Pittsburgh and the surrounding western Pennsylvania area have plenty of kid-friendly attractions. Here is a list of some of the things to do in Pittsburgh with kids…
What true Pittsburgher doesn’t have a special place in their heart for Kennywood? As the region’s premier park, Kennywood bills itself these days as “”America’s Finest Traditional Amusement Park“ and it may very well be! Founded in 1898 as trolley park to give trolley riders a reason to use the trolley line, Kennywood (and about a dozen other such parks) featured dancing, picnicking and a few rides. Today, the park boasts 6 roller coasters and 4 water attractions among the dozens of creative rides and games throughout the park. The magic about Kennywood is that it introduces newer and faster rides without taking away from its traditional roots and unique charm. The park is now open during the Halloween and Christmas seasons as well, with seasonal flair added to the rides and attractions.
4810 Kennywood Blvd, West Mifflin, PA 15122
Sarris Candies Ice Cream and Gift Shop
The Sarris Candy Factory has long been a favorite Canonsburg destination. Sarris chocolates, jelly beans and just about every type of candy available are sold far and wide, and have been a local pick for school and sports fundraisers for years. There is a huge candy store onsite, and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor connecting to it. Double the sweetness!
511 Adams Ave, Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Located across from Flagstaff Hill and Carnegie Mellon University, Phipps Conservatory adds even more beauty to Schenley Park. Phipps is known widely for its seasonal flower shows, but stays fresh with ever-changing seasonal events and special exhibits.
1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The Zoo is one of the favorite family attractions in the City of Pittsburgh, and for good reason. The Pittsburgh Zoo is home to over 400 species of animals, including 22 endangered. The Zoo is home to the PPG Aquarium, with everything from stingrays to penguins to sharks, Kids Kingdom and a zoo train. The Pittsburgh Zoo is open year round, and features educational and special events. Zoo camps are popular in the summer, as well as several “members-only” nights. In October, the Zoo holds its annual “Zoo Boo” for younger kids, which mixes trick or treating with up-close experiences with certain critters.
82 One Wild Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Kiski Junction Railroad
Since 1996, the operators of the Kiski Junction Railroad have been offering tourist train rides in addition to their daily short-line freight runs. The line runs parallel to the scenic Kiski River, not far from it’s junction with the Allegheny River. Holiday excursions are also offered.
130 Railroad St, Schenley, PA 15682
Living Treasures Animal Park (Moraine, Donegal)
Living Treasures Animal Park has found its niche by providing a more hands on, up close experience than you might find at other zoos. There are two locations, near Moraine State Park and Donegal, each featuring a walk through zoo with over 70 species, a petting area for the kids, pony and horse rides and a gift shop.
268 Fox Rd, New Castle, PA 1610
1288 PA-711, Jones Mills, PA 15646
Seldom Seen Tourist Coal Mine
The mine and site are small enough for the visitor to easily comprehend the entire process of mining and shipping coal. The site also possesses an excellent array of resources including original structures, a variety of equipment, and an underground tour.
1531 Main St, Hastings, PA 16646
Touchstone Center for Crafts
If you love art and nature, be sure to visit Touchstone! Celebrating 45 years in 2017, Touchstone has been keeping the tradition of mountain crafts alive for decades. The school features both traditional and contemporary artistic work in an array of disciplines, including photography, blacksmithing, metals, textiles, glass, oil and watercolor painting, printmaking and sculpture.
1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 15437
Idlewild Park & Soak Zone
Idlewild Park is locally known as the rural sister park to Kennywood, but it currently is promoting being “Best Children’s Park In The World” by Amusement Today. A full scale amusement park, it is highly regarded for it’s attractions for young children, picnic groves and the “Soak Zone” water park. Every October, the park holds its annual “Hallowboo” during daylight hours.
