Keeping a toddler entertained and engaged can be a challenge especially during colder months when outside play is less accessible.
A great way to engage and begin introducing social skills for toddlers are classes, from gymnastics to art classes, where they can learn structure, patiences, and interaction with their peers.
There are many different types of classes for toddlers around Pittsburgh. We’ve compiled a list of the best toddler classes around the North Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh. We’ve also included some unique classes offered in nearby communities and museums with memberships nearby.
If you’re looking for a special gift for a family with a toddler, instead of getting just another toy, consider buying an experience by purchasing a GiftYa personalized gift certificate to one of these great toddler focused classes or museum membership.
Gymkhanafun.com | 412.366.3800
Wexford | 9795 Perry Highway
Gymkhana Gymnasiums offer foundational gymnastics classes for children of all ages, including infant and toddler programs. The toddler gym classes are a hands on class for children 6 -18 months with their caregivers. The can navigate a gross motor skill obstacle course also featuring hands on fine motor skill centers throughout. The Mini Gym class for ages 18 to 30 months expands on the toddler gym with more structure. Caregivers still help participate throughout the course.
“My daughter absolutely adores coming here. And the staff is wonderful, they all know her by name and they talk with you after class to let you know how your child is doing. We both love this place!” - Lori Mann Google Review
Cynthiasschoolofdance.com | 412.367.3330
Pittsburgh | 4721 McKnight Road
Mon 4:30pm-8pm | Tue 5pm-8pm
Wed - Thu 4pm-8:30pm
Fri 10am-12pm | Sat 9am-1:30pm
Cynthia’s School of Dance helps children become confident and build resiliency at a very young age. Through dance skills, children learn stage presence, to work as a team and much more, all in preparation to recognize opportunities and handle the challenges they will face later in life. They create success, both in and out of the dance classroom, in their comfortable, relaxed, non-competitive environment. Children come to Cynthia’s starting around 2 years of age. Dr. Cynthia Zurchin recommends girls and boys start early to be healthy, happy and have success!
“This is a top notch studio! My daughter Paisley is currently in her second year and has learned so much! She looks forward to her weekly class. It has taught her a lot of focus, discipline and all the while having fun with new friends! The staff is top notch and so warm and welcoming.” - Lauren Price Facebook Review
Goldfishswimschool.com | 724.382.6673
Wexford | 160 Lake Drive
Wed 9am-8:30pm | Thu-Fri 9am-8pm
Sat 9am-3pm | Sun 9am-5:30pm
Goldfish Swim School was founded by parents, for parents, with the intent of giving children the platform they need to build necessary life skills. They’re not just giving swimming lessons, they’re helping children build character and gain self-confidence. Why? Because life is one big pool, and they want to give kids the courage they need to dive in!
By creating a safe environment where children can experience learning through guided play, they have created a place where kids can face their fears, learn how to swim, and have fun.
“This swim school is very well organized and clean. They have thought of everything to accommodate their young clients. They have toys, a coloring station, a store with snacks and swim apparel, hair drying stations, and lots of seats to view the children during their lesson. Our grandchildren love it! I highly recommend this establishment!” - Cynthia H. Facebook Review
At Soccer Shots they believe that soccer is a powerful vehicle for positively impacting youth. They offer fundamental soccer classes for ages 2 to 8 years old all around the North Hills and Pittsburgh area. They offers three different programs to meet the developmental needs of children, ages 2-3, 3-5 and 5-8. Each group expands on developmentally appropriate soccer and social skills.
“We have been with soccer shots just about every season for the past two years, starting at age 2. We have watched our daughter improve in many important skills from listening and following direction, to teamwork and confidence all while having great fun! We ask her each session if she wants to sign up again and without hesitation, it's always an excited and loud "yes"! She is always excited to go and so proud of her achievements each week! The coach's each have uniquely great approaches to the kids and we as a family couldn't be happier to be a part of the Soccer Shots Family! Keep up the incredible work!!” - Michele Aymar Signori Facebook Review
Happyfeetnorthpittsburgh.com | 412.820.4810
HappyFeet Classes offer the most unique fun filled soccer curriculum for children ages 2-5. Their fun approach ensures your child has an absolute blast while developing skills and self concept through a developmentally appropriate curriculum. They offer Indoor & Outdoor classes held at various locations around the North Hills area.
Lisaraemusic.com | 412.638.7568
Sewickley | 616 Washington Street
Lisa Rae Music Studios, LLC advocates individual, personal attention to its students and delivers its services through its staff of enthusiastic, patient, and professional instructors. They offer Music Together classes for infant thru kindergarten children as part of its overall music curriculum.
In the class, twelve children and their parents or caregivers meet for 45-minutes each week for 10 weeks (8 weeks in Babies class) to experience new songs, rhythmic chants, movement activities, and instrumental jam sessions. Both adults and children sit in the circle and participate, led by teachers from Lisa Rae Music Studios with early childhood and music skills.
“She was quick to respond to any questions we had. Was able to provide all of the info we needed to make our decision. She was very friendly at our meeting and was able to quickly put my daughter at ease. (Not an easy task due to her shyness) She seems enthusiastic about teaching and truly focused on helping the student to reach their goals. We're looking forward to working with her.” - Pat M. Thumbtack Review
Youngmusicians.org | 724.935.0505
Early Childhood Music program offers children from ages two to five a wonderful way to connect to other families, enjoy music together and begin learning this unique language. Research and experience indicate that the younger a child begins his or her musical study, the more aptitude for success he or she acquires.
