City Guide 2018-2019: Play
Let’s be honest: Most of these spots are just as fun for an adult as a child. All of them are great ways to pass an afternoon — or an entire day — as a family.
★ Boyce Park
Forget fun in the sun; Boyce Park is the spot for fun in the snow. Skiing, snowboarding and tube racing are included at this spot for the whole family.
788 Center Road, Plum
★ Fun Fore All
Kids will love the four-story ball pit and mini-golf; adults may try to elbow their way in for a shot at a variety of arcade games. Great spot for birthday parties, a rainy day or a warm summer night.
8 Progress Ave., Cranberry Twp
★ Games Unlimited
This long-standing game store in Squirrel Hill offers a large variety of new and classic board games and puzzles, from 24 pieces to 32,000. You can also borrow games for a “test drive” or trade in games to make room on your shelves for new additions. Hosts tournaments and game demonstrations.
2115 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill
photo courtesy go ape
★ Go Ape
Test your limits at this obstacle course in the trees at North Park. Kids 10 and older can participate, and there are varying degrees of difficulty throughout the course, which includes zip lines and Tarzan swings.
991 Tennis Court Road, Allison Park
Eight different playhouses for the kids — and a specialty coffee bar and free WiFi for the parents? Sounds like a fine way to spend a morning, which is the goal of Kidsville in Mt. Nebo Pointe Shopping Center.
262 Mt. Nebo Pointe Drive, Ohio Twp
★ Let’s Move! Parties
Kelly Strayhorn Theater hosts a number of family-friendly events (most billed as “Pay What Makes You Happy”) but some that are sure to get the whole family moving together are the “Let’s Move” dance and zumba parties held throughout the year.
5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty
photo courtesy the lightning bug
★ The Lightning Bug
New outdoor mini-golf courses plus indoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, bumper cars, laser tag and more. Keep an eye on the website for various specials offered throughout the week.
170 Scharberry Lane, Mars
★ Lilliput Play Homes Towne Center
Children can play house as they’ve only imagined at the wonderland that is Lilliput Play Homes Towne Center. The Pittsburgh company produces the opulent playhouses (including fire stations, bistros and school houses) available for purchase, but the play center also is open select hours to the public.
4125 Washington Road, McMurray
★ Neville Roller Drome
Sometimes, the occasion calls for old-fashioned roller skating. Family skates are held Wednesday nights and Saturday and Sunday afternoons; open skate for young adults and teens is every Friday and Saturday night.
5109 Neville Road, Neville Island
★ Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library
Your first visit to the Toy Lending Library, a volunteer-run cooperative established in 1974, is free. After that you’ll probably want to sign up for one of the varying levels of membership; some include guest passes and an allowance of three weeks to borrow three toys to keep things fun at home. Available for party rentals.
5401 Centre Ave., Bloomfield
photo courtesy of the seesaw center
★ Seesaw Center
Open during the school year to provide a place for children kindergarten-age and younger to play dress up, climb, build and more during winter months. Memberships and day passes available.
935 Pine Ave., Castle Shannon
★ Settlers Cabin Wave Pool
Spend a day riding the waves at Settlers Cabin Park (also home to a great high dive).
Ridge Road and Papoose Drive, Robinson Twp
★ Stay ’n Play
The play center inside the Beth El Congregation offers structured events and activities such as story time, mommy and me yoga and bread baking but also has two rooms that simply encourage learning through play. Memberships and day passes available.
1900 Cochran Road, Mt. Lebanon
★ Triple B Farms
With giant board games, a rope maze and ducky derby races, Triple B is not your average farm. Spend an afternoon picking berries or feeding the animals, which range from pygmy goats to potbellied pigs.
823 Berry Lane, Monongahela
★ Upper St. Clair Community
& Recreation Center
The vast indoor/outdoor pool is a favorite for residents and non-residents alike (memberships or day passes are available for both). Outdoors there’s a two-story body slide, lily pad walk with overhead cargo net, water geysers and cannons, discovery fountains and more.
1551 Mayview Road, Upper St. Clair
photo courtesy the wheel mill
★ The Wheel Mill
Rent a bike or bring your own and experience 80,000 square feet of ramps and trails. Kids’ summer camps and private lessons available.
6815 Hamilton Ave., Homewood
★ Wildwood Highlands
The Family Fun Center has it all: Kiddie City for the little ones with a four-story jungle gym, two mini-golf courses, bumper boats, bumper cars, laser tag and much more. Available for party rentals.
2330 Wildwood Road, Hampton Twp
★ Zone 28
The revamped Zone 28 includes more arcade games, bowling for all ages and two escape rooms (groups with kids under 12 must book a private experience in advance). Games are half-price on Wednesday. Available for party rentals.
2525 Freeport Road, Harmarville