Sunday, August 31, 2014

Top 5 / September 1-6

September? Well, hello!
This time of year, many people seem to be crying "pumpkin spice lattes, jeans, boots, & scarves (and I love all those things). But my mind also tends to drift to "no more flip flops, the jacket battles are coming, we'll be stuck in the house, help!" :) So we will squeeze in all the outdoor fun we can while we still have these warm days.
Here is my Top 5 list for the week - most of these family-friendly venues are open every day which make it flexible for scheduling day, evening or weekend visits!

Park of the Week: North Park's Black & Yellow Playground. Located next to the North Park Community Pool, it has 3 playgrounds, with the Black & Yellow one being the largest one.  It has new updated equipment which includes an assortment of swings, slides, ladders and tunnels that are also suited for children with disabilities. Located at S. Ridge Drive / Hemlock Dr., McCandless Township, PA 15101.
Library FunFor the month of September, the West End & East Liberty Carnegie Libraries are starting (free) Family Playshops. It combines play, early childhood education, parent support, and innovative library services in an exciting program for children 6 months - 4 years old. Space is limited and you must register ahead of time. More info on dates & times here.
Playdate: Join the Pgh Momtourage at E2 Toys to Try this Thursday!  There is an indoor & outdoor playspace and lots of fun for kids of all ages! Bring your lunch and we'll eat at the outdoor picnic area.  More details and RSVP here. 
Beat the Heat: The Carnegie Science Center has a new fantastic indoor exhibit called BLUE! and it is one of my favorites! It's an immersive, hands-on exhibit featuring molded foam blocks of all shapes and sizes. It encourages lots of imagination in kids and kept my kiddos occupied for a long time. Now is also the perfect time to hit the museums between kids going back to school and not as many field trips at the beginning of school. :)

Family Fun: If you've never been to Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, this is a great time of year to go! There are 2 locations - Moraine & Laurel Highlands. LT is an amazing interactive zoo where you can get closer to animals than you can at most other zoos.You can purchase food on-site to feed to the animals where it is allowed.  Feed the giraffes from the palm of your hand, ride a pony or camel, hold a baby kangaroo, and reach out and touch wildlife! My only downer about these parks is that the paths are gravel, so they aren't great with strollers that don't have the jogging stroller-type wheels. But definitely worth the trip!

 Enjoy fun in Pittsburgh this week!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Join the Momtourage at the Pineapple Classic!

If you're like me, running for long distances for the fun of it aren't my favorite. So when I do races, I've loved finding ones that add some extra fun in such as Color Me Rad or Foamfest. This year I was excited when the organizers of the Pineapple Classic 5k contacted me about their event. It definitely sounds like our family's fun race for this summer! 

Pineapple Classic 5k Obstacle Race
& Children's Obstacle Course
I have one more code for 50% off registration if you would like to join our team of 4! We've already established that we are not the world's fastest runners :), so don't feel like you have to be super-athlete to join us! Email me at if you would like to receive the code (first come, first served.)

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
Hartwood Acres | 9:00 am
The Pineapple Classic 5k obstacle course race is a fun and challenging Hawaiian-themed event. Participants will be crawling, climbing, bouncing and bending to raise funds for blood cancer research and patient services. Each team is responsible for carrying one pineapple through the course without letting it touch the ground. Upon crossing the finish line, participants and sponsors are invited to enjoy a luau complete with Hawaiian food, drinks and steel drums!
And I love that there is a children's event as well! Kids ages 2 - 11 years old can join the fun at the Children's Obstacle Course! For a $10 donation, each child will receive a wrist band; which will allow him/her to go through the course as many times as desired and eat at the luau. Children will NOT be assigned start times; all children will go through the course on a first come, first serve basis. 
The Children's Obstacle Course will be less than one mile long. The obstacles include: climbing through tires, jumping hurdles, sliding down a slide, crawling through a tunnel, etc. Just like the 5k race, each participant will have to carry a pineapple! (This time its a tissue pineapple) After completing the course, each child is permitted to select ONE of the available giveaway items.  Go here to register your kids!
There will also be an inflatable bounce unit (separate from the obstacle course) for all kids. 

