Having lived in Pittsburgh for 11 years now, I continue to be amazed with just how much there is to do here in the ‘Burgh. From great restaurants to museums to outdoors, Pittsburgh really does offer something for everyone. Now that I have a son, I’m realizing that there’s even more fun to be had in Pittsburgh with a toddler than I ever thought possible. With that said, we’ve been on a mission to find some of the best things to do in our own city. And let me tell you, Pittsburgh is full of fun playgrounds, kid-centric museums and activities galore.
So whether you’re visiting Pittsburgh or live here with a toddler, we’ve got you covered! To help you find some of the best activities in Pittsburgh based on your toddler’s interests, I’ve organized this post into several different categories. While a few of these activities are toddler specific, almost everything mentioned here is great for kids of all ages.
I plan to update this list periodically, so be sure to bookmark this post or “Pin” it for later.
Table of Contents
Click on a link above to jump to the topic you’re looking for, or keep reading for more!
Toddler-Friendly Museums in Pittsburgh
We’re big fans of finding kid-friendly museums when we travel, and Pittsburgh is no exception. I also have my son’s grandparents to thank for memberships to many of our local museums. (We’re huge fans of experiences versus things and they make a great Christmas gift!) Here are some of our favorite museums for kids in Pittsburgh.
- The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, where kids can use their imaginations and learn through play. The entire museum is toddler-friendly, making it perfect for little ones. Read The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with a Toddler for more information.
- The Carnegie Science Center encourages even the littlest kids to be scientists. Our favorite things for toddlers at the Carnegie Science Center include the train display, the Little Learner Clubhouse and the H2Oh exhibit. Read 7 Tips for Visiting the Carnegie Science Center with Little Kids for more information.
- The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is perfect for any animal and dinosaur lovers. Toddlers love digging for fossils at The Bone Hunter’s Quarry and exploring Discovery Base Camp at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Read our post on visiting the Carnegie Museum of Natural History with kids for more.
- The Heinz History Center teaches you all about Pittsburgh’s impact on US history in a fun and interactive way. If you’re visiting the Heinz History Center with a toddler, be sure to check out the Discovery Play Place and Kidsburgh. Read Visiting Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center with Little Kids for more.
- The Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum is located north of Pittsburgh in Gibsonia. WPMRM has an awesome model train set that captures Pittsburgh’s history. If you’re visiting with younger kids, look for the train tables in the first floor.
Art Museums in Pittsburgh
We’ve also visited a few of Pittsburgh’s art museums with with our toddler. While art museums tend to not be super kid-friendly, these all offer something for little ones.
- The Mattress Factory offers the Mini Factory open art classes two Saturdays a month. See Visiting the Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory with Kids for more.
- The Warhol Museum periodically offers Half-Pint Prints classes. There’s also a great basement level play area if you’re taking kids to the Warhol Museum.
- The Carnegie Museum of Art offers baby yoga for kids up to age 3. See our post on visiting the Carnegie Art Museum with little kids for more.
Randyland is one museum we haven’t visited yet with our son, but it supposed to be kid-friendly. And it’s FREE!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Pittsburgh in May, be sure to check out the EQT Children’s Theater Festival. This fun festival embraces the arts and has tons of fun (and free) activities for kids.
Zoos and Gardens in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has a couple great zoos and a botanical garden that are great for kids of any age. All of them are open year round and include both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
- The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is one of my favorite zoos in the United States. It has a great selection of animals in open settings. There’s also a great children’s zoo at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Read 7 Reasons to Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium with Little Kids for more.
- The National Aviary is the largest dedicated bird zoo in the United States. There are several areas for kids to explore throughout the aviary. My toddler’s favorite thing to do at the National Aviary is climb around the penguin tunnels. See Pittsburgh’s National Aviary with a Toddler for more.
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is great for kids with so many colors and pretty flowers to look at. If you’re visiting Phipps with a toddler, the produce market play area and children’s gardens are favorites of ours. Our post on visiting the Phipps Conservatory with kids has more info.
Sightseeing in Pittsburgh with a Toddler
Taking tours of any city always gets a little tricky when you’re with a toddler full of energy. If you’re looking for a fun way to see the beautiful skyline and sights, though, Pittsburgh has quite a few.
