Photo courtesy of Steel City Karting.

Baby, it’s cold outside! When a frigid breeze blows through your fleece and the sun sets before the workday ends, the thought of heading out on a run is rather bleak. Don’t let dark and gloomy evenings be an excuse to hunker down on the couch for a night of passive streaming. Gather the gang and pump up your adrenaline with these invigorating indoor activities that boost the fun factor along with your energy.

Be sure to pack your mask and visit each location’s website and social media for Covid safety protocols.

1. Steel City Indoor Karting, 360 Mall Circle Drive, Monroeville

Get your zoom on at Steel City Indoor Karting, where European-built electric karts race around a Grand Prix-style track. Accelerate these racers up to an exhilarating 50 mph. Heats last 8 minutes with no speed restrictions and cover up to 15 laps, depending on the speed and dexterity of the driver. Junior heats give kids ages 10-12 a chance to race over the same course, but the kart speed is electronically restricted to a top speed of 20 mph for a safe experience.

Drivers are required to buy an annual license for $7, which includes a safety briefing, use of head socks and helmets, a free race during your birthday month and an end-of-race results printout. Races are priced at $19.99 for one or you can buy a package of up to 10 races at discounted prices. Bring your besties together for a cool party package that includes two to four races, competing only against your group’s drivers, plus 90 minutes to hang out in a private room.

Photo courtesy of Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

2. Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Monroeville and Canonsburg

Reveal your inner warrior at one of Sky Zone’s two regional locations where you’ll brave exciting challenges. Ultimate Dodgeball reinvents the classic playground favorite as players bounce off the walls and leap high into the air. Basketball more your game? Dunk like the pros with SkySlam, where trampolines give you the edge to leap high above the rim for a thrilling slam dunk.

The Ninja Warrior Course tests skills of speed, strength and ability while swinging on rings and traversing narrow boards. Test your core strength against the SkyLadder, a shaky rope ladder that’s a lot trickier to climb than it looks. Make it to the top and plant your flag — or fall off into the padding below. There’s a Parkour Blox obstacle course, too.

All activities are not offered at both locations. Check the Monroeville and Canonsburg websites before heading out.

Photo courtesy of Three Rivers Karting.

3. Three Rivers Karting and Axe Throwing, 541 Ave. B, Building 10, Leetsdale

Why watch NASCAR when you can strap yourself into the driver’s seat? Three Rivers Karting offers the latest karting technology to rocket through instant power and torque. Drivers can choose between manual and automatic shifting.

You won’t get bored with the same old track after multiple visits. Three Rivers Karting’s flexible technology design allows quick changes to the layout to keep the driving experience fresh and challenging. Your adrenaline will be pumping from speeds that climb to 50 mph.

Single races cost $20, with discounts for multiple race packages. Watch for specials like Buy One Race Get One 50% Off, $13 races on Friday Ladies Nights, plus discounts on Sunday Family Day packages. Or book racing parties with your pit crew and opt for unlimited racing.

Three Rivers offers axe throwing, too, with engineered anti-bounce walls and a range of digital targets to offer a variety of games. You’ll be coached in the Tamburini method to quickly learn how to stick that axe.  The axe-throwing sessions are BYOB.

Photo courtesy of LumberjAxes Axe Throwing Pittsburgh.

4. LumberjAxes Axe Throwing Pittsburgh, multiple locations

Don’t fret if your only experience with an axe is playing the Tin Man in your high school production of “The Wizard of Oz.” The team at LumberjAxes, which has been proudly “kickin’ axe since 2017,” will coach you through the correct grip, stance, windup and release.

Finding a hidden talent throwing that axe? Consider joining a league and you might qualify for the national championship. Axe throwing is an individual sport, so there are no teams to organize.

Four LumberjAxes locations — Cranberry, Monroeville and Mt. Lebanon — are BYOB (or wine), but the Millvale spot has a full-service bar. Book an open lane solo slot or reserve a lane for a private group.

Photo courtesy of Altitude Trampoline Park.

5. Altitude Trampoline Park, 1041 Washington Pike, Suite 200, Bridgeville

Channel your inner spy with a “Mission Impossible”-style maze where you crawl through, under and around bright beams of light. Compete against friends in Altitude’s Ninja Course and attempt daring feats of balance and dexterity. Dodgeball on trampolines gives players a higher (get it?) chance of jumping out of the way of a smashing ball. And the main court’s wall-to-wall trampolines give you the chance to practice your mad acrobatic skills without fear of falling.

Photo courtesy of Dragon’s Den.
Photo courtesy of Dragon’s Den.

6. Dragon’s Den, 1008 Amity St., Homestead

Soar like a dragon along the zip line and ropes course at Dragon’s Den in the former St. Mary Magdalene Church in Homestead. Created as a community center, the courses are intended to help kids develop confidence, focus and leadership skills. But adults can book sessions, too, individually or as a group, to test their fear of height and flight. The 160-foot zip line sends the brave from the altar to the choir loft. A 20-foot climbing wall and a ropes course that includes 25 bridges, balance beams and crossings are also part of the adventure.

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is a Pittsburgh-based editor and writer who writes about food, entertainment, kid stuff, pop culture, cocktails!