Best Activities for Kids in Pittsburgh with Mobility Impairments
Pittsburgh is a city of many delights, but accessible spaces and activities for kids who have mobility impairments are true treasures for kids and their families. Here are three of my favorites.
1. Open Up.
Need an antidote to kids’ winter restlessness? Open Up, an organization dedicated to teaching “mindfulness tools and movement practices, centering people living with disabilities,” fits the bill. Mindful movement makes yoga accessible for participants of all ages, who often bring someone along for physical and/or emotional support. Older kids can enjoy adapted strength training. Other classes and activities include improv and theater games, family-friendly music events and dance parties. Teachers are prepared to lead a class that incorporates people using wheelchairs, sitting/lying on the floor, or whatever else works best. Online registration ahead of time is recommended.
(3711 Butler St., Lawrenceville; openuppittsburgh.com)
2. Playground at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center.
When it’s time to get outside, the playground at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center is open to the public and was designed especially for children who have disabilities. The centerpiece structure has ramps and double-wide bridges, perfect for children who use wheelchairs. There’s a textured tunnel full of star-shaped cutouts and circular lights for those who have visual impairments. The 5,500-square-foot space — covered in a rubberized surface with plenty of space to move around — includes two adaptive swings and a wheelchair swing. A sensory area features a drum, an oversized xylophone and chimes for tactile and auditory fun.
(5324 Penn Ave., Bloomfield)
3. The Miracle League of the South Hills.
Batter up! For six weeks every spring, children and teenagers hit the field with The Miracle League of the South Hills where “every child deserves a chance to play baseball.” In the Miracle Division, all players (ages 5 and up) bat and circle the bases in non-competitive, two-inning games, and everyone is paired with a volunteer buddy. The Advanced Skills Division (10+) has four-inning competitive games, and players do not have buddies. The field is completely flat with a rubberized, all-weather surface, making it accessible to players who have mobility and visual impairments. Bonus: adjacent to the field is an expansive, inclusive playground.
(1551 Mayview Road, Upper St. Clair, miracleleaguesouthhills.org)