One of the most livable cities in the country, Pittsburgh boasts plenty of fun for the entire family this summer. The abundant rivers, cultural and historic venues make it easy to enjoy a day exploring educational, indoor or outdoor pursuits for a meaningful learning experience. Explore myriad museums, universities, parks, sports, art galleries, theatrical performances and concerts, or just hit one of these awesome area options for the perfect day out for the whole family.
Just Ducky Tours
125 W. Station Square Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Price: $21 adults/$15 children ages 3 to 12/$5 infants up to age 2
Whether you’re a land lover or water enthusiast, Just Ducky Tours promises universally appealing tours of the city and its famous three rivers. Hop on one of six amphibious vehicles for the tour starting at at Station Square. Traverse through the downtown area of Pittsburgh to view the city in comfort. Along the route, the vehicles enter the water for a splashing guide through the history of Pittsburgh. The tour includes stops at museums, cultural areas and sporting venues for an amazing and educational adventure where you can even design your own t-shirt. Available parking is located at the garage across from the Sheraton Hotel and at the lot next to the H.O.V. Wabash Tunnel.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $12 adults/$11 kids and seniors
The Children’s Museum on Pittsburgh’s north side is a fabulous place to be creative and explore education on three levels, featuring heaps of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. On each floor, there is an opportunity to get your hands in dirt, mud or sand, paint and color your own creations, or find out how cars work. Its water activities require a raincoat, but the constant flurry of waves and boats will make up for the wet spots. The museum is set up to see how stuff works and to try new things, but don’t miss out on theater productions and an exhibit honoring Mister Rogers.
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Carnegie Science Center
One Allegheny Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $17.95 adults/$11.95 children ages 3 to 12
If you ever wanted to understand what the science guy teaches on TV, then the Carnegie Science Center near Heinz Field is the place to explore and understand how science works. Explore the effects of weather patterns and storms, find out how the body works, create your own animation clip, view the sea life in an aquarium, and use an interactive display of satellite images of the earth. Buhl Planetarium and a miniature railroad demonstrate the vitality in western Pennsylvania through a historic tour of scenes and characters from the past. The Highmark Sports Works exhibit offers a hands-on experience at which children may learn about health and fitness. Touch screens teach about the body, rockets and aero-dynamics. On the ground floor, jump aboard a submarine and learn about being part of the crew, or relax in the OmniMax Theater to watch adventures from around the world. Parking is available at the Science Center and at the Highmark SportsWorld lot with a $5 fee.
Sandcastle Water Park
1000 Sandcastle Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15120
Price: $31.99/$21.99 junior admission 48 inches and shorter/$21.99 seniors 55 and older
Get wet and refreshed during the steamy days of summer at Sandcastle Water Park. Waves, pools and exhilarating slides take you around curves and closed funnels here, so grab those tubes and take a ride if you dare. It is truly a family experience with a kiddie area offering a smaller version of the slides. The park is located in the Waterfront complex in Homestead, which includes shopping, restaurants and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy after everyone’s dry.
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Gateway Clipper Tours
350 W. Station Square Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Price: $20 adults/$10 children
The Gateway Clipper Fleet is a well-known Pittsburgh expedition along the vaunted three rivers. The captains aptly navigate the five riverboats on sightseeing and dinner cruises, and specialty events. The tour comes complete with an educational experience to highlight the historic landmarks in Pittsburgh and stories the entire family can enjoy. The launching point is at Station Square. After the cruise, shop or dine at myriad restaurants, or stroll by the walking path to view the skyline and the plethora of boats. One of those boats may be the GoodShipLollipop, which offers an interactive narration of the city by the captain while the children are entertained by a frolicking clown.
Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.