Urmi Batavia began teaching private piano and violin lessons out of her home in 2002. As demand for her classes grew, so did her need for room, and two years later she opened her own space dedicated to music instruction: Batavia Studios. There, she shares her teaching responsibilities with a team of instructors well versed in percussion, strings, woodwinds, and voice. Though they still provide private lessons for adults and children, they also helm weeklong children’s summer camps and oversee a store filled with musical instruments, song books, and music accessories, such as jars filled with Al Green’s voice.
Jump!Zone’s indoor playgrounds envelop kids aged 2–12 in an inflatable world filled with challenging obstacle courses, fun slides, and cardio-boosting bounce houses. While navigating the plush courses under the watchful eyes of air-filled dinosaurs and superheroes, kids burn off extra energy and participate in activities that may help develop motor skills. Jump!Zone’s energetic staff supervises all play as kids climb on pirate ships and trampoline inside princess castles. Specific inflatables may vary by location but often include towering bounce houses shaped like fire trucks or octopi as well as party rooms, games, pizza, soda, and other festive fare. The bouncy center also hosts birthday parties, fundraisers, and special events.
Organizing Options, LLC. helps keep living quarters tidy with organization solutions and systems designed to optimize storage space. The staff plots out storage systems, renovates garages and home offices, and designs and installs closets. Complimentary in-home consultations help clients determine effective plans for enhancing their homes' orderliness.
As Pierogies Plus's chefs filter into the kitchen early each morning, they peek at the vast pot of potatoes they left to boil overnight, making sure each spud is tender and ready to tuck inside their signature dumplings. The multigenerational kitchen staff—some of whom have been making pierogies for four, five, or seven decades—roll out rounds of dough and top them with sauerkraut, kielbasa, potatoes, and other fillings, following a special recipe espoused by Food Network chef Bobby Flay. Then chefs center each dollop of filling, hand pinch the pierogies into scallop-edged crescents until they cry uncle, and cook them until the dough turns golden. Pierogies Plus dishes out its eponymous treats and other Eastern European dishes both in its McKees Rocks storefront and in an online store, and caters special events, such as graduation parties and weddings.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh delights children with hands-on learning and interactive exhibits that allow kids to interact with real stuff and do things they wouldn't normally do, such as hammer a nail, build a circuit, and ink a silkscreen. The museum welcomes nearly 250,000 visitors annually, encouraging them to explore its interactive permanent-exhibit areas, which include The Studio, Theater, Waterplay, Nursery, Backyard, and MAKESHOP.
MAKESHOP invites young minds and hands to tinker with sewing machines, woodworking, and electronics. Kids craft boats and build fountains in the nearby Waterplay exhibit, and in the Studio they form clay, paint portraits, and create paper from recycled-newspaper pulp. Infants, toddlers, and their families can play in the Nursery, where they build wooden train systems and then roll their trains around, comb colored sand with hand tools atop lighted tables, and ride a seesaw whose motion generates water bubbles.
The museum’s award-winning, three-story center building is screened by a shimmering wind sculpture and connects two historic structures—the Allegheny post office building and the Buhl Building. In 2006, it became a certified green building and was honored by the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2011, the museum was named one of the 10 Best Children’s Museums in the nation by Parents magazine.