opinions are 100% my own and I would like to thank Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for this media opportunity.

Coming October 6, 2019, you and your ‘lil chefs can check out a live performance of MasterChef Junior, Live! right here in Pittsburgh. We’re going to keep this one a secret in the house because it happens to be the weekend of a certain Big Kid’s eleventh birthday – time to encourage her to up her (already impressive) game of pizza breads, mac & cheese, and “Nutella sandwiches” (that’s a story for another day) as she watches this fast-paced, fun food competition.


Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is bringing MasterChef Junior, Live! to the Byham Theater (NOTE THIS VENUE CHANGED SINCE OUR ORIGINAL POST!) on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 7:00 PM. Since this is a one-show event, make sure you get your tickets at ASAP!


About Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners.  Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District.  The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization.  A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life.  Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

Source: | @CulturalTrust on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter

Disney’s THE LION KING: Coming to Pittsburgh in September

Disclaimer: In exchange for sharing details about the upcoming Disney’s THE LION KING Performance coming to Pittsburgh through Disney Theatrical Productions and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, I will receive tickets to attend and review the show. All opinions are 100% my own.

We’re a little behind and have yet to check out the live action movie by the same name, but Disney’s THE LION KING has been a Willis house favorite since 1994 – a good 24 years before we were “the Willis house”. I’m imaging that the Mister is going to be surprised when I take him downtown to the Benedum Center for the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh Series production of Disney’s THE LION KING. (Recommended ages for this show are 8 and up.)
Source: @thelionking on Instagram

As the world’s #1 musical, Disney’s THE LION KING comes to Pittsburgh as a presentation by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America as part of the 2019-2020 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh Series. The production will be at the Benedum Center from September 4-29, 2019. For tickets and more information, visit



After 21 landmark years on Broadway, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years.  Performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Scheveningen, Holland; on tour across Japan and North America, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. 

Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.      

The Lion King won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  The Lion King has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. 

Source: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

This Summer Only: Living Dinosaurs at the National Aviary

This post includes information about the exhibit Living Dinosaurs at the National Aviary. Our family was asked to provide this review in exchange for our visit. All opinions are 100% our own.

If you’ve been reading or following us on social, you’re probably not surprised by the fact that we are big fans of the National Aviary (located right here in Pittsburgh). It started back in the days of the Rhinoceros Hornbill (which is no longer on exhibit), expanded to the twins’ love for the penguins, and now there is a brand new exhibit this summer that captivated us – the Living Dinosaurs at the National Aviary!

Living Dinosaurs at the National Aviary

Through September 29, visitors to the National Aviary will be treated to interactive exhibits that tie in the connection between birds and dinosaurs. Starting right when you enter the hallway across from the Toco Toucans, you’ll be able to compare bird and dinosaur eggs and see some real fossils (be sure to look for the ax symbol on the info cards at the stations!). Each bird exhibit has a dinosaur footprint to share some facts about the connection between the bird and their dino relatives.

If your kids have an imagination like ours’ do, they be convinced they met a real baby T-Rex during Ty’s storytime, that they are archaeologists excavating fossils or that they’re
pterosaurs! These fun, immersive exhibits add a special touch to the theme of the special exhibit, so make sure you budget a good 3-4 hours to take it all in!

A realistic baby t-rex!
Isla & Arianna pretending to be archaeologists
Ava and Evan dressing up like pterosaurs

Living Dinosaurs: The Details

Living Dinosaurs, presented by Peoples

Now through September 29

Our interactive exhibit features a dinosaur nest play space and dress up station, microscope stations for exploring fossil eggs, dig pits and dig tables for budding paleontologists, and fossil puzzles that allow kids to reconstruct a dinosaur skeleton! Colorful signage, vibrant illustrations, and life-size models bring dinosaurs to life! For an extra fee, experience Birdly®, a virtual reality flight simulator, and feel, see, and hear like a Pterosaur!