This heightened potential can enhance academic skills as well as musical abilities. CYM’s Early Childhood Music classes act as a first step in a holistic music education. They are closely connected with the first steps of instrument study and music literacy in their design, focus and implementation.
Each activity in the classroom has a purpose, whether it develops impulse control, critical listening skills, musical knowledge, or a passion for music. Many activities function on multiple levels of learning, stimulating the behavioral, physical, neurological, and expressive aspects of your child’s stage of development.
“I have met many of the teachers here and they are very dedicated and talented. There is a 4 week trial which is no obligation and a great introduction to the Center. They teach adult classes, and there are instrument rentals. Event space rental is available as well as hosted birthday parties. The best part of the Center is the great teachers!” - David B. Yelp Review
Beyond scheduled classes museum memberships are a great gift to providing engaging activities for toddlers.
Pittsburghkids.org | 412.322.5058
Pittsburgh | 10 Childrens Way
Family Membership 1 year: $150
A membership to The Children’s Museum in the Northside is a great investment for parents of toddlers and children of all ages especially if you visit more than 4 or 5 times a year. They offer a range of hands on activities from the gorgeous art room in the rotunda to a full floor of water play. Children love the large vertical crawling maze, hands on garage space, and the Attic featuring 2 fund slides and Mr Roger’s bench. They also featuring rotating exhibits from Mo Williams theme to Harley-Davidson Motorcycles to check out. Older children can attend classes, workshops and camps throughout the year.
“Love this place! We've been members since my boys were babies, and there are fun activities for all kids. Although some of the exhibits rotate, our favorite exhibit is the 'ball room' as my boys call it. It has a huge course above you that you can send a dodgeball up to and it whirls around until it eventually comes back down. My boys still look above them in amazement every time we're in that room. The 'wacky room' is also another favorite of ours. The kids walk up a flight of stairs into a room with a 'wacky floor' that makes you dizzy, and then there's a twisty slide at the end. Some of our favorite exhibits have been Tape Scape and Daniel Tiger. There's always something new to explore and discover here. It's both educational and fun. Make sure you check the website for a field trip indicator. It shows the number of field trips planned for that day so you know when and when not to go based upon the crowds.” - Jenna T. Yelp Review
Carnegiesciencecenter.org | 412.237.3400
Pittsburgh | 1 Allegheny Avenue
Family Membership: $150 per year
A Carnegie Museum Membership will provide access to all four Carnegie museums around town, including the Carnegie Science Center and Highmark Sports Center on the Northside. The Science Center has 5 floors of hands on exhibits to encourage playful educational science experiences, from SpacePlace and the Exploration Center, to Roboworld and the special area for toddlers the Little Learner Clubhouse, you can keep littles ones entertained for hours.
The site also features the famous miniature railroad exhibit, an Omnimax theater, and the ropes course in the Highmark Sports Center. You’ll certainly get your money’s worth purchasing a membership especially if you also visit the other Carnegie museums.
“I went with my 7yo daughter and we both enjoyed our time at the museum. We both were amazed by the LEGO exhibit and all the museum had to offer: we also loved the train, body works, robot exhibits. We did spend a lot of time in your sport plex. We are from out of town and happy to find this great museum that we both can enjoy.” - Maria Cabading Popov Facebook Review
Gymboreeclasses.com | 724.933.0033
Pittsburgh | 1500 Washington Road
Mon & Wed 9am-12pm
Tue & Sat 9am-2pm
Thu 9am-4pm | Fri 9am-1pm
Currently in Pittsburgh there is only one place to partake in Gymboree Play & Music classes in the South Hills, which is only a 15 minute drive from the North Hills area. Their toddler classes are designed to grow with your child’s age and development in mind.
Toddlers will benefit from problem-solving, exploring and socializing. They offer a wide range of classes from Play and Learn 5 for 22 to 28 month old focused on playful skills and silly songs and props, to PlayLab for 2-5 year olds featuring STEAM inspired learning.
“We love classes at Gymboree and the teachers are wonderful! My daughter loves the songs, play equipment and group activities. I love the socialization and learning activities she gets there. She is free to participate or just play if she wants. Bubbles and parachute time are always a hit! We will continue to be members until she ages out. Highly recommend!” - Kristy Sikora Houck Facebook Review
Hatchpgh.com | 412.973.6127
Pittsburgh | 6739 Reynolds Street
Hands down the best arts classes for children, Hatch is located in Regent Square but certainly worth the trip from North Hills. They offer Mini maker classes for younger tots with hands on activity stations to explore, and Art Play classes for 2.5-5 year olds which features a weekly theme and presents various materials to creative with. Get your little artist blooming at Hatch!
“My son's birthday party at Hatch was a huge hit! The project was so well thought out and I love that we were able to engage a range of ages from toddler through kindergarten in play and art exploration! My mind was blown when toddlers were invited to paint with trucks by rolling their wheels through paint and then on paper. Loved the smiles! The big kids made construction vehicles, cars, robots and more with hinging/movable parts! Everything was so well thought out - even down to singing a few songs modified for the theme! Thank you! Will definitely plan future Hatch birthdays!” - Melinda Guinn Facebook Review
For parents of toddlers living in the lovely North Hills suburbs, there are plenty of activities to keep them busy. Buying an class or experience for a child is a really thoughtful gift that stands out from the many other gifts of toys they may receive.