playgrounds in Pittsburgh

8 awesome parks and playgrounds around the region, according to our readers

Photo of Aspinwall Riverfront Park above courtesy of Yu-Ling Cheng.

If you’re looking for insider info on great parks and playgrounds in Pittsburgh, ask other parents.

That’s what Kidsburgh does periodically when we survey our loyal readers. We are often flooded with enthusiastic responses, with dozens of parents sharing the details on their favorite places and what makes them special. What makes a great playground? Parents tell us they had many different reasons for choosing the playgrounds and parks they visit.

For instance, one parent likes Deer Lakes Park because it offers lots of slides. It’s especially good for smaller kids, because it doesn’t offer many high climbing areas. Instead, it offers young kids safe stairs and ramps. Another reader tells us she loves taking her two kids to War Memorial Park in Sewickley because of the lovely creek for wading.

We know many parents want to make sure their kids step away from screens and get outside to play

So which parks and playgrounds in Pittsburgh are your favorites? Here are some of the most popular choices — but let us know what your top spots around the city are! 

Aspinwall Riverfront Park, Aspinwall

This creative park gets lots of love from local readers, with one saying this park has “great area for picnicking and running around, being near the water,” and “nice but small playground equipment. The giant sculptural slides are a huge hit, as are the water swings over the river. (Don’t worry, there’s a net below them!)

best playgrounds
Aspinwall Riverfront Park sports fantastic beasts that double as playground equipment.

Blue Slide Park, Squirrel Hill

This park in Squirrel Hill is among the most popular playgrounds in Pittsburgh, with multiple play areas and a giant concrete slide perfect for sliding on pieces of cardboard. (There are usually some pieces there to use, but grab a box out of your recycling bin just in case!) While you’re there, local parents have mentioned another Squirrel Hill play space worth a visit: Wightman Playground. “We love the play equipment, the slide built into the hill,” one reader said, “and the track around the perimeter of the playground.”

Blue Slide Park, photo by Clifton Page.

Bayne Park, Bellevue

This park is a great choice for families with a wide range of ages. There are smaller toddler climbing areas, a delightfully thrilling spider web climber, plus ping-pong and a skate park for scooters, bikes and skateboards. Andrew Bayne Memorial Libary is also located in the park and has frequent children’s programs both inside the library and in the surrounding park. There’s also a farmer’s market on Wednesdays, June through October, that includes food trucks and a free table of outdoor toys for families to enjoy while at the park.

Photo of Bayne Park courtesy of Meg St-Esprit.

Blueberry Hill Park, Franklin Park

This park is also extremely popular with Kidsburgh readers. It “has an awesome sandbox, as well as nice playground equipment,” one reader told us. It’s also fenced in — for parents with multiple little kids, that fence is a game changer for keeping them corralled and safe. There is also a small track around this park, so you can pack smaller scooters and bikes.

Photo Courtesy of Franklin Park Borough.

Highland Park Super Playround, Highland Park

Also high on the list of beloved playgrounds in Pittsburgh is Highland Park Super Playground, recommended by several readers. For years, the hidden nooks and crannies of the big wooden play castle have enticed little kids. But a remodel in 2022 made the massive play area even better. It’s now splinter-free and has many fun new features.

Courtesy of the Highland Park Community Council.

Glade Run Sensory Playground, Zelienople

One local parent tells Kidsburgh she loves the Sensory Playground in Zelienople at Glade Run. “It was designed for kids with autism and other disabilities, but all the kids enjoy it. It’s fully fenced in, has a musical sound garden, sandbox, cool equipment, picnic area, water fountain, bathrooms – and it’s not crowded! My kids like the fort best.”

 playgrounds in Pittsburgh
Sensory Park in Zelieonople. Photo by Sheila Talarico.

Knob Hill Community Park, Marshall Township

Many readers mentioned this park, which one praised for “the zip line, the shade, the bathroom, the climbing things, the semi-containment, the ability to see the kids everywhere” and also soft ground, unique play equipment and the fact that their child “never gets bored there.” Another parent said, “It has something for everyone! Big kids and littles alike will love this park. Our boys love the swing zip line.” 

Arlington Park and Spraypark

For summer, one reader recommends Arlington spray park and playground. A 2022 upgrade to the sprayers makes this a great spot for summer play in particular.”Kids can spend a whole afternoon there running between the playground and spray park. It is a great place to hang out on a hot day.”

These are just a handful of the great parks across the region. There’s so much fun to be had: Check out our local guides to mini golf courses, swimming pools, spray parks — and also indoor play places for those days when the weather just won’t cooperate.