Are you planning a trip to Pittsburgh or looking for fun ideas of things to do as a local? Having lived in Pittsburgh for years now, I’ve had the best time exploring Pittsburgh with kids and without. While Pittsburgh is a smaller US city, it’s big on history, sports and fun things to do. Some of the best things to do in Pittsburgh with kids include family-friendly museums, parks, and zoos that are great for all ages.
Keep reading for 13 must do things in Pittsburgh based on our local expertise!
Table of Contents: The Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh With Kids
Carnegie Science Center
The Carnegie Science Center is one of our favorite indoor things to do in Pittsburgh, and it’s a great museum for all ages. Pittsburgh’s science museum has several main exhibits including H2Oh!, Roboworld, Bodyworks and the Miniature Railroad at Carnegie Science Center. Kids will also love getting their energy out at the Highmark Sportsworks exhibit, with everything from ropes courses to sports challenges. If you’re visiting the Carnegie Science Center with toddlers or babies, be sure to also spend time exploring the Little Learners Clubhouse.
The Carnegie Science Center is located at 1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA.
The National Aviary
Pittsburgh’s National Aviary is the largest dedicated bird zoo in the United States. The National Aviary is broken out into a variety of habitats, including Eagle Hall, Condor Court, the Grasslands and Canary’s Call. You can get especially close to a variety of bird species in the Wetlands and the Tropical Rainforest, and you may even see a sloth slowly making its way through the trees. Penguins Point is a favorite when visiting the National Aviary with kids, where they can watch penguins doing tricks from a variety of tunnels and clear glass barriers. If you want a more hands on experience, be sure to also check out the animal encounters at the National Aviary.
The National Aviary is located at 700 Arch Street, Pittsburgh, PA.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
If you have a dinosaur fan in your family, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh is a must see. The primary exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is the dinosaurs in their time exhibit, which includes dozens of original dinosaur skeletons and fossils. You can also find a variety of wildlife exhibits including animals from Africa, North America and the Artic. In addition to animals, the Pittsburgh’s natural history museum also has mineral and gem, botany and Native American exhibits.
When visiting the Carnegie Museum of Natural History with kids, be sure to spend time at the Discovery Basecamp and the Bone Hunters Quarry where kids can explore natural history with a hands-on approach. Admission to the Carnegie Museum of Art is also included with your Carnegie Museum of Natural History admission.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is located at 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
For the animal lovers, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is a must see in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s zoo is nestled in the city but has done a great job at creating natural habitats for its many animals. The African Savannah includes animals like giraffes, zebras and elephants. The Tropical Forest gives you a chance to see a variety of monkeys and gorillas up close. The PPG Aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo also has an extensive amount of sea life, including sharks, tropical fish and penguins. Water’s Edge houses a polar bear and a variety of seals and sea lions.
In addition to the many animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo, one of the best reasons to visit the Pittsburgh Zoo with kids is the Kids Kingdom. This Children’s Zoo area includes two different play areas and a variety of opportunities to see animals up close.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is located at One Wild Place, Pittsburgh, PA.
Kennywood Amusement Park
Since 1898, Kennywood has been known as one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh for families. This classic amusement park includes a variety of roller coasters as well as traditional amusement rides. If you’re visiting Kennywood with younger kids, there are several kiddie rides to choose from as well as the popular Thomas Town at Kennywood.
If you’re visiting Kennywood in the summer months, be sure to also check out Sandcastle. This Pittsburgh water park includes a number of water slides, wave pools and play areas for kids.
Kennywood Amusement Park is located at 4800 Kennywood Blvd, West Mifflin, PA.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh & Museumlab
The Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh is a great place for kids to learn and explore through play. In the Garage and Tough Art exhibits, kids can learn how things work through movement, sights and sounds. The Studio and Makeshop offer different STEM and art activities for kids to learn through creating. The Nursery floor is another favorite when Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with toddlers or babies. During the summer months, the Garden and Backyard are great places to explore as well. And don’t forget the Waterplay area on the top floor! Kids will love dumping, splashing and playing with water in this fun (and wet!) exhibit.
For older kids, the Museumlab is a great option for kids ages 10+. It’s included with Children’s Museum admission and offers a variety of hands on activities for older kids and teens.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is located at 10 Children’s Way, Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA.
Kayaking in Pittsburgh
Did you know that Pittsburgh has three rivers that converge downtown? If you want to explore Pittsburgh from the water, kayaking in Downtown Pittsburgh is a fun way to do it. Kayak Pittsburgh allows you to rent kayaks on the North Shore to see the city of Pittsburgh from its 3 rivers. You can kayak under the many bridges in Pittsburgh, go by The Point and PNC Park, and take in the beautiful skyline. Both single and double kayaks are available, so younger kiddos can kayak with you.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, you can find kayaking near Pittsburgh at North Park. Kayak rentals at North park are also available through Kayak Pittsburgh.
