ABA 2024 Convention - Pittsburgh, PA
A Bell Family Reunion
Sunday, June 23, 2024 — Friday, June 28, 2024
More information will be added as available
Doubletree – Cranberry
910 Sheraton Drive
Mars, Pennsylvania 16046
Room Rate includes free buffet breakfast for 1 – 4 guests/room
$149 (Single King or 2 Queen beds) (maximum 4 guests/room)
- Same group rate 3 days pre/post convention depending on availability
Do not try to make hotel reservations before you receive instructions in the 2024 Jan/Feb Bell Tower
30 minutes from Pittsburgh Airport
There is no hotel shuttle
Taxi, Uber, Lyft available
Come early, Stay Late
Bring the kids/grandkids
Things to see in Pittsburgh
(A stop on the Monday Tour)
Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline, a century-old cable car, and get a bird’s eye view of Pittsburgh. You can actually visit the interior and see how it operates. The upper station has a museum that includes Pittsburgh history. Of course, it also has a gift shop. Note – there is only a port-a-potty at the lower station. No other rest rooms.
$2.50 one way, $5.00 round trip
1220 Grandview Ave, the upper station is wheelchair accessible as is the observation deck. The incline cars can only accommodate wheelchairs up to 25 in in width.
1197 West Carson Street, Pittsburgh. This is the lower station and has many steps.
(A stop on the Monday Tour)
As Pittsburgh’s “people museum,” the History Center preserves and interprets the history of Western Pennsylvanians through six floors of interactive exhibitions that feature iconic artifacts like the TV set from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and the world’s oldest jeep. Special exhibits are noted below.
1212 Smallman Street in the heart of Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District. Adults $20, Senior $18, Child to 18 Free, Retired or Active Military $2 off admission
The death of Mister Rogers left a huge gap in the hearts of all Americans, young and old. Although everybody’s favorite neighbor might be gone, his legacy remains stronger than ever at the Heinz History Museum in Pittsburgh. Visit the fourth floor of the expansive building to see Mister Rogers’ neighborhood with original props and items from the television set. Among the props, such as the Great Oak Tree where Henrietta Pussycat and X The Owl live and the original living room set, there’s also a life-like figure of Mister Rogers himself. Sweater, khakis, and all.
Explore the stories of how Western Pennsylvania innovators and their groundbreaking achievements have impacted our society.
- Explore lifelike historical figures, including Queen Aliquippa, Andrew Carnegie, Martin Delany, and Rosie the Riveter
- Interact with inventor George Westinghouse and ask him questions about his many achievements, from the invention of the air brake and alternating current, to his rivalry with Thomas Edison
- Check out a model of the casting process at Fort Pitt Foundry, the Strip District-based iron foundry that built the world’s largest cannon
- Step inside Pittsburgh’s premier jazz club, the Crawford Grill, and listen to music from some of history’s most prominent jazz musicians.
- See a full-scale model of Elektro, the first voice animated robot, originally built by Westinghouse, along with his trusty dog Sparko!
Discover how eight-year old Henry John Heinz started his iconic business by growing produce from his mother’s garden in Sharpsburg and selling it to local grocers. Learn the story behind the slogan “57 varieties” and Heinz’s innovations in marketing, packaging, and food safety. Through hundreds of artifacts and interactive displays, the exhibit showcases the Heinz Company’s evolution from a small food purveyor into one of the most recognizable international brands in the world.
The exhibit highlights the enslavement of Africans and its impact on the American economy, the history of the anti-slavery movement, the Underground Railroad, and the impact of 19th-century activism on the modern quest for civil and human rights in Pittsburgh.
Embark on a journey that begins in 18th-century Africa, crosses the Atlantic Ocean on a recreated slave ship, toils in bondage on plantations of America, joins the Underground network of freedom seekers, fights for freedom in the Civil War, organizes for civil rights, and ends in 21st-century Western Pa.
The Pittsburgh region was a center for glass production starting in 1797 when the first glass houses opened. There were many innovations in its manufacture, design, and marketing. Don’t miss the Zoo Case where Glass birds, fish, animals, and more all are corralled or the video of the making of cylinder window glass. The exhibition showcases the beauty, science, utility and technology of Western Pennsylvania glass
1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh. Free parking available in the center island on Schenley Drive. Metered street parking on either side of Schenley Drive (free after 6 p.m. Mon-Sat, all day on Sun. Accessible parking is available near the Conservatory’s front entrance. 1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh
Open every day at 9:30am, closes at 5pm except open Fri until 10pm. Adults $21.95, Seniors and students over 18 $19.95, children $13.95
A green oasis, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has provided a world-class garden experience to its visitors since 1893. Explore the beauty and wonders of nature at Phipps, encompassing 15 acres including a 14-room glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens. See industry-leading sustainable architecture and green practices, seasonal flower shows, commissioned exhibits, renowned orchid and bonsai collections and more.