Each team that registers online will receive a Team Fund-raising page that can be customized and emailed to friends, family, co-workers, etc. In addition, each participant that registers online will also receive a personal fund-raising page that can be customized and emailed to request online donations toward your fund-raising goal. You do NOT have to fund raise in order to participate. 
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Founded in 1949, we are relentless in pursuit of our mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. As a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations. Major annual fundraising campaigns include Team In Training, Light The Night Walk, School & Youth Programs and Man & Woman of the Year Campaigns. Special events such as the Pineapple Classic 5k are newer events that are gaining momentum around the country to support our mission. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fruit Shoot #StuntHunt

This article is sponsored and financially supported by Fruit Shoot.
Robinson's Fruit Shoot is a kid's drink-on-the-go. It has 10% real fruit juice from concentrate, no high-fructose corn syrup, and is available in regular or no sugar added. An easy, no-spill sports-capped bottle makes it a good option for kids! I am a stickler on not giving my kids food/drink with artificial dyes, so I was very happy to find that Fruit Shoot does not have them! Available in Orange, Strawberry Raspberry, Berry Burst & Apple. See locations to purchase it here.
It currently has a great campaign going on which encourages kids to be creative, active & have fun!
Welcome to the Fruit Shoot / Have a Ball Stunt Hunt      
Fruit Shoot is looking to families across the U.S. to share videos of your kids doing amazingly active stunts. Here's the trick: Your submission has to feature a Fruit Shoot bottle and a ball of your choice. The best of your videos will get the Hollywood treatment with special effects added to bring your kids' imagination to life!

My kids loved the idea of creating a video! My 3yo decided to carefully put all the bottles set up in the middle. Let your kids have fun with it! Thanks to my hubby for his fun editing skills. :)
You'll instantly receive a coupon for a free bottle of Fruit Shoot just for registering! Need a cool ball to shoot your video with? Any time you buy 6 bottles of Fruit Shoot in-store, you can send away for a FREE Waboba ball, the ball that bounces on water!
So grab your phone/camera, and show them what you can do. You can shoot and enter all on your smartphone!
Submit your entry here.
You can submit entries through Wednesday, September 10th.

My kids also loved seeing some of the other videos that have been entered in the contest. You can view those here.
And while you're there, you can give the Pgh Momtourage video a big 'ole LIKE! :)

#FruitShoot #StuntHunt
Thanks to Fruit Shoot for sponsoring today's discussion!

Monday, August 25, 2014

6 Great Schools to Move Near in Pittsburgh

Today we have a guest post, sponsored by, that shares some helpful info about local schools!
6 Great Schools to Move Near in Pittsburgh
By Emily Creswick of Zillow
Pittsburgh may be the perfect city to raise a family. The economy is steady, job opportunities are abundant and crime rates are low. Pittsburgh also offers a unique mix of family-friendly neighborhoods, close to highly-recommended elementary and high schools. 
Review these six premier educational facilities within the Pittsburgh School District. They’ve been recognized by for impressive test scores, high parental ratings and optimal teacher-to-student ratios.
Elementary Schools

Crafton Elementary School
Crafton Elementary is a public school suitable for kindergarteners through 6th graders. It is located five miles northwest of downtown Pittsburgh. Crafton Elementary School has a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 and is located five miles southwest of downtown. Crafton is a charming town with many beautiful & affordable homes and has easy access to Downtown & Robinson Township!

Highcliff Elementary School
Highcliff Elementary is a public school suitable for kindergarteners through to 6th graders. The school has a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 and teaches 524 students. Highcliff Elementary is located in West View, less than 9 miles north of downtown Pittsburgh. West View is a part of the Ross Township where the median home price is $137,500 and rent $1,403. Public transport offers convenient buses to downtown every 20 and 30 minutes. Additionally, the neighborhood is close by to convenient retailers and amenities including Sam’s Club and the Shannopin Country Club.

Lincoln Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary is a public school for children starting in kindergarten to 5th grade. The school has an impressive 10/10 great school with 413 students and 14:1 student to teacher ratio. Lincoln Elementary has a technology emphasis, providing students with the solid foundations allowing them to succeed in technology programs in highschool and further education. The school is located in South Hills, close by to the affluent family friendly neighborhood of Mount Lebanon where the median home value is $240,000 and rent $1,899. This neighborhood is known for its 14 highly rated primary and secondary schools with GreatSchool ratings of 9 or higher.

