Last week I packed us a lunch, threw the boys in the car and took of for a road trip to Washington, PA. I got at tip (from another PittsburghMom!) that Recreation Station was the place to go! We headed down 79 to find this mecca of playplaces. She did not steer us wrong! Ihave to say that Recreation Station has to be one of the nicest playplaces I've ever been to. To describe it best, think of the Center for Creative Play and Rainy Day combined...and then throw in an outdoor playground. My favorite thing about the Center for Creative Play was the variety of rooms (music room, blocks, room, art room, sensory room, etc). Recreation Station has a similiar set up, just not nearly as big (which is a good thing in my opinion, you can't lose your kids here). My favorite thing about Rainy Day was the newness. It was so clean and new ALL THE TIME. That's what I found at Recreation Station as well. No shoes are allowed (but they give you hospital booties if you forget socks) so the hardwood floors in entry way are shining and the rest of the area was clean, neat and painted with beautiful murals. There were some missing pieces to many of the toys but that's my only complaint.
The best thing about Recreation Station is the presence of an outdoor playspace. Outside there were some slides, pretend houses (fire station, school house) and even a large sandbox, all beautifully landscaped with curved sidewalks perfect for riding bikes (which you were allowed to bring outside from the indoor play area). We visited on a hot day and we spent time going back and forth between both areas, inside and out.
They have a "celebration room" which is available for rent (think baby shower) or birthday parties (three packages are available). But if nobody is using the celebration room they welcome you to bring a brown bag lunch or snacks and take a break from playing. (Call ahead to see if the celebration room is being used that day). Even if you can't eat your lunch there, they allow in and out privileges (just like Rainy Day used to) so you could leave for lunch and come back.
The staff at the center was extremely friendly as well. It's a bit of a drive for us (an hour), but from the South Hills it looks like it's only a half-hour trip. Pair the visit with a trip to the new Tanger Outlets just right up the road and you can have a great day for both kids and mom!
We'll definitely be back to Recreation Station, I can promise that!
Creative Play Center
289 North Avenue
Washington, PA 15301
Hours: Tuesday - Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Price: $7 per child (1-12 years old) $3 for adult
Playpass Books - $35 (buy five get one free)
Birthday parties: Recreation Station offer three birthday party packages or a room rental only. Party packages start at $145 for 10 kids and include set up, clean up and other extras. Room rental is $50 for four hours.
-Clean, comfortable atmosphere
-Bathrooms centrally located in play area
-A variety of developmentally appropriate toys
-Party room available if empty to eat a brown bag lunch or snack
-Multiple rooms with different themes - train/block room, art room, music room, sensory room, etc.
-Outdoor play area! And the ability to take some toys outside (balls, hula hoops, cars, etc)
-Booties provided if you forget your socks
-In and out privileges if you want to leave for lunch, nap etc. and come back.
-No Sunday hours or evening hours
-Can get expensive with a bigger family
(photos courtesy of Recreation Station)
The Celebration Room
This full kitchen is included with Celebration Room rentals