700 Arch St, Pittsburgh 412-323-7235 Closed Tuesday, open 10 – 5 other days. Adult $17.95, Child $14.95, under 2 free, Senior $16.95
Parking Charge: $5 in National Aviary lot; street parking also available.
A trip to the National Aviary allows you to step into lush, free-flying bird habitats. The nation’s bird zoo is home to more than 500 birds and mammals representing species from around the world. Explore walk-through habitats where birds fly freely around you, and a sloth can be spotted in the trees. Get up close to a colony of adorable penguins, see mysterious owls, and be amazed by the impressive 10-foot wingspan of the Andean Condors.
You can book a nose-to-beak (or snout) experience with animals when you book an Animal Encounter! (extra cost)
4200 Fifth Avenue. There is a wheelchair-accessible entrance on the Heinz Chapel facing side of the building (to the left of the 5th avenue entrance). There is metered parking available on all four sides of the Cathedral . Open 9am to 4pm, closed on Tuesday, Sun 11am – 4pm
A part of the University of Pittsburgh, this Gothic Revival building has a magnificent four-story Commons Room at ground level. The 42-story Cathedral houses classrooms. Located on the first and third floors of the Cathedral, visitors are invited to explore the Nationality Rooms (when not used by students) The 31 rooms are designed to represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Pittsburgh.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 535-foot-tall Cathedral is the second-tallest educational building in the world after the University of Moscow’s main building. In recent years, families of peregrine falcons have nested atop the Cathedral.
The Nationality and Heritage Rooms Visitor Center is located on the first floor of the Cathedral of Learning and is accessible without stairs.
509 Jacksonia St Pittsburgh, PA 15212; 412.-231-3169 Free parking $20 adult, $15 senior and student, $10 veterans and mobility challenged. Open Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
NOTE: The main museum building is fully wheelchair accessible with some wheelchairs available at the front desk, but the other two buildings are only partially accessible because of their historic structure.
TheMattress Factory consists of 3 buildings that are an unconventional art museum that specializes in contemporary installation art by resident artists from around the world, It is notorious for pushing the boundaries of both artist and viewer. The displays will challenge everything you think you know about contemporary art with vibrant colors, visual illusions and thought-provoking themes using all senses. While some exhibits are permanent, others rotate. Permanent favorites are the Repetitive Vision exhibit and the Infinity Dots Mirror Room.
NOTE: some content is not always child-friendly, with some exhibits leaning toward risqué and macabre.
1501 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (0.2 mile from Mattress Factory) Open “most everyday”, with somewhat variable opening hours. Free but donations welcome.
One of the country’s most colorful landmarks, Randyland is artist Randy Gilson’s own home and backyard—created by himself using paints, plants, plastic animals, yard sale finds and discarded construction materials. Visitors are invited to explore the public art displays in and around this whimsical outdoor museum.
117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 Open 10am–5pm Wed to Sun. $25 adults, $13 seniors $13 Child
The Warhol Museum has the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks. The 7 floors cover his entire career starting from his student work. You will see paintings, drawings, commercial illustrations, sculptures, photographs and much more.
1800 Preble Ave Open 10-7 everyday. The museum is free.
The museum has over 6,000 bikes from vintage antique to new. They also fix bikes and sell bike parts. They also rent bikes for you to ride around Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburg Tour Company 2720 Sidney St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203; 412-381-8687
Explore Pittsburgh in a flexible, comprehensive way with a guided, humorous and informative tour on an open-air, double-decker bus. You will see Pittsburgh’s favorite areas for shopping, live entertainment, stadiums, museums, restaurants, bars and architecture. Pass by over two dozen sights, from bustling South Side and the trendy Strip District to the Andy Warhol Museum and the National Aviary. Listen to commentary on board the bus that addresses the architecture, history, art, and culture of Pittsburgh
Just the Tour – 2 ¼ hr $34.95/person
Hop on-Hop off All Day Tour Pass -8 hours Start your tour at any of their stops $39.95/person
Pittsburgh has a strong and devoted community of cyclists who are eager to welcome you to their city. The city’s unique topographic blend of steep, winding hills and flat river areas makes it one of the best cities for cycling enthusiasts.
There are many wonderful trails in Pittsburgh. Bike Pittsburgh has lots of information and maps.
Start by lacing up your walking shoes. Known as both the ‘Steel City’ and ‘City of Bridges,’ Pittsburgh happens to be one of the most walkable cities. With a variety of easy neighborhood walks, more challenging hillside ones and many sights to see, there is a walk for everyone.
