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15 Things To Do In Pittsburgh With Kids – Kid Approved

15 Things To Do In Pittsburgh With Kids – Kid Approved

If you are looking for a fun family vacation spot with great food, tons of things to do for kids, friendly locals, and affordable prices, head to Pittsburgh! It is a great family travel destination, and there are a ton of things to do in Pittsburgh with kids.

We just spent three days in Pittsburgh (we easily could have spent more) and had an amazing trip. Our days were packed with adventure from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We experienced most of Pittsburgh’s attractions but would have liked another day to take it slower.

We put our Pittsburgh itinerary below, highlighting all the best things to do in Pittsburgh with kids.

Best Pittsburgh Activities With Kids

Exhibit at the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh with slide

1. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Museum Lab

The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for children of all ages in creative, fun, and educational ways. From waterplay to art studio, the museum provides a fun and stimulating environment for kids to explore. We could have spent all day here!

The Garage Exhibit at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh with kids

Our favorite exhibits were the Garage, Makeshop, Art Studio, and the Kindness Gallery. We could have spent all day at the children’s museum. If you visit during the summer, make sure to check out the garden & backyard exhibits.

We only had a few minutes at the Museum Lab, which is in the building next door. Younger kids will love the Chroma Maze, a huge inflatable sculpture for kids. The Museum Lab is geared for kids aged 10+ and provides older children with innovative and experimental learning experiences.

Toddlers Rainbow Lorikeet feeding

2. National Aviary

The number one thing our son wanted to do during our summer vacation was see a Toucan. We were able to see a Toucan and much more. The National Aviary in Pittsburgh has over 500 birds from more than 150 species from around the world.

They also offer several animal encounters: Penguin, Sloth, Falcon, and Owl. The National Aviary animal encounters sell out and aren’t all offered every day. Click here to book online and check the calendar.

We were able to go to the Sloth Encounter, where we learned about Sloths and were able to touch & feed a sloth. Our kids loved the Rainbow Lorikeet feeding, which happens several times a day, and tickets in person.

Girl at water table at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh

3. Carnegie Science Center

The Pittsburgh Science Center has four floors featuring 200+ interactive exhibits and tons of hands-on activities that are not only fun for kids but also educational. There is something for kids of all ages; we had so much fun as adults.

Click here for a list of all the current exhibits and experiences at the Pittsburgh Science Center.

Kids can explore the human body at Bodyworks. Our kids loved the gas seat, where you bounce up and down to build up gas pressure and see what happens (loud fart sounds). For kids under 6, head to the Little Learner Clubhouse.

Our kids loved the Buttonwall of 200 buttons that set off sights & sounds, the Water Table and fishing pound(there are water smocks to keep kids dry), and the Tomato Stand, where you gather green & red balls and send them up the convery belt or up the vacuum tubes.

little girl looking though buniculars at the the Duquesne Incline looking at Pittsburgh skyline

4. Duquesne Incline

For one of the best views of Pittsburgh, take a century-old cable car up the Duquesne Incline. This funicular railway first opened in 1877 to go up Mt. Washington, which is 400 feet above the lower station. The Upper Station has an observation deck with a panoramic view of Pittsburgh and its three rivers and a museum of Pittsburgh history.

The Duquesne Incline fare is paid in person; you cannot buy tickets in advance or make reservations. No credit or debit cards, you need to have the exact cash fare. There is a change machine available. You can purchase one-way or roundtrip tickets; our kids thought it was so cool.

Don’t let the kids get hungry, kids get hangry easily. We ate out every meal during our trip! Make sure to read our Kid Friendly Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh article for places to eat in Pittsburgh between attractions.

Boy looking at dinosaur at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh

5. Carnegie Museum of Natural History

If you have a dinosaur-loving child, visiting the Carnegie Museum of Natural History should be one of the top things to do in Pittsburgh on your itinerary. The Dinosaurs in Time exhibit has over 230 objects on display, which are original fossils (most museums have replicas), and most of the dinosaur skeletons are real.

The museum also features a stunning collection of gems and minerals and a large display of wildlife scenes. The Bug Hall is a must-visit, too. With its diverse range of exhibits and interactive activities, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a great place for kids to explore and learn while having a blast.

mom and kids in a stroller at Kennywood Theme Park in Pittsburgh

6. Kennywood

Our kids love themeparks and riding rollercoasters ever since our visit to Buena Park earlier this year. There are rides for all ages & heights at Kennywood. Our kids are 42 inches & 36 inches. We were excited to find there were 22 rides for 36 inches and below.

two toddlers riding a ride at a theme park

We spent most of our day at Kennywood in Kiddieland, which is perfect for toddlers. We rode every ride in Kiddieland, no joke. Our kids loved the Steel City Choppers, Dizzy Dynamo, Crazy Troller, Whip, and the Merry-Go-Round is always a favorite.

