Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Best Indoor Playplaces in Pittsburgh

Since it's pretty much 100% chance of RAIN RAIN RAIN in Pittsburgh, here's our list of favorite indoor playplaces:

Restaurants/Fast Food:

  • Big Mac Museum- North Huntington, PA
    • This is hands down, the most fun and cleanest indoor play area at a fast food place that we've ever visited. Of course, it's McDonald's and you have to accept that for what it is. There's a bathroom in the play area so you don't have to pack up your stuff & kids to take your tot to the potty. There is a lot of seating, high chairs, etc. There isn't much of a "toddler/baby" play area here, though, and it is a bit of a hike for some.
  • McDonalds - Rt. 286, Plum, PA. 
    • This McDonald's Playplace is HUGE. It has a 3-story building to house the playground. There is also a toddler/baby play area that is (mostly) separate from the rest of the playground so the babies are a little safer and able to get down. It opens at 10:00am.
  • Chick-fil-A- Monroeville, PA 
    • Better food than a McDonald's in the opinion of most. The play area is really small...just a slide and small climbing area, but it is always clean. The kids love it and nobody is ever scared to go up to the slide. 

"Fun Centers"
  • Wildwood Highlands-Wildwood, PA
    • It can get pricey, but it is a huge, clean, exciting indoor fun center. There is a huge climbing structure and a smaller "under 3" section. There are also games and tickets like a Chuck-e-Cheese.  The food is pretty good (and reasonably priced). Check out the "Preschool Special" if you go on a weekday. Downside: it doesn't open until 11am. 
  • My Little Outback- Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
  • E2-Greentree, Pittsburgh, PA
    • We just went to E2 for the first time a couple weeks ago. Aside from some bad company (another family there had some bullies in it) we had a great time. There's a pirate ship playground with a slide and climbing wall. TONS of ride-on toys, play kitchen, baby play area, trains, etc. If your kids can't find something to keep them busy, I'd be really surprised! 
  • Ross Park Mall
  • South Hills Village
  • Pittsburgh Mills
  • The Mall at Robinson
My problem with mall playgrounds is the germs. I know you'll probably think I'm nuts, but I think they have to be as germy or more germy than the doctor's office. It seems like if we don't wash the kids in hand sanitizer when we're done playing, we end up sick. They're great in a pinch, but if I can swing it, I tend to avoid them. 

What are your favorite indoor spots for the under 5 crowd? I'm not familiar with many in the North Hills, or in the city. I'm always up for a new adventure, though!


  1. It's another mall one, but the Monroeville Mall has a great Mr. Roger's themed playspace. Everything is slightly squishy, even the walls. And there is only one way in/out unless someone climbs over a bench.
    And fwiw, my little guy loved the Ross Park Malls' play area , but one or two (one very much, the other only slightly) of the slides made me nervous since there was a gap in rails between the stairs and the slide. Not too far to fall, and I was right there with him. But, oh, the worry! :-P

  2. Phyllis- the reason I didn't include Monroeville's playplace is because my kids always get sick when we play there. I know that's probably not a very good reason to exclude it, but seriously, within a day of playing there they all have snotty noses and fevers. It's happened 10 times probably! In my opinion, there are better places to play in Monroeville, but you're right, It's another option! I should have at least mentioned it!

    1. That's actually a great reason to not mention it - or mention it with that disclaimer!! Because I was about to be sold on it until I read your reply and I IMMEDIATELY felt like, absolutely not!! Lol And I'm so serious. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Susan I think this is quite a valid reason for not including it, because might not maintaining hygiene standards for theirindoor play structure.