Sunday, November 13, 2011

Best Indoor Play Places in Pittsburgh (updated!)

We are entering the winter indoor play season again so I thought I would update and repost one of my most popular posts ever! Here are the 'Burgher Tots' choices for best indoor playplaces in Pittsburgh for 2011-2012!

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 large 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
    •  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! They also have tables for you to bring your lunch! (They even have a nut-free table and will disinfect it again before you sit down if you ask them to.) Free coffee for parents/guardians. Opens at 10:00am.
  • Jumpin' Castle, Warrendale, PA
    • We have been to the JC twice. It seems a little $$ to me, but I think all the nice playplaces are pricey. There's a toddler play area, a huge climbing structure, air hockey tables, a climbing wall, puppet theater, ball room, bounce house, etc. No food or drink (other than the water fountain) allowed. It's always clean, but I could see it getting very crowded. 
  • 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!

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