Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Pittsburgh
2019's Best Places for Kids in the Pittsburgh area!
The best places to take kids in and around Pittsburgh, based on KidsOutAndAbout's annual reader survey. But there is LOTS more to do in and around Pittsburgh! Get great ideas here at KidsOutAndAbout.com! What is listed below are just the starting point: Browse through our site and calendar to find lots more, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter, and be sure to visit our Everything That's Free page.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
All children visiting the Children's Museum must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. For safety sake, we remind you that all adult visitors must supervise the children in their party
My Local Library
Of course, the libraries in the Pittsburgh area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them to the list of the best places to take kids this year!
The Seesaw Center
The Seesaw Center is a nonprofit indoor play center for children of all abilities, from infancy through kindergarten age. Open to all communities, The Seesaw Center offers parents and caregivers a safe and fun place to take children to play during the long winter months.
Kennywood Amusement Park
Kennywood is America's Finest Traditional Amusement Park! Located just outside Pittsburgh, PA, Kennywood offers a unique mix of classic rides and modern thrills, including six roller coasters, a 14-ride Kiddieland, and several attractions that cannot be found anywhere else.
Idlewild & SoakZone
With something for everyone, Idlewild & SoakZone is rated the Best Kids Park in the World by Amusement Today magazine, and rated Best Park for Families by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. With two parks in one, this is what family fun is all about!
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Explore the beauty and wonders of nature at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse and 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens, Phipps features stunning seasonal flower shows, exclusive art exhibits, renowned orchid and bonsai collections, a delightful butterfly house, immersive Tropical Forest and some of the greenest buildings in the world. Located in Schenley Park just a few miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Learn more and plan your visit at phipps.conservatory.org.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
To use our collections and scientific expertise to create knowledge that inspires an understanding of natural heritage, communicate the unity and interdependence of humanity and nature, and advocate for the protection of the earth and its inhabitants, while encouraging participation in the natural sciences.
The National Aviary is America’s premier bird zoo. Located on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds of 150 different species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an experience unlike any other – an intimate interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to handfeed and meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world.
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden inspires people to value plants, garden design and the natural world by cultivating plant collections of the Allegheny Plateau and temperate regions, creating display gardens and conserving the environment. Adults and children of all ages can enjoy educational programs and activities while beginning the process of fostering appreciation for the outdoors. The Garden connects people to Pittsburgh’s history and the beauty of Western Pennsylvania in the hopes of creating a more eco-friendly world. With 460 acres, it’s just beginning to blossom.
Sandcastle Water Park
Sandcastle is Pittsburgh's favorite destination for refreshing water fun! Open since 1989, this park spans 60-acres and offers over a dozen different water slides with varying speeds and angles of descent for thrill seekers of all levels. If you prefer to stay dry, take a leisurely stroll on the Boardwalk where you can enjoy your summer food favorites.
Snapology - Bethel Park
At Snapology of Bethel Park, we believe that children are meant to learn through play. When children are engaged in interactive, hands-on learning activities, their creativity flourishes and they show an increased interest in school. We help your child grow up with a thirst for knowledge. How do we do it? Snapology engages children ages 1-14 using LEGO® bricks, K’Nex and technology. While the kids are having fun with familiar toys, laptops and iPads, we sneak in the learning. Shh, don't tell them it's educational!
Snapology of Bethel Park is the premier partner for STEAM programs, offering year-round programs in schools, community facilities, homes and in our Discovery Center. Kids have so much fun in our programs that they don’t even realize they’re learning!
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is a unique museum within a historic memorial dedicated to honoring the men of women of all branches of service, from all generations and conflicts. Our vast collection of artifacts donated over the past 100 years gives us a unique platform to interpret American military history by telling stories of individuals who served our country.
YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
The YMCA has worked hard to implement and strengthen programs for kids. In 2019 they will serve over 1000 unique kids in camps, sports programs, and aquatics. Everyone regardless of age, income, religion or background is welcomed at the Y and has the same opportunity to grow and thrive. New this year is the Jr. Cavaliers Basketball program, where Pittsburgh has partnered with Cleveland to bring the NBA to our inner-city gymnasiums.
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania has miles of trails, summer camps, kids’ programs, and outdoor nature play areas at its three Pittsburgh-area locations: Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel, Succop Nature Park in Butler, and Todd Nature Reserve in Sarver. Join us for year-round programs and events that instill a life-long love of the outdoors. Our programs for our youngest visitors—babies and preschoolers—feature short walks (baby backpacks are ok!) with parents or a caregiver. As kids get older, they can explore nature via our summer camps or hands-on learning experiences. Stop by and see what we’re all about!
The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that presents "art you can get into" — site-specific, room-sized installations created by artists in residence from around the world.
Conneaut Lake Park
Conneaut Lake Park is a summer amusement park, located in Conneaut Lake, PA. Featuring unique and historical rides, it has long served as a regional tourist attraction. It is particularly loved by coaster enthusiasts for its classic Blue Streak wooden roller coaster. Conneaut Lake is Pennsylvania's largest natural glacier lake and is a popular summer destination for recreational boaters due to there being no horsepower limit on the lake. Come and experience a park that is a real alternative to today's frenetic and agitated lifestyle.
Heinz History Center
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. The 275,000 sq. ft. museum features six floors of long-term and changing exhibit space, including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.
August Wilson Center
The sleekly modern August Wilson Center offers multiple exhibition galleries, a 472-seat theater for performances in all genres, an education center for classes, lectures and hands-on learning, and dazzling spaces for community programs and events.
The Byham Theater is one of the most popular venues to visit in the entire Pittsburgh area with its wonderful enticing history, it's the perfect place to catch the latest touring events! Not only boasting of theatrical history but structurally as well, dating back to 1903, making it a celebrated landmark in the downtown area! From Broadway to theatre to dance to music, the Byham has it all! So just head over to the events page to see who will be gracing the legendary stage…Lights! Camera! Action! Grab your chance to see this stunning venue come to life.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in six categories. Here were their choices.
Favorite Place for Arts EducationCynthia's School of Dance & Music
Cynthia’s School of Dance & Music was founded in 1988. Our mission as dance and music educators is to build confidence in the lives of young children, teens and adults through Dance, Music, Fun and Laughter in a Positive Environment. We offer classes for ages 2 – Adult in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-hop, Musical Theater, Piano and Voice. The Senate of PA recognized Cynthia’s at the 30th Anniversary celebration as an entity which, through adherence to the highest standards of service, contribute in a meaningful way toward a better and more productive society. Call for current schedule at 412-367-3330, www.cynthiasschoolofdance.com and visit us on FB.
Favorite Place for Sports/Physical EducationYMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
The YMCA has worked hard to implement and strengthen programs for kids. In 2019 they will serve over 5000 unique kids in camps, sports programs, and aquatics. Everyone regardless of age, income, religion or background is welcomed at the Y and has the same opportunity to grow and thrive. New this year is the Jr. Cavaliers Basketball program, where Pittsburgh has partnered with Cleveland to bring the NBA to our inner-city gymnasiums.