Another one of the awesome things we did while in Pittsburgh was stopping by their Children’s Museum. We experienced several great places for kids in Pittsburgh that made me wish my whole family was with me. This was number one on the list and I quickly saw why the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is ONE OF THE BEST!
(I was provided with an all-expenses paid trip to experience Pittsburgh. Any opinions are 100% my own.)
Why Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is ONE OF THE BEST!
Ranked 5th BEST in the nation for families according to USA Today, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh offers fun for all ages and I mean that literally. There is no possible way someone can enter that building and not have on one of four floors of activities and exhibits.
Fun For ALL Ages
Speaking of activities and exhibits, this Pittsburgh’s Children’s Museum has made smart use of the space and maximized it clever ways. There are an art studio and MAKESHOP® space for artists, builders, creators, and programmers. Both areas have plenty of room for several kids to create all sorts of projects. Kid-sized easels, clay, screen-printed posters, stop-motion animation, circuitry, woodworking, and lots more.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh also has a spacious Water Play level with almost 20 different ways to have wet fun. I really loved the hand dryers in this area so kids can quickly dry off and move on to the next thing. They also offer smocks and kids are allowed to wear bathing suits!
One of the busiest spaces while I was there was the Garage. The Garage has a second level with rope net and slide, five and seven-foot tall trees you can play in, and several ways to build and race vehicles. My twins would have had SO much fun in this area.
A few more of the spaces include the Backyard outdoor play space, interactive outdoor garden, and Attic space with a Gravity Room and phosphorescent room. The Gravity Room is no joke. Okay, for me it wasn’t but the kids seemed to fly by me shrieking with excitement as I laughed at my lack of ability to walk a straight line.
Traveling Exhibits at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Another popular exhibit inside the Garage Space is Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails! It’s one of the traveling exhibits currently at the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh, along with The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit.
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails Exhibit will be at the museum through September 9th. This hands-on STEM exhibit features:
- Explore the inner workings of an engine
- Take pictures with a giant Thomas the Tank Engine model
- Use oversized tools to help Percy fix his wobbly wheel to get back on track
- Put on a conductor’s uniform to organize the train schedule and sell tickets at Knapford Station
- Visit Sodor Steamworks to repair train parts and learn how a steam engine works
- Use problem-solving skills to sort and fit freight onto the train car
- Journey to the Island of Sodor at a large-scale train table
- Explore a sensory wall and age-appropriate engines and more!
The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit will be at the museum through September 2nd, 2018. This play-and-learn exhibit features:
- Have a hilarious conversation in the voices of Elephant Gerald and Piggie at a double-sided phone booth!
- Make Elephant and Piggie dance with old-time animation!
- The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh exhibit room showing the bus, laundromat, praxinoscopes and fashion runway.
- Put on a wearable bus and take a drive around the exhibit!
- Spin the laundromat washing machine and uncover Knuffle Bunny and other surprises!
- Dress up your Naked Mole Rat and send him down the runway for a one-of-a-kind fashion show!
- Stack lightweight blocks to create your own terrible monster or funny friend!
- Launch foam hot dogs at The Pigeon and play the plinko game to give the Duckling a cookie!
- Create art inspired by the work of Mo Willems and more!
Fred Rogers and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Fred Rogers is an icon of Pittsburgh who also was involved with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh as an advisor and friend. You can find iconic items from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in three different locations.
Original Puppets from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: King Friday XIII, Queen Sarah Saturday, Henrietta Pussycat, X the Owl, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, Daniel Striped Tiger and Gran Pere can be found in the Nursery Exhibit.
Mister Rogers’ Sweater: One of the original Mister Rogers’ sweaters is on display outside of the MAKESHOP.
Mister Rogers’ Sneakers: You’ll find Fred’s iconic blue canvas sneakers in the Attic exhibit, along with Andy Warhol Paintings.
Plenty of Ways to Be Active
There is no shortage of physical activity at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. From climbing net ropes to a Limb Bender Exhibit, to the Temperamental Stairs that take kids up to the second level nursery. Plus, if you need to get your steps in for the day, this museum is a great way to do that!
Space to Eat and a Kids Menu
The Big Red Room Cafe has lots of tables and chairs both inside and out, and you don’t have to be a museum guest to order lunch. The menu features items like grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, and wraps as well as monthly specials. There’s also a really neat pendulum in The Cafe that is original to the Buhl Planetarium, what it was before the museum.
Quiet Space for Infants and Toddlers
Located on the second level is the Nursery exhibit. This quiet space offers infant and toddler-friendly toys, seesaw, sand table, train table, and lots of other hands-on activities. You’ll also find a quiet space for nursing and reading when it’s getting close to nap time for the little ones.
Beautiful Location in Allegheny Square
The Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny Square across from Buhl Community Park. The park is a revitalized community resource in part thanks to the museum. Kids love running through the public art piece by Ned Kahn because it emits a “cloud” of mist that rises, swirls, and falls on happily squealing victims nearby.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is Expanding!
The Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh is currently renovating the old Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny that sits across the street from the museum. This building is going to provide amazing things for the museum and the community. Part of it will be a school and another part will be museumlab™! This place will be designed for kids ages 8+ were they can work with makers to create everything from furniture to apps, experiment with cutting-edge technology in the creation of art, climb 3 stories on a unique sculpture, and more! The opening date is set for 2019 so if you are planning a trip next year keep that in mind!
I can’t speak highly enough about the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The variety of activities, the size of the exhibits, the friendliness of the staff, and all the things they are doing for the community. If you are planning a visit to Pittsburgh, take your kids to the Children’s Museum for an experience they won’t forget!
PS: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh participates in reciprocal museum memberships so if you have a membership at a participating museum you get into all of them!
I’ll leave you with this image from one of the interactive walls at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh because YOU should visit this museum!! PS: The letters just kinda fell like that when I walked up – perfect timing!