Admit it: as much as you want your kids to love football and the Steelers, sometimes the games can be a huge snooze-fest for the younger crowd. Take their desires to heart and consider sending them packing to a fun, kid-friendly event (obviously with a responsible adult who won’t care to miss the game) in the Pittsburgh area. Below are five attractions sure to please every age, and some do not require adult supervision. Be sure to call ahead or check each respective website, as rates and hours may change.
Giggles And Smiles
200 Monroeville Blvd.
Monroeville, PA 15146
What do kids love more than jumping, climbing and being generally nutty? Well, maybe a 15-scoop hot fudge sundae, but we digress. Giggles and Smiles, Monroeville’s bounciest kid-friendly attraction, is all about making kids silly and getting their wiggles out. With five bouncy houses, two baby roller coasters, a rock wall, gymnastic equipment and a ball pit for the little guys, G&S is your one-stop shop for (totally affordable) all sorts of kiddo fun. The staff is warm and welcoming, the rates are reasonable and, best of all, you can leave your little guys there while you shop in and around Monroeville Mall.
Funslides Carpet Skatepark
Greesburg Shopping Center
410 E. Pittsburgh St.
Greensburg, PA 15601
Combine simple furniture movers strapped to your feet with indoor/outdoor carpet attached to crazy steep ramps, add some neon lights and disco balls and voila! You have an ingenious idea that takes the cold out of skiing, sledding and snowboarding. Slide, scoot and ski your way down Funslides ramps in its crazy fun indoor arena. Safe for almost everyone in the family (maybe leave the two-and-younger crowd at home), Funslides also has a full arcade, snack bar and birthday party area.
770 E. Pittsburgh St.
Greensburg, PA 15601
Love the Chuck E. Cheese idea but loathe the commercialism? Try Seabase out for your next kid-pleasing outing and see what you’ve been missing. Combining the action of an arcade with the additional advantages of mini golf, laser tag, two huge jungle gyms, a train and a toddler play area, Seabase has every avenue covered. Coupons are available for the facility online and specials are updated monthly, so check back often.
8105 Perry Highway
McCandless, PA 15237
A family owned and operated paint-your-own-clay studio is a perfect kid-friendly destination for some low-key entertainment. For a small sitting fee, you can have all of the time you need and full access to its extensive paint collection to make your most creative pottery project come alive. Each piece is priced different, so choose carefully. When you’ve finished your masterpiece, hand it over to the master kiln operator to have it fired and deglazed, ready for pick up a week later. Not only is this a great place for kids to express themselves, it’s also an awesome destination for a girls’ night out.
945 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The city’s only museum dedicated to the art of comic and cartooning and one of three in the whole of the United States, ToonSeum features exhibitions, hands-on workshops and community outreach programs. Kids will truly appreciate ToonSeum’s rapidly changing exhibits and interactive workshops. Check out the website or Twitter feed for news, updates and special events, or sign one of the kiddos up for a class. General admission is under $10 for adults and children, and workshops are priced per class.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.