Visiting Pittsburgh, PA, any time of year is always fun. There’s the outdoor water sports and events from spring through fall, the gardens and parks to trek through when the weather is mild, and all of those amazing restaurants to dine at any time of year. But when the temps start falling, I know I begin thinking of fun, indoor activities in Pittsburgh to take my family. From hot spots to jump until you’re crazy to fun museums to give you and your family inspiration and let that creativity flow, here’s our favorite Pittsburgh indoor activities to beat the chill.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
While these favorites are in no particular order, Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland is always on the top of our list as a Pittsburgh indoor activity. With four floors (counting the basement!) filled with educational fun, we never tire of it – and I’ve been visiting since elementary school myself. The addition of an entire 1,900-square-foot Discovery Basecamp, a hands-on, interactive learning area (Seriously. We could touch it all without fearing a security guard’s glare or warning.) that lets kids and adults learn about the world around them by no better means than learning through touch.
Classic permanent exhibits including Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt, Botany Hall, and Wertz Gallery: Gems & Jewelry always give us something to look forward to on each trip and the temp exhibits make us want to keep visiting for the updates. Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit lets visitors learn all about the giants as well as their habitats and the beauty of the massive hall is so photo-worthy.
If you and the kids are going stir crazy already, a trip to Sky Zone in Monroeville may be just what the doctor ordered to get rid of all of that pent up energy. The Kid and I had a ball jumping from section to section and our favorite? The foam pit. There’s also a basketball section to practice slam dunking (the only way I could ever do it!) and a snack bar to replenish you after expending all of those calories.
Carnegie Museum of Art
I lucky to have an art lover for a teen. I’m also very lucky that Carnegie Museum of Art is less than an hour away from our home. The museum offers both permanent and temporary exhibits and the ability to mosey around and spy paintings from Monet to Albert Joseph Moore makes us very happy.
Bonus: A ticket to CMOA will get you free admission to Carnegie Museum of Natural History and vice versa!
Children’s Museum Pittsburgh
Yep, I know Children’s Museum Pittsburgh on the North Shore caters to kids but, ding dang it, I can’t help but have fun there, too! When The Kid was younger, Waterplay was her go-to spot to get soaked and learn about the properties of water. Now she’s older, she loves the Studio where she can paint, draw, and simply create.
My favorite spot? The areas dedicated to Mr. Rogers and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. There’s even the famous, heart-warming puppets from the Neighborhood of Make Believe that make me tear up every time I see them. Not kidding.
Carnegie Science Center
There’s no such thing as a science geek at Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore- it’s THE Pittsburgh spot where science is super cool! Filled with four floors of science fun, our favorite spots are the Buhl Planetarium andHighmark SportsWorks®. If the weather’s decent enough, you can always head to the Ohio River and check out the USS Requien, the U.S. Navy’s first Radar Picket submarine.
And if the weather’s frightful? Head to the Miniature Railroad & Village® to check out minute details from Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.
Heinz History Center
Even if you live in or around Pittsburgh, there’s always a need to brush up on its fun history, right? Heinz History Center in The Strip District is the place to head to for just that! Featuring over 250 years of Pittsburgh innovations including the creation of the Big Mac, the making of standardized railroad time, and even life-sized hometown hero displays like Rosie the Riveter.
We love heading to Phipps Conservatory in Oakland for its gorgeous botanical displays – and the temperature is always lovely and warm. Unique displays like Tropical Rain Forest and the Fern and Orchid Rooms will definitely keep away the chill, but if you want to get the best of both worlds, bundle up and head outdoors to explore its lovely walkable gardens.
For kiddos that love trains, head to the Garden Railroad in the South Conservatory to spy iconic Pittsburgh spots like the Duquesne Incline and Three Rivers Stadium. Mr. Rogers’ fans will have fun identifying the Neighborhood Trolley and King Friday XIII Castle.
Where’s you fave spot to escape the cold in Pittsburgh? Please let us know in the comment section below!