Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a vibrant city with plenty to offer visitors of all ages. Packed with world-class museums, fantastic eateries, unique shops, and plenty of scenic nature, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Pittsburgh is also just a four-hour drive from Philadelphia, as well as a six-hour drive from New York, so it’s a perfect stop for families on a road trip. Whether you’re staying for a night or several weeks, there are an abundance of wonderful Pittsburgh vacation rentals available, many situated just minutes from the city’s most famous points of interest. Here are nine of the top kid-friendly attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
1. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
What better way to spend the day in Pittsburgh than having fun while learning? This delightful museum spans 80,000 square feet, and it is home to a huge variety of interactive exhibits, entertainment, and fun activities for kids of all ages. There’s an indoor jungle gym where the kids can have a blast while letting out some energy. Be sure to pack bathing suits there are fun and educational hands-on aquatic exhibit called Waterplay where the kids can get wet while they learn about the physics of water. Check the calendar before you go, as new events and exhibits are added regularly.
2. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The zoo is always a hit on vacations because it appeals to both young and the young at heart. Pittsburgh’s zoo has been around for over 100 years, and it does not disappoint. Your family will get to see exotic creatures such as polar bears, tigers, elephants, and over 400 other species, including 22 endangered animals. The zoo even includes an aquarium where you can learn all about fascinating marine life. Be sure to stop by Kids Kingdom, where your family can enjoy petting the animals and learning about creatures native to Pennsylvania. Check the schedule for the day, and stop in to watch animals such as anteaters, gorillas, and giraffes at feeding time.
3. Kennywood Park
Located less than 20 minutes from Pittsburgh in West Mifflin, Kennywood Park is a thrilling amusement park with rides and attractions for kids and adults alike. There’s a 4-D movie theater that combines 3-D computer animation with real-life effects to create an immersive experience like no other. There are plenty of classic amusement rides, including roller coasters, a pirate ship, and a merry-go-round, as well as some water rides. This park has delighted families since 1898, so come be a part of a favorite Pittsburgh tradition.
4. Gateway Clipper Fleet
Gateway Clipper Fleet is a company that specializes in themed cruises for adults as well as kids. It’s a great choice because the adults will appreciate the picturesque scenic tour of the city, and the kids can have a blast as the ship’s entertainers create a magical experience that will not be forgotten. On the Princess Cruise, children meet iconic fairy tale princesses. The Superhero Cruise has real-life heroes on board, just waiting to delight and thrill your little ones. Other themed cruises include the Galactic Battle Cruise, Enchanted Rivers School of Wizardry Cruise, and Under the Sea Cruise.
5. Sandcastle Waterpark
Located along the beautiful Monongahela River, Sandcastle Waterpark is the place to go when you want to beat the heat (and have some fun doing it). Featuring a variety of attractions including 15 water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, this park has rides for all experience levels. There are even two different children’s areas — The Tad Pool and Wet Willie’s Water Works where the kids play in the water while lifeguards supervise. To top it all off, this charming park even has a boardwalk to really give it that beachy vacation feel.
6. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
What better way to spend your day than strolling through 19 distinct, gorgeous gardens? Located in Pittsburgh’s exciting Oakland neighborhood, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been a beloved Pittsburgh attraction since 1893. There are regularly changing exhibits and events, as well as classic mainstays. Whether you’re admiring the gorgeous butterflies, photographic the stunning flowers, or just enjoying a picnic in an enchanting setting, the Phipps Conservatory, and Botanical Gardens is one of Pittsburgh’s best locations for making memories.
7. Heinz History Center
This fascinating museum is part of the Smithsonian, and it’s a great place to have fun while learning about Western Pennsylvania’s history. The museum features six floors of permanent and rotating exhibits that cover history spanning over 250 years. There’s plenty for the adults to do, but what really makes this museum so special for kids is the Kidsburgh section. It’s a two-tier play zone where kids enjoy fun activities such as designing their own city, playing games and riding down a 12-foot spiral slide. While the kids play, the parents relax in the cafe sipping some coffee and monitoring their children on a television screen.
8. Carnegie Science Center
The Carnegie Science Center sparks curiosity in visitors of all ages. With four floors to explore, it’s easy to spend the whole day roaming. In addition to a variety of interactive science exhibits, the museum offers live shows, a planetarium, and a giant cinema. The museum is known for Roboworld, which is the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit. If you’re visiting with children kindergarten age or younger, be sure to stop by the Exploration Station Jr. for activities geared specifically for the youngest scientists. The Miniature Railroad and Village is a must-see exhibit that’s been there since 1919. It’s a realistically animated display that shows what life was like in Western Pennsylvania during the 1880s to the late 1930s.
9. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is connected to the Carnegie Museum of Art, and admission covers entry to both attractions. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is famous for its dinosaur exhibit, which is one of the largest in the country. There are many hands-on activities, including Bonehunters Quarry where you and the kids can dig for dinosaur fossils. The Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems is a gorgeous display that features thousands of dazzling stones that are sure to wow visitors of all ages. The museum also has a riveting collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, lifelike animal displays, and even a gift shop so you can take home a souvenir after your visit.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Pittsburgh vacation rentals on Tripping.com.