- In the summer months, visit Kennywood Park, the 102-year-old "roller coaster capital of the world" (New York Times). Get wet on the Pittsburgh Plunge (our daughter's favorite part of the park), sample the best curly fries and funnel cakes around, ride The Jack Rabbit and the Thunderbolt, both classic wooden coasters, or test your courage on the Exterminator, an indoor rollercoaster. A national historic landmark full of history, beauty and fun, Kennywood is a Pittsburgh family tradition.
- Shiver in the shadow of the giant T-rex at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, home to one of the finest dinosaur collections in the world. See Egyptian artifacts, visit the Hall of Minerals and Gems and hear the beat of distant drums in the Hall of American Indians. One of the largest, most contemporary exhibits on American Indians in the United States, the Hall engages visitors with an array of historical and contemporary artifacts brought to life through dioramas, storytelling, videos and interactive computer activities.
- Experience one of the greatest slide shows on earth at Sandcastle Waterpark. Take the plunge on 15 of the wildest, wettest, wackiest waterslides imaginable or enjoy a slow ride on the "lazy river." Those less adventurous can shop on the boardwalk or take a dip in the Moonlight Bay pool or the Tad Pool, complete with mini slides created just for little tykes.
- Younger children will be thrilled with a day of "make believe" at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, east of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1878, Idlewild is believed to be the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States. With 410 acres, 15 major rides, picturesque picnic facilities, Storybook Forest and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the park continues to set the national standard for family amusement.
- A visit to Pittsburgh is not complete without a ride on the Monongahela or Duquesne Incline. Before the appearance of electric streetcars and automobiles, these funiculars were the most convenient way for Pittsburghers to climb the towering hills that are so much a part of the city's topography. Today, the cars transport visitors and residents to the top of Mt. Washington for a spectacular view of the city. Station Square, at the base of the Monongahela Incline is a great place to take the kids to lunch. The historic Duquesne Incline is more authentic, however, and children get a big kick out of the pictures of Pittsburgh in its steel hey-day located in the mini-museum at the top.
- See the sights from the water on board the Gateway Clipper's Good Ship Lollipop riverboat, or combine land and sea with a Just Ducky! Tour. This WWII amphibious vehicle is equally at home driving the streets of Pittsburgh or navigating the city's three rivers.
If you are coming into Pittsburgh from out of town, you can plan your entire stay online in advance of your visit, including ticket purchase for the activities mentioned in this article, restaurant and hotel reservations, etc. at Pittsburgh's interactive Web site, VisitPittsburgh.com.