High Schools

Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
Pittsburgh CAPA is a Creative and Performing Arts high school for children in grades 6 to 12. Located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, the school aims to nurture student’s creativity through a special curriculum of dance, music, literary arts, production technology and visual art. The school services 877 students and boasts an impressive GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10. Homes available in downtown Pittsburgh include a mix of apartments and condos. Families living downtown enjoy the spoils of the fruitful Pittsburgh cultural scene and the scenic Allegheny River. For close by residential living, look in the northern neighborhood of Perry South with an affordable median home value of $59,700 and monthly rent of $800. 

City Charter High School
City Charter High school has a solid GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 with an impressive 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio. The 574 students enjoy a technology-focused curriculum fostering solid foundations for college education or higher training. The school is conveniently located in Gateway Centre Park in downtown Pittsburgh and is easily accessible by public transportation from the surrounding neighborhoods. Located a convenient five miles northeast of the school is the family neighborhood of Shadyside. This neighborhood, conveniently located near grocery stores including Whole Foods and Trader Joes, has a median home value of $285,600 and monthly rent of $2,044. Shadyside is also home to elementary schools Pittsburgh Obama 6-12 (GreatSchools rating of 6) and Pittsburgh Liberty K-5 (GreatSchools rating of 5).

Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy
Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy is a public high school teaching grades 6 to 12. The school is located in Oakland, four miles east of downtown Pittsburgh. The academy, which has a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10, teaches 358 students. The curriculum is tailored for children passionate about science, technology, engineering and math. Oakland is the ideal neighborhood to raise an academically-minded family. The neighborhood is home to prestigious universities, museums and impressive architecture. Schenley Park is also close, which is perfect for family visits on weekends. Oakland has a mix of single-family homes and condos. The median home value is $102,300 and rent is $1,289. 
Before buying a new home or signing a lease, take a tour of preferred schools in the neighborhood and visit local business areas to determine suitability for the family. Commute time is another major determining factor for those searching for homes in Pittsburgh. Investigate the local public transportation options and complete commutes during peak hours before purchasing properties.
************* was a huge help to us in our recent home search! Whether you're looking to buy, rent, or just checking out details for a house you love (and dream of buying!), it's an easy one-stop shop. Find pictures, price, history, & taxes, as well as neighborhood & school district details + more!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pittsburgh's Hidden Water Park!

Back in January, I saw a picture of this waterpark & posted it on our facebook page. Judging by the 1,200+ shares, there was a lot of interest in this venue! But we ran into a small problem....very few of us could figure out where this venue was located or what it was called. We couldn't find a website and very little info online about it. But I was recently dropping my son off at a summer camp and when I pulled into the parking lot, BINGO, this gem was before my eyes. I was so excited to accidentally find it! :)
I was able to track down their marketing supervisor who was more than kind in showing me around the facility, telling me about the waterpark, and sharing passes for my family to check it out.
Here's what I found out:
1551 Mayview Road Upper St.Clair, Pennsylvania 15241 
My family loved spending the day here, my kids had a wonderful time!
The Outdoor Aquatics Area hosts 6,000 sq. ft. of water with zero depth entry, interactive water structure and gadgets including a 60,000 gallon bucket which teeters over and splashes over the crowd, tot and teen slides, lily pads, handicap lift and three lane leisure pool with underwater benches. Surrounding the aquatics area are lounge chairs, a grassy lawn, covered pavilions where members and guests picnic, vending machines and separate outdoor men's/women's locker rooms and family changing rooms. 

