Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do With Kids in Pittsburgh, PA

  • Published 2022/11/01

Spend some quality time with your children as you visit the fun destinations and participate in exciting activities that the city of Pittsburgh has to offer!

Also lovingly called Steel City by many, Pittsburgh is a city in the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania, surrounded by the picturesque Appalachian Mountain Range.

This city has numerous must-visit historic sights, from stunning churches and centuries-old forts.

If you want to spend more time with your kids, Pittsburgh is a great place to visit.

Apart from seeing one of the first ferris wheels in the country, you and your family can also enjoy other fun activities that children will enjoy.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with kids:

Take the Perfect Family Selfie at Randyland

Bright exterior of Randyland

Popscreenshot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Snap memorable photos of your whole family with the colorful artwork at Randyland as your backdrop.

Randy Gilson established this eye-catching art studio in 1995 in an area filled with rundown properties.

It features countless colorful art installations that both kids and adults will surely appreciate.

With all its colorful and bright murals and vibrant artwork, you will feel happier just by being in the vicinity.

Colorful courtyard of Randyland

Popscreenshot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Randyland is an outdoor courtyard museum on Arch Street, which means your kids will have the time of their lives running around and seeing all the colorful works.

This is a great place to take family photos or pictures of your kids while posing beside all the gorgeous artwork.

You can also have fun doing group poses with the interactive exhibits, like colorful benches and vibrant potted plants.

Murals at Randyland

Bohemian Baltimore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Row, Row, Row Your Boat with Kayak Pittsburgh

Kayaking at North Park

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Sing that classic nursery rhyme with your kids as you paddle through the lake’s calm waters in North Park with Kayak Pittsburgh.

This business offers rentals for kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and stand-up paddleboards for guests of all ages.

Sail through the waters with your kids as you take in the gorgeous views of the city.

You can make your trip even more memorable by watching the sunset while bobbing on top of the waters.

Any child enjoys a waterfront adventure, and your kids will surely enjoy sailing along the lake’s quiet waters and looking at the lush greenery surrounding the park.

You can also bring along your family pets and sail with them on the lake if they have life jackets.

Kayak Pittsburgh is truly a great attraction where your whole family can have fun.

Play While Learning at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Spark your kids’ curiosity by taking them to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Established in 1983, this museum in Allegheny Square is dedicated to delighting and inspiring children through its many interactive exhibits.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is recognized as one of the best for kids—the readers of USA Today named it one of the top 10 children’s museums.

Explore this award-winning three-level institution and check out its majestic sculptures.

Teach your kids how to design and make items at the Makeshop exhibit or splash around at the Waterplay exhibit.

You can even deepen your appreciation for nature and roam around the museum’s garden with your kids.

Observe Majestic Birds in Action at the National Aviary

Exterior of the National Aviary

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Take the family to see over 150 bird species at the National Aviary if your kids (or you) love feathered creatures!

This institution was established in hopes of fostering respect for the environment and nature in the community by cultivating a deep appreciation for birds.

If you or your kids have always wanted to see penguins, parrots, owls, and many other species of birds, this place is a must-visit!

You can get up close and personal with the birds in this establishment through numerous activities, one of which allows guests to feed the birds.

A lone macaw in the National Aviary

Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch from State College, PA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Arch Street, the National Aviary houses over 150 bird species, including Bald Eagles, Barred Owls, Blue-Throated Macaws, and even African Penguins.

There are also majestic vultures, toucans, and cranes in the vicinity.

You can also find sloths here and enjoy watching them take their time with their every move.

Don’t forget to stop by their Kookaburra Kitchen for a quick bite or grab unique nature-themed items from their gift shop to serve as memorabilia for your trip.

A beautiful Turaco in the National Aviary

Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch from State College, PA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Delve Deep into Science at the Carnegie Science Center

Exterior of the Carnegie Science Center

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Deepen your love and appreciation for science through the exciting interactive exhibits at the Carnegie Science Center.

This destination is known to be one of the city’s best attractions.

It’s perfect for guests of all ages who are interested in science.

Explore all four floors of this center which are filled with fun and interesting scientific exhibits that are both engaging and educational.

You and your kids can visit the Buhl Planetarium and explore faraway galaxies without leaving the city!