2574 US-30, Ligonier, PA 15658
Carnegie Science Center
Fun & educational, and never the same experience twice, the Science Center is a favorite for kids and adults alike. There are always new, hands-on exhibits to explore, as well as creative theater shows located throughout the 5 story building. Be sure to check out a planetarium show or an Omnimax movie as well! Nextdoor, the affiliated SportsWorks provides physical challenges and active fun along the same lines.
1 Allegheny Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Gateway Clipper Fleet
Looking for fun on the three rivers? The Gateway Clipper Fleet offers dozens of types of cruises: dining, dancing and sightseeing tours among them. It also offers shuttle service for Steeler games and other events. It definitely is a great way to see the city from a unique vantage point.
360 W Station Square Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Just Ducky Tours
Looking for a unique sightseeing tour of the city? A Ducky Tour is just what the doctor ordered. Traverse along land and water in their authentic World War II DUKW vehicle while a narrator provides historic commentary in a quirky, humorous fashion. Tours depart from near the Hard Rock Cafe at Station Square daily, April through October.
130 W Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Sandcastle Water Park
Sandcastle stands alone in Pittsburgh as the largest, most complete water park. Sandcastle has it all with over 10 water slides, a lazy river, the Riverplex Picnic Area – even go-carts. If you are old enough, stick around after dark and have a few drinks or play some volleyball at Sandbar, the adjacent outdoor watering hole.
1000 Sandcastle Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15120
The National Aviary is the nation’s only indoor nonprofit bird zoo, with over 600 birds from over 200 species, many of which are threatened and endangered. There is a special emphasis on birds from the rain forest or other wetland areas, but every continent is represented. The Aviary holds special events, family camps and even Photo Safaris on Saturdays. There is something for everyone… it is one of the top things to do in Pittsburgh with kids!
700 Arch Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Nestled in the “square” of Allegheny Center on the North Side lies the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, housed in the old Buhl Planetarium building. Kids of all ages will find something interesting to discover and explore. The museum contains 3 floors and features several hands-on exhibits, as well as educational programs and special events. If you have young kids and are looking for things to do in the area, this attraction is highly recommended.
10 Children’s Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum near Washington, PA is “more than a ride, it’s an experience”, as they say. The mission of the museum is to present and educate about the trolley era. Come explore the visitor’s center and ride the trolley throughout the grounds, exploring the buildings and exhibits onsite. The trolley museum is known for it’s events, especially around the holidays. The “Santa Trolley”, “Bunny Trolley” and “Pumpkin Patch Trolley” are always hits with kids.
1 Museum Rd, Washington, PA 15301
Laurel Caverns is located on top of (and within) Chestnut Ridge, covering 435 acres and boasting Pennsylvania’s largest cave. Two miles of passageway await the caver looking for an adventure, most of which remains undeveloped. This is a great place for aspiring spelunkers to begin because the park enforces safety measures that are usually absent in wild caves. It also offers reasonably priced family guided tours all day long through the undeveloped part of the cave. These tours are about an hour long and are both fun and educational.
200 Caverns Park Rd, Smithfield, PA 15478
Jennings Environmental Education Center
Jennings offers a full range of educational programs. A unique attraction at the center is its relict prairie, which includes the spectacular and well-known prairie flower, the blazing star. The relict prairie ecosystem is rare in Pennsylvania. Visitors should try to visit in late July or early August when the prairie is in full bloom.
2951 Prospect Rd, Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Caddie Shak Family Fun Park
Looking for somewhere to take the kids in the Laurel Highlands? Caddie Shak Family Fun Park is sure to please, with “50 acres of action-packed adventure”. With everything from go karts to bumper boats to paintball, there is truly something for everyone. It is also conveniently located close to other attractions in the Laurel Highlands and the PA Turnpike.
132 Caddie Shak Rd, Donegal, PA 15628
Pirates Cove Indoor Waterpark at Conley Resort
Visit this indoor water park any time of year. Pirates Cove features 2 slides, sauna, hot tub,and a pirate ship. Perfect for birthday parties as well.
740 Pittsburgh Rd, Butler, PA 16002