Our suggestions for top 10 fun things to do in Pittsburgh with kids. From sloth encounters to rock climbing, Pittsburgh has it all!
Known as the “Steel City,” Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania might not be the first city you think of when trying to find a family friendly destination. However, we’re here to tell you that there are a ton of fun things to do in Pittsburgh with kids! Actually, most of the top Pittsburgh attractions are kid friendly and a lot of fun. Below are our top 10 choices for kid friendly places to visit in Pittsburgh…
There are few things as thrilling as watching your tour vehicle drive straight into the water! Kids, and adults, always hold their breathe in anticipation as the water gets closer and there is always laughing and clapping once the vehicle is in and floating along. There will be smiles all around, which is why we think this is one of the best Pittsburgh kids activities.
We also recommend this tour because it’s a great way to get your bearings if this is your first time in the city. We enjoyed this tour because we got a good idea of the history and layout of the city and it made finding and choosing which Pittsburgh attractions we wanted to see next that much easier. The tour guides were also hilarious and kept the crowd engaged; especially the kiddos.
The Duquesne Incline is part of the Pittsburgh transportation system and technically isn’t considered an “attraction” but it’s one of the top things to do in Pittsburgh! You can ride up and down on the wooden cable-car that has been around since 1877 and see spectacular views of Pittsburgh. Of course, fighting over who gets to sit closest to the front may be an issue. 😉
The cost of a ride is $2.50 in cash each way (children under 5 ride free). There is a parking lot on the lower lever, or you can find street parking near the upper level. We recommend lingering at the upper level as there is a small museum with photos and the history of the cable car and there is also an outside observation area. You’ll be at an elevation of 400 feet, so get your cameras ready!
Pro Tip: Use restrooms before heading to the incline as there are none on site.
The Heinz History Center is a pretty fascinating museum; it’s an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. There are 6 floors full of interesting and interactive exhibits. Guests will learn about the history of Western Pennsylvania as well as the city of Pittsburgh and many of it’s proudest achievements. The museum has many rotating collections, so we suggest visiting their website to see what is currently on exhibit.
Fun Fact: Lewis and Clark began their infamous expedition from Pittsburgh, considered the “Gateway to the West.”
Of course, one of the most fun things to do in Pittsburgh with kids is visit the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. It has won many awards and has been voted the 5th Best Museum for Families in the US by USA Today. The really great thing about this museum is how incredibly hands-on all of the exhibits are. No child could possibly be bored here!
We personally love when zoos and aquariums are combined, and Pittsburgh is 1 of only 6 places in the US that has that combination. Inside, kids will enjoy seeing the large variety animals. Make sure to see the schedule for feedings and talks with animal keepers. For an additional cost, guests also can zipline or have a close up animal encounter. How fun does that sound?
Another one of the fun things to do with kids in Pittsburgh is visit the Carnegie Science Center. This is also a very interactive museum with exhibits like Roboworld, a planetarium, and even a sports-related area called Highmark Sports Works where kids learn about science through physical activities. There’s even a rope challenge course and rock climbing wall!
At the National Aviary, visitors get to see birds up close and personal and even have opportunities to feed many of them. The National Aviary has over 500 birds representing over 150 species from around the world; in fact, it’s the only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds in the US!
And they also have a baby sloth. Enough said.
The Carnegie Museum of Art may be a bit better for older kids, but we think even the young ones can be impressed by some of the pieces in the museum. Our favorite parts were the Hall of Architecture and Hall of Sculpture where they had recreations of famous building facades and sculptures. We also really enjoyed the Miniatures Gallery that reminded us of The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is very impressive and is considered one of the top natural history museums in the US. The kiddos will love the hall of minerals and gems, walking among giant dinosaur bones, and getting hands-on in the museum’s newest permanent exhibit Discovery Basecamp.
Pro Tip: Visit during the week; admission prices are half off after 3pm.
Well this place is just gorgeous! The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been wowing visitors since 1893 and now has 15 acres including a 14-room glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens. There are beautiful flowers, fun musical fountains, and even a butterfly forest. We could have walked around the gardens for hours!
We think the kiddos will have a lot of fun on a trip to Pittsburgh. We loved how interactive and hands-on all of the museums were and felt they all did a really good job of making learning fun. Even the attractions that weren’t specifically for children made a great effort to keep kids engaged. So if you’re looking for a kid-friendly city for your next family getaway, we highly recommend Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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**A big thank you to Visit Pittsburgh! Although they provided us with complimentary passes to most attractions we visited, as always, all opinions are our own.**