Dear Diary,

Although winter isn’t officially underway on December 21st, the snow and temperatures are falling. But don’t let Mother Nature rain on your family’s parade. Your kids can still run, jump and play-they will just do it inside. Being cooped up in the house, especially when it’s cold and dreary outdoors, can cause your family to get stuck in a winter rut. To cheer up your children, take a drive to these indoor play spaces for various ages.


The Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library in Shadyside is a fun indoor play space with a toy lending library for children from birth through age six. Members can borrow a toy or two from more than 400 selections. There’s also an art space, where kids can color, paint and make crafts from an endless supply of materials, like beads and tissue paper.


Now through January 17th, tots can have a grr-ific time at the Daniel the Tiger exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on the Northside. They can play dress up and pretend to be their favorite characters from the show; write a thank you note and attach it to the Thank You Tree; and they can sort, deliver and receive mail and packages at the Neighborhood Post Office.

Little Kids

Slide into action at Fun Slides Carpet Skate Park in Ross Township. The 33,000 square foot facility features large carpet ramps, Blacklight Dodgeball, a Ninja Challenge obstacle course and glowing inflatable Bounce and Slide areas. This is a great alternative for little kids who haven’t yet learned how to ice skate or skateboard.

Click here for ideas for big kids & teens.


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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