City Guide 2018-2019: Learn
There are lots of spots for kids of all ages to absorb some knowledge across the region. They all have one thing in common — there’s fun mixed in at every step.
★ Andy Warhol Museum
The museum periodically offers “Half-Pint Prints,” where kids ages 1-4 can create a silkscreen print on anything from a T-shirt to a tote bag in the style of Warhol himself. Guests of all ages can experiment with some of the artist’s signature techniques in the underground studio “The Factory.”
117 Sandusky St., North Shore
★ Arcade Comedy Theater
Getting up in front of that brick wall and entertaining audiences isn’t just for adults. Kids and teens classes and camps are offered for ages 9-17 to learn the fundamentals and beyond.
943 Liberty Ave., Downtown
★ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
There’s no better place for learning than the library. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, with more than 19 branches across the region, hosts an annual Summer Reading Program: you read books and get prizes throughout the summer based on your progress.
photos by chuck beard
★ Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Become an explorer at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where you can don goggles and grab some tools to unearth bones in the Bone Hunters’ Quarry — then seek out even more discoveries throughout the rest of the museum’s four floors.
4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland
★ Carnegie Science Center
Pretend to be an astronaut, go fishing in the stream, watch a robot playing basketball and easily fill an entire day at this museum that truly offers something of interest for all ages.
One Allegheny Ave., North Shore
★ Contemporary Craft
Visit The Studio for classes for all skill levels in subjects ranging from metals to wood, fiber to mixed media.
2100 Smallman St., Strip District
★ Depreciation Lands Museum
Costumed interpreters will transport you back to the 1700s every Sunday afternoon from May to October. On display are a log cabin, working blacksmith shop and Conestoga wagon. Be on the lookout for special events such as Children’s Heritage Day, a weeklong summer camp and an old-fashioned ice cream social.
4743 South Pioneer Road, Hampton Twp
★ Fort Pitt Museum
Take a break from a visit to Point State Park and wander through the Fort Pitt Museum, which is operated by the Smithsonian-affiliated Heinz History Center. You’ll get to view what early life in Pittsburgh was like, especially if you’re there for one of the museum’s living history demonstrations.
601 Commonwealth Place, Point State Park
★ Gaynor’s School of Cooking
Kids’ bread-baking classes, sushi-making classes, mommy (or daddy) and me classes for kids ages 3-5, a teen cooking program and Kids “R” Cooks classes for ages 6-14.
309 E. Carson St., South Side
★ Gymsport Athletic Center
Preschool Playtime is a perfect place to take little ones on rainy days, and gymnastics, parkour and tumbling classes are perfect for kids — or athletes of any age — who love to move.
98 Vanadium Road, Building C, Scott Twp
★ Heinz History Center
Yes, you’re learning about history. But you’re also visiting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, creating works in the Pop Art style and building a bridge in the interactive Discovery Place — or just playing in Kidsburgh.
1212 Smallman St., Strip District
★ Kayak Pittsburgh
Kids as young as age 3 can learn to kayak along with an adult in a tandem boat. Explore the city from the river — some argue it’s the best way to do so.
★ Lighthouse Project
Interested in fashion or graphic design? Podcasting? Photography? Performance Poetry? If there’s an area of the arts your kids would like to get real-world experience and build technical skills in, the Lighthouse Project, an arts and multi-media program based inside the Homewood-Brushton YMCA, has an after-school or summer program for them.
7140 Bennett St., Homewood
★ National Aviary
Take the family to a bird encounter, feeding or show, or book your child’s “bird-day” party. Don’t forget to visit the resident sloths.
700 Arch St., North Side
★ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Kids will love the butterfly forest, the garden railroad, the make-believe farmers’ market and the Discovery Garden (complete with a giant tree stump for climbing). Numerous summer camp options.
1 Schenley Drive, Oakland
★ Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Grown Up and Me classes begin at just 18 months. More classes, including those just for young male dancers, are offered.
2900 Liberty Ave., Strip District
★ Pittsburgh Glass Center
Offers a variety of classes, workshops and a summer boot camp for children of all skill levels, from newbie to advanced, grades 6-12. Topics range from glassblowing to kilnforming.
5472 Penn Ave., Friendship
★ Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been offering its Tiny Tots program for 80 years, providing schools with a 45-minute program with a literary tie-in. Also offers Fiddlesticks Family Concerts, an interactive experience designed for children ages 3-8 three times a year.
600 Penn Ave., Downtown
★ Rachel Carson Homestead
If you know her name but not much else, visit the home of this Pittsburgh-area native known for her contributions to the environment and conservation. Saturday tours are held mid-April through mid-November, and special events are offered periodically.
613 Marion Ave., Springdale
Options for birthday parties, classes and drop-off play where kids become makers. Robotics, video game design and more are taught using LEGOs and other STEM tools.