I have wonderful memories visiting Pittsburgh as a kid.
My mom was raised in Fox Chapel, and with me being from the mild West Coast, I was six-years-old when I was able to see snow for the first time, sled, and even ice skate on a frozen pond just outside of downtown. As a kid, we’d go to Grandma’s house every year for family get-togethers.
Today, I love reporting back on Pittsburgh. It has completely remade itself. In fact, if it were a country, it would be the 59th largest economy in the world, just behind Hungary. I am always floored by the vibrant arts scene, the spectacular architecture, and, for foodies, the city has to be in the top five in the U.S.
I’ve been raised a Steelers and Pirates fan since I wore diapers. Even though I was born in Silicon Valley, my dad could never get me to root for the San Francisco Giants or 49ers. Steelers and Pirates paraphernalia decorated my room as a kid, black and gold was in my blood. Thanks Mom! And yes, now I am raising my own kids in the same way.
Anyway, the city is also an awesome getaway for kids and teens. Here are some of my suggestions for cool, eyebrow-raising things to do with your children in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Kids Activities
Kids and teens make video games, learn AI, code apps at iD Tech's CMU summer camps
For over 15 years, iD Tech has been the go-to technology camp for parents all over Western, PA. The camp takes students through an incredible technology journey for a week at a time.
Students develop a take-home project and awesome skills for the future. The camp is fun, high energy, and has a startup, entrepreneurial feel.
Carnegie Mellon is ranked #7 as the Most Innovative U.S. Universities by U.S. News and World Report, and #6 in both Entrepreneurship and MIS.
iD Tech hopes students eventually go on to study STEM at Carnegie Mellon, as a critical path toward an in-demand career.
See dinosaurs up close at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Carnegie Museums have four distinct museums, with the “Dinosaurs in their Time” exhibit being something the kids will never forget. (This is not a typical museum.)
Go up, up, up the Duquesne Incline
This is always one of my favorites, and the kids’ favorites. The views are stunning. This cable car has been around since 1877. You get a good sense for why they call the area “Three Rivers.” Tickets are very affordable. Kids are $2.50 and adults $5.00.
Harry Potter, meet The Cathedral of Learning
Pitt is one of the best universities in Pennsylvania. The Cathedral of Learning really stands out on its own as a late Gothic-Revival cathedral, and is the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere.
Be sure to check out the 2nd floor, and also grab an elevator to the 35th. You can’t go above the 36th. Again, the views are spectacular. The building stands 545 feet and has over 2,000 rooms and windows.
Special spot for Mom, Dad and teens at the Grand Concourse
I dined here with my Mom several years ago. I never forgot it. It was a very special treat. Eating in this historic atmosphere is incredible. My grandpa used to work as an attorney for the railroad. The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station has become the Grand Concourse restaurant in Station Square Plaza. The building is from 1898.
Whatever you do, enjoy all Pittsburgh has to offer. I am privileged to say I was raised by a Pittsburgh native, and I hope a lot more people get the chance to try all that the city and its people have to offer.