The kids are out of school and you’re desperate for a fun activity to please the whole crew. Pittsburgh’s fun summer options abound, so don’t fret. Take those eager babes-to-tweens for a day chock full of fun, excitement and maybe even some education at the best spots for summer playdates in Pittsburgh.
Round Hill Park
651 Round Hill Road
Elizabeth, PA 15037
Delight in a visit to this family friendly park this summer. Complete with a working farm, groves and shelters, two soccer fields and walking and bridle trails, there’s something to do for everyone. Don’t miss Round Hill’s state-of-the-art spray park — the first of its kind in the region — to excite and cool the kids off on a hot day. Plan your visit accordingly and pack a lunch for a picnic in the park, or visit at nighttime when the park showcases its outdoor movie viewings and concerts.
My Little Outback
1936 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Price: free adults/$8 children ages 6 months to 11 months/$10 1 to 8 years old
Don’t let a rainy day spoil your group playdate plans. Kids ages 6 months to 8 years old will have a ball climbing the rock walls, grocery shopping in a pretend store, making crafts, climbing in tunnels and taking the plunge down the slide at this adorable play center. A toddler-friendly area separates the big and little kids, and the facility has a fabulous, fresh food selection — though you’re welcome to pack a lunch Monday through Thursday — and even a fun gift shop. Parents and guardians always enter free, and special admission discounts run on some weekdays. Parking is free on Sundays; public parking on Beacon Street behind the Parkvale Bank and non-metered street parking on Bartlett, Beacon and Hobart streets are the best options.
288 Route 711
Jones Mills, PA 15646
Price: $9.50 adults 12 and older/$6.50 children 3 to 11/$8 seniors 62 and older/free children 2 and younger
If simply viewing the exhibits at the Pittsburgh Zoo isn’t your thing, give Living Treasures Animal Park’s up-close-and-personal animal interactions a try. This walk-through zoo, which boasts more than 70 species, encourages you to touch and interact with its animals. Even kangaroos are typically docile and incredibly soft. Get your group together to tour the facility, visit the petting zoo, ride on a pony and enjoy a picnic lunch at this incredible enclosure where peacocks and dingos roam free. You might even catch a bottle-feeding session.
Apple Hill Playhouse
275 Manor Road
Delmont, PA 15626
Click here for pricing and showtimes
Break out of your typical jaunts to the local playground for a treat that all of your kids will enjoy. Apple Hill Playhouse has been in operation and delighting theater goers, both young and old, for more than a decade. Performances run every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 11 a.m. Make a day of it by venturing to one of neighboring Murrysville’s awesome restaurants after the performance, or even stay and talk to the staff about volunteer and acting opportunities for your children.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $12 adults/$11 children 2 to 18 and seniors/free children 2 and younger/$5 parking for non-members/$3 member parking
Run, jump, climb, create, listen and learn at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. There’s so much to do at the Children’s Museum for any age that one can hardly take everything in in a single visit. Plan your group’s playdate around one of the museum’s fabulous events, or visit on any given Tuesday for Tot Time, a fun gardening adventure in the outdoor classroom. From robotics to sand art, mechanics to visual art, spend hours painting, bouncing, arranging and exploring in all of its wonderful exhibits. The Children’s Museum also boasts a delicious array of foods in its café, or you may pack your own. Take particular note of June 23, which is free admission day and Buhl Community Park’s Public Celebration.
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.