By Christine Mouser
Most of us Pittsburghers truly dread the longer winter months that seem to last longer than any other season. Being cooped up inside all winter can be a drag, but here are some great indoor activities around the area that will keep you and the family feeling invigorated and refreshed.
The Climbing Wall
Bouldering Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri- 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Tues & Thurs, 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Sat & Sun, noon – 6 p.m.
Top Roping Hours: Mon-Fri, 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Sat & Sun, noon – 5:30 p.m.
All-Day Passes: adults, $12; children & college students, $10
Rock climbing can be a great form of exercise, but it’s also a ton of fun. The Climbing Wall offers climbers a huge indoor rock climbing center, with over 14,000 square feet available for climbers of all ages and abilities. The climbing facility offers three different types of climbing depending on your preference. The top-rope feature involves a rope and harness, overhangs, roofs, vertical, slabs and cracks. The blundering area is close to the ground and uses no rope as you climb across 8,000 square feet of walls. The sport lead climbing area requires an appointment and features a 50 foot vertical wall that requires strength, stamina and technique. You can grab an all day pass, or you can sign up for some lessons for more experience. Either way, it’s a great way to blow off some winter steam and get physical.
Hours: Sun-Thurs, Noon – 10 p.m.; Fri-Sat, Noon – Midnight
Pricing: 1 game, $6; 2 games, $11, etc.
Laser Storm is a fun entertainment center, suitable for the whole family. Grab a bunch of people and take part in a laser tag adventure at Laser Storm. Play opposite or against your friends and family and earn points by deactivating them using your laser while you traverse through barriers, base stations, police beacons and hidden family members. In addition to laser tag, you can head over to the arcade and climbing wall simulator.
Carnegie Science Center - Highmark SportsWorks
Hours: Sun-Fri, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Admission: adults, $17.95, children (3-12), $9.95
The Carnegie Science Center is a great spot in itself to check out the cool science exhibits and demonstrations. But with all the kids’ pent-up energy, it’s not a bad idea to check out the Highmark Sports Center in the Carnegie Science Center. There are several fun activities, but the best ones to get your blood pumping and your excitement boiling are the sports activities. See if you’re Marc-Andre Fleury material by testing your reaction speed as a hockey goalie. Get your legs pumping as you race a 10-meter dash, or test your pitching speed in a pitching cage. Other highlights: Skateboard stability, karate chop test and vertical jump.
Monster Mini Golf
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri- 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat, noon – 10 p.m.; Sun, noon – 8 p.m.
Pricing: $8, adults; $7, children
There are plenty of mini golf options in Pittsburgh, but there aren’t many indoor ones. Fortunately for mini-golf lovers, Monster Mini Golf has its very own spookily fun indoor golf game. This indoor, monster-themed golf course features 18 holes of glow in the dark fun, with custom and animated props to keep the excitement and competition fierce. The course fits just about anyone’s abilities and is fun for all ages.
Hours: Wed & Thurs: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Fri & Sat, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Admission: $4, adults/children 13 and over; free for children 12 and under
The ToonSeum is one of the most unique spots in town…and in the country for that matter. In fact, ToonSeum is only among three of its kind in a nation—that is a museum dedicated solely to the art of cartooning. Loved by kids and adults alike, this museum showcases cartoonists and their whimsical work through exhibitions, workshops and more. Visitors are treated to new exhibits every two months. Some past exhibitions included: Looney Tues: Behind the Scenes; Alice in Wonderland; and Superheroes: Icons and Origins. They have also shown some unique programming on Geek TV Night, which screened five hours cult classic series and animation such as Beavis and Butthead, Fraggle Rock, Monty Python, Buffy, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Twin Peaks and much more. This museum is truly a unique place and a worthwhile trip for the whole family.
Color Me Mine
Hours: Mon-Wed, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Thurs-Sat, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Get in touch with your creative side, and head over to Color Me Mine art studio. Here, you can create your very own art masterpiece on a piece of pottery located in the studio. You can choose from over 400 different pieces of pottery, ranging from cookie jars, bowls, plates, platters, vases, fountains, animals and more. Once you pick out your piece of pottery, you’re free to plan out your design using stencils, rubber stamps, a design computer, paint by numbers, or simply by freehand. Browse through their various paints and make your artistic dream a reality. You can have your artwork fired when you’re finished, and you’ll go home with a one-of-a-kind art piece. It’s a fun activity for the whole family, and everyone is welcome, no matter the age.
Christine Mouser is currently living in the Pittsburgh area, where she is an editorial intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. She is set to graduate from Penn State University this summer, with a degree in print journalism. She has written for HappyValley.com, Town&Gown magazine and Penn State’s Valley magazine.