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Eat, Do, Shop, Play and Learn

A restaurant that specializes in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Dance classes for toddlers and parents. A lending library for educational toys. Storytime at a nearly 90-year-old bookshop. A civic institution sailing the three rivers. In and around Pittsburgh, the offerings for families looking for food, fun and more go so much deeper than the expected family outings. From places to outfit and entertain to natural wonders and city treasures, here are some of our favorites.

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photo courtesy of clemente museum


Break out of the weekend rut — sure, you and the kids have favorite activities, but there’s always room for more. And in Pittsburgh, there are no shortage of fascinating, one-of-a-kind outings to draw you out of the house. —LD


Cinema in the Park
Free outdoor movies — typically big hits from the past year — are shown on the big screen throughout the summer in multiple parks around Pittsburgh.
412/255-2493, pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks/cinema-in-park

Clemente Museum
A hidden treasure, this museum (pictured at top) will delight any fan of Pittsburgh baseball. You’ll find a replica of the scoreboard and original seats from Forbes Field, Clemente’s bats and uniforms and more mementos approved by his family. Tours (by appointment only) recommended for children 12 and up.
3339 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville
412/621-1268, clementemuseum.com

Code Breakers
The North Hills escape room offers a kid-friendly option every weekend for guests ages 7-12. Games for ages 13 through adult are also available.
1130 Perry Highway, Ross Township
412/837-1988, codebreakers412.com

Color Me Mine
The pottery-paint studio offers a two-hour Kids Night Out for ages 5-12. Includes pottery painting, pizza, games and story time.
Squirrel Hill and South Hills
Dependable Drive-In
Take in a double-feature with the whole family; there’s usually a pairing of G- and PG-rated features on one of the drive-in’s four screens. Robust concession-stand offerings are cheaper than those at nearby multiplexes. Kids 5-11 get in for $3; ages 12 and older, $8.
549 Moon Clinton Road, Moon Township
412/264-7011, dependabledrivein.com

Eide’s Entertainment
A great place to wile away an afternoon browsing books, records, movies and more. Filming for the beloved Pittsburgh coming-of-age film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” took place here (word is, Emma Watson was delightful during the shoot).
1121 Penn Ave., Strip District
412/261-0900, eides.com

photo courtesy the frick pittsburgh

The Frick Pittsburgh
Take the whole family to picnic on the lawn of The Frick Pittsburgh during Friday-night events during the summer. Pretend you live in a simpler time as strains of music fill the air from the night’s musical guest; while you’re there, visit the restored Frick family home, Clayton. Bring your own food or patronize local food trucks. 
7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze
412/371-0600, thefrickpittsburgh.org

Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark
Ever try carpet skating? Billed as a safer alternative to skateboarding, it basically involves sliding on ramps and other obstacles with special shoes. Here, there’s a bounce area for kiddos ages 2 and up, blacklight dodgeball games for older kids, and more.  
1130 Perry Highway, Pine Township
412/364-9400, funslidespark.com

photo by chuck beard

Gateway Clipper Fleet
Offers several kid-friendly themed cruises — everything from superheroes to princesses to pirates to under-the-sea. Snacks, face painting, souvenirs and balloons are available.
350 West Station Square Drive,
Station Square
412/355-7980, gatewayclipper.com
Global Links
Volunteer as a family at this organization that donates surplus medical supplies to those who can use them around the world.
700 Trumbull Drive, Green Tree
412/361-3424, globallinks.org

Idlewild and SoakZone
Idlewild is an easily accessible park with areas perfect for young children and other spots the whole family will love. Parking is free and so is admission for kids 2 and under. There are seven themed lands, including StoryBook Forest and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Three season pass options get you various perks. 
2574 U.S. Route 30, Ligonier
724/238-3666, idlewild.com
Living Treasures Animal Park 
Get up close and personal with wild (and not-so-wild) creatures of the land, sea and air. Feed a giraffe, enjoy a walk-through aviary or ride a camel at the Moraine site. It’s a great way to spend a day with kids of all ages.
Moraine and Donegal
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
Worth the drive if your kids are interested in trains or transportation. Take a trolley ride and walk through a collection of about 50 trolleys — 15 of which have been restored to working condition. Offers three holiday celebrations: Bunny Trolley, Pumpkin Patch Trolley or Santa Trolley as well as Daniel Tiger’s Weekend.
1 Museum Road, Washington
724/228-9256, pa-trolley.org

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Soccer fans young and old will enjoy taking in a match featuring the squad. A less-intimidating (and often less-expensive) alternative to the Penguins, Pirates or Steelers for budding sports fans. 
Highmark Stadium, 510 West Station Square Drive, Station Square
412/224-4900, riverhounds.com

PNC Park kids days
Pirates games are fun for families no matter what day of the week, but Sundays are designated Kids Days. Visit the Family Fun Zone on Federal Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., pick up the kids’ promotional item of the day at the gates for kids 14 and under then let the kids run the bases afterwards. If it’s your kiddo’s first game, visit guest relations for a special certificate.

photo by chuck beard


Round Hill Farm
There are multiple playgrounds and a spray park at this county-owned park, and an “exhibit farm” with numerous furry animals kids can visit with.
651 Round Hill Road, Elizabeth Township
412/384-8555, alleghenycounty.us/parks/round-hill/index.aspx
Row House Cinema
In its short lifespan, Row House Cinema has established itself as a place that knows kids. On weekends, you’ll often find one of two programs: Cereal Cinema on Saturdays, where kids come for cereal at 9:30 followed by a 10 a.m. film, or Kids Will Be Kids, where children get the roam of the theater during a film.
4115 Butler St., Lawrenceville
412/904-3225, rowhousecinema.com

Shakespeare in the Parks
Introduce the kids to Shakespeare at as early an age as you want with the annual Shakespeare in the Parks performances — this year they’ll stage “Henry V.” The actors put on a stellar show and the atmosphere is slightly casual, as dogs and children of all ages are welcome in the audience. It’s a perfect place for a bit of culture, whether or not the kids can sit still.

South Park Game Preserve
The second-largest park in Allegheny County features dog parks, a nature center, an outdoor ice rink, a dek hockey area and a BMX bike track as well as tennis courts and a wave pool. Feed the ducks and walk the trails to find a small waterfall.
UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
Enjoy a public skate at the same site where the Penguins practice. Available for birthday parties; offers community programs.
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive, Cranberry Township
724/900-2799, upmclemieuxsportscomplex.com

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