And when kids are looking for a change of scenery or waiting out the hourly 10 minute water break, having this sandy beach area is ideal!
Although the outdoor water area is only open through Labor Day, the great news is the indoor waterpark is open year round!
The Indoor Aquatics Center hosts an interactive water structure and gadgets, slides, tots area, handicap lift, four lane lap pool and large whirlpool.
Zero depth entry makes it ideal for little ones!
If you are also looking for a fitness center, the Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park has it all!
The center's first floor offers a large community gathering area, two group exercise studios, children's playroom (babysitting), two poolside party rooms in addition to a 3,600 sq. ft. community room, men's/women's locker rooms, family changing rooms and two full size gymnasiums. The large gymnasium can be subdivided and used for numerous recreation programs for all ages such as volleyball, basketball, pickleball, after school programs, boot camp, summer camps, teen events, and many others.
The second floor contains a state of the art fitness area with Hammer Strength, Life Fitness and Expresso exercise equipment. The cardio equipment as well as the Expresso Bikes offer individual television/ multi-media screens and virtual trainers with an abundance of course and work out options. The low impact floor 1/8 mile walking/jogging track overlooks the first floor amenities as well as many outdoor view corridors.
Indoor Facility
5:30am - 10pm
 5:30am - 9pm
6:30am - 5pm
12pm - 5pm
Outdoor Aquatics Facility
Memorial Day - Labor Day
 11am - 7pm
Aquatic and Fitness areas will close 15 minutes prior to building closing.
Memberships are available for use of this facility year-round, but you can also purchase a daily pass which includes all of their facilities, as well as the water venues, for only $12 a day.
You do not have to be a member to purchase the $12 venue ticket!
If you have questions, contact their Admin Offices.
Monday - Friday
8am - 4pm

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Top 5 / August 18 - 23

Looking for something to do in Pittsburgh this week?
My Top 5 list for the week - most of these family-friendly venues are open every day which make it flexible for scheduling day, evening or weekend visits!
Park of the Week: It's always a good time to check out Pittsburgh's famous Blue Slide Playground. Bring your cardboard box and experience this fun & unique playground! A castle-themed playground occupies the lower level of the playground, ascending to the Blue Slide, and then finally to a climbing structure where kids can see the downtown Pittsburgh skyline. At the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and English Lane, there is free on street parking.
Family FunIf you're considering eating out this week, try Walnut Grill (Wexford). Monday night is family night and a big screen movie is set up in the banquet room along with other kids activities. Kids also eat free with each purchase of an adult entrĂ©e! You can see our full list of Kid's Eat Free here.
Water Fun: Join the Pgh Momtourage at Troy Hill Spray Park this Wednesday.  One of our favorites and one of the largest spray parks in Pittsburgh. FREE water fun that kids of all ages can enjoy. We recommend having kids in water shoes/sandals and bringing buckets and water toys to play with in the water. Bonus: there's a playground right next to the spray park! RSVP here. 

Beat the Heat: The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is one of the best kid-friendly destinations around town. This is the perfect time to stop by because throughout the month of August they are running big discounts & deals!! Daily deals include Member Mondays, T-Shirt Tuesdays, Weather Wednesdays, Throwback Thursday,  Costume-Themed Weekends, + more!  See complete details here.
Weekend Fun: The Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival opens this weekend!
10:30 am - 6:30 pm / Rain or Shine / No Pets / FREE PARKING
Opening weekend: "An Adventure to the Past" August 23 & 24 
Join in a celebration of music and dance as they put out the royal welcome mat for King Henry and Queen Katherine’s arrival at the castle. Meet the new cast of villagers, enjoy first-class entertainers and revisit old favorites. See the full line-up of entertainment here. Best of all, take advantage of the “Buy-One-Get-One Free” offer this first weekend only - BOGO tickets ONLY available at participating Wendy’s Restaurants!
*Children's Weekend: "Prince, Princess & Pirate Party" August 30, 31 & September 1 
 Throughout this weekend dedicated to young lads and lasses, children ages 12 and under experience the Festival for FREE with a paying adult. Special activities including the Prince, Princess and Pirate Costume Contest, the Royal Quest, knighting ceremonies and photos with the King and Queen. Also, be sure to enjoy medieval rides and games of skill!
Open each weekend through the end of September (+ Labor Day). You can purchase tickets ahead online for a better deal and they are also available at the best discount at all Walgreens locations. Kids under 5 are free!
Enjoy fun in Pittsburgh this week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Play is on sale at the Children's Museum!

