Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on February 14, 2024.
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Pittsburgh certainly has a reputation for being a kid-friendly place, and there is no shortage of activities out there specifically dedicated to the young ones in your family.
While we personally do not have kids, we have visited all of the best spots for kids in Pittsburgh over the years. So in this one, we wanted to highlight some of the best things to do in Pittsburgh with kids, share some rough age ranges for each place (as a 13-year-old will obviously have drastically different interests than a 3-year-old), and point out any possible discounts for young ones as well!
This list also focuses on attractions and museums that are kid-friendly, and does not include any Pittsburgh parks. For those destinations, check out our guide at the previous link and review hiking difficulties as mentioned before visiting with young ones.
Please note: Discounts can and do change so we recommend reconfirming before visiting. If you intend to visit any paid museum more than two or three times in a 12-month period, you may ultimately save money with a family membership as well. Likewise, this is not a comprehensive list of activities for kids and is simply a starting point for what we think are some of the best.
The Children's Museum
We can't have any discussion of things to do in Pittsburgh with kids and not start with the Children's Museum. This museum features 80,000 square feet of exhibits with spots like the Kindness Gallery, Makeshop, the Garage, Waterplay, Garden, Backyard, and even temporary options, too.
While this one is themed for the littlest Pittsburghers, a range of exhibits are available for kids of all ages to enjoy!
- Best Age Range: Generally under 10 years old.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 24 months are free and kids 2 to 18 receive approximately $2 off the admission price.
The Children's Museum is located at 10 Children's Way in the North Side.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
One of the things we love about the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is that both facilities are located on the same property and can be enjoyed on a single ticket. First you get to explore the zoo and then move on to all things aquatic at the indoor/outdoor aquarium!
Beyond conventional animal viewing, the zoo also hosts a number of events throughout the year that are perfect for young ones including the Asian Lantern Festival, Zoo Christmas Lights, and more. As such, if you have a child you'll likely be visiting this one again and again and again!
- Best Age Range: All ages, but likely best under 13.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 24 months are free and kids 2 to 13 receive a few dollars off admission price. That said, the zoo has variable pricing based on day of the week and when you buy your ticket, so children discounts could vary.
The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is located at 7370 Baker Street in Highland Park.
The National Aviary
Does your kid love all things birds? Then a trip to the National Aviary in the North Side is a must for their many themed rooms and daily shows.
But if you really want to go out there when visiting the Aviary, be sure to check out their animal experiences like the Sloth Encounter, Feeding Penguins, and more!
- Best Age Range: All ages, but likely best under 13.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 24 months are free and kids 2 to 12 receive approximately $3 off the admission price.
The National Aviary is located at 700 Arch Street in the North Side.
The Carnegie Museums
The Carnegie Museums are actually four museums under one umbrella brand- the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (accessed on the same ticket as the Art Museum), the Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum.
We originally were going to feature each museum separately, but decided to combine them in this article if only to showcase the array of art and history available to kids amongst these brands.
Young ones will love the exhibits in the Natural History Museum including dinosaurs and gemstones. Slightly older children can get interactive at the Science Center. Teenagers may be starting to venture into classic or modern art at the Art Museum or Warhol. Suffice it to say, this one makes for a great family membership to visit all the properties whenever you want, too!
- Best Age Range: Most museums are suitable for all ages, but the Science Center is best for about 5 to 13, and the Warhol is likely best for 13+.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 36 months are free at all museums, kids 3-12 receive $10 off at the Science Center, and kids under 18 receive approximately $12 off at the Warhol and $10 off at the Natural History/Art Museums.
The Carnegie Museums are spread out between the North Side and Oakland.
If natural beauty is more something your child enjoys, then there is no better place to visit in the city than Phipps Conservatory. This indoor botanical garden was first opened in 1893 and has expanded to feature several themed rooms, rotating show themes, and of course a few play places specifically dedicated for little ones as well.
As such, this one is a great spot for kids of all ages even if some of the flower show themes may be best suited for those slightly older to get a full appreciation for the art!
- Best Age Range: All ages, but some shows may be better suited for those between 5 and 18.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 24 months are free and kids 2 to 18 receive approximately $8 off the admission price.
Phipps Conservatory is located at 1 Schenley Drive in Oakland.
All kids love colorful places, even older ones who need a new video for TikTok, and you get just that at Randyland in the North Side.