- The Gateway Clipper is the best way to see Pittsburgh with kids of any age. This boat ride and guided tour has multiple levels with indoor and outdoor viewing. The Gateway Clipper also offers specific cruises for kids as well as seasonal cruises. Kids’s cruise include breakfast with Santa, “Pup Patrol,” princess and superheroes.
- The Duquesne Incline takes kids on a ride up the mountain in a car that’s over a century old. You can catch amazing views of the city both on the incline and in Mt. Washington at the top. The Monongahela Incline is also nearby, and it takes you right to Difiore’s Ice Cream for ice cream with a view.
- Attend a Pittsburgh Pirates game for baseball with amazing views of the city. Plus, the kids area and pierogi race make a Pirates game especially fun for toddlers. Read our post on attending a sporting event with kids for more tips.
Indoor Play Places in Pittsburgh
With the rainy and often cool weather, there’s fortunately a wide variety of things to do indoors with kids in Pittsburgh. That said, below are a few of our favorite indoor play places for toddlers in Pittsburgh.
- Snapology in Bridgeville offers a STEAM based learning environment with LEGOs throughout. There’s dedicated toddler area with a variety of play tables.
- Seabase Family Fun Center is a huge indoor play place in Greensburg. It has a variety of play areas for kids of any age, from babies to teens.
- Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library in Shadyside has hundreds of toys for babies and toddlers in an open play environment. If you become a member, you can also check out toys just like a library.
- Kidzville in Mt. Nebo has a play town set up, where kids can play pretend in a variety of “stores.” As a bonus, there’s also a full service coffee bar at Kidzville for moms.
- Playground World in Wexford is a huge showroom with playground sets, swings, trampolines and basketball nets. All of them are for sale and for a small fee, kids can play on them.
- Party Lane in Mars is another indoor play area near Pittsburgh that encourages pretend play. My son’s favorites are the wood shop, the camping site and the ice cream stand.
- Planet Bounce has locations in the North Hills and with a variety of bouncy slides and play areas for kids of all ages.
Looking for more ideas on where to play indoors in Pittsburgh? Check out The Best Indoor Play Places in Pittsburgh for Toddlers.
Story Times in Pittsburgh with a Toddler
Do you live in Pittsburgh or just looking for something low-key to do while visiting Pittsburgh with a toddler? There are so many different story times in Pittsburgh that you can easily find one for every day of the week. Some of our favorites are below.
- Young Sprouts at the Children’s Museum
- Soergel Orchards’ Story Time
- Story Time at Riverstone Bookstore (including our favorite, Toddler Yoga Story Time)
- Munchkin Mondays at the Carnegie Science Center
- L.L. Bean Tent Tales for Tykes at Ross Park Mall
- Story Time Wednesdays at Phipps Conservatory
- Chick-fil-A McKnight Road Mommy and Me Mornings
- Barnes and Noble Toddler Story Time
- Allegheny Library and Carnegie Public Library Story Times
Looking for ideas on unique story times in Pittsburgh? Check out this post: Unique Story Times in Pittsburgh.
The Best Playgrounds in Pittsburgh
There are so many great playgrounds in Pittsburgh that it’s impossible to get to them all. Pittsburgh has quite the variety of playgrounds, from brand new splash parks to old school wooden playgrounds. Below is a list of several of the best playgrounds in Pittsburgh that’d we’ve tested out.
- Blue Slide Playground in Frick Park
- Super Playground in Highland Park
- Schenley Park Playground in Oakland
- Squaw Run Road Playground in Fox Chapel
- Clever Park in Robinson Township
- Hampton Community Park in Hampton
- Mellon Park in Shadyside
- Arsenal Playground in Lawrenceville
- Richland Playground and Splash Pad in Gibsonia
- North Park in McCandless
- The Kid’s Castle Playground in Cranberry
The new Moon Township Park is another one we haven’t been to yet that we definitely want to check out. We’d love to add more playgrounds in the South Hills on this list, too!
Easy Hiking Trails for Kids in Pittsburgh
Now that my son is getting a little older, I love finding easy trails in the Pittsburgh area for him to hike and explore. Most of the trails listed below are flat enough that you can use a stroller as well.