Without a doubt, one of the best family gems in our city is the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Whether your kids want to build something, play in the water (I always suggest bringing an extra outfit!), drive trains, explore the garden, do art projects + much more, there is something for everyone from babies to big kids! Some of the many creative, fun, and educational exhibits to explore throughout the Children's Museum include:
Throughout the month of August, they are offering special events & LOTS of discounts! Read on for complete details.
 Play Is On Sale! this Summer at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and you can enjoy Museum admission discounts* and giveaways every day of the week through August 29, 2014. 
Fantasy Weekends (Saturdays & Sundays)
All Museum visitors dressed in a costume relating to the weekend's theme receive $3 off admission:

 Dress like a Movie Character - August 9-10
Dress like an Alien, Monster or Space Hero- August 16-17

Dress like an Animal - August 23-24

Member Mondays
Museum members park free (as space permits) and have a chance to win prizes. Learn the weekly prizes here.

T-Shirt Tuesdays
Free Museum t-shirt to the first 200 children visiting the Museum

Weather Wednesdays
Child admission for children 2 and up is based on that day's forecasted high temperature for Pittsburgh, PA, by the National Weather Service, as forecasted at 5:00 pm the previous day
e.g. 73 degrees = $7 child admission, 87 degrees = $8 child admission, etc.

July 23: 84 degrees = $8 child admission

If purchasing tickets online, use code WEATHER when checking out to receive the discount

Throwback Thursdays
Child admission = $7 - the child admission price in 2004 when we opened the expanded Museum

If purchasing tickets online, use code THROWBACK when checking out to receive the discount

Hot Dog Friday
A free hot dog to the first 500 children visiting the Museum

*Play Is On Sale admission discounts (Weather Wednesdays, Throwback Thursdays and Fantasy Weekends) cannot be combined with other admission discounts.

10:00 am - 5:00 pm Every Day
 Studio and MAKESHOP close at 4:30 pm daily.

 Get the latest Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Deal here.
Get more details here!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Top 5 / August 11 - 16

Looking for something to do in Pittsburgh?
Here's my Top 5 list for the week of family-friendly venues that are open throughout the week!

Park of the Week: Dormont Playground - a great castle structure that has lots of fun features for kids!  It is also surrounded by beautiful grassy areas and sits around the corner from the great Dormont Pool. Best address to use is 1694 Dormont Ave., Pittsburgh, PA.
Sweet Treats: Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor is an authentic antique 1920's Ice Cream Parlor located in the Strip District.  A destination everyone should check out! Try delicious hand-dipped ice cream cones, old-fashioned sodas or find your favorite in their complete line of old-fashioned candy.
(Photos taken at grand re-opening in 2013)
Water Fun: the North Shore Water Steps are a fun, free water destination! With water ranging from a few inches to about 2 feet deep, it's perfect for babies, toddlers, & big kids! Enjoy a beautiful walk along the North Shore as well, the wide, paved paths are very stroller friendly.  Located along North Shore Drive, you do have to pay for parking in a lot or meter.
Beat the Heat: Jump Zone! has massive inflatable play structures such as obstacle courses, slides and bounce houses.  $5 FRIDAYS - $5.00 ADMISSION PRICE FOR ANY AGE! Kids 2 & under are free. Open Play is 10am-1pm & 5pm-8pm.
*Saturday Family Fun: Check out the (new this year) Swissvale Farmers Market! Locally-sourced, great-quality produce, along with fresh pasta, cheese, chocolate, tea, salsas, baked goods, crafts, food vendors, fresh cut flowers, usually music, and more. 9am-1pm on Saturdays, June through October, located on Church St. in Swissvale. Nominated for Best Farmer's Market of 2014 by Pittsburgh A-List for their annual Best-Of Pittsburgh List!
(Photos courtesy of Swissvale Farmers Market)
Enjoy fun in Pittsburgh this week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Road Trippin' With Littles

