(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)

It’s not just steel that steals the show in Pitts­burgh. Large sand­wich­es, roller coast­ers, river­boats, and muse­ums share the spot­light in the city that built Amer­i­ca! Pitts­burgh is full of fun activ­i­ties for kids and teens, even those that are only kids at heart. Some vis­i­tors go to vis­it the famous Falling Water house or head there for bud­get friend­ly shows, opera, and sports tick­ets. Pitts­burgh and my home­town Cleve­land are friend­ly rivals, so it pains me just a lit­tle bit to say this, but Pitts­burgh is a real­ly great city for fam­i­lies and you should absolute­ly pay it a visit! 





Visit Station Square


One of my favorite places to vis­it as a kid was the Sta­tion Square area of Pitts­burgh. Sta­tion Square is not only home to lots of places to shop and dine, its also the site to two of my favorite attrac­tions: The Gate­way Clip­per and the Duquesne Incline


Ride the Gateway Clipper


The Gate­way Clip­per has a fleet of river­boats that sail through the city. They offer sight­see­ing or din­ner cruis­es, as well as sea­son­al cruis­es. I’ve nev­er had a bad expe­ri­ence on the Clip­per. It’s a real­ly fun way to see Pitts­burgh! And your kids will love see­ing the city from a river.


photo of gateway clipper riverboat

Feel­ing Nau­ti? The Gate­way Clip­per also hosts adult only wine cruis­es.  Pho­to Cour­tesy of The Gate­way Clipper



Ride the Duquesne Incline


The Duquesne Incline is a cable car that is used to car­ry car­go and pas­sen­gers up Mount Wash­ing­ton. It was built in 1877 and has been in oper­a­tion ever since. I was real­ly impressed with it as a kid, and to be hon­est I’m still pret­ty impressed with the incline as an adult. The neigh­bor­hood at the top of the incline is a great place to walk around. I’ve even seen a few pro­pos­als at the view­ing plat­form at the top. 



Duquesne Incline

This view has inspired more than a few pro­pos­als over the years! Pho­to cour­tesy of Vidar Nordli-Mathisenn on Unsplash.



Play at Kennywood


Ken­ny­wood is an amuse­ment park out­side of Pitts­burgh. I con­sid­er myself a bit of an amuse­ment park guru, and I’ll admit that there is a nos­tal­gia fac­tor here, because I was prac­ti­cal­ly raised on pota­to patch fries, but Ken­ny­wood is one of my favorite amuse­ment parks in the world. It’s a great fam­i­ly park, they tru­ly has some­thing for every­one. Ken­ny­wood’s newest attrac­tion is 2019’s roller­coast­er of the year The Steel Cur­tain. The Steel Cur­tain inverts more times (9) than any roller­coast­er in North Amer­i­ca and is the tallest (197 feet high!) in the world! 

For the younger sect, they also have Thomas Town based on every­one’s favorite tank engine and lots of oth­er fam­i­ly-friend­ly kid’s rides and attrac­tions. I have many fond mem­o­ries of going to Ken­ny­wood with my cousins as a kid. Many of the attrac­tions at Ken­ny­wood are his­tor­i­cal land­marks. Be sure to look for the plac­ards not­ing the his­toric attractions! 

PRO TIP: Ken­ny­wood is also one of the few amuse­ment parks that will allow vis­i­tors to bring in out­side food and bev­er­ages to con­sume with­in the park. There are numer­ous pic­nic tables avail­able near the Old Mill and Kid­dle­land areas. Many fam­i­lies will sim­ply stake a claim to one of the pic­nic tables in the morn­ing and leave their cool­er there all day. While I would­n’t leave any valu­ables hang­ing out at a pic­nic table, my fam­i­ly has been leav­ing our cool­ers at a table for more than 20 years and so far no one has stolen our lunch. 



Photo of The Whip at Kennywood

The Whip is a clas­sic Ken­ny­wood attrac­tion, it’s almost 100 years old! Pho­to cour­tesy of Breemik08 via Cre­ative Commons



Visit the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


Did you know that Mr. Rogers was from Pitts­burgh? He filmed his show at WQED in Pitts­burgh for many years. So it’s no sur­prise that the Chil­dren’s Muse­um of Pitts­burgh has an exhib­it in his hon­or. Kids of all ages will enjoy the many exhibits there, includ­ing sci­ence and art based exhibits. If you have old­er kids, check out Muse­um­lab next door, which is geared towards the 10 and up crowd. 


PRO TIP: There are lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties to get messy and/or wet at the Chil­dren’s muse­um, please do not wear your best clothes!



