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By trying new activities that are fun, healthy, safe and family oriented, children become life-long learners and citizens of the world.  Extracurricular activities that encourage respect for all cultural groups will promote success, academics and leadership skills, as they teach children to preserve and respect cultural heritage. These are Pittsburgh kids’ best bet for all of that and so much more.

University of Pittsburgh
Cathedral of Learning

4200 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-6000

Price: $4 adults/$2 youths 6 to 18

The cathedral’s nationality rooms showcases 19 ethnic groups on two floors in the Cathedral of Learning complex at the University of Pittsburgh. These groups are those that settled in the Pittsburgh region, and the rooms that display the customs, language, art, music and history of each of them demonstrates their contributions to the country after World War I. Each room depicts a unique heritage that helped make Pittsburgh what it is today. Children may learn about the language and customs of each country through guided and recorded tours. The holiday tours are a special treat for visitors, and they’re perfect for all ages.

YMCA of Pittsburgh

420 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Suite 625
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 227-3800

Contact for pricing.

The YMCA has been known as a leader in global awareness, ensuring cultural strength in the community wherever it plants itself. Within the diverse communities of Pittsburgh and the abundance of branch locations, the YMCA has developed a network with exemplary resources for children from any culture to be part of strong curriculum proficiency for all skill levels. The children may be engaged in a variety of specialty camps and before- and after-school programs. Cultures come together for classes in first aid, crafting and swimming lessons that develop social responsibility and life skills. Youth sports integrate children in specialized activities such as gymnastics, yoga, soccer and lead-up sports teams.

The First Tee of Pittsburgh

Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park
5370 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 622-6959

Click here for golf fees.

If you think golf is just about hitting a round ball into a round hole, then there is more to discover with the First Tee program. The program goes far beyond the national level as its boundaries extend to the international scene in 15 countries. The First Tee promotes more than playing a game of golf. Children must learn and abide by the nine core values, health habits and a code of conduct, which includes respect, sportsmanship, etiquette, character building and goal setting. Children learn golf in terms of its life-long application and enjoyment, not just a brief program. There are clinics and instruction to guide the participants in all facets of the five levels of certification. The Pittsburgh region has First Tee programs in Beaver Falls, McKees Rocks and Freeport golf courses. Financial aid is available.

Pittsburgh Folk Festival, Inc.

P.O. Box 24588
Pittsburgh, PA 15234
(412) 278-1267

Price: $12 adults/free children 10 and younger/free to service members and their dependents with ID

The cultural diversity of Pittsburgh and the plethora of nationalities in the region are presented in a variety of songs, dances and costumes from 30 participating nationalities at this awesome area festival. The annual festival is the perfect place for students to learn about the cultures while they play. Children may try ethnic foods and participate in the exhibits as they explore the world in one easy location. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has developed a cross-cultural education opportunity with this fun folk festival, even including kids in dances from a variety of countries. Children may visit each country’s booth to learn about the history, food and crafts as well.

Related: Which is Your Favorite Hispanic Food?

Heinz History Center

1212 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 454-6000

Click here for membership details.

The Heinz History Center is comfortably nestled in the Strip District where children may research the diversity of western Pennsylvania and experience the collections of genealogy in the communities that have made Pittsburgh what it is today. Enjoy videos, slideshows and audio clips about Pittsburgh’s diverse neighborhoods. Impressive ethnic artifacts, paintings and hand-made items in the Italian American, African American and Rauh Jewish archive rooms provide insight into the family life of your little one’s friends. There are six floors in which children may learn about the innovations, history, exhibits, virtual tours and documents that tell the story of 250 years of diverse communities, ethnic backgrounds and history. Guided field trips explain where the ethnic groups were established around the western Pennsylvania area. Children may investigate the sports and Fort Pitt museums for hands-on activities and interactive exhibits as well.

Related: Best Museum Exhibits to See This Fall in Pittsburgh

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.