Manufactured fun: an experience that requires one to pay to give one’s children an “experience” that is thought to elicit joy that can’t be found anywhere else.
As a parent, I’ve grappled with this idea for a long time. An idea that is so relatively recent–and yet so accepted in our society today—its mere existence shakes me to my parental core. Let’s hurry up to go somewhere where we are expected to have fun! HURRY! LET’S GO HAVE FUN.
My problem is twofold.
For one, I am stubborn. I think that the journey to the experience should be just as fun as the experience. It’s not about what you do, or where you go, or how much you spend. I feel that when something is so hyped, that you can’t help but be disappointed.
Secondly, I can’t afford most of what is being sold to my kids as “fun.” And guess what, I doubt I’m alone.
So, what did I decide to do: lower the fun bar. I try to do as many things with my kids that might not be considered “traditional” or mainstream activities. In addition to these oddball antics, I take my kids on “field trips.” Be they local or regional, these trips follow the same rules: they have to be relatively cheap, they have to be fun, they have to be a little different, and they can’t have a TM after their name.
To help implement my totally made up “fun methodology,” I am lucky I live in Pittsburgh. Yes, you read that right, I am LUCKY to live in Pittsburgh. Seasons, geography, people, soul, attitude…they all helps to make things more interesting and enjoyable for both kids and adults.
The following are some interesting things I’ve found to do around Pittsburgh. Ranging from “free” to “pretty cheap,” to “a little pricey”–there’s something for everyone. They might not be the first recommendations someone might give to you on what to do here, but they are solid, nonetheless.
Just remember, fun is just about how you do something and who you’re with!
Click here for some things to do (that you might haven’t tried yet) around Pittsburgh, check back for updates and new ideas!