Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Pittsburgh
2020'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
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!
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh continues to inspire joy, creativity and curiosity for all ages, on its new, online platform Museum at Home (https://pittsburghkids.org/museumathome) while temporarily closed. The online resource is a place where kids and families can create at home together. Museum at Home provides children inspiration and instructions on creative, do-it-yourself activities and projects. Content is updated regularly and available for free whenever and wherever you are. Please check Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh's website for re-opening information.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
Gemini Theater Company
The mission of Gemini Theater Company is to cultivate creativity, imagination and originality through the performing arts. With almost 25 years of programming in the Pittsburgh area, Gemini Theater provides families with children and teens a variety of experiences to participate in shows and education programs, emphasizing an environment of inclusion, equality, respect, and IMAGINATION! Our interactive shows are a unique part of the Gemini experience for audiences, allowing children to be an active part of the performance. Our classes and workshops allow students to create theater from the page to the stage, choosing to act, direct, or tech their creations. Is everybody ready?
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.
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.
Little Lake Theatre Company
In the spring of 1949, Edith Disney and her son, Will, discovered an old barn on the side of a lake in Washington County. An amiable farmer named Mr. McDowell agreed to lease the barn on his working farm to the Disneys for use as a space to present live stage plays. The original stage, surrounded by wooden folding chairs, was located in the center of the barn floor, forming the area’s first theater-in-the-round.
Planet Bounce is safe, fun environment where kids can literally bounce off the walls! With four large bounce houses, obstacles, games, and tons of fun, we're the place you want to take your kids!
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 - Bridgeville
At Snapology of Bridgeville, 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 Bridgeville 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!
Arcade Comedy Theater
Penny Arcade is an improv comedy show produced by Arcade Comedy Theater in downtown Pittsburgh. Designed for kids 4–11 years old and fun for the entire family, the show gives kids a chance to see their ideas spring to life on stage through the collaborative magic of improv comedy. Every show is different!
ASCEND Pittsburgh is a bouldering-centric, indoor rock climbing gym with over 10,000 sq. feet of Walltopia-built climbing walls surrounded by Flashed flooring, all housed within a 27,000 sq. foot, second-floor space in Pittsburgh’s Southside.
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.
Pittsburgh Paintball Park
Pittsburgh Paintball Park is Pittsburgh's top choice for Pittsburgh Paintball Field FUN! We cater to all levels of play and offer a variety of fields. We are open year round for all levels of paintball action!
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 EducationSoccer Shots - Pittsburgh
Soccer Shots is the premier intro-to-soccer program for 2 to 8 year olds. Public & private (daycare, preschool, etc.) sessions available. Our caring team positively impacts children’s lives on and off the field through best-in- class coaching, communication and curriculum. Our coaches are the best-trained in the business. Our expert-approved curriculum is age-appropriate and aligns with childhood education standards.