Traveling with kids is not always a picnic, but when your families live 8 & 15 hours away (as ours do), road trips aren't really optional! My hubby & I have always loved traveling, and we continue to do as much as we can, even dragging our posse along with us. :) In December, we did a 35 hour round trip with 4 kids under 4 (2 of whom were foster kids and untested in a long road trip!), in June we did a 23 hour round trip with the same crew, except they were now 5, 3, 2, & 1.
But now I'm facing a new challenge, driving solo on the 30 hour round trip with my 2 kiddos (5 & 3)! So while I know my kids are good travelers, I'm still working ahead to make the trip as seamless as possible. 
A long time ago, I heard a friend mention in passing about making little bags to hand over to your kids each time you enter a new state. I filed it in my brain-stash of "do this sometime" and now, I feel the time is here! While we will have an open basket of toys & books to keep them occupied in the car, getting handed their own little bag of goodies at each state line will definitely be helpful in preserving everyone's sanity. :) Here's what I've been compiling......
First thing I did was hit up Five Below & The Dollar Tree. These bags can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. You don't have to spend much or anything at all. There might be plenty of little gadgets around your house that your kids don't play with often, but sticking it in a goody bag might bring it new life! I spent less than $15 on some new art supplies & trinkets.
Stickers are always a good road trip item for my kids, a notebook & pen, book, toy, & a few snacks. Probably the least exciting bag, but we'll still be pretty fresh into the trip. Saving the "big guns" for later. :)
A fresh notebook, new box of crayons, & stickers.  I thought these binoculars (Melissa & Doug / we already owned them) might be a fun road trip toy!
I will add celery to dip in the peanut butter and we love Trader Joe's organic suckers which don't have any artificial dyes, synthetic chemicals, or artificial sweeteners. I'm not saying they're health food, but a better sweet treat for the road. :)  
 Silly putty - yes! A shared movie to watch together.
 Color by numbers book, dot paint (love that stuff!) and a robot transformer. Seriously, $3 total is sure worth a lot of sanity saving!!
 Modeling clay and a new baby doll will make a happytraveler. :)
And we know that getting there is only half the journey, so I am keeping out some items and will try to re-build the bags for the trip home!
Another idea to include is coupons for screen time (phone, ipad, movie, ect...)
I know that squabbles are inevitable and so that's why I'm also bringing along my handy-dandy timer. (It can also be used to track the coupon for screen time). If there is fighting or whining that is driving me crazy, I'm calling out TIMER TIME!! Timer is set for 5 minutes during which there is NO talking. Usually after 5 minutes, they've forgotten what they're upset about and peace can resume. :) .
Maybe you're not traveling 5 states away, if your drive is 6 hours, you can plan bags to pull out every 2 hours or whatever is adaptable for your get the idea!
Traveling with kids CAN be fun and for sure, the destination is always worth the journey! 
Like these ideas? Feel free to hit the "Pin" or "share on facebook" buttons below!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Everybody needs labels!

It's that time of year again when many of us are getting ready to pack up our little ones and send them out the door for the day. As we HOPE they come with all the belongings we sent along with them! I've discovered the magical uses of super durable peel-and-stick washable labels (washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant) from Label Daddy! I now put them on everything....water bottles, lunch bags, backpacks, baseball gloves, jackets, sweatshirts, hats, toys, diaper bags and anything else I think has the potential to walk away! They have all stayed put and I have had no issues with them peeling off, even after lots of dishwasher and washing machine washes.
They are great for day care, preschool, school, camp, sleepovers, & vacations. Some adults are using them on their parents items in nursing homes. Design your own labels and pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including Disney (Frozen!) and Marvel characters, MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. They have an exclusive laminated coating that gives labels an extra layer of protection and are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide. 
We have a discount code for you!
 Save 20% on your entire Label Daddy order! This is the best discount available anywhere!
Go here to order and use code USFAMILY20 at checkout.

This post sponsored by Label Daddy and U.S. Family.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Top 5 / August 4 - 9

