17 places to play indoors in Pittsburgh, for days when you don’t want to be outside

An older version of this story first appeared in NEXTpittsburgh. Updates and additional reporting/writing by Meg St-Esprit. Above image courtesy of Pins Mechanical.

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh isn’t known for its sunny weather. So indoor play spaces are a must for kids with energy to burn. They’re also a good choice on days when it’s too hot and muggy to be outdoors for long.

From indoor jungle gyms and miniature towns geared for younger kids to entertaining arcades and indoor golf, there are plenty of options to choose when it’s not fun to be outside. Whether it’s rainy, cold or way too hot outside, kids can keep active at these top local spots:

Photo courtesy of The Landing.

The Landing, Moon Township

The Landing isn’t just a place for kids. It’s a community center for all ages. This 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 a “Foamnasium” filled with soft play materials for little ones. Guests can register for two hours of free play right here.

Photo courtesy of Fun Slides Carpet Skates.

Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark, Ross Township

If your kids constantly scoot through your house in their socks, they’ll get a kick out of Fun Slides. It’s actually the only park of its kind in the world. Visitors to the venue will find themselves glowing under black lights as they strap specialty footwear to their shoes and “skate” around the place. In addition to slides, there is a ninja course, indoor mini golf, a bounce house and areas for dodgeball and carpet hockey.

Photo courtesy of Zone 28.

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 — great for grownups.

Pins mechanical
Photo courtesy of Pins Mechanical.

Pins MechanicalSouth Side

This spot is bursting with fun and entertainment over two floors in the South Side Works. There’s duck pin bowling, giant lawn games, a two-story slide and tons of arcade games set to free play (yep, free!). While Pins does have several bars serving up adult (and also kid-friendly) beverages, it does not have its own kitchen. They do welcome outside food, though. So grab some Happy Meals on your way to Pins or place an order with the Cheesecake Factory next door for a low-key family evening. Check their website for family hours, bowling lane reservations and pricing. (Note: Pins Mechanical is adults-only after 9 p.m.)

Photo by Kristy Locklin.

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. Check the schedule to find general public skate hours and nights just for teens or sessions geared towards families.

Photo courtesy of Fun Fore All.

Fun Fore All, Cranberry Township

If you’re driving down Route 19 in Cranberry, you can’t miss Fun Fore All. The park has tons of outdoor activities, but here’s a tip: The inside is just as thrilling. Enjoy the arcade, a 3D dark ride indoors as well as tons of rides, go-karts, and mini golf outside if the weather changes.

Photo of SeaBase Family Fun Center.

SeaBase Family Fun Center, 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. This 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. Find their hours and rules here.

Courtesy of Puttshack.

Puttshack, Strip District

This indoor mini-golf course uses digital scoring, not a par system, to rate players on their game. It’s a fun change for some kiddos, but prep them first. Finding a bonus or hitting a harzard can change your score, much like in a video game. Kids under 12 are $9 and everyone else is $12, but joining their loyalty program can offer discounts. (Want more mini-golf? Here’s our guide.)

Puttery Pittsburgh, Strip District

Puttery has family hours and also adult-only hours for their indoor mini golf courses. So check the website for specific times and events. The course is $18 per round or $25 for unlimited play for adults ($15 unlimited play for kids under 18). The courses are creative and unique, and the food is perfect for kids and adults.

Photo courtesy of The Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 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.

The Seesaw Center, Castle Shannon

From September to May, Castle Shannon’s Seesaw Center gives parents a welcome respite from the fall, winter and spring doldrums. While free play is closed during the summer, check their Instagram for some special events. 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.

Pittsburgh birthday party
Photo courtesy of Urban Air.

Urban Air Adventure Parks, Cranberry Township, The Waterfront, Robinson, and North Huntington

With four locations across the city, there’s probably an Urban Air near you. These trampoline parks come with lots of extras such as zip lines, ninja courses, and climbing walls. Check out memberships for regular play time whenever your kids have some energy to burn, too.

Photo courtesy of Switch & Signal Skatepark.

Switch & Signal Skatepark, Swissvale

This 12,000-square-foot skate park in Swissvale gives skateboarders of all ages 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. Sign up for a class to improve your skills or join in open skate hours.

Photo courtesy of Toy Lending Library.

Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library, 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 age. The library lends out more than 400 toys and promotes early childhood development through creative play. And caregivers can soak in some knowledge via the library’s collection of parenting books and resources. Check out their website for admission prices and guidelines on volunteering.

Photo courtesy of Lilliput Towne Center.

Lilliput Towne Center,  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. Reserve a play spot right here.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Science Center.

Carnegie Science Center’s Highmark SportsWorks, 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. (Don’t forget all of the Carnegie museums offer discounted admission and membership for families receiving public assistance.)

Photo courtesy of Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

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.

We know these are just a few of the places to run off steam in the city. Head over to our Instagram to join in the conversation about the best events for families in Pittsburgh. While you’re here, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so that you’re always in the loop.