LEGO exhibit in the Carnegie Science Center

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Bring your children to the BodyWorks exhibit and check out all the interactive exhibits that will teach you about the inner systems of our bodies.

If you and your kids are train enthusiasts, don’t miss the Miniature Railroad & Village exhibit to see small model trains chugging through landmarks within the state.

Carnegie Science Center on Allegheny Avenue is worth visiting for all curious minds!

Aerial view of the Carnegie Science Center

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Witness Different Artworks Come to Life at the Mattress Factory

If you’re worried that looking at different artworks may bore your children, don’t fret because the exhibits at the Mattress Factory are on the next level.

Founded at an abandoned mattress factory in 1977, this museum on Sampsonia Way features site-specific installations, including videos and performances.

Check out the Greer Lankton Collection, composed of many different types of art, including 2D artwork, photo albums, and even periodicals.

With numerous exhibits that do not include artwork hanging on the walls, Mattress Factory will surely entice your kid’s sensory experience.

They can see many unforgettable, and at times unusual, artworks, including room-sized art installations.

You and your kids may even get the chance to interact with some of the works on display and experience draping on a trapeze or walking on a low tightrope.

Get Your Game on at PNC Park

Exterior of PNC Park

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PNC Park is one of the best places to take your kids to Pittsburgh for some quality time.

First opened in 2001, PNC Park on North Shore is one of the smallest ballparks in the baseball industry and is the home of the Bucs.

Although this is the case, it is still considered a Major League Baseball stadium.

If you or your kids are fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates, this place is a must-visit.

Apart from watching a baseball game, you can also check out the city’s scenic views if you get the chance to visit the park.

Aerial view of PNC Park's field

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You must also stop by the Pirates Clubhouse Store and purchase Pittsburgh Pirates merchandise.

Some items you can purchase include shirts with the Pittsburgh Pirates logo, baseball-shaped stuffed toys, and baseball caps.

This is the perfect place to visit if your family loves baseball, sports, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baseball player statue at PNC Park

Sandra Foyt /

Travel Back in Time to the Age of Dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Exterior of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

woodsnorthphoto /

Journey back to the Mesozoic age of dinosaurs when you visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

First opened in 1895, philanthropist and Pittsburgh steel industry titan Andrew Carnegie funded this museum.

Guests of all ages, especially those who are into natural history and dinosaurs, will surely love this destination.

You and your kids can marvel at some of the original dinosaur fossils that were reconstructed and displayed in the museum.

Welcome sign of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

CiEll /

Your whole family will also get the chance to witness skilled and knowledgeable paleontologists in action as they analyze specimens and fossils.

If you’ree more interested in creatures that ruled the sea during the age of dinosaurs, look no further because this museum also has exhibits that show fossils of historic underwater creatures.

There is even an exhibit that shows how life was back then in Ancient Egypt.

No matter what part or aspect of history you’re interested in, Carnegie Museum of Natural History in the Carnegie Institute complex is something you cannot miss when you are in the city.

Dinosaur skeleton displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Sage Ross, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the Stories of Past Western Pennsylvanians at Senator John Heinz History Center

See more interactive exhibits while learning about Western Pennsylvanians’ history at Senator John Heinz History Center on Smallman Street.

Created in 1879, Senator John Heinz History Center is known to be the oldest cultural organization in Western Pennsylvania.

This center is also commonly referred to as the city’s “people museum” since it focuses on reflecting the history of individuals who once inhabited Western Pennsylvania.

You and your kids will have a great time checking out all of the interactive exhibits sprawling across all six floors of this history center.

Observe iconic vintage items and artifacts, like the oldest jeep in the world or the on-set props from the old television series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

You can also visit Heinz’s newest exhibition and take memorable photos with the large tomato ketchup statue made out of smaller tomato ketchup bottles.

There are also exhibits that feature modern innovations that originated from the city, which any history buff will also appreciate.

Relive Some of the Greatest Sports Moments in History at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum

Exterior of Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum

Nakrakosky at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you or your kids are into sports, then a trip to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a must.

Situated right inside the History Center on Smallman Street is a two-level museum featuring exhibits on numerous sports.

Whether you are into baseball or boxing, this place is a must-see!

Check out the Hockey exhibit, where you can take amazing photos with historic hockey moments as your backdrop.

