(Photo credit: Thinkstock Image)

By Sally Turkovich Wright

It’s the time of year for weather that is bad enough to cause school closures. Rather than let the kids spend another snow day sitting inside playing video games or risking frostbite on their sleds, why not take advantage of some of Pittsburgh’s cultural offerings? With all of the museums in our city, you and your family are bound to find a museum that’ll make the next snow day more unique. Get ready to make the most of a day in the city. Here is your list of the top three museums to visit with the family.

(Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh - http://www.pittsburghkids.org)

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: $12 adults, Children $11

Voted one of the ten best children’s museums of 2011 by Parents magazine, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has interactive exhibits, an art studio and Mister Rogers’ neighborhood. Stop in the Garage where kids can see and play in real cars, airplanes, racecars and launch parachutes.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Hours: Monday closed; Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults $15, Children $11

The main draws at this museum are definitely the dinosaur fossil collections and environmental research centers. Be sure to also check out the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems for a look at meteorites, precious gems and gold.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Adult $13, Child $11

If your first stop of the day was the Children’s Museum, then go for museum double-header at the Aviary since it’s located just on block down the street. Boasting 600 different species of birds, the Aviary is a fantastic place to see some rare tropical birds on a cold, wintery Pittsburgh day. The best part of the Aviary? At 11 a.m. each day, the Aviary staff brings African penguins out of their habitats to meet visitors. Be sure to sign up for the Penguin Encounter to make sure you get a chance to meet and pet the penguins!

Sally Turkovich Wright lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. By day she works as an eyewear stylist for an independent eye doctor. By night, she writes a twice-weekly column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com