Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Family City Guide: A to G




Photo by Chuck Beard

 

A is for Aviary

The ideal visit to the National Aviary includes more than just a stroll through the exhibits. Plan your trip in advance (there’s a schedule of events on the Aviary’s website) to make sure you don’t miss daily feedings, bird encounters and shows; in the Aviary’s Wetlands exhibit, guests have the opportunity to hand-feed birds. Throughout the Aviary, slow down to spot birds not visible at first glance. “If you take the time to explore and look, you can see and learn so much more,” says Robin Weber, the Aviary’s senior director of marketing and community relations. “It’s a great way for kids to explore, if parents help them.” —SC

★ Insider Tip: Don’t miss the avian care-center window, found in the Aviary’s Eagle Hall. The window offers a close-up look at birds receiving medical care, eggs on the verge of hatching — and, on rare occasions, new hatchlings. 

700 Arch St., North Side
aviary.org, 412/323-7235
 


photo by douglas duerring

 

B is for Baseball

Not too far from home plate, a row of children are lined up, bouncing with excitement. At the front of this exuberant queue, kids exchange $1 for a carton of milk and a fresh-baked cookie. It’s a scene you won’t find at PNC Park; while the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates is a great family outing in its own right, one of the finest (and thoroughly affordable) family sports outings nearby can be found at the home park of the independent Washington Wild Things. Promotional games and events take place nearly every half-inning, a play area is tucked beyond the left-field bleachers and no seat in the park costs more than $15. Plus, every Friday-night game features fireworks. —SC

★ Insider Tip: Kids can join the Washington Wild Things Kids Club for $15, which includes a ticket to each Sunday home game and a kids’ meal — nine tickets, nine hot dogs, nine sodas and more for only $15. All junior Wild Things are invited to run the bases on the field after Sundays’ games as well.

One Washington Federal Way, Washington
washingtonwildthings.com, 724/250-9555
 


photo by chuck beard

 

C is for Carousel

Some may find it odd to come upon a carousel in the middle of Schenley Plaza in Oakland, but the Victorian-style structure adds a bit of whimsy — and plenty of fun. For $2 a ride (or $60 for a family season pass good for two adults and four children) from mid-April through November, you can choose between a triceratops, panther, seahorse, teacup and more as your ride for the duration. Make an afternoon of it and enjoy lunch outdoors at the kid-friendly Porch restaurant before walking over to the main branch of the Carnegie Library to browse the extensive children’s section (and maybe catch a quick glimpse of a dinosaur; see page 19 for more). —LD

★ Insider Tip: Build a monthly tradition without ever opening your wallet: Carousel rides are free from noon-4 p.m. on the second Sunday each month during UBER ATG Kids’ Days in Schenley Plaza.

Schenley Plaza, 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland
pittsburghparks.org/pnc-carousel, 412/682-7275
 


photo by chuck beard

 

D is for Dinosaurs

When you take your kids to see the world-class dinosaur exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, be sure to tell them that they’re not just looking at any old Tyrannosaurus Rex — they’re looking at the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The T-Rex at the museum is the type specimen for the world’s most famous dinosaur; that means that it is the original skeleton for which the species was named. Take your time looking through the “Dinosaurs in their Time” exhibit, which immerses the museum’s dinosaurs and other Mesozoic-era fossils in time-appropriate flora and fauna, then let the kids dig up some bones of their own at Bonehunters Quarry, a simulated fossil dig. —SC

★ Insider Tip: Want a quick glimpse of the dinosaurs without making a day of it? Stop at the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland, under the same roof as the art and natural-history museums; in several spots, the library’s stacks overlook the fossils, allowing you to sneak a peak for free.

4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland
carnegiemnh.org, 412/622-3131
 


photo courtesy pittsburgh botanic garden

 

E is for Earth

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale is brimming with family-friendly activities to connect you and your kids to the Earth: Go for a mile-long Night Hike (don’t forget to bring a flashlight) to see and hear creatures that are most active in the dark. Kids 3 to 7 can get their creative mojo on with the monthly “Block and Rocks” play sessions. “Garden Thursdays” feature themed events such as “Terrific Trees” and “Incredible Insects” designed for youths aged 5 to 9 (accompanied by an adult) to learn about plants, insects and more. And everyone can go on a scavenger hunt through the center’s expansive gardens and naturescapes. —HBK

★ Insider Tip: In a quiet moment at the Lotus Pond, you might hear a sound like a lightsaber. That’s the sound of a male American bullfrog defending his territory. As you walk across the stepping stones, pause and look for the bullfrog and fish inhabiting this once-blighted pond.