You can also explore the Steelers exhibit, which focuses on the team’s dynasty and their unforgettable six championships at the Super Bowl.

Stroll around with your kids at the City of Champions exhibit, where you can learn about the stories of some of the talented but forgotten exceptional athletes from the city.

Of course, you can also take pictures and pose with your sports idols at the Beat ‘Em Bucs exhibit, which features uniforms, equipment, and the stories of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is the perfect place for sports fans who want to experience Pittsburgh’s sports history firsthand.

Enter a Green Oasis in the City at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Aerial view of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

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Reconnect with nature and appreciate its beauty at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden.

With at least 15 acres of land area, this gorgeous institution is a great place to visit if you want to see beautiful flowering plants and other breathtaking greeneries.

You and your kids will surely have a memorable time exploring its glasshouse, which has 14 rooms filled with extraordinary plants.

There are also 23 gardens within this place, so you will definitely have a great experience taking pictures with stunning flowers and tall plants as your backdrop.

Gorgeous flora in the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Photohubsanctuary /

Check out some of the orchid plants and numerous bonsai collections which will deepen your appreciation for the beauty of nature.

You can also learn more about different sustainable practices in taking care of greeneries.

If you’re lucky, you might even see colorful butterflies and have one land right on your shoulder.

A mini carousel in the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Bambi2020 /

Run Around with Your Kids at the Highland Park Super Playground

Burn off some energy and keep active while having fun with your kids at Highland Park Super Playground at Reservoir Drive.

Established in 1991, this playground is one of the city’s many essential play spaces and is beloved by the Pittsburgh community.

If your kids are bouncing off the walls and are full of energy, bring them to this play area with many activities that will occupy them for hours.

There is also a special area for toddlers to play in so they’re not overwhelmed or injured by the older kids.

Aside from this, hidden mosaics and artworks are also installed all around the playground, making for a fun i-spy game for the whole family.

At Highland Park Super Playground, you can enjoy the outdoors and unwind as you watch your children play and interact with other kids.

You can also play with your kids and engage in make-believe as you chase each other around this grand park.

Support the Conservation of Threatened Species at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Exterior of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a unique and memorable zoo experience at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

First opened in 1898, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium on Baker Street offers guests of all ages a glimpse into the daily life of animals from different parts of the world.

This zoo not only offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with different animals but also focuses on educating people about various threatened species and their conservation.

Welcome sign of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Christopher “Rice” from Pittsburgh, PA, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You will surely have an unforgettable experience learning all about over 8,000 animals that can be found in this zoo.

See African Elephants, African Lions, Amur Tigers, and more when you visit this zoo with your kids.

Stingray in the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Noel Weathers from Orange, United States of America, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unwind and Relax as You End Your Day at the Schenley Plaza

The grounds of Schenley Plaza

TheZachMorrisExperience, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

End your day on a relaxing note by spending some quality time with your family at the Schenley Plaza on Forbes Avenue.

This lovely park is the ideal spot for a leisurely and peaceful stroll, game of catch, or family picnic.

You can enjoy many of the plaza’s features, including the numerous food kiosks, tented and shaded areas, and the occasional entertainment programs on the premises.

The best part of the Schenley Plaza is its convenient location in the city, where you can explore the area’s other attractions after a fun day.

If you want to unwind with your family or have a delicious meal, this is the destination for you.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Score as Many Points as You Can at Pinball Perfection

Hit all the targets you can and beat the highest scores on the machine at Pinball Perfection in Westview, Pennsylvania, just north of downtown Pittsburgh.

This unique destination is the largest pinball museum in the state.

With more than 300 pinball machines and counting, it’s perfect for anyone who loves to play in arcades.

Try your luck beating the high scores on some of the vintage pinball machines on display!

Your kids will also love seeing all the themed pinball machines featuring the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Superman.

There are also many other arcade games that you and your kids can play here, including a pool table, air hockey, and vintage racing.

If you get tired from trying to score on their pinball machines, you can sit back and have a snack or maybe even listen to the live music that is sometimes available at this establishment.

Final Thoughts

No matter your interests, you’ll find something to enjoy in Pittsburgh.

From zoos and aquariums to beautiful gardens and play areas, there’s something for everyone here.

If you’re looking for a fun day out, these places within the city will keep both you and your children entertained.

Include these best things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with your kids on your vacation!

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