Welcome to Pittsburgh! What do you want to do first? Not sure yet? Well what about plans for tomorrow? …Well you still have time to decide… Where are you staying? You haven't booked a hotel yet?!?!
Multigenerational family fun in Pittsburgh
Welcome to Pittsburgh! I am the third-generation descendant of immigrants who settled in Pittsburgh to work in the mills. While residing in the region off and on throughout my life, I have called North Central West Virginia “home” for the last 30 years. As I live only a 90-minute drive from Pittsburgh, I visit the city about once a month, a trip made with my daughter countless times. I’ve watched Pittsburgh evolve from its industrial past to the thriving center of technology, medicine and culture that it is today.
My most recent trip included a visit to my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhoods, the North Shore and Northside. There are so many activities for multigenerational families and groups in these neighborhoods.
Main Photo Credit: Chandler Crowell
The North Shore is best known as the location of Acrisure Stadium and PNC Park. These stadiums are the homes of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively. I go to PNC Park at least once every summer. It’s the most beautiful ballpark in baseball. The view of Downtown from behind home plate is breathtaking. If the weather is just right, a rainbow may arc over the skyline, beyond the outfield. If the Pirates are out of town during your visit, book a tour of the park – you’re sure to go home with a memorable photo!
Though the food offerings in the stadiums are beyond standard fare, consider also grabbing a meal, snack or brew at one of the nearby restaurants or breweries. Southern Tier Brewery offers a full menu of gastropub fare with a ‘Burgh twist. I recommend the potato and cheddar pierogies and a Here We Gold Lager for the grownups. The large outdoor seating area is shaded, comfortable and great for people watching.
Between Acrisure Stadium and the confluence of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, stop for a moment to visit Mister Rogers. Fred Rogers was a Pittsburgh native, and his iconic children’s show was produced by the region’s PBS station. The Tribute to Children statue of Fred Rogers offers an opportunity to reflect on his lessons, as well as another memorable photo opportunity.
If your interests lie in the arts, a short walk from the stadiums is The Andy Warhol Museum. Did you know Warhol was born and raised in Pittsburgh? The museum houses an extensive collection of his vibrant work, along with other artists from his era and genre. Don’t miss Keith Haring’s elephant and Warhol’s interactive Silver Clouds exhibit.
Also near the North Shore is the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this Pittsburgh gem. You are sure to revel in the joy shown by your kids or grandkids, as well as experience your own! Don’t forget to visit the MuseumLab, too – perfect for the tweens and teens in your group.
Pittsburgh is one of the most walkable cities in the country, so after your visit to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, head over to the National Aviary. It’s home to the other Pittsburgh penguins. The National Aviary has interactive exhibits, including feeding opportunities and encounters with the penguins and sloths. Birds are viewable in simulations of their natural habitats,
including grasslands and a rainforest.
With all these places to visit, you’re sure to work up an appetite! Federal Galley in the Northside offers something for everyone, with four different restaurant concepts situated under one roof with a single-source ordering method. Local beers and adult beverages are available with a variety of cuisines.
Once the sun sets, there’s plenty of fun for the grownups throughout the neighborhoods with the backdrop of the stunning Pittsburgh skyline. Stage AE is a great indoor/outdoor small concert venue located within a football’s throw of Acrisure Stadium.
Stage AE features up-and-coming and established performers in a variety of genres. Capacity is about 5,000 outdoors, and ticket prices are well below those of “stadium shows.” Stage AE also hosts several outdoor festivals throughout the summer featuring multi cultural food, music and art.
New to the North Shore neighborhood is Shorty’s Pins x Pints, a “retrocade.” Duckpin bowling, pinball, bocce, foosball, shuffleboard and throwback arcade games will keep you active and entertained. While you can show off your old-school skills to your whole family in the afternoon, Shorty’s is 21+ after 8 p.m. The menu features shareables and tacos, and a full bar including adult slushies!
Are there things to do in Pittsburgh that aren’t in the North Shore and Northside neighborhoods? You bet! Recently, my daughter spent her 31st birthday at Kennywood. She first visited the park as a four-year-old. Kennywood is a small amusement park with top-rated rollercoasters, a 100-year-old carousel, iconic concessions and kiddie rides. It also features gardens, greenery, shade and benches to soak in the atmosphere. Don’t pass on The Potato Patch fries!
Kennywood, celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2023, is located about 12 miles southeast of Downtown Pittsburgh. It has ample parking and reasonably priced admission. Stay the afternoon and into the evening to marvel at the lights.
My biggest tip as a frequent visitor to Pittsburgh - talk to the locals. Pittsburghers are the friendliest people! They are proud of their city and love to show it off. Ask your driver their favorite pizza joint and get tips on the best galleries from your barista.
No matter where you go in Pittsburgh, you will find something for your entire family. The city’s rich immigrant history has always placed family at the forefront, and those values continue to this day. See you in the ‘Burgh!