Welcome to our year-end roundup of what Kidsburgh readers found most newsworthy in 2015.
We published about 50 news stories this year, and based on online popularity, we’ve ranked the top 10 below. They range from the downright serious (Lyme time) to straight up fun (Kid City’s family dance parties return!). You’ll also notice some recurring themes: free activities, accessible playgrounds, new playspaces and dancing all seem to be favorites for Kidsburgh readers.
And check out the Top 10 Kidsburgh Feature Stories of 2015 for a look at some of our more in-depth coverage.
10. The cooler weather is keeping them down for now, but soon enough it will be tick season again. Lyme time: what your family needs to know, by Katy Rank Lev, was prompted by her husband’s battle with the cardiac complications of Lyme disease, one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the U.S. Rank Lev covers the icky—but necessary—details of recognizing, treating and preventing Lyme.
9. Playgrounds can sometimes be unwelcoming to kids with special needs. In 2015, the leadership of O’Hara Township approved funding for a complete redesign of the Squaw Valley playground, which will transform it into a public play space that will include children with disabilities, including autism and sight impairment. Pittsburgh’s only public adaptable playground coming to Squaw Valley Park is due to be completed in the spring of 2016.
8. What do kids who are in free and reduced lunch and breakfast programs at their schools do during the summer? Thanks to Live Well Pittsburgh, they don’t go hungry. In Pittsburgh kids eat free this summer through GrubUp, Deanna Lee looked at the 2015 expansion of this ongoing program.
7. In June, Kidsburgh covered the opening of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium’s newest exhibit in Take a trip to The Islands at the Pittsburgh Zoo this summer. Readers found out about the addition of siamangs, clouded leopards and warty pigs to the Zoo’s attractions. The Islands closed in November for further construction, but is open again now and most of the animals can be viewed even in cold weather.
6. A sneak peek at the new Very Eric Carle exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was exactly that: an advance look at the massively popular exhibit based on the beloved children’s author which was in town from mid-June through September.
5. DJ KellyMom has built a following among Pittsburgh families with her emphasis on music that both kids AND their parents will love. Kid City’s family dance parties return–and now they’re free! notes her reappearance at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum’s lower level for no-cost shows. During 2015, Kid City dance parties also came to the Andy Warhol Museum. Watch for new events in 2016.
4. Judging by the response to our news articles on the topic, Pittsburgh parents love to dance. In Bed by Ten, where parents go dancing too, covered the rise of a new monthly event at Lawrenceville’s Spirit Lounge—a grown-up dance party with early-to-bed hours. A project of DJ MB (Matthew Buchholz) and designer Kelly Beall, IBBT is free with a $5 suggested donation to charity. Look for more IBBT events in 2016.
3. O’Hara Township didn’t have the only adaptable playground in the news this year. Play for all: new inclusive playground opens in South Hills covers Upper St. Clair’s new baseball-themed playground The Clubhouse, a project by The Miracle League of the South Hills. The space has features that are fun for all kids but was designed for children with various disabilities.
2. “Free” is a huge draw for Kidsburgh readers. In RADical Days offer free fun for Pittsburgh families, we covered that magical three weeks in September during which Pittsburgh families can get into more than 60 of the city’s favorite museums, sporting facilities, cultural institutions, parks, and libraries free of charge.
1. And the most popular news story Kidsburgh published this year is … PlayDate4Kids, a new Pittsburgh indoor play space for both kids and parents. Fresh ideas for where to entertain kids, especially younger ones, are a big topic for our readers. This new space, which opened in 2015 on Banksville Road in Dormont, offers lots of activities—a climbing wall, ball pit, and Legos—as well as a full-service café.
Here’s to more newsworthy stories for 2016! Check back on Kidsburgh.org often for more like these, and Happy New Year from all of us at Kidsburgh!