Join us at 11 am for Storytime with Ty, an animatronic feathered baby T-Rex that blinks, roars, and interacts with guests, and then visit the Rose Garden at 12 pm for Paleo Play for a dinosaur-themed game or craft. At 3 pm every day our staff lead a “Feathers and Fossils” tour through the National Aviary to see birds up close and learn how they’re more like dinosaurs than you might think…

Source: National Aviary

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National Aviary: The Extras

In addition to checking out the Living Dinosaurs exhibits, you might want to add a few extra experiences to your day. We did the Amazing Amazon show (birds fly directly overhead!) and fed the Lorikeets. While there is plenty to do, these are things we’d never done back when we were members and now we realize we had been missing out! Tickets for these experiences can be bought at the ticket counter when you buy your admission.


About the National Aviary

The whole family will love exploring our lush habitats where beautiful birds fly freely around you, visiting with our colony of adorable African Penguins, and looking for Wookiee the sloth in our Tropical Rainforest. There’s always something new to discover with exciting hatchings, nesting birds, and friendly staff. The National Aviary is open daily from 10 am – 5pm. Our primarily indoor facility is ADA compliant, stroller-friendly, and easy to navigate. We offer on-site parking (on a first-come, first served basis), a café with open seating, and two gifts shops. Visit to learn more or call 412-323-7235.

Phipps Conservatory – Summer Family Fun

Phipps Conservatory invited our family to a media day event to hear about the summer family fun that they have to offer. In exchange for our entrance to Phipps, we agreed to share this information with you. All opinions are 100% our own.

Phipps Conservatory

The four ‘lil Burghers embarked on their first ever trip to Phipps Conservatory this past weekend (Mom and Dad had gone before, but kept all the fun a big secret from the kiddos). On this trip, we were reminded to take the time and notice the beauty in nature but we also learned about what Phipps has to offer for summer family fun in 2019.

Phipps Conservatory – Summer Family Fun

Visit Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory any day of the year with your kiddos and you’re sure to have a blast. There’s fun and learning to be had throughout and programs are offered year-round outside of general admission. But in the summer of 2019, Phipps is offering summer camps, discovery programs, and dynamic exhibits to enjoy while exploring the gardens on a visit.

Summer Camp at Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Summer Camps
source: Phipps Conservatory

Children ages 2-13 can explore Phipps this summer through their summer camp programs. (There are scholarships available, but must apply by May 29.) There are full-day programs (like Rockin’ Researchers with Let’s Move Pittsburgh) and four day programs for your ‘lil explorers (with adult supervision). In these programs, your children will connect with nature, learn about healthy and sustainable living, and can even get deeper information on botany! Check out every camp that Phipps has to offer here.

Discovery Programs at Phipps

Throughout the summer, bring your children to Phipps for weekly scheduled programs that will give them an added dimension of learning and fun to their visit. These are subject to change, but current offerings are:

  • Make-a-Craft Mondays (10:30 a.m. – noon)
  • Story Time Wednesdays (10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
  • Pot-a-Plant Fridays (10:30 a.m. – noon)

We got a chance to check out the Pot-a-Plant activity during our Discovery Garden Day visit – each of the kids was stpped through how to properly plant a zinnia and what it meant that it was an annual plant (to just enjoy this summer, kids!).

Mom recommends – if you are doing this activity, come with a tote bag (here‘s her current favorite) to carry the plants in or do this at the very end of your visit. Although they came in paper bags to carry, the kids really wanted their hands for exploring and mom didn’t want to be bogged down with the plants.

In addition to the weekly scheduled programs, there are pop-up discovery stations throughout the gardens that spotlight specific content. During our visit, we made seed balls in the Tropical Forest Cuba exhibit and did a scavenger hunt for (teeny, tiny!) plants in the Bog Garden. You never know what fun awaits until you go and check it out yourself!

Making a seed ball
On a scavenger hunt

Dynamic Exhibits at Phipps

Before you go on your visit to Phipps Conservatory, you might want to have a look at what exhibits are on their events calendar. We got to check out Van Gogh in Bloom – a transformation of Van Gogh’s paintings into plants and props (so beautiful) and the butterfly forest; however, these might change before your visit so know before you go!