How many of the 446 bridges can you find to walk across? Make your way into the neighborhoods and climb any of the 700 sets of Pittsburgh’s public steps. Find Roslyn Place and take a walk on Pittsburgh’s last wooden brick street. Up for a challenge? Canton Avenue in the Beechview neighborhood is the steepest street in the U.S.!
Some of the Featured areas to walk:
Shadyside Neighborhood One of the trendiest neighborhoods, it also happens to be one of the most beautiful walking areas with the combination of restored Victorian mansions and student apartments in historic buildings. Be sure to venture to Walnut Street. It offers a nice stroll around the trendiest cafés, yoga and spa centers, boutiques, bookstores, food stores, local galleries, and many events.
The Strip District is Pittsburgh’s historic market district – a quirky, fun, and vibrant place to be. The Strip is Pittsburgh’s hip hub featuring local and international products, meat and fish markets and sidewalk vendors. You’ll also find nightclubs and dining favorites plus both local and international shops.
Point State Park is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh at the confluence of three rivers – the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the Ohio. It is at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle.” The park commemorates and preserves the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Fort Pitt Museum is dedicated to the history of the early settlements in the area. It’s a great place to walk as a reprieve from the bustle downtown, enjoy the beauty of the confluence and the fountain, 601 Commonwealth Place
Free (donation) Guided Walking Tours A knowledgeable guide will show you highlights of Pittsburgh and its legendary history. There is a Downtown tour and North Side tour. At the end of your tour, you can name your own price.
Play & Fun for Adults and Kids
(30 miles from the hotel if driving straight there; southeast of Pittsburgh , 5 miles from Sandcastle Waterpark) Kennywood Park started as a trolley park in 1899 is now America’s finest traditional amusement park. It’s a great day out for the whole family. Some of its most notoriously fun rides include the Black Widow and the Sky Rocket. There are many smaller rides and even a Kiddieland. 4800 Kennywood Blvd, West Mifflin, PA; 412-461-0500. Check website or call for hours and prices.
(25 miles from the hotel if driving straight there; southeast of Pittsburgh, 5 miles from Kennywood Park) Sandcastle waterpark overlooks the Monongahela River and a beautiful wooded hillside. There are 16 waterslides, a lazy river and 4 pools including a Mon Tsunami Wave Pool, a Scenic Mushroom Pool, two children play areas and more! 1000 Sandcastle Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15120 412-462-6666. See website for hours, pricing and parking (it costs) info.
$200 (Early Bird post-marked by April 1)
$225 (After April 1)
$150 (First Timers)
Wednesday and Friday Lunches
Friday Banquet Dinner
10 Bell Educational Programs
Entry into Auction and Bell Exhibits
Use of all Meeting Spaces
Unlimited Camaraderie with Bell Family
A few things for you to know and think about now (our great tours):
Sunday, June 23
6:30 – 8:30 Complimentary Meet and Greet
The Pittsburgh Buffet
Potato Patch Fries
Kielbasa with Sauerkraut
Dessert, Soft Drinks
Monday, June 24
Full-Day Pittsburgh City Bus Tour includes guide and lunch
9:00 am Depart DoubleTree – Cranberry
9:30 am Guided tour of Pittsburgh city neighborhoods
11:30 am Lunch at the Grand Concourse (former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station)
1:00 pm Duquesne Incline – City view from Mt. Washington ( see places to see in Pittsburgh for more detail)
2:30 pm Smithsonian Heinz History Center (see places to see in Pittsburgh for more detail)
5:00pm Return to Hotel
Tuesday, June 27
Half-Day Riverboat & Bus Tour includes Lunch
9:00 am Depart DoubleTree Cranberry
10:00 am Gateway Clipper: Three Rivers Sightseeing Cruise with Narration
11:45 am Blast off to Mars! Bell from USS Mars and the Mars Spaceship
12:00 pm Lunch at Springfield Grille, Mars
2:00 pm Return to Hotel
Places to go
Things to do and see
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Places within 30 miles of hotel
(5 miles from hotel) 150 Church Rd, Wexford, PA 15090 724-935-9959 Open 10am-5pm
The 56 year old store has antiques, collectibles, stained glass and original works of art.
The following are in Butler, Pa
It’s an interesting town to drive through. Don’t miss the town square.
(24 miles from hotel) 322 North McKean St. Butler, PA 16001. 724-282-0123 Open Wed – Sat 11am – 4pm. $4 adults, $3 seniors and students. Kids under 8 are free.
The Maridon Museum has a substantial collection of 20th Century Asian art and German Meissen porcelain. There are many ivory and jade jaw-dropping sculptures. Not only will you see art objects of stunning beauty and fine craftsmanship, you’ll learn a lot aboutAsian history and the importance of these figures as well.
