18 indoor play spaces for Pittsburgh kids
This story first appeared in NEXTpittsburgh, which publishes Kidsburgh.
When it’s too cold or too wet to spend time outside, visit one of these indoor play spaces where kids (and in some cases adults, too) can burn lots of energy with a range of fun activities. With all these great spots, it will be a lot easier to keep active this winter, no matter what the weather.
Kidzville, Mt. Nebo Pointe Shopping Center, Ohio Township
At Kidzville, children enter a world of imagination that’s just their size. The technology-free space features a village made up of eight customized and furnished playhouses, including a salon, library, post office and animal clinic. While their tots play make-believe, real-life grownups can take advantage of the specialty coffee bar and free Wi-Fi.
The Landing, 330 Hookstown Grade Road, Moon
The Landing isn’t just a place for kids, it’s a community center for all ages. The hangar-sized facility has enough room for multiple sports teams to run wild. In addition to the soccer field, there’s a gymnasium, state-of-the-art auditorium, meeting rooms, a café and Foamnasium filled with soft play materials for accident-prone little ones.
Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark, Pines Plaza Shopping Center, McCandless
If your kids constantly scoot through your house in their sock feet, they’ll get a kick out of Fun Slides. Visitors to the venue will glow under the black light as they strap specialty footwear to their shoes and “skate” around the place. In addition to slides, there is an obstacle course, a bounce house and areas for dodgeball and carpet hockey.
Zone 28, 2525 Freeport Road, Harmarville
Thirty-three bowling lanes make up only a small portion of Zone 28, a fully remodeled fun center in Harmarville. The 50,000-square-foot building also houses a laser tag arena, an immersive escape room, an arcade, party rooms, and the Rail House Restaurant and End Zone Sports Bar.
Neville Roller Drome, 5109 Neville Road, Neville Island
Neville Roller Drome has been rolling out different entertainment fads for about 70 years. The Neville Island landmark is a time capsule that can be unlocked by lacing up a pair of skates (or blades!) and taking a few dozen laps around the floor.
Snapology, 1350 Old Pond Road, Bridgeville
Tell your kids to hit the bricks … LEGO bricks. At Snapology, children learn as they tinker with LEGOs, K’Nex and technology. They’ll get a full STEAM experience during regular creative play hours, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Kids 5 and older can be dropped off for up to three hours. This Pittsburgh-born franchise now has more than 140 locations worldwide.
Fun Fore All, 8 Progress Ave., Cranberry
If you’re driving down Route 19 in Cranberry, you can’t miss Fun Fore All. The park has tons of outdoor activities and the inside is just as thrilling. Enjoy the arcade, a 3D dark ride and the four-story Ballocity that puts the ball pits of yesteryear to shame.
SeaBase Family Fun Center, 770 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg
With its oceanic decor and a seemingly endless amount of activities, Greensburg’s SeaBase has been a go-to staycation spot for parents since 1995. The family fun spot houses two large playrooms, an interactive game floor, music area, laser tag and maze, arcade and a train all under one roof. On Tuesdays at 11 a.m., the center hosts a toddler playgroup complete with a craft or activity, a short story and a snack.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 Children’s Way, North Side
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, this North Side institution encourages play at every point. The rotating exhibits provide 80,000 square feet of learning experiences that are typically innovative and a ton of fun. Kids can not only exercise their minds, but they can also exercise their bodies, too. Don’t miss Waterplay, a kids’ favorite. Then make it to the Big Red Room Cafe, which features baked, low-fat, nutritious meals and snacks. If your kids are a little older, head next door to MuseumLab, a place where inquisitive folks age 10 and up can have cutting-edge experiences in art, tech and making.
Pirate’s Cove at Conley Resort, 740 Pittsburgh Road, Butler
Don’t let winter weather keep you from making a splash. Every weekend, Pirate’s Cove at Conley Resort heats up. The indoor pool, which is between 2.5 and 3.5 feet deep, has two water slides and an adjacent party room, perfect for a young buccaneer’s birthday bash.
The Seesaw Center, 935 Pine Ave., Castle Shannon
From September to May, Castle Shannon’s Seesaw Center gives parents a welcome respite from the winter doldrums. Filled with unique toys and activities for infants to kindergarteners, the facility specializes in combating boredom. Parents must be present, which makes for a nice community. Fair warning: Seasonal membership often sells out.
The Wheel Mill, 6815 Hamilton Ave., Point Breeze
Icy roadways and bikes don’t mix. Luckily, The Wheel Mill is around so cyclists can get their fix. The 80,000-square-foot indoor park is filled with ramps and trails, 75 percent of which were constructed from reclaimed lumber and materials. Riders of all skill levels are welcome and classes are offered for kids who want to sharpen their skills.
Switch & Signal Skatepark, 7518 Dickson St., Swissvale
This 12,000-square-foot skate park in Swissvale made its debut in February to give kids (and their parents!) a place to thrash. Staff members and veteran skaters are on hand to teach basic skills to newbies, who can borrow a house board for free and rent pads and helmets for a small fee.
Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library, 5401 Centre Ave., Shadyside
Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library was launched in 1974 by a group of parents who wanted to fill an educational gap in the community. The volunteer-run space provides a safe (and fun!) place for kids from birth through kindergarten. The library lends out more than 400 toys and promotes early childhood development through creative play. Caregivers can soak in some knowledge via the library’s collection of parenting books and resources.
Lilliput Towne Center, 4125 Washington Road, McMurray
Let your kids go to town(e) in McMurray! Lilliput Towne Center is like a grown-up world in miniature. Here, little ones can buy groceries at the Neighborhood Market, take a beloved pet to the vet, be a firefighter, create a delicious meal at the Bistro or do a makeover at the Beauty Salon.
Carnegie Science Center’s Highmark SportsWorks, One Allegheny Ave., North Shore
It’s no surprise that the City of Champions would have a facility dedicated to the science of sports. SportsWorks offers nearly 30 interactive experiences that challenge the body and mind. Defy gravity at the ropes challenge, scale a rock wall, test your baseball swing and hockey shot and even become a human yo-yo! It’s located next to the Carnegie Science Center where you’ll find lots more floors of indoor activities, shows and exhibits.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Monroeville and Canonsburg
Kids bouncing off the walls? Take them to Sky Zone where such behavior is encouraged. With locations in Monroeville and Canonsburg, the trampoline park allows kids to jump, dive into the Foam Zone, play Ultimate Dodgeball, take a SkyRobics fitness class and practice NBA caliber dunks on the SkySlam. Beware, it might be hard to get the little ones to come back down to earth.