But no matter when you visit, there is always something beautiful in bloom. We encourage you to add Phipps to our summer bucket list if you live in or are visiting Pittsburgh! Check out more photos from our visit here.

About Phipps Conservatory

The top five things we recommend you visit while at Phipps this summer (as per recommendation from Phipps’ Children’s programming director) are:

  • Van Gogh in Bloom
  • Butterfly Forest
  • Tropical Forest Cuba
  • Gallery Room Market
  • The Discovery Garden

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a globally recognized green leader with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse, 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens and industry-leading sustainable architecture and operations, Phipps attracts nearly half a million visitors annually from around the world. Learn more at


Admission is $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and students, and $11.95 for children (2-18). Members and kids under 2 enter free.

A New Pittsburgh Cultural District Space – Liberty Magic

This post contains information suited for our adult readers. Liberty Magic is a new Pittsburgh Cultural District Space opening in February 2019 and is recommended for ages 18+. We like to share adult events on our site when they are date-night opportunities for our parent readers. In exchange for our promotion of this event, we have received tickets for an upcoming performance. All opinions are 100% our own.

811 Liberty Avenue is now “Liberty Magic”

This February, a brand new Pittsburgh Cultural District space has opened up. 811 Liberty Avenue is now “Liberty Magic”, an “intimate, speakeasy magic arts space” that opened this past week with the nationally-acclaimed magician Eric Jones. The space will seat 70 attendees and include an option for Skeleton Key VIP Experience ticket holders to sit right up front for private tricks, be part of the show, take part in an after-show experience with the performer, and purchase exclusive merchandise.

Up first, Jones brings his show IMPOSSIBLE from February 6 to March 20, 2019. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust says Jones “will leave audiences in wonder as reality transforms into the unreal, coins multiply and cards fly. By the show’s conclusion, guests will have been left in amazement by Jones’ canny ability to blur the lines between reality and illusion”.

Source: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Information from Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on What to Expect:

Liberty Magic seating is general admission, priced at $40 per ticket. Performances are: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 5 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6:30 p.m.

There is a special Skeleton Key VIP Experience for $65 reserved for the truly adventurous. The Skeleton Key VIP Experience unlocks the first two rows in our intimate theater, a chance to become part of the performance (if you wish) and an exclusive meet and greet with the artist after the show, which includes private, close-up mysteries. Members of the Skeleton Key VIP Experience also have the opportunity to purchase merchandise not available for sale to the general public.

The Liberty Magic experience is recommended for ages 18 and up, and no one under 12 will be admitted. Liberty Magic also offers a special space for private groups, corporate off-sites, staff member rewards, client entertaining, and many special occasions including anniversaries, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and family gatherings. Student, corporate, and group sales discounts are available for select performances. Visit to learn more. 

While there is no dress code, we encourage guests to dress in cocktail or party attire, making for an extra-special night out.

Liberty Magicis a BYOB speakeasy, and one of the most affordable in town! Bring your own beer, wine, cocktails, or soft drinks to sip on while you are amazed by our world-class magicians. There is a $5 per guest corkage fee.

Challenger Sports International Soccer Camp 2019

Review Disclaimer: We have a partnership with US Family Guide – they provide opportunities such as Challenger International Soccer Camp in exchange for reviews on this blog and our social media. All opinions are 100% our own.

source: US Family Guide

It might be hard to believe when we’re still in that time of year when it is 50-degrees one day and 30-degrees the next, but it is time to start planning what your kiddos are going to do when they’re off school this summer. For the last two summers, Evan has taken part in a Challenger Sports soccer camp and he’s excited to do the same this year.

Challenger Sports International Soccer Camp

You might remember that the program Evan was involved in the past two summers was British Soccer. This year, Challenger Sports is combining elements of that program with their TetraBrazil program and unveiling the all-new Challenger International Soccer Camp. Evan has had coaches from both the UK and Brazil, so I’m sure not too much is going to change other than bringing even more opportunities to get skills from coaches around the world.

