At Scene75, Be a Kid (or Bring Your Kids)
The entertainment center in Edgewood is a great time with or without little ones.
Photo courtesy Scene75
I am aware that gleefully driving a Go-Kart as an adult who can, at any time, drive an actual car is odd.
But having exited a full-size (OK, compact) vehicle to walk into Scene75 Entertainment Center and immediately paid $8 for the privilege of driving a much smaller vehicle, I can report that driving a Go-Kart is still really fun. It’s rare, in your mid-30s, to reclaim the feeling of tearing around the neighborhood far too fast on a trusty bicycle; hugging the turns inside Scene75, that’s how I felt.
Scene75 is the Pittsburgh outpost of a chain of family-skewed entertainment destinations; think Dave & Busters with less food and more attractions. It’s located in the hollowed-out shell of a former K-Mart in Edgewood Towne Center.
Usually, when I visit places like this, I think, “Sure, this is a fine place for families to amuse their kids for a while.” I won’t drag any local examples by putting them here, but you know what I mean — the kind of place where kids can tire themselves out at a variety of high-energy mayhem while the adults can, blessedly, get a beer and watch from a safe distance.
That’s not Scene75. At Scene75, I thought, “I wanna come back here with friends.”
Perhaps my enthusiasm would’ve been muted had I been surrounded by rampaging preteens; the place was a little quiet during my visit. But between the sprawling fleet of arcade games and the virtual-reality room, I might not have noticed; I’m pretty sure that this stuff is fun enough for me to ignore the occasional 6-year-old running mindlessly into my leg.
About those games: Things got interesting in the arcade world while none of us were looking. Many of the games at Scene75 more closely recall carnival contests than old-school arcade fodder. Should you manage to hit a ticket jackpot (which is a lot like a gambling jackpot, but more wholesome), there’s a slew of actual valuables to save up for — autographed memorabilia, video game systems and more.
Beyond that, though, there are more attractions at Scene75 than you’d even anticipate while you’re standing in it. There’s that VR room, offering a virtual game of capture the flag, a two-story laser tag arena (another technology that has advanced considerably since I was a lad), bumper cars — actual, Kennywood-style bumper cars, and 18 holes of trippy blacklight miniature golf.
There are some food options — Scene75 advertises a “food truck alley,” but that’s actually hype for a dressed-up concession stand — but there’s also a full bar smack in the middle of the room. Parents will be able to sip a beer while watching their kids frolic; grown-ups out on date nights can drift between the bar and the games.
If you’re not one to lose a couple hours when the prospect of skee-ball and arcade basketball is presented, that’s fine; I imagine other adults enjoy different pastimes. (Golf? Probably golf. Go to TopGolf, I guess.) But if you miss the arcades of your youth — or if you just miss your youth — Scene75 is a fine place for a night out.
And I only crashed the Go-Kart once.