(16 Miles from Hotel) 185 W. Airport Road, Butler PA 16002 Open dawn to dusk
Managed by the Audubon Society, this is a beautiful location to watch birds, animals, and nature.Open from dawn to dusk, with dog-friendly walking trails, two ponds, and natural spaces used for outdoor activities and education.
(26 Miles from hotel) 2483 William Flynn Hwy. Butler, PA 16001 724-285-7529 Mon-Sat 10am-8pm
The fun begins when you first pull up to the spaceship-shaped building and enter through the “engine doors.” Once inside, your can play play with many different toys that are out of their packages. This futuristic, landmark store is filled with all of the coolest, most unique and fun toys you will ever find!
(12 miles from hotel) Harmony was settled in 1814 by German immigrants searching for religious freedom. Harmony’s downtown area is a National Historic Landmark District. There are more than 50 preserved buildings, many of which are open, some with small businesses. Check the websites for prices and times open.
The history includes the Lenape (Delaware) Indian settlement, Murdering Town, Major George Washington, “Father” George Rapp and the Harmonists from Germany, Mennonites, and more. 218 Mercer St. The museum curates 9 historic buildings, 5 in the downtown area. The Museum Shop is located in the Wagner/Bentle House. 222 Mercer St. You can watch and buy goods at The Weavers’ Cabin 245 Mercer Street.
Harmonist Cemetery – The stone walls still stand perfectly straight and the unique gate, shaped to represent the tablets of the Ten Commandments and weighing more than a ton, still turns easily with a push of your hand. There are no tombstones since they believed they were recognized in heaven and no longer needed recognition here on earth. Intersection of Evans City Rd (Rt. 68) and Edmund St.
Center of Harmony is a 1875 Historic Opera Hall and several small businesses 253 Mercer Street
(18 miles from hotel) 200 Hartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, Pa 15238 or 4000 Middle Rd, Allison Park, PA 15101
Hartwood Acres Park was originally a country estate for an equestrian family. Its 329 acres is well known for its many trails and events. There is an outdoor Sculpture Garden with works from multiple artists. The Tudor Mansion, built in 1969 with a 16th century architectural design, has an excellent collection of original English and American antiques. See the mansion website or call 412-767-9200 for information about tours.
Play Adventures – for you alone or with kids
(3 miles from hotel) An indoor/outdoor park with miniature golf, go-karts, kiddie rides, bumper boats, batting cages, arcade, and a rock wall. Open 9am -11pm. 8 Progress Ave, Cranberry Twp, PA 724-779-1800
(3 miles from hotel) Urban Air is an indoor adventure park where kids of all ages (and kids at heart) can explore different attractions that can challenge body and mind all while having fun. There are trampolines, climbing walls, ropes course and more. There are many attractions here. See the website for more information, hours and pricing. 351 American Way, Cranberry Township 412-218-0604 Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri 4-9pm Sat 10-9, Sun 11-7 Note – there are 2 other Urban Air Parks closer to Pittsburgh
More things to see
Places within 2 hours of hotel
(101 miles from hotel) 6424 Lincoln Hwy, Stoystown, PA 15563 Open 9am – 5pm Free
Tower of Voices
The Tower of Voices serves as both a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the forty passengers and crew of United Flight 93. They prevented the attack on the US Capitol Building.
The tower is a ninety-three feet tall musical instrument holding forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members. The 40 differently tuned chimes, set in motion by wind, represent the voices of those heroes.
Memorial Plaza and Visitor Center
The Memorial Plaza is the quarter-mile northern-boundary to the crash site, which is the final resting place of the passengers and crew members. A visit here culminates at the Wall of Names, which features forty white polished marble stones inscribed with the names of the passengers and crew.
The visitor center features a permanent exhibition that focuses on the Flight 93 story within the context of the larger terrorist attack that happened on that fateful morning of September 11, 2001.
(80 miles from hotel) 1491 Mill Run Road Mill Run, PA 15464 (Please be sure to use the ZIP Code if using online mapping programs or GPS systems as there is more than one Mill Run Road in Pennsylvania.) Open 8am – 4pm, closed Wednesday, See website or call 724-329-8501 for available tours and pricing
Falling Water, a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. It is open for various tours to appreciate Wright’s organic architecture and discover the beauty of the home and its natural landscape.
(86 miles from hotel) 304 Washington Street, Johnstown PA 15901 Mon – Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm $10 Adult, $8 Seniors and kids 3-18
The Johnstown Flood Museum, located in downtown Johnstown, tells the story of the tragic May 31, 1889 flood that killed over 2,200 people. Through a mixture of interpretive exhibits, surviving artifacts, photographs, and an award-winning film, visitors to the Johnstown Flood Museum can get a sense not only of the causes of the flood and the devastation in wreaked, but of the recovery and rebuilding efforts as well.