Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Jeremy
Disclaimer: We were hosted for this experience. Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.
Sometimes we just want to unleash our inner child. Thankfully there are a number of options to do so in the Pittsburgh metro region.
One such place is Zone28 in Harmarville- a 50,000-square-foot complex that has virtually everything you would want for indoor fun.
Whether you have a child or simply want to act like a kid yourself, this one is sure to please with their collection of arcade machines, VR machines, escape rooms, laser tag, bowling, an on-site restaurant, and for the adults, loaded bars to name a few.
We were fortunate enough to visit this one as part of a media event and share more about what you can expect in this one.
Zone28 Has an Abundance of Games For All to Enjoy
When you first enter Zone 28, it feels like you are inside a bowling alley. Everything you see at first glance is conventional bowling from the counter where you pay and get set up, to the lanes, and depending on the time of day, the neon and/or disco lighting as well. It isn't until you go further into the complex that this one really starts to shine.
If you turn to the right, you'll find an outdoor beer garden, a private corporate event space, and an onsite bar packed with libations including local beer, international beer, national beer, cocktails, and more. If you turn to the left, you'll find even more fun in the form of arcade machines, laser tag, escape rooms, and VR games plus dedicated birthday rooms for kids.
As such, this one is set up quite nicely for both kids and adults to enjoy- even if all you want is to simply let your kids enjoy the arcade games while enjoying a cold one at the bar with some reasonable quiet.
During our first visit, we were fortunate enough to be able to try our hand at the arcade games, bowling, and laser tag.
The arcade machines here, while lower in number than other places we've been to, run the spectrum of styles. There are conventional arcade-style games (like shooters and Skeeball) plus more out-there games with more interactive elements (a beer pong-like skill game, jumbo Space Invaders, and more) all set up to issue digital tickets to a member card that can be exchanged for prizes.
If you are looking to visit this one for old-school arcade games alone, well, you may just be disappointed. But if you are up for trying something new that you may not have seen elsewhere, odds are good you'll find a new game or two to try during a visit (and be sure to check out if any days of the week include half-priced games- our Wednesday visit got a lot cheaper with that bonus as many games ran around $0.25 to $1.00 per play!).
Our group went into the laser tag arena together for a team game, and while I have to admit it was among the smaller venues I've been in for the game, it was also a whole lot of fun. Games here last approximately 10 minutes in length and run every 15-20 minutes or so. You can set up the style of game whether or not you want it to be free for all or teams depending on the number of players there are.
As I have not played laser tag for probably two decades, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the equipment is much more high-end than I was used to growing up. The gun is interactive and takes your photo for the point's screen, you can use buttons on the gun to turn on a targeting laser, switch “ammo” types, turn on the shield, and more- all adding depth to the game at large.
The venue inside for laser tag is not terribly complex but has enough barriers and places to hide that you can still run around and have a good team game. The team of 10-year-olds that played off against the media team was much better than we were and promptly stomped us. But they were also good sports and gave us a ton of advice on how to play the game properly. One kid kept remarking on how I was the only one who could shoot him and the entire game and that made me feel happy enough despite my poor performance.
On the bowling side of Zone 28, the lanes are pretty straightforward but with monster TVs on the pin side that play music videos, Pittsburgh scenes, and more. This was a bit more involved than traditional lanes which have little to look at beyond the pins. But I have to admit sometimes I got distracted when it showed Pittsburgh footage (as was reflected in my impressive score of 85)!
Overall, if you are looking for a place to go with the entire family where you can be entertained for hours on end, Zone28 is one to consider. While the cost of all of the games can add up if you make a large evening of it, look for some weeknight promotions to help get the costs down. Then, go have some fun and, for those 21+, enjoy a cold one along with it!
Zone 28 is located at 2525 Freeport Road in Harmarville, just off of 28 near the turnpike. We visited as part of a media night. As always, all opinions are our own.