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Top 10 Kidsburgh Feature Stories of 2015

December29/ 2015

A quick look at the most popular Kidsburgh features of the year, and you’ll be convinced: Pittsburgh truly is a great place to raise kids.

Based on online popularity, we’ve ranked our top 10 feature stories, which cover some of the best kid-oriented people, places, and opportunities out there.

From summer camps to indoor play spaces, from unique toy stores to farm adventures—these are the stories that Kidsburgh readers thought were worth reading, posting, forwarding and sharing this year.

And check out Top 10 Kidsburgh News Stories of 2015 for a look at what our readers found most newsworthy in 2015.

10. What’s better than patronizing small local businesses? Well, if they’re also cool toy stores, of course. 10 cool toy (and fun) stores in Pittsburgh for the best holiday shopping goes beyond the big boxes to showcase some of the area’s unique options. Remember that even though the holiday season has come to an end, these stores are open year ‘round.

Courtesy Lynlott Miniatures
Lynlott Miniatures display window. Courtesy Lynlott Miniatures.

9. Parenting can be a lonely business. 5 Pittsburgh women building support networks for local families tells the stories of area moms who have used their talents and interests to find other parents like them and create new communities that make parenting more of a group activity.

8. It’s heartbreaking to think that not every child in Pittsburgh is safe and happy. But 5 Pittsburgh organizations supporting our most vulnerable children–and inspiring us to help features some organizations you may not have heard about that are working to improve kids’ lives. Even better, it offers concrete ways to get involved and help them accomplish their missions.

A child at Jeremiah’s Place. Photo courtesy of Jeremiah’s Place

7. Studies show that kids need to “use it or lose it” over summer break, but they also need to get out and enjoy the season. 9 outstanding outdoor learning opportunities in Pittsburgh this summer combines the best of both worlds—educational activities that also make the most of vacation time.

6. School ends for the summer, but learning shouldn’t. Every year, Kidsburgh looks at some of the many different options for Pittsburgh-area children’s summer camps—and our list has become a great resource for parents who are thinking ahead. Whether you’ve got a budding yogi, forensic scientist, artist, gardener, BMX biker or something entirely different, you can probably find a class for them in 11 unique summer camps for Pittsburgh kids in 2015.

Little Farmer’s Day Camp at Blue Ribbon Farm. Photo courtesy of Blue Ribbon Farm.

5. Pittsburgh is lucky to have so many health professionals dedicated to children, from newborns to older teens. In 4 Pittsburgh pediatricians making our city a healthier place, we showcase a group of doctors that is making a difference for children in our community far beyond treating them in their practices.

4. Every year, Kidsburgh features a list of ways for families to help out in their communities, and it’s always popular with our readers. Where to volunteer with kids in Pittsburgh is no exception, and offers possibilities for every season in the year.

Grow Pittsburgh volunteers. Courtesy Grow Pittsburgh.
Grow Pittsburgh volunteers. Courtesy Grow Pittsburgh.

3. Take almost any route out of Pittsburgh, and you’ll come to one of the many beautiful farms that lie outside the city. 10 family-friendly farm adventures this fall in Pittsburgh lists opportunities for harvest season, but many of these locations are also open during other times of the year, too, and offer a range of pick-your-own and ready-to-buy produce.

Pumpkin patch at Shenot's, Photo by Nadine Champsi
Pumpkin patch at Shenot’s. Photo by Nadine Champsi.

2. One thing that makes Pittsburgh a great place for families is that it’s within striking distance of so many activities. 7 great family-friendly day trips near Pittsburgh covers long-standing favorites like the Laurel Highlands and Ohiopyle as well as lesser-known options like the A Christmas Story House and Museum in Cleveland, OH, and the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, WV.

And the top Kidsburgh feature story of 2015 is…

1. Top 10 unique outdoor play spaces in Pittsburgh. Unique is the word here. We had to narrow it down somehow, and we’re lucky enough to have so many outdoor play spaces for kids we’d never fit them all into one article. Area parents will recognize some of these spaces, like the Backyard at the Children’s Museum and the Lozziwurm at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland, but others may surprise even lifelong Pittsburghers.

Water Steps at the North Shore Riverfront Park.
Water Steps at the North Shore Riverfront Park.

Check back on Kidsburgh.org often for more features like these, and Happy New Year from all of us at Kidsburgh!