Claudia enjoys traveling and bringing her travel tips to readers.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a great family-friendly city to visit any time of the year. From tropical plants to professional football, Pittsburgh has loads of fun and educational things for kids to experience. There are restaurants around every corner and plenty of hotels too. We live about an hour outside of the city and try to visit most of these places at least once a year, so all of these sites have been kid-tested and approved by my 9-year-old daughter.
If you are planning a family visit to Pittsburgh, then these 10 sites are not to be missed.
1. Phipps Conservatory
A real gem in the city, the Phipps Conservatory gives visitors a look at plants and flowers from around the globe. Exhibits are changed throughout the seasons, offering dazzling displays of blooms. In the summer you'll find a butterfly garden and in the winter, dark days are brightened by beautiful Christmas flowers. There is also a wonderful children's garden with paths to run on, buttons to push, water to play with, and forts to build.
Everywhere you look, there are little signs at kid-friendly heights with fun and interesting facts about plants and insects. Did you know that coffee plants originated in Africa? I didn't! There are educational stations throughout the entire facility with fun and interactive exhibits for children of all ages. Phipps Conservatory is a must when visiting Pittsburgh with kids.
2. Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Fun will be had by the entire family at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh! Children of all ages will love exhibits like the waterplay area and the workshop, where kids can make whatever they can imagine. There are places where kids can climb, crawl, paint, and invent. My 9-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old nephew fell in love with this place, and it was hard to get them out. It might be a good idea to throw a change of clothes into your backpack because the kids will probably get wet.
3. Carnegie Science Center and Highmark SportsWorks
No visit to Pittsburgh with children would be complete without a stop at the Carnegie Science Center. The name says it all. This facility is filled with interactive exhibits, movies, and activities. Science is made fun at this Pittsburgh treasure. You can even tour a submarine or run a robot arm. Right next door, you'll find the really cool Highmark SportsWorks center where kids and parents can climb a rock wall or see how fast they can run. You can spend an entire day here and not get bored.
4. Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
Lions, tigers, bears, and a myriad of other animals await you when you visit the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. You can walk through a tropical rainforest, pet stingrays, and slide down the hillside next to the seals. Kids can get up close and personal with animals in the Kids Kingdom, and there is no shortage of penguins in the Water's Edge area. Set on a hillside, this zoo and aquarium shouldn't be skipped on a family trip to Pittsburgh. It's a little hilly, but never fear, they have a great tram that can take you where you want to go.
5. Heinz History Center
Filled with fascinating local history, the Heinz History Center is another must-see for families visiting Pittsburgh. With numerous exhibits, you'll find out everything you could ever want to know about the city and surrounding areas. While there, don't miss the incredible section on sports. You'll learn about famous local athletes and all of our big-name sports teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. This place is a history buff and sports lover's dream!
6. Duquesne Incline
Kids will love riding on the Duquesne Incline with its breathtaking views and interesting historical significance. The Incline originally opened in 1877 and was the first incline in Pittsburgh. Take a ride back in time on this fun landmark.
7. The National Aviary
If you really love animals and the zoo isn't enough, Pittsburgh's National Aviary will be perfect for you and your family. Children and adults will love crawling through tunnels with windows into the penguin sanctuary. There is a Wetlands area where you can help feed the birds and a desert area where birds fly all around you as you make your way through. Birds are everywhere, and the many exhibits are sure to delight all ages. It's definitely worth a visit!
With some of the oldest amusement park rides in the country, Kennywood can't be beaten in terms of fun and games during a summer visit to Pittsburgh. From rides that date back to 1918 to fancy new roller coasters, it's got everything you could want in an amusement park with the added charm of large old trees and beautiful gardens. It may not be the most educational spot on your visit, but it will probably be the most fun!
9. Heinz Field Stadium Tours
If you are a football fan, you're going to love the Heinz Field Stadium Tours. And if you are lucky enough to be in Pittsburgh when the tours are available, you should try to schedule one. This is definitely the place to visit if you have a sports fan in your family. Make sure to check ahead because tours are not always available.
Pittsburgh is a great place to visit!
Whether you come for a day or a week, there are plenty of fun and educational things for you and your family to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
It's worth a visit any time of the year!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Claudia Mitchell
Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 09, 2013:
Thanks ajwrites! It's a gorgeous day here in Pittsburgh. Ready for spring. Glad you liked the hub!
AJ Long from Pennsylvania on April 07, 2013:
Glimmer Twin Fan--great job of highlighting Pittsburgh! Shared!