Kayak Pittsburgh’s downtown location is 1 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA.
Another great way to explore the city of Pittsburgh is on one of several riverboats in the Gateway Clipper fleet. The Gateway Clipper offers a variety of sightseeing tours depending on your interests.
In addition to traditional Pittsburgh sightseeing cruises, you can also catch Santa during Christmas in Pittsburgh. Additional kids cruises on the Getaway Clipper also include princesses, Paw Patrol characters and superheroes. They are definitely some of the most popular and unique things to do in Pittsburgh with kids!
The Gateway Clipper is located at 350 West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA.
Pirates Game at PNC Park
Pittsburgh has a rich sports history, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins hockey team and the Pittsburgh Pirates. While all three options are great venues for taking kids to a sporting event in Pittsburgh, seeing a baseball game PNC Park can’t be beat. The stadium is set right on the river with the best views of the city. So even if you’re not a huge baseball fan, you can get some yummy Pittsburgh food and drinks and enjoy the view!
You can find the Pittsburgh Pirates schedule here.
PNC Park is located at 115 Federal Street Pittsburgh, PA.
Heinz History Center
If you don’t think history museums can be fun with kids, than you haven’t been to the Heinz History Center. This interactive history museum has a variety of displays that tell Pittsburgh’s story from its inception. From the minute you enter the Heinz History Center, you’re greeted by several antique vehicles from Pittsburgh’s past. Kid favorites at Heinz History Center include Kidsburgh, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and Discovery Place. All three exhibits offer fun, hands on displays to teach kids about Pittsburgh’s history rich in both sports and innovations.
More popular exhibits at the Heinz History Center include the Heinz Ketchup exhibit, Pittsburgh’s Innovations and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Heinz History Center is located at 1212 Smallman St. Pittsburgh, PA.
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Phipps Conservatory is filled with beautiful flowers both indoors and out. The indoor conservatory at Phipps is divided into a variety of rooms filled with flowers that change seasonally. They include Palm Court at the entrance, the Orchid Room and the Tropical Rain Forest Conservatory- to name a few. There are also a variety of outdoor gardens to explore at Phipps, and they’re especially fun to visit at Christmas time for the Christmas light display at Phipps.
If you’re visiting Phipps with kids, there are so many fun places for them to explore. Our favorite things to do at Phipps with kids include the produce market and the outdoor Children’s Garden at Phipps. Seasonally, the model railroad and butterfly rooms are also favorites of kids.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located at One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA.
Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines
If you’re looking for another experience that’s uniquely Pittsburgh, be sure to check out the inclines in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s inclines were first built in the 1800s as transportation for workers to get between Downtown Pittsburgh up to Mount Washington. Today, the inclines are popular attractions for families in Pittsburgh and a fun way to taken in views of the city.
The Monongahela Incline is easily accessed from Station Square and takes you up to Grandview Avenue for one of the best views in Pittsburgh. The Duquesne Incline is accessed through a separate parking lot about a half mile down the road. It also includes a small gift shop and artifacts dating back to the incline’s early use. Be sure to check both websites before visiting, as the inclines can periodically be closed for maintenance.
The Duquesne Incline is located at 1197 W Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA. The Monongehela Incline is located at 1200 W. Carson St in Pittsburgh. Monongehela Incline parking is available in Station Square.
Visit Pittsburgh’s Parks
Pittsburgh has so many great parks, playgrounds and green spaces that it’s hard to pick just one to visit. If you’re looking for Parks in Pittsburgh, below are some of our favorite near downtown.
- Super Playground in Highland Park for a huge wooden playground for all ages.
- Frick Park for the Frick Environmental Center and the infamous Blue Slide Playground in Pittsburgh.
- Schenley Park in Oakland for the perfect place to picnic in Pittsburgh.
- Mellon Park in Shadyside for a fun playground for all ages.
- Arsenal Park for a great playground in Lawrenceville with easy access to the shops and restaurants on Butler Street.
If you’re looking to get out of the city, North Park and South Park are awesome Pittsburgh area parks. They both include a lake, walking and biking trails and several playgrounds. The expansive trails and amenities make North Park in particularly one of our favorite family things to do in Pittsburgh.
Places to Stay in Pittsburgh With Kids
If you’re visiting Pittsburgh with kids, below are some of our favorite family-friendly hotels in Pittsburgh.
- The Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh is an all suite hotel with awesome free breakfast and an indoor pool.
- 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 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.
Looking for family friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh? Be sure to check out these kid-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Things to do With Toddlers in Pittsburgh
- Indoor Play Places in Pittsburgh
- The Best Story Times in Pittsburgh
- Fall Activities in Pittsburgh
- Weekend Trips from Pittsburgh
You can find more ideas for fun things to do with kids in Pittsburgh at our Pittsburgh with kids page.
Like this post? Click on the image below to pin for later.