See Art at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh


The Carnegie Muse­ums of Pitts­burgh is a muse­um sys­tem that includes 4 muse­ums; art, nat­ur­al his­to­ry, the sci­ence cen­ter and the Andy Warhol muse­um. If you have a dinosaur lover in your fam­i­ly, you need to make a bee­line to the nat­ur­al his­to­ry muse­um. They have so many arti­facts relat­ed to dinosaurs, includ­ing a quar­ry where you can dig up a “fos­sil” and a ton of actu­al fossils! 



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Where to Eat


Primanti Brothers


They say when in Rome do as the Romans do, so when in Pitts­burgh eat at Pri­man­ti Broth­ers. Pri­man­ti Broth­ers is a sand­wich shop, with a unique twist. They put their fries and coleslaw right on the sand­wich! There are oth­er sand­wich shops around town that make sim­i­lar sand­wich­es, but trust me on this one, Pri­man­ti Broth­ers is where it’s at. Good luck eat­ing one though. The sheer size makes it chal­leng­ing. It’s worth it though, they are amazing!



S & D Polish Deli


Not a sand­wich fan? Then try some piero­gies! Piero­gies are a tra­di­tion­al pol­ish dish, basi­cal­ly, thin dough stuffed with pota­toes or cheese and occa­sion­al­ly sauer­kraut or meat. You can try piero­gies all over town, piero­gies are prac­ti­cal­ly Pitts­burgh’s mas­cot. There’s even a piero­gi race at Pitts­burgh Pirates games!  I like S&D Pol­ish Deli the best though. They are the clos­est to the kind of piero­gies my aunts make. You can tell if the piero­gies are hand made by look­ing at the edges. If the piero­gi edges are a lit­tle bumpy, then they are most like­ly hand made. The bumps are from the fin­gers press­ing them closed! 



Primanti Brothers Sandwhich

The AA bat­tery is for ref­er­ence. May the Odds be Ever in your Favor. Pho­to Cour­tesy of Joe Siegler via Cre­ative Commons.



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Where to Stay


There is a love­ly Sher­a­ton at Sta­tion Square that would be a great place to stay if you want to be with­in walk­ing dis­tance of the Gate­way Clip­per and the Incline. If you want to stay on the oth­er side of town, clos­er to Ken­ny­wood, then the Hamp­ton Inn Water­front would be a great choice! Not only do they have a pool they have a beau­ti­ful view of the riv­er. The Fair­mount is arguably the nicest hotel in PItts­burgh, that’s actu­al­ly where celebri­ties usu­al­ly stay when they are in town film­ing movies! Tom Cruise even stayed there when he filmed Jack Reacher. 


You can check out reviews of thee and oth­er area hotels and get the best prices from Tri­pAd­vi­sor.

When you Go



If you’re com­ing to Pitts­burgh from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, the eas­i­est way to get here would be to fly into Pitts­burgh Inter­na­tion­al Air­port. There is a small net­work of pub­lic trans­porta­tion, but the eas­i­est way to get around the ‘burgh would be to rent a car or use Uber/Lyft. 


Pitts­burgh is known as the City of Bridges. Three rivers flow through Pitts­burgh: the Alleghe­ny, the Monon­ga­hela, and the Ohio Riv­er. Pitts­burgh has a whoop­ing 446 bridges! Because of the rivers and all those bridges, Pitts­burgh can be con­fus­ing to nav­i­gate. It’s not uncom­mon for high­ways in some parts of Pitts­burgh to be built so close togeth­er that my GPS gets as con­fused as I am. So, I high­ly sug­gest that you go a lit­tle old school and print some direc­tions out and put your best read­er in the pas­sen­ger seat if you decide to dri­ve while you’re in the ‘burgh. 


Pitts­burgh also has some great Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours that can accli­mate you to the city quick­ly and get you to the areas you want to vis­it fast.


Also, Via­tor has tours and oth­er dis­count­ed activ­i­ties that can make your vis­it even better.



Fort Pitt Bridge

Which lane do you need? You’ve got like 300 feet, bet­ter fig­ure it out! Pho­to Cour­tesy of  Wikideas and AboutMyTrip.Com




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Pittsburgh is a city of rollercoasters, museums, riverboats and extra large sandwiches. Find all the family fun with kids and teens when you visit Pittsburgh. Fun things to do with kids and teens in Pittsburgh!



Pittsburgh is a city of rollercoasters, museums, riverboats and extra large sandwiches. Find all the family fun with kids and teens when you visit Pittsburgh. Fun things to do with kids and teens in Pittsburgh!