The winter season in PGH makes it hard to venture into the cold (even if it’s just to the car). But it’s a Thursday and and you need to get out of the house right now! Here are some things we like to check out when trying to keep our sanity and entertain young kids.
We know… EnP isn’t the glorious brunch you’re dreaming about, but it’s affordable and ubiquitous in Pittsburgh so no matter where you live, there’s probably a location close by. Plus let’s be real, we all love the salad bar.
Since only kids 46” are allowed to bounce during specific times, you’re off the hook and can relax while they burn down some of their energy supply (although you’ll probably want to get your jump on, too). For those folks up North, the Urban Air Trampoline Park in Cranberry offers similar options.
For just 5 bucks this indoor playspace will have the kiddos climbing and sliding themselves silly, and tbh you might even get a few slides in yourself. After an hour or two (or three, there’s no time limit) they’ll be ready to eat again.
In Pittsburgh there’s always a chance we might have Spring-time weather in February, so take advantage of it by grabbing a blanket, a few snacks, and heading to Beechwood Farms. Between the Discovery Ground Nature Play Area and the variety of trails,this spot is sure to get the kids exploring (and tired. Did we say tired?). Pro-Tip: Pack a secret snack and bust it out out if the kids want to leave but you’re enjoying yourself. You’ll get a solid couple of extra minutes; use them wisely.
Most known for their breakfasts, their luncheonette options don’t disappoint. You might be thinking “two diners in one day is too much,” but you don’t need that type of negativity and the kids will love it. Plan ahead as they’re cash-only. Bonus: If you head to the Millvale location Wednesday-Saturday, pop into Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery for dessert a few blocks away.
Let’s all agree that Wholey’s is an experience. From the market-style fresh fish, meats, and produce, to the kitchen and sushi-bar, you can guarantee an educational and colorful time. But keep in mind some of food (re: dead fish) might be a little intense for a little kid, so if you don’t want to scar them then maybe just bee-line it upstairs. Tip: Lobster Roll.
We know quiet reading time is a long-shot (but kudos to you if you can swing it!), so we love our libraries for the tons of kid-focused programs. CLPGH has a lot of mid-afternoon/early evening options, from crafts to activities. Additional Allegheny County Library Association libraries also provide year-round daytime edu-tainment opportunities. We especially love the national award-winning Shaler Library for keeping the little ones learning, moving, and free to be their little loud selves.
Right beside the CLPGH Oakland branch, this dinner spot is a no-brainer if you’ve opted for the afternoon library scene and need to treat yourself after a day with sub-10s. But don’t worry, there’s a kids menu so they won’t know the difference.
We know it’s not always the best idea to sugar-up the kids before bedtime, but if you hand them a perfect waffle topped with chocolate, then you’ll definitely be crowned the fun-uncle. With two locations in Oakland and Squirrel Hill, our fave treat is the namesake “Wafflonia,” which is basically just unlimited toppings.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve stopped saying “As American as Apple Pie” and instead opt for “As Pittsburgh as Leona’s Ice Cream”. These sweet treats are 100% real dairy, 100% lactose free, and are often made with local ingredients. You can pick it up at many local markets, diners, and coffee shops.
We clearly love ice cream, and Klavons in the Strip (right by Pittsburgh Winery) serves up throw-back vibes and and amazing options. We also love their late night hours, so if you just want to head home or if the kids fall asleep you can still order some up on UberEats or GrubHub and they’ll deliver right to your door (trust us, we’ve done it). Heads up: They’re closed Tuesdays.
12. Wrap It Up by Unwinding @ Home
No, unfortunately this isn’t an up-and-coming spot you haven’t yet heard of. This is your house, apartment, hotel room, what-have-you, where you calm the little ones down before getting them to bed. Grab a piece of paper, pen, and your helpers to tell you about their favorite parts of the day. Write a little re-cap of the day’s adventures and turn it into a story (that you promise to read once they’re in bed). Hopefully then the little tikes are out cold and you can dive in to round two of that extra Leona’s ice cream you picked up for yourself.