Kids' Guide to Pittsburgh
Check out Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh, a new kid and parent-oriented quarterly online publication.
Any time of year you can visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium which is open every day except Christmas! Gallons of fun for a drop in the bucket! With 39 endangered species and nearly 4,000 animals, you'll marvel at the wonders of wildlife, all in naturalistic exhibits. Home to Pennsylvania's only major Aquarium and one of the top children's zoos in the nation.
A little further down the Ohio river on the North Side is the Carnegie Science Center , a hands-on science center with its own submarine. Heinz Field is right next door in case you want to catch a Steelers or Pitt Panthers football game in the fall. Or if it is spring or summer, you can catch a Pirate's baseball game at PNC Park .
Naturally you'll want to get a bird's eye view of both ball parks and the best way to do that is to take a trip up to the top of Mt. Washington. The absolute best way is to hop on one of the inclines: the Duquesne or the Monongahela , which are funiculars or inclined railways.
If you are in Oakland, you can explore the steamy jungles and scorching deserts of Phipps Conservatory , even if a blizzard is raging outside. And as long as you are in the neighborhood, follow up with a visit to the famous dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History . Find out about Dippy, the big dinosaur that will greet you near the entrance. DON'T forget to visit their Discovery Room for some hands-on science, dig up some fossils at the Bonehunters Quarry , check out the mummies in the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt , learn about American Indians in the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians and, if you love cold weather, visit the Wyckoff Hall of Arctic Life .
If you like art, stop by the Carnegie Museum of Art . To wind up your visit, make sure you end up at the Children's Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh where you can pick up books, videos, and more! Check out the Kids' website for more ideas.
Every May since 1986, the Pittsburgh Children's Festival has provided 5 days of entertainment to kids and their parents. Currently the Festival is being held in Schenley Plaza in Oakland, right in front of the Carnegie Library Main Branch. Schenley Plaza also has a carousel which you can ride even when there's no festival.
In summer, make sure that you check out the local amusement park: Kennywood , which celebrated its 100th birthday in 1998! If you're a roller coaster fan, don't miss their six coasters and three water rides.
If it's a really hot day, you'll want to spend it at Sandcastle , Pittsburgh's water park. Or, if you like wave pools, there are three locations in the county: Boyce Park, Settler's Park and South Park. Those of a more bucolic nature might want to drive down to Round Hill Farm and check out a working farm south of Elizabeth. Check out the Allegheny County Parks and the Pittsburgh City Parks for more locations.
Even in the winter you can tour the rivers and take an excursion trip on the Gateway Clipper Fleet . Find out how the locks on a river work. For educational river tours geared to kids, RiverQuest offers adventure voyages where you can learn how captains pilot their boats, learn about Pittsburgh's many bridges, or check out the life in Pittsburgh rivers. And for a great tour of the city, Just Ducky Tours will take you around in an amphibious vehicle.
For more investigations into the world of work, experience the life of a Pennsylvania coal miner at the Tour-Ed Mine and Museum just north of Pittsburgh in Tarentum.
For more things to do in the Pittsburgh region, check out Pittsburgh Parent , a free monthly guide to events for children in Pittsburgh (you can pick up a copy at the entrance of the main library). There is also Pittsburgh for Kids: a guidebook and directory for grownups and kids compiled and edited by Karrol Bachman and the McEwan Open School. This is the 1999 version (we're still waiting for a new one) of a classic guidebook for families with kids in the Pittsburgh region.