Whether you have kids, know kids or are just a kid at heart, Pittsburgh’s Children’s Museum is one of the best family-friendly venues in the city. The museum is chock full of arts and crafts, water play, hands-on exhibits, interactive performances and a new theme induction every few months. The museum even has its own garden where kids can get their hands dirty while learning a lesson about root vegetables or recycling. Venture down to the North Shore’s excellent dining opportunities after your museum jaunt and create a fun-filled day that will entertain the entire family.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Prices: Adult: $13; Children 2-18: $12; Senior Citizen: $12; Children Under 2: Free
With 11 permanent and fluctuating exhibits, one of the best cafeterias in Pittsburgh (in what other facility can one buy a pita wrap with fresh spinach and feta) and a great gift store, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has it all. Whether you’re interested in sending conflicting messages to your brain in the Attic‘s tilted room, tossing parachutes from the Garage‘s vertical conveyor or testing your hand at a circuitry lesson in MAKESHOP, you and your kids will walk away with a renewed sense of wonder at the world and everything around you. Be sure to visit the museum’s website for a full list of upcoming events and workshops, and keep checking back for special discounts and offers.
Big Red Room Cafe
With all proceeds from cafe sales going directly back into the museum’s programming, there’s no better reason to eat. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with options ranging in price from $1.95 to $6.50, you’re sure to find something that everyone will want to munch. Mom and dad can’t beat the cafe’s delicious vegetable hummus wrap, while the kids enjoy a grilled cheese, fruit tray or frosty ice cream. Please be advised the kitchen closes at 3 p.m., so be sure to get your made-to-order items in before this time.
Related: Best Museums In Pittsburgh
The most popular exhibit at the museum is its multimedia art studio. From painting to clay making and screen printing, your inner artist is allowed to shine with the bevy of available craft stations in the studio. Word to the wise: stop here first before embarking on your trip through the rest of the museum so those beautiful creations have time to dry or set before being transported home. The studio closes at 4:30 p.m., one half-hour before the museum closes.
Jerome Bettis Grille
393 N. Shore Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to head out of your comfort zone, pop across the street to former Steeler Jerome Bettis’ restaurant after your museum trip. Ahi tuna burgers, brioche dusted salmon and short rib tacos are just a few of the delectable items you may choose from. The kids will be kept happy with mac n cheese, quesadilla, chicken and burger options, and everyone can relax in this laid-back, super casual atmosphere. Happily, the staff has included a gluten-free menu for those with celiac sensitivities, and an extensive drink list will make you want to visit again – without the kiddos.
Spring Break Week, April 12-18
Celebrate the arrival of spring with bountiful activities in mid-April. Plan your trip to the museum around such fun as sports ball deconstruction workshops, martial arts showcases, sneaker printing and more. The activities run the length of the museum’s operating hours; for more info, please visit the website or call.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.