International Soccer Camp will include instructional camp programs for ages 3 and up. The TinyTykes program (for ages 3-5) will include fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories, designed to enhance technical skills along with physical and social development. With the return of half and full-day programs for ages 6-16, students will get time for skill development, games, challenges, and competition each day.

challenger sports international soccer camp

Get Registered for International Soccer Camp

Challenger Sports, the leading soccer camp company in North America, is combining the most popular elements of their two existing industry-leading camp programs, British Soccer and TetraBrazil, integrating them into a collection of the most effective soccer practices used by youth teams around the world.

The new Challenger International Soccer Camp reflects the truly global nature of the sport today and provides young players with a wide variety of coaching styles, practices, and influences that will help them develop a well-rounded skill set.

We have taken the best coaching methodologies and practices from England, Brazil, Spain, USA and France and have woven them together in a multi-faceted on and off-field coaching experience.

Most camps will include a free soccer ball, T-shirt, Poster and Certificate, but please check your individual sessions on the next page to confirm this.

Any camp or clinic participant will receive the iChallenge App and 20 free skill-building videos!

Source: Challenger Sports

Interested in joining in the fun this summer? Search for the International Soccer Camp closest to you and then register. US Family Guide has shared with me that if you register 30 days before camp, your child will qualify for a free International Game Jersey!

Phantom of the Opera: Pittsburgh

Exciting news to share with you from Pittsbugh Cultural Trust – starting next week, you can catch THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in Pittsburgh! Part of PNC Broadway on Pittsburgh, this show will be in town February 20 to March 3, 2019.

Tickets for Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA are on sale for the triumphant return Pittsburgh engagement at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street.  With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.  This event is a season special part of the 2018-2019 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and Broadway Across America. 


Tickets (currently starting at $36 for select performance) are on sale now and available at the following official Pittsburgh Cultural Trust ticket sources: online at, by calling Guest Services at 412-456-4800, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For groups of 10+ call 412-471-6930, online at or in person at Theater Square Box Office. 

Event Alert: Yinzer 5k and Lil’ Yinzer

I was asked to share information on the Yinzer 5k and Lil’ Yinzer here on my blog. As I love running and our city and organizations doing good things, I agreed to let yinz know about this event! 

Source: Light of Life

Light of Life  Rescue Mission is holding their fun run to benefit their mission (to “provide a home for the homeless and food for the hungry, and will build disciples for the Kingdom of God among the poor, addicted, abused and needy”).  The event on June 16, 2018 will include a 5k run and a fun run (less than one mile) for the kids.

What: Yinzer 5k and Lil’ Yinzer Fun Run

When: Saturday, June 16, 2018 with registration starting at 8 a.m.

Where: Across from Stage AE/Heinz Field


What to Wear: Your best black and gold attire!

Where to Get More Information: Light of Life’s event page

Following the event, there will be prizes and Yinzer food.

Is this race on your summer list? Yinz better get it on there soon! Happy racing!



PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh: RENT

Parents – Date Night Alert: RENT is Coming to Pittsburgh! The Cultural Trust sent us details on this upcoming 20th Anniversary tour stop and as a couple who is all about embracing the 525,600 minutes we have been blessed with, we’re super excited to share the details with you!

RENT Pittsburgh

PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh: RENT

from the Press Release:

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is thrilled to announce the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour will play at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., for a limited engagement from Tuesday, March 27 through Sunday, April 1, 2018. This tour is part of the 2017-18 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

How to Get Tickets to RENT


  • Tuesday 3/27 – Thursday 3/29 at 7:30 PM
  • Friday 3/30 – Saturday 3/31 at 8:00 PM
  • Saturday 3/31 at 2:00 PM
  • Sunday 4/1 at 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM

Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at, by calling 412-456-4800, or by visiting Theater Square Box Office at 655 Penn Avenue.

Follow Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on Twitter @CulturalTrust, and like them on Facebook.