Neighborhood North: Museum of Play offers fun for the whole family in Beaver Falls

Neighborhood North: Museum of Play photo above courtesy of KDKA.

A new place for families opened in Beaver Falls a year and a half ago called Neighborhood North: Museum of Play and it’s becoming a family favorite. When they play there, the kids don’t stop. They’re having too much fun.

“Well, the ball and the scarf go up real fast, and they go down and you try catching it,” seven-year-old Roman Simeoni says about one of the many activities for kids at Neighborhood North: Museum of Play.

Whether it’s trying to follow the scarf as it’s suctioned up through the tubes and catching it as it drifts out or playing pretend in the mini-grocery store or climbing up slides, then whizzing down and doing it again, kids love Neighborhood North: Museum of Play.

Photo courtesy of KDKA.

And parents do, too.

“I like that these are all toys that we don’t have at home, so it changes up the day for us,” says Kaitlyn Simeoni, mom of Roman and 6-year-old Alaina.

For the Simeonis, this play museum in Beaver Falls is just 15 minutes from their home in Ellwood City — easier than the 45-minute drive to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. It’s also affordable – admission to Neighborhood North: Museum of Play is $75 for an annual membership for a family of five or a daily price of $5 a person. It’s free for kids under 1 year old.

“I like that I can come here with all three of my kids, and since it’s close to our town, and it’s safe, great hands-on learning here,” says mom Lauren Marion from Beaver.

Neighborhood North: Museum of Play
Neighborhood North: Museum of Play photo courtesy of KDKA.

Executive Director Christine Kroger says it’s the only children’s museum in Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties.

“Kids learn best when they’re learning something with their grown-up that they love and trust, and so we want that space for kids in our community here and for the region in general,” Kroger says.

Neighborhood North: Museum of Play is planning to expand and move into an empty building a block away that is nine times the current museum’s size. They just started the capital campaign and hope to raise $7 million and move in within 3 to 5 years.

The museum also has nine weeks of STEAM based summer camps. It’s a wonderful resource for local families.

“A lot of times in this community, because I grew up here, there wasn’t much to explore. There’s football, basketball. There’s crime all around,” says Seth Whitted of Whitted Media, who teaches podcasting. “When you come here, you can go over here and play, you can read, you can color. There’s activities, there’s workshops. People come in and expose you to different things. This community needs that bad. I needed that bad at a young age.”

One of Roman Simeoni’s favorite activities is the oversized LEGO play area at Neighborhood North. “When I do LEGOs at home, I only have a little bit,” Roman says. “But LEGOs here are much bigger, better.”

So whether the kids are making music in the outdoor garden or building with the big blue blocks and LEGOs, they are learning, experimenting and making new friends. But to them, it’s just fun.

“There’s so many stuff you can play with,” Roman’s sister Alaina says.

Whitted adds: “Neighborhood North is definitely a place where any kid can explore a number of new things. They can just explore period, which kids need.”

A side benefit: Parents are making new friends at the museum, too!

Check out the video below, and click here for details on times, tickets and membership to Neighborhood North: Museum of Play.