Photo Credit: KDKA

The winter of 2014 set some record-breaking lows. Fortunately for the entire nation, it’s now spring, and summer’s imminent warmth is just around the corner. Read on for the best places to take the kiddos for a bright, cheerful playdate, in some of the best playgrounds in the region, and put old man winter behind for good.

Highland Park
City of Pittsburgh Parks & Recreation
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 687-1800
www.pittsburghparks.org

Run, don’t walk, to your next playdate at this glorious clean park with several fun playgrounds to choose from. Your kids and their friends will love the castle-themed wooden play structure to act like stately knights and fair maidens. In addition, a smaller area for the younger kids is mere steps away in what Highland Park has dubbed ‘Farmhouse Park,’ that has many places to climb and hide. Highland Park’s reservoir is also a lovely area for walking around, and the park has plenty of lush, green grass to enjoy a picnic lunch with your group. Pro tip: this is also a dog-friendly park.

Schenley Park
101 Panther Hollow Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 687-1800
www.pittsburghparks.org

Panther Hollow Lake is a beautiful spot to walk the kids around. It is one of the most serene, aesthetically pleasing hiking hills in Pittsburgh, attracting families, joggers, and animal lovers for miles. Schenley Park also has great play areas for your little guys to romp, jump and crawl for hours. Schenley Park also boasts great food vendors (weather permitting), walking trails, and summer’s most anticipated Annual Vintage Grand Prix.

Mellon Park
6300 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 687-1800
www.pittsburghparks.org

With a variety of playground options, Mellon Park is a favorite of Pittsburgh playdate-goers. Stunning overlooks give way to rolling hills that the kids can tear up for hours. Play a game of Frisbee, fly a kite, or simply lie back and watch the clouds roll by. Mellon is also a dog-friendly facility.

Related:  Best Parks For Kids In Pittsburgh

Riverview Park
1 Riverview Ave.
Observatory Hill
(412) 321-4107
www.pittsburghparks.org

Riverview Park is the nicest acreage in all of the North Side (unless you’re counting PNC Park.) This stunning spot is great for families, and people of all ages. Riverview’s playground has a great rubber surface, so you won’t be trekking dirty mulch into your clean car. Horseback riding is also available for the adventurous, and in the summer, get ready for the Roving Art Cart. This free, annual gives kids the opportunity to create different art pieces, get their face painted, and watch a clown make balloon art. Donations and tips are accepted.

Squaw Valley Park
325 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
www.ohara.pa.us

Fox Chapel’s best hidden gem, Squaw Valley Park, is arguably the best place in North Hills to take the kids to play. From multiple tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and two playgrounds, you’d be set for your playdate. A fishing pond and two gorgeous pavilions await your arrival. In addition, Squaw Valley is dog-friendly and has a  paved “loop” for those who exercise.
Related: Best Dog Parks in Pittsburgh

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.

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