We suggest visiting right away in the morning and spending most of the day here. We only had a few hours in the afternoon. We couldn’t get the kids off the rides to try much of the food at Kennywood, but we did make sure to go to Golden Nugget to get one of their iconic chocolate dipped cones. The cones are huge and rather cheap, you can easily share one.

Girl and father feeding Giraffes at the Pittsburgh Zoo

7. Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium

Visit some of Pittsburgh’s cutest residents at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, home to more than 8,000 animals from 600+ species. We were excited to see several animals our local zoo doesn’t have, such as the Komodo Dragon, Black Tip Reef Shark, polar bear, Red Kangaroo, and Grant’s Zebra.

On our visit, we did the giraffe feeding, where the kids got to get up close to Masai Giraffes and feed them. There are several wild encounters at the zoo available. Click here to see options and book online.

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a stroller, as the zoo is spread out, there is lots of walking, and it is hilly. I brought this travel double stroller. If you only need a single stroller, this is the best travel stroller.

Giant Heinz ketchup bottle display at the John Heinz History Center

8. Senator John Heinz History Center

When I first heard about the Heinz History Center, I thought to myself, “What is going to be there, a bunch of ketchup stuff?” I was SO wrong. The museum spans across six floors of interactive exhibits, including several family-friendly exhibits.

We started our visit at the two-tier playplace Kidsburgh exhibit and slid down the two-story “Liberty Tubes. Parents can stay below and enjoy a drink from the cafe while watching their children on the TV that broadcasts a live feed from inside the playspace.

If you grew up watching Mister Rodgers like Adam and I did in the 1980s, the Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood exhibit will bring back so many memories. We had to drag Atlas out of Discovery Place, which is a big engineering playground where kids can build bridges across Pittsburgh’s three rivers or anything with massive foam building blocks.

kids looking through a real time window at the Moonshot Museum in Pittsburgh

9. Moonshot Museum

Did you know Pittsburgh was involved in the space scene? The Moonshot Museum is a new museum in Pittsburgh where you can watch the real-time assembly of lunar spacecraft that will be sent to space and controlled right from Pittsburgh.

One of the coolest things to do in Pittsburgh is send a message to the moon. Write a message, draw a picture, etc., and they’ll send it to the Moon’s surface onboard one of Astrobotic’s lunar landers. Where else in the world can you do that?!?

view inside PNC Park where the Pittsburgh Pirates play MLB baseball

10. Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers, or Penguins Game

Sadly, the Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t home during our visit. We really wanted to watch a baseball game at PNC Park, which has amazing skyline views. The Family Fun Zone at PNC Park is the perfect place for kids to play and get some mid-game wiggles out.

Pittsburgh bridges from the observation deck at Duquesne Incline

Other Pittsburgh Activities With Kids

We didn’t have enough time to do absolutely everything. Below are a few things in Pittsburgh we wanted to do but didn’t make it to.

11. Sandcastle Water Park

If you visit Pittsburgh during the summer months, Sandcastle Water Park is the perfect place to cool down on a hot day. There are over 20 attractions with big water slides for adults & older kids and two playgrounds with water slides for younger children and toddlers: Tad Pool and Wet Willie’s.

12. Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

All aboard! Jump on the trolley for a four-mile trip on a scenic track at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Explore the Trolley Display Building with 52 trolley cars.

13. Gateway Clipper Pittsburgh River Cruise

For some of the best views of Pittsburgh, go on a river cruise with Gateway Clipper. Traveling with kids? Check out the Gateway Clipper kid cruises like the Paw Patrol cruise, Princess Cruise, and Super Hero Cruise. The most popular cruise is the Three Rivers Sightseeing Cruise.

What To Do In Pittsburgh With Older Kids

14. Andy Warhol Museum

Learn about Andy Warhol’s life, from growing up in Pittsburgh to his career as one of the most famous artists. The Andy Warhol Museum has the largest collection of Andy Warhol artwork.

15. Steelers Hall of Honor Museum

Head to Acrisure Stadium and learn about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ history. The Steelers Hall of Honor Museum is not just for Steelers fans. It also features a rotating exhibit highlighting other NFL Hall of Famers.

mom and kids at Kennywood Theme park in Pittsburgh on a family vacation

Things To Do In Pittsburgh With Kids Conclusion

There is way more to do and see in Pittsburgh with kids than we imagined! You should plan at least two full days here, and three days to even a week would be ideal to stop and enjoy all of the great attractions for kids Pittsburg has to offer. We know we’ll be back, but for a much longer visit, our kids loved Pittsburgh.

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