So summer is creeping in and there are a lot of fun ways to have nice Days with your kids, locally. Here are a few.
The local Spray Parks are an excellent source. The Spray parks are fun because if your child can not swim, you do not need to stress about them in a pool. It is very refreshing and it is a great way to make new 'instant' friends!
Another Huge favorite in my home are the libraries. First you are in air conditioning, and secondly, there is so much to do. Each year my kids join the summer reading clubs, and earn great prizes for reading and tracking their progress and they attend story times as well as crafts at the libraries. My daughter being the oldest enjoys movies with girls of her own age. The movies are a great way to provide a little freedom without letting go too much. There are quite a few 'teens' that show up for the movies and a snack. The boys like the LEGO's events and the crafts and computers.
Lowes and Home Depot Workshops. 3 of our 4 weekends in a month consist of a Do-It-Yourself Kids workshop. We love pounding hammers and nails and getting a project done together! What a sense of accomplishment they each have. The Carnegie Library: There is something special about traversing to OAKLAND to go to the Original Carnegie Library. I am not sure if it is the huge trees outside that the kids love the most or the ambiance inside, but it wins every time I ask where they want to go. The floors amuse the kids as does the Dinosaur display. Maybe it is because they love going up and down the old stairs or checking out the water wall patio in between the museum and the library. We spend countless hours at this location and never, ever get tired of it!
SOUTH HILLS VILLAGE AND ROSS PARK MALL Some of the best activities happen here, and it cost me only $5 for the year. KIDGITS is a great program. Often each mall will provide a time for a craft and age appropriate activities.
A TRIP TO NIKO'S I love to stop and indulge in a coffee. I don't like taking the kids into Starbuck's, that's not on par with the people working and the atmosphere. We head out to Robinson and shop a lot, so as we are headed out, we stop to take the morning in a bit. I stop at Niko's Coffeehouse. The staff all cater and interact nicely with children. WE plan our shopping day(even though I already know where we are going) and we chat a bit.
I use the WiFi to connect with all of you for a bit and then we are off! The atmosphere is laid-back and cozy. We all feel welcome, there are even crayons for the kids! The kids think they are 'something' because they are in a Coffee House, and I like the prices as well as the beverages. The staff will get to know your kids too, stop in. The Baklava, is a great way to start the morning with a cup of Niko's signature coffee. Niko's has a great atmosphere. There are $1 Kid Hot Chocolates and Ice Teas, or Hot Teas and there is always a special going on for the Adults. Breakfast is there too, if the kids have not eaten they enjoy a bowl of Rice Pudding, this stuff is just too good, not sure there are any kids around who wouldn't like this breakfast!
WAVE POOL When I feel that the kids are just too punchy, I have to get their energy out, we head to the local wave pool. I can assure you after an afternoon of getting beat on by simulated waves, your kids will sleep! It is not expensive and it is fun. I think the real downside to this is that you have to eat the food from their concession stand, which is mostly fried and unhealthy. Actually defeating the purpose of exercise. I do look at the bigger picture though and that is the fun the kid have jumping in those waves, it is great to watch them jump around, and I love spending my day with them!
A WALK IN MT. WASHINGTON My kids love to pretend we are visitors to our city each summer, one way we do this is by sightseeing in our own city! We visit the birdbath lookouts in Mt. Washington, and we take a picture each year. We look and enjoy the city. We are so blessed to live here.
A HIDDEN TREASURE We love going to the mini golf course at RMU Island Sports. The best part is the waterfall. I love it because when we go during the day it is not jammed with people and the kids can take their time and actually make their shots. It is a well taken care of course and easily accessed via 79! Each day they have a great special just for mini-golfing: like a free ice cream cone, or a free second round, it just depends which day you go!
A TRUE OLD-FASHIONED ICE CREAM SHOP If you want a bit of history travel to Canonsburg and visit the Sarris Ice Cream Shop. I really can not tell you who enjoys this stop more, me or the kids. From here you can easily travel on to the local OUTLETS! What a fun day.
DELALLO'S If you are headed East a fun stop to make with the kids as well as for your refrigerator is Delallo's. I have been going there forever. I still can't believe how much the store has changed. Anything you get there you will love, but if you LOVE hard crusty bread, you have to get the Fresh Bread in the racks right after you leave produce and before you get to the deli. This bread has these perfect airholes through it with a crunch unlike any other! True delicious bread making carb-packing ok! The smells in the store, the fresh food and all the pasta selection will keep you occupied and your sense happy for quite a while.
Headed South? How about Cabella's for the day. Oh yes, a huge aquarium, museum-like animal scenes and an arcade not to forget the whole purpose of the store, HUNTING. It is easily a full afternoon of entertainment for no more than a bit of gas in your gas tank. I was left in awe when we went and the kids were so busy they did not want to leave. The wooden pop guns upstairs and the arcade are a reason enough to take the kids. My children found the most huge collapsible chair I have ever seen! You never know what you are going to see.
These are just a few of the places we go to when we head out, but there are plenty more. I hope you try these out as we have a wonderful City, and surrounding tri-state with so much to get out and do!