Hack the Summer with Fun Things to Do in PittsburghI stepped into the backyard. There were hockey sticks strewn about the driveway, shoes in the grass (must they ALWAYS take off their shoes when they are outside??), and a baby doll stroller hanging from a tree.
The kids are on summer vacation and our lawn shows it.
Besides the toy tornado that has hit the yard, Summer is good to my kids. They've got neighborhood friends to play with at the drop of a hat (a hat which most likely lands in the lawn with the rest of the kids' possessions), are hitting the pool every other day, and are just enjoying the carefree days of summer!
But sometimes, a mom gets tired of removing toy baby strollers from tree branches.
Sometimes we need to get out of the house and go on some summer adventures.
I was excited when I had the chance to meet up with some of my closest friends for a playdate at the park. The kids could run around and get their energy out on the playground while us Moms (and one Dad) chatted all things Summer. Like, how to keep the kids active and having fun while creating a summer of memories with the whole family.
We chatted about ways to Hack the Summer and get out of the toy-nado funk and into local Summer fun. What better way to make the most of summer than to build summer memories in our city? We came up with a few fun ideas to visit and places to play in Pittsburgh as a family.
Here's what we came up with:
Best Pittsburgh Summer Play Places for Kids and Families
Best Ways to Cool Off in Pittsburgh On a Hot Day:
Pittsburgh's Water Steps- The North Side's fountain is a place to cool down on a hot day. Kids can wear water shoes and get right into the water feature while enjoying a great view of the city's skyline.
The water fountain in the South Side Works just calls out to kids! They can run through the water on a hot day. There is free live music on weekends for the whole family to enjoy.
Mellon Park's spray park is a fun way to cool off that doesn't involve swimming. Pack a picnic lunch and eat it on the large lawn.
Fall Run Park in Shaler (North Hills) is a mile long hike along a rocky creek that is perfect for kids of all ages. Kids (and adults!) can play in the creek and will find a beautiful large waterfall at the end of the hike.
Best Parks in Pittsburgh:
Blue Slide Park in Frick park is a unique playground with it's cement slide. Bring a piece of cardboard to slide down the slide that is built right into the hillslide or play on the multi-level playground.
Squall Run Playground in Fox Chapel has two playground areas that are great for different ages. Kids love to play in the sand volleyball court too, so bring your sand toys!
Highland Park's Super Playground is a huge wooden playground with passages, play features, and a castle-like appearance.
Best Indoor Activities in Pittsburgh (for rainy or super hot days):
Shaler Library has the best children's librarians and programming for kids. People come from all over to attend story times, STEM activities, hands-on learning programs, and interactive themed activities. There is something for everyone and something happening every day.
Sorgels Orchards has a great play area and mom can pick up a couple of groceries in the market after play time. They have great ice cream for a treat, too!
Look at all it can do:
The digital app makes mobile ordering easy with it's mobile payment abilities, fun giveaways, and even a way to place online catering orders. I love that with Chick-fil-A One, you can order and pay in advance, and skip the line at the register. This is perfect for my big crew of crazy kids! The bonus for using the app is free food offers, which is based on what I order. My preferences and previous orders gets me free food offers that I can track right in the app.
I have been using my app to order food when I've got all four of my hungry (and loud) kids along for a meal. We can avoid the chaos of ordering 4 kids meals with 18 different special requests in a busy store. Now that's a real Summer Hack if I've ever heard of one! One of my favorite ways that I've been using the app is to place a catering order right from my phone. I placed an order of nuggets for one of my kids' birthday parties and it couldn't have been an easier process!
Want to get the app on your mobile device? Download Chick-fil-A One via iTunes or Google Play, or simply by tweeting #CFAOne with the horizontal cow emoji to receive a prompt to download the app from Twitter directly to your smart phone or mobile device.
When we were done with lunch and play, our crazy crew headed home with full bellies and memories of a fun day with friends.
We had some leftover Chick-fil-A cookies that were perfect for making these cookie pops. It was easy to cut up the cookies into quarters and pop lollipop sticks into the cookie pieces. Take these cookie pops to one of the play spaces we've shared above or one of your favorite local places while you "Hack the Summer" and avoid the chaos of toy baby stroller in trees.