This free outdoor art exhibit features an array of knickknacks and paintings on the exterior of several buildings and within a bright courtyard (when open), and gives opportunities for young ones to play and older kids to snap a killer new shot all the same.
Although Randyland most certainly can be appreciated by visitors of all ages, the sheer scale of beauty here may be best appreciated by those that are slightly older.
- Best Age Range: All ages, but likely best between 5 and 18.
- Discount Opportunities: Randyland is free, but please donate to the tip box if possible.
Randyland is located at 1501 Arch Street in the North Side, just a few blocks north of the Aviary.
A short drive away from Randyland is Bicycle Heaven– the world's largest bike store and museum. This absolutely stunning two-story facility has roughly 4,000 bikes, many of which are historical or rare, and is the perfect place to take kids after they have learned to ride their first bike (or older) to get a great appreciation for all things biking!
- Best Age Range: All ages, but we only recommend visiting if your child is at an age where they will not touch the exhibits. The museum has two floors only accessible via stairs and has some tight walkways (i.e. not particularly stroller friendly).
- Discount Opportunities: Bicycle Heaven is free, but please donate to the tip box if possible.
Bicycle Heaven is located at 1800 Preble Avenue in the North Side.
Idlewild & SoakZone
Naturally we cannot have an article about things to do with kids in Pittsburgh and not include a few theme parks, and thankfully we've got two to highlight!
First up is Idlewild & SoakZone in the Laurel Highlands- a combination theme park and waterpark with a heavy lean to kids rides and everyone's friend, Daniel Tiger. The rides on the Idlewild side definitely trend younger (although rides for older guests are present too) and the water park side is quite enjoyable for everyone.
So whether you go for the rides with young ones, the water park with older kids, or a mix of both, there is a good time to be had at this seasonal park near Ligonier!
- Best Age Range: All ages can enjoy both parks, but many of the rides at Idlewild are heavily designed for visitors under 10.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 36 months are free. Discounts for kids were not listed at the time of publication.
Idlewild & SoakZone is located at 2574 Lincoln Highway just outside of Ligonier, PA.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum located in Washington, PA, is an interesting one because it focuses on the history of this unique method of transportation that has been phased out over the decades. Learn about how trolleys work in interactive exhibits, see many historic cars in their massive show room, and even ride on a working trolley along the museum's roughly four-mile track!
For those with young ones that love trains and other transit types, this is a great museum for learning and experiencing all things trolley first-hand!
- Best Age Range: Variable based on potential interest, but likely best enjoyed by kids 5-7 and up.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under 36 months are free, those 3-18 receive approximately $5 off.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is located at 1 Electric Way in Washington, PA.
Want a theme park a bit closer to the city, or perhaps one with rides for adults as much as children? You'll want to make your way to Kennywood in West Mifflin.
This theme park boasts an impressive array of rides dedicated to the littlest guests all the way to thrill rides for teenagers and beyond. While this means that some of the rides will have height limits in effect, a visit here can satisfy just about all ages through one experience or another.
- Best Age Range: All ages pending height restrictions.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under the age of 4 are free and no further discounts are available for young ones. Kennywood offers online ticket sales with discounts for all over buying directly at the gate, however.
Kennywood is located at 4800 Kennywood Blvd in West Mifflin, PA.
Need to kill some time on a rainy day and have a child that loves games? A trip to Pinball PA in Aliquippa should be on your radar. This one features hundreds of arcade and pinball machines set to free play mode. You simply pay a one-time fee to enter (either for two hours of a full day) and off you go to play to your heart's content!
But perhaps the best thing about Pinball PA is that they offer great group prices, so in many cases visiting with one or two kids is often the same price (or cheaper) than the fee for two adults alone. Not a bad day out with the family at all!
- Best Age Range: Likely best for those 7 and older to enjoy all the games.
- Discount Opportunities: Children under the age of 4 are free but likely are too young to play (this discount appears more to allow families to bring in young ones while older kids play). Pinball PA offers a significantly discount family pass for two adults and two children.
Pinball PA is located at 2284 Brodhead Road #10b in Aliquippa, PA.
Want to visit some of the above museums without kids and not feel awkward? Keep in mind some of the Carnegie Museums and Children's Museum host periodic 21+ nights and places like Phipps Conservatory and the Zoo also hold alcohol-themed events as well!
Do you have a favorite place to visit with your kid in Pittsburgh? Comment below to share!