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We’re not quite ready for spring yet, but we’re getting close. As warm, sunny weather slowly makes its way back into Pittsburgh, why not take the kids out to play? Pittsburgh-area parks have plenty to offer kids including some impressive jungle gyms; many of which are structured like fairy-tale castles perfect for imaginative play. Here are some of the best the city has to offer, from beloved community staples to new installments utilizing the most of modern technology.

Frick Park
2005 Beechwood Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 682-7275

Frick Park is the largest of Pittsburgh’s parks, coming in at 644 acres. It’s also home to the famous Blue Slide Playground, which inspired the title for local rapper Mac Miller’s first album–just make sure to take some cardboard to slide down on. The playground also features a climbing apparatus, more slides, and a castle, while Frick Park has other fun for all ages with tennis courts, baseball fields, and the only public-lawn bowling green in Pennsylvania. It also hosts Pittsburgh’s Shakespeare in the Park every September.

Wildwood Highlands
2330 Wildwood Road
Wildwood, PA 15091
(412) 487-5517

If the weather is bad, have some indoor fun at Wildwood Highlands in their indoor soft-play jungle gym. Wildwood also features bumper cars, mini golf, go-karts, snow tubing, and more. Hours change with the season; from Labor Day to Memorial Day, they’re open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Highland Park
Highland Park Super Playground Reservoir Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 255-8850

Although Highland Park includes the Pittsburgh Zoo, it also has plenty more to offer for those looking for a day in the park, including gardens, a reservoir, sand volleyball courts, a bike track, and a pool. But for the kids, it also boasts the Super Playground, a large, wooden, castle-like playground with swings, a bridge, tunnels, slides, hiding places, and covered picnic tables. The playground’s been a popular fixture for a while now, built by community volunteers before playgrounds were a common park staple.

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Pleasant Kingdom
410 E. Bruceton Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
(412) 655-3300

Castle-like playgrounds are popular around Pittsburgh — the shaded Mowry Park in the South Hills offers another with the wooden Pleasant Kingdom playground, with turrets towering over bridges, walkways, and slides. The park also features sprinklers, picnic tables, and shelters. And the park might be getting even better, thanks to a grant received in 2014 that was to be put to upgrading the playground.

Kids Castle
111 Ernie Mashuda Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
(724) 776-4806

Rounding out the castle-themed playgrounds is Kids Castle in Cranberry, brightly colored and specifically designed for kids ages two through 12. The playground equipment is arranged into three themed areas honoring three different times in Cranberry’s life — Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, each designed to reflect the technology and culture of its time. The Past offers playground staples like swings, climbing spaces, and spring-mounted animals; the Present includes features most requested by children surveyed; and the Future includes EVOS play structures, Mobius climbers, a bubble rider, and more. The playground also has common areas, a small brick stage, walkways, child-friendly restrooms, a 25-year time capsule to be opened in 2038, and more. The impressive structure was built by the community to replace the previous 22-year-old wooden Playtime Palace and was dedicated in September 2013.

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Janelle Sheetz is a 20-something closed-captioner by day, writer by night, just outside of Pittsburgh. She also regularly contributes to and, and her writing has also been featured on The Billfold and Neutrons Protons.