799 Pinkerton Run Road, Oakdale
pittsburghbotanicgarden.org, 412/444-4464
 


photo by chuck beard

 

F is for Flowers

From the time you enter the historic glasshouse (circa 1893) and throughout the many indoor and outdoor flower gardens, living color surrounds you at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Admire the waterfalls in the Tropical Forest Conservatory and explore the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, one of the greenest buildings on Earth. You also won’t want to miss the seasonal flower shows and free-with-admission activities for all ages. Phipp’s Discovery Programs include Make-a-Craft Mondays, Story Time Wednesdays and Pot-a-Plant Fridays. Get hands-on experience with the Discovery Stations throughout the facility, and don’t forget to check out the popular Play Farmers’ Market, where kids can get imaginative with healthy toy foods, shopping carts and cash registers. —JS

★ Insider Tip: There’s always something fun going on at Phipps, no matter the time of year. From April through September, the Stove Room enchants with the colorful Butterfly Forest. In the winter, take the kiddos to see the garden railroad train display.

One Schenley Drive, Oakland
phipps.conservatory.org, 412/622-6914
 


photo courtesy pittsburgh glass center

 

G is for Glass

Kids and hot objects don’t always mix, unless we’re talking about the Pittsburgh Glass Center. The nonprofit school, gallery and state-of-the-art glass studio in Pittsburgh’s East End is continually hosting live hot glass demonstrations, as well as workshops, summer camps and classes geared toward kids of all ages. For teens ages 14 and older, there are two-hour and one-day workshops, eight-week classes and one-week summer intensive programs. For those 12 to 18, there are after-school classes and a summer camp in July. Little ones ages 5 and up are also encouraged to get creative through various make-it-now activities and private, hands-on experiences. —JS

★ Insider Tip: Don’t miss PGC’s Hot Jam events, held on the first Friday of every month. The open houses feature heat-defying acts of art, including live glassblowing demonstrations and a contemporary glass art exhibition. It’s fun, and free, for the whole family.

5472 Penn Ave., Garfield
www.pittsburghglasscenter.org, 412/365-2145
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Build or Remodel in 2018? Submit Your Home to Our Best of Design Contest

Categories include Best New and Best Renovated homes, Best Kitchens and Best Outdoor Space.

HGTV's Leanne Ford Partners With PPG on Perfect White Paints

Known for her signature "white on white" aesthetic, the star of "Restored by the Fords" shares her "fail proof" color choices.

Halloween in Pittsburgh: How to Embrace the Fright

From haunted houses and scary movies to pumpkin patches and zombie bars –– we are here to help you experience as much of the ghoulish holiday as you dare.

Perspectives: Mourning Without a Road Map

A 30-year-old woman “who had lost her father too soon” learns the importance of following a plan when saying goodbye.

On Fitness: Peace and Posture Instead of No Pain, No Gain

Client by client, personal trainer Ian Riggins is dismantling the aggressive side of the fitness industry.

Angling for Tranquility: The Lure of Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is growing in popularity as anglers discover the peaceful joys of casting a line from the water's surface.

MultiStories: Pittsburgh's Art Deco Obelisk – The Gulf Building

As the Gulf Building rose into Pittsburgh skyline in the early 1930s, the prospects of its owner were headed in the opposite direction.

“First Man” Author to Appear at Heinz History Center

James R. Hansen, author of the authorized Neil Armstrong biography, will speak about the astronaut’s life on Nov. 1.

Results Are In: Jobs are Plentiful in Pittsburgh

Glassdoor’s newly released city shortlist for hot jobs ranks Pittsburgh #1.

The 400-Word Review: The Old Man and the Gun

Robert Redford's alleged final performance is a quiet, fitting farewell.

Sandwich, Helmet, Teammates Await Bell’s Return to Steelers

Le’Veon Bell reportedly intends to return to the Steelers before the second Browns game on Oct. 28, but hasn’t yet. But that didn’t stop some of his teammates from trying to have some fun with Bell at the media’s expense.

A New Day for Craft Beer in Pittsburgh

Day Bracey, along with Ed Bailey and Mike Potter, forges a more inclusive approach to craft brewing.