We love that Pittsburgh is full of family-friendly events on our summer weekends! But sometimes parents work on the weekends, or we are scheduled with other commitments and of course, stay at home parents are always looking for ideas throughout the week. So each week I am highlighting 5 awesome Pittsburgh family venues. Many of these are open every day and planning a visit is very flexible. Hope it's helpful!
  • Monday, August 4th, is FREE admission day at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens! These days can be busy, but it's also a great way to check out local venues and see if they are worth it to go back. Enjoy the Summer Flower Show, Butterfly Forest and Tropical Forest Conservatory. The Summer Flower Show takes you on a grand journey as small-scale trains wind through summer flowers in the glasshouse and the Garden Railroad takes center stage. It features a variety of imaginative railroad displays enhanced by flowers, plants and interactive features. 
  • The Citiparks Roving Art Cart features great art projects from around the world. Sadly, this is the last week for this summer for the Roving Art Cart!  Have fun making Amazon rain sticks, Chinese dragons, colorful masks and much more. These are all FREE as well! Find the Art Cark this week 10am - 1pm here:
August 5th / Swisshelm Playground – Swisshelm Park
August 6th / Banksville Park – Banksville
August 7th / Davis Park – Hobart Street – Squirrel Hill
August 8th / Riverview Park – Observatory Entrance.
  • Join the Pgh Momtourage on Wednesday at Wiltshire Park! Park amenities include a seal that sprays water, a sand box, playground & swings. There is also a small creek that runs through the park. Only downside is there are no restrooms, so you may want to bring a portable potty if you have a child that might need one. :)  Bring your lunch and a picnic blanket, sand toys, towel, & lots of water for a warm August! Wiltshire Park, Upper St Clair, PA 15241. RSVP here.
  • Beat the heat and head to Fun Fore AllBallocity is FREE all day on Thursday and is three stories of fun for the whole family! Each level has something different that adds up to over 30 interactive things to enjoy. Air cannons shoot foam balls, “Ballcano” - blasts foam balls high into the air and a four story slide! It’s big enough for adults to get in on the fun also and there is also a separate toddler area for the little ones. (The air cannons can be loud!)
  • Bloomfield Saturday Market - this is an extra special week to check this out because of the Snack Drive to benefit Jeremiah's Place! Read full details of how you can be a part of the snack drive here. But besides the fun of the Farmers Market, there will also be great kids activities including free face painting, the Volunteer Princesses, live music, and lots more! Saturday, August 9, 9am - 1pm. 5050 Liberty Avenue, 15224, (between S. Winebiddle and Gross Streets).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Jeremiah's Place / Healthy Snack Drive

Jeremiah's Place, the community's first crisis nursery, is now open for 24/7 child care - all day and all night! They are open to all children ages 6 and under for free, temporary short-term care when families are in crises or experiencing an emergency situation and need safe care for their children.
 Located at 6435 Frankstown Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 in the Kingsley Center building. Call them at 412-924-0726 or email at for details.
Jeremiah's Place is a nonprofit organization advocating for the safety and well-being of young children.Our mission is to protect children and strengthen families by providing a safe haven of respite, health, renewal, and support for children and families during times of crisis.  We strive to serve as a leading voice for child abuse prevention thereby transforming the community into a place that is safe, stable, and loving for all children.
Having been a foster mom to 7 sweet children, I know that many kids in crisis situations are not getting the good & healthy nutrition they need. We have seen the bodies of our little ones go through weeks of detox when they have come into our home and began eating a more whole foods diet. Healthy food & eating is something I am very passionate about, which is why I was thrilled to hear about this healthy snack initiative for Jeremiah's Place.
Champions for Kids SIMPLE Giving Snack Drive to Benefit JP
Saturday, August 9, 2014
9am - 1pm
Bloomfield Saturday Market, 5050 Liberty Avenue, 15224
(between S. Winebiddle and Gross Streets)
Join The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog and Champions for Kids as they host a healthy snack food drive to benefit Jeremiah's Place!
 Looking for healthy, individually-packaged, nonperishable, nut-free snack food items like:
  • Trail mix – NO NUTS
  • Raisins and other dried fruits
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Low sodium pretzels
  • Low sodium popcorn and/or Pirate's Booty
  • Rice cakes
  • Apple sauce
  • Fruit cups, NOT in syrup
  • Squeezable packages of pureed fruits/vegetables/etc.
  • Water bottles
  • 100% fruit juice boxes
There will be a table at the Bloomfield Saturday Market (look for the balloons!) with information about Jeremiah's Place and a collection box.
 So pick up some healthy snacks to donate and then explore the Bloomfield Saturday Market and all the kid-friendly programming it will offer that day including free face painting, the Volunteer Princesses, live music, and lots more!
 Whether you can bring one box or five boxes of an item, everything helps! You can RSVP for the event here (but it's not required.) And if you can’t make it to the event, but would still like to donate, you can email Nadine at to set up a time to drop items off.