Visiting Randyland

If you read last week’s post, you know I was in Pittsburgh for a long weekend for my daughter’s hockey tournament. Saturday, she didn’t have a game until 5pm, so we had plenty of time to visit the Warhol Museum (for more on that click here), grab lunch, and find the mysterious and whimsical… Randyland.

Randyland! It’s hard to miss.

A friend heard about this museum from a Pittsburghian friend and when I Googled it and found it was just minutes away from the Warhol Museum, I vowed to go. I don’t like to do too much research on a place before I visit because I like to be surprised, but there was very little information on the internet about Randyland even if I did want to know more. Like, the hours for instance. The hours are basically: Mon-Sun: Maybe we’re open, maybe we’re not. We went Saturday at 1pm and the outside portion of the museum was open, the inside was not. I counted that as a win.

The outside is open! Yay!

Randyland was created by artist Randy Gilson, who is “a master in the art of making something worthwhile out of the worthless.” He began the project as a funky sort of neighborhood garden by painting giant barrels and making vegetable gardens out of them. He wound up buying a house in the Mexican War Streets district of Pittsburgh, collecting things, and curating a wild, vibrant exhibit extaorinaire! When I say he collected “things” I mean all the things. Think antique shop meets junkyard. When I showed pictures to my youngest daughter she said it reminded her of the Memory Dump in the movie Inside Out. Incredibly accurate.

There is a surprise every single place you look around Randyland. Colorful chairs in an arch above you, bright bricks and hopscotch below you; a tree with lemon juice lemons dangling from it, stuffed animals, slides, trikes, tables, mannequins, mirrors, ornaments, umbrellas, the world’s biggest wall of international welcome signs…the list goes on and on!

Bienvenue! That’s the wall of welcome signs behind us.

Once we took in all we could take in, Adrienne and I started to exit and saw the most exciting part of all! Next to the entrance gate, beside a shovel, end table, and baby gate, was an old Magliner! Magline is the company my husband works for (and I used to work for). The Magliner was pretty roughed up from sitting in the elements for who knows how long, but there it was in all its glory as part of the exhibit. Definitely the highlight for Adrienne and I.

It was impossible not to be cheery and excited at Randyland, all for the low low price of free! Definitely worth the stop if you’re downtown Pittsburgh. Make sure to look for the Magliner!