Southern Cuisine Served with a Big Side of Hospitality

Sugar and Smoke owner Andrea Robinson not only wants to feed customers of her new eatery in Bloomfield –– she wants to know their names.

Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018

For two decades, Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP have presented the annual 40 Under 40 list. And every year, 40 people who have been alive for less than four decades are chosen because of their career accomplishments, dogged volunteer work and commitment to the Pittsburgh region. This year is no different. Read on to learn more about some of our very best neighbors.

Restaurant Review: Pie for Breakfast

Pittsburgh gets an updated, all-day diner with a sense of place from the owners of Legume Bistro and Butterjoint.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Halloween in Pittsburgh: How to Embrace the Fright

Halloween in Pittsburgh: How to Embrace the Fright

From haunted houses and scary movies to pumpkin patches and zombie bars –– we are here to help you experience as much of the ghoulish holiday as you dare.

Comments

“First Man” Author to Appear at Heinz History Center

“First Man” Author to Appear at Heinz History Center

James R. Hansen, author of the authorized Neil Armstrong biography, will speak about the astronaut’s life on Nov. 1.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Southern Cuisine Served with a Big Side of Hospitality

Southern Cuisine Served with a Big Side of Hospitality

Sugar and Smoke owner Andrea Robinson not only wants to feed customers of her new eatery in Bloomfield –– she wants to know their names.

Comments

Millie’s Is on the Move, and Kevin Sousa Will Make Ice Cream for Dinner

Millie’s Is on the Move, and Kevin Sousa Will Make Ice Cream for Dinner

Millie’s finds a new home in Homestead, and Kevin Sousa will host an ice cream dinner with OddFellows' Sam Mason at Superior Motors in Braddock.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Places to Shop If You Have a Green Thumb

The 5 Best Places to Shop If You Have a Green Thumb

Hone your gardening skills at these top Pittsburgh-area nurseries, garden centers and shops.

Comments

The 5 Best Movie Theaters in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Movie Theaters in Pittsburgh

A movie-going experience is about more than just the movie. PM Film Critic Sean Collier takes a break from movie reviews and shares the best spots for cocktails, classics and comfort.

Comments


House of 1000 Beers Is Not Exaggerating

House of 1000 Beers Is Not Exaggerating

There are actually more than 1,000 different varieties of beer available at the pleasant Warrendale bar and restaurant.

Comments

Phantom Fright Nights is Creepy, Essential Kennywood

Phantom Fright Nights is Creepy, Essential Kennywood

The Halloween attraction turns the playful park sinister in delightful ways.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Sandwich, Helmet, Teammates Await Bell’s Return to Steelers

Sandwich, Helmet, Teammates Await Bell’s Return to Steelers

Le’Veon Bell reportedly intends to return to the Steelers before the second Browns game on Oct. 28, but hasn’t yet. But that didn’t stop some of his teammates from trying to have some fun with Bell at the media’s expense.

Comments

Shazier, Steelers Return to Cincinnati Still Seeking a Happy Ending

Shazier, Steelers Return to Cincinnati Still Seeking a Happy Ending

Sunday's return to Paul Brown Stadium will be the Steelers' first trip back since last December when linebacker Ryan Shazier went down and stayed down. But this time he’ll be back on the sideline with his team, and most significantly he’ll be back on his feet.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Old Man and the Gun

The 400-Word Review: The Old Man and the Gun

Robert Redford's alleged final performance is a quiet, fitting farewell.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Halloween

The 400-Word Review: Halloween

Forty years later, a new "Halloween" resets most of the franchise and returns to form.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Pittsburgh Couples with Perfect New York City Proposals

Pittsburgh Couples with Perfect New York City Proposals

Another city of bridges provided the perfect backdrop for these romantic engagements.

Comments

Love and the Law: This Couple's Professor Nailed It

Love and the Law: This Couple's Professor Nailed It

When Julia Conley and Scott Scheinberg's law school professor predicted two people in the class would end up married to one another, they never imagined it would be them.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Build or Remodel in 2018? Submit Your Home to Our Best of Design Contest

Build or Remodel in 2018? Submit Your Home to Our Best of Design Contest

Categories include Best New and Best Renovated homes, Best Kitchens and Best Outdoor Space.

Comments

HGTV's Leanne Ford Partners With PPG on Perfect White Paints

HGTV's Leanne Ford Partners With PPG on Perfect White Paints

Known for her signature "white on white" aesthetic, the star of "Restored by the Fords" shares her "fail proof" color choices.

Comments