Pittsburgh is a destination for families who quickly discover what locals already know - Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.
Enjoy a host of attractions that educate and entertain in the city named one of the top five cities to visit in the Northeast by readers of FamilyFun Magazine. The magazine also ranked Carnegie Science Center among the Top Five Museums in the Nation. Parents Magazine includes the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium as one of the best zoos in the United States.
Shiver in the shadow of the giant T. rex at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the finest dinosaur collections in the world. See Egyptian artifacts, visit the Hall of Minerals and Gems, and hear the beat of distant drums in the Hall of American Indians. One of the largest, most contemporary exhibits on American Indians in the United States, the Hall engages visitors with an array of historic and contemporary artifacts brought to life through dioramas, storytelling, videos and interactive computer activities.
June 2008 marked the completion of the $35-million expansion of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Dinosaur Hall. Built in 1907 by Andrew Carnegie, Dinosaur Hall has never before undergone an expansion. The museum includes a PaleoLab, an area in which dinosaur bones are prepared for display and a Bonehunters Quarry, where amateur archeologists can dig awhile for real hands-on fun. With more than 103,000 specimens, the museum's collection of fossil vertebrates is the fourth largest in North America.
Explore the mysteries of science at the Carnegie Science Center, where you can investigate more than 250 exhibits, including roboworld, the largest permanent robotics exhibit, Highmark SportsWorks, a WWII submarine and a four-story, domed OMNIMAX® theater that features a variety of films and laser shows. Visit distant galaxies in the world's most technologically sophisticated planetarium and tour the Miniature Railroad & Village at this playground for the mind.
Travel through time at The Frick Pittsburgh, where children see what life was like 100 years ago at Clayton, the "Millionaire's Row" home of Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick. Children can visit the Playhouse Mr. Frick built for his children in 1897, play on the Frick's 5.5 acres of landscaped grounds and see palm trees growing inside the working Greenhouse. In the Car and Carriage Museum, kids will enjoy a lively video and have fun looking at antique cars and carriages that run on steam, electricity, gas and even actual "horse" power.
A visit to Pittsburgh is not complete without a ride on the Monongahela or Duquesne Incline. Before the appearance of electric streetcars and automobiles, these funiculars were the most convenient way for Pittsburghers to climb the towering hills that are so much a part of the city's topography. Today, the cars transport visitors to the top of Mount Washington for a spectacular view of the city and rivers.
In the summer months, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old "roller coaster capital of the world." Sample the best curly fries around, ride The Jack Rabbit and The Thunderbolt, both classic wooden coasters, or test your courage on the Exterminator, an indoor rollercoaster, or the Phantom's Revenge, a modern steel coaster. For the little ones, the park also includes a dozen Kiddieland rides. A national historic landmark, Kennywood is a Pittsburgh family tradition.
Marvel at hummingbirds the size of a thumb or Andean Condors with giant 10-foot wingspans at the National Aviary, a veritable indoor jungle of the world's most incredible birds, including many endangered species. The National Aviary features more than 600 exotic birds in natural habitats. Located on Pittsburgh's North Shore, the National Aviary is the nation's premier bird park, celebrating more than 50 years of birds.
Stroll Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to see towering tropical plants that were the original seedlings at the 1890 Exposition, miniature orchids, indoor and outdoor gardens, and a fabulous bonsai collection. Children will revel in the Discovery Garden, where they are invited to exercise their green thumbs and explore the world of plants and flowers, worms and all. Seasonal exhibits include a butterfly garden and a miniature railroad display.
Hands-on exhibits make exploration fun at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Kids can explore the Museum's climbing mazes, build and launch flying machines, use pulleys to raise themselves up in human-powered elevators and get creative with silkscreening, painting and computer graphic design. The museum's new expanded wing features an exhibit on Pittsburgh's own Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Experience one of America's finest children's zoos when you plan a day at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Located just 20 minutes from downtown, the zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals in natural settings. From meerkats to monkeys, tigers to tarantulas, gorillas to giraffes, the Pittsburgh Zoo has it all, including two baby elephants. The Zoo's Kids Kingdom and Discovery Pavilion have earned the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium the ranking as one of the top children's zoos in the United States by Allen W. Nyhus, zoo critic and author of The Zoo Book, A Guide to America's Best.
Experience one of the greatest slide shows on earth at Sandcastle Waterpark. Take the plunge on 15 of the wildest, wettest, wackiest waterslides imaginable or enjoy a slow ride on the "lazy river." Those less adventurous can shop on the boardwalk or take a dip in the Moonlight Bay pool or the Tad Pool, complete with mini slides created just for little tykes. Don't miss the wave pool and go-karts.
Experience Pittsburgh's history at the Senator John Heinz History Center. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center tells the experiences of the waves of immigrants who were swept into Pittsburgh on the tide of history. The core exhibit of the museum transports visitors through time from the 1750s to the present. The History Center also includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, learn about the history of sports throughout the region.
See the sights from the water on board a Gateway Clipper riverboat, or combine land and sea with a Just Ducky! Tour. This WWII amphibious vehicle is equally at home driving the streets of Pittsburgh or navigating the city's three rivers.