- Fall Run Park in Shaler is home to the largest waterfall in Pittsburgh, found at the end of the trail. If you’re visiting with kids, look for the fairies located throughout Fall Run Park.
- North Park in McCandless has a paved 5 mile trail around a lake that’s ideal for stroller runs and bike rides. There are also smaller trails that allows kids to explore nature.
- The Three Rivers Heritage Trail offers views of Pittsburgh throughout the different neighborhoods. It’s also very flat.
- Frick Park Environmental Center has a great indoor exploration area and a variety of easy trails for kids.
- Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve has a stroller friendly hike around the pond and a handful of other easy hikes. We love Babes in the Woods, an outdoor program that’s free for kids under 3.
- Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus in Gibsonia has a paved walking path as well as a number of different trails around the campus’ 400 acres. There’s also an awesome cafeteria at Eden Hall that’s open to the public.
Hiking Outside of Allegheny County
- Succop Nature Preserve in Butler County has walking trails around the ponds that are great for kids. The Succop Nature Store also recently opened onsite at T.W. Phillips Barn.
- McConnell’s Mill offers hiking trails for all levels with a gristmill and covered bridge.
- Buttermilk Falls is a beautiful waterfall with an easy hike in Indiana County, PA. (And it’s located on property owned by Mister Roger’s late grandfather!) See our Complete Guide to Visiting Indiana, PA with Kids for more.
New to Hiking with a Toddler?
I recommend looking for stroller friendly trails first so your toddler can take a break if needed. If you’re looking for a stroller that’s good on trails, we love this one that minimizes impact with its large tires. This soft baby carrier is our favorite for hiking with a baby or younger toddler. I still bring it for my 2 year old as a backup in case he gets tired.
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Mommy and Me Classes in Pittsburgh for Babies and Toddlers
Whether you’re looking for places to exercise or a fun class with your toddler, there are several Mommy & Me classes in Pittsburgh. Below are a few of our favorite classes that you can take with a toddler in Pittsburgh.
- Goldfish Swim School offers swim lessons in a fun and brightly decorated environment. Classes are typically done with a parent up to 3 years old. Goldfish has locations in Wexford and Peter’s Township.
- Kindermusik with Christa Beck is our favorite mommy (or daddy) and me music class. It’s super interactive and the owner, Christa Beck, is amazing. Kindermusik classes are held in Tarentum, Sarver and Murrysville.
- Artissima Studio in Fox Chapel offers an awesome toddler and me art class. The class starts with fun sensory bins that the kids love. Artissima also encourages children to explore a variety of art mediums, using different materials for each piece of art.
- Fit4Mom North Hills offers stroller workouts for moms in Pittsburgh that you can do with your baby or toddler. In addition to the class itself, the instructors do fun activities to entertain the kids throughout.
Looking for more ideas on where to exercise with a toddler in Pittsburgh?
The Bar Method in Wexford and The Dailey Method offer barre classes in Pittsburgh with childcare. Both are great options if you’re looking for a little “me time” while your child is happily playing right next door.
Check out this post for more: The Best Places to Exercise with a Baby or Toddler in Pittsburgh or Beyond.
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Visiting Pittsburgh with Kids
If you’re traveling to the ‘Burgh, we have a few recommendations for kid-friendly hotels in Pittsburgh. Although we live here, we’re all about a staycation in Pittsburgh!
- The Westin Pittsburgh has an indoor pool a family suite that’s great for families. It’s located right next to the Pittsburgh Convention Center.
- The Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh is an all suite hotel with awesome free breakfast and an indoor pool.
- The Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh- Downtown is located in the Strip District right next to the Heinz History Center. It offers free breakfast and an indoor pool.
- The Sheraton Hotel in Station Square Pittsburgh is conveniently located across the river from downtown Pittsburgh and right next to The Gateway Clipper. It also has an indoor pool.
If you want ideas for family-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh, we also have you covered in this post: The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Pittsburgh.
If you live in Pittsburgh with a toddler or have visited before, please share in the comments below if you have anything to add to this list! We’re always looking for new places to explore.
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