Favorite Pittsburgh Hangout

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My favorite place in Pittsburgh to hangout with kids. Plus tips to save on your next visit.

If you had told me ten years ago I’d be spending a lot of time in Northside, there’s no way I’d believe you.  It was a dangerous neighborhood with a couple cool museums and sporting events, but it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to hang out.

Fast forward a decade and here I am, taking my kids there regularly.  While I still wouldn’t walk around most of the neighborhood alone at night, during the day it’s an urban wonderland full of amazing events and attractions.

When I talk about Northside, I’m admittedly including the North Shore and Allegheny Center.  These three areas combined are host to Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, a 5k Color Run, The Mattress Factory, the Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, and so many other attractions and events.  And then there’s my personal Pittsburgh favorite:  the Children’s Museum.

Obviously it’s a really fun museum for kids.  It’s part science, part art, part play, and all interactive.  There’s a room that rotates between displays; the last time we went it was all about balls, but we’ve also been when they had Clifford, a huge bouncy tunnel, and a display themed around love just to name a few.

If you’re making a visit during business hours, I of course have a few frugal tips.  When parking, try to find a spot to parallel park on street that approaches the museum.  It’s metered parking, which means you’ll have to pay, but it’s never been as expensive for us as paying the $5 fee to park in one of the museum’s lots.  And on Sundays, you don’t even have to feed the meter.  Yay for free parking!

Admission discounts are available, too.  If you are receiving some type of state assistance or have a disabled child who has Medicaid, be sure to bring your ACCESS card with you.  That, along with proof of residence (like your drivers’ license) for all adults in your party, reduces your admission to $1/each, which is quite the savings.

Also, if you join their free Birthday Club your kiddo gets 50% off admission during their birthday month on top of some other fun freebies and discounts.

On top of being a fun place for kids everyday, they also host special events.  Our writer, Katie, got married there on Pi Day.  My friend Chaton went to their New Year’s Eve bash, which I’m seriously considering next year as it solves our dilemma over how to celebrate the holiday with young children.  Their most recent upcoming event is to benefit Beverly’s Birthdays, an organization that provides birthday parties to homeless children in the Pittsburgh area.

As a young-ish adult, bars and art scenes may be popping, but a place that allows me to have an amazing time with my children while making it exciting and new each visit will always top my list.

If you’re trying to find fun, cool things to do in your area, be sure to check out Eventbrite.  I’ve been to more than a few events they’ve ticketed, and they’ve all been a good time.  Browsing their site is a great way to discover new things that are happening in your area, and find your own local hangout.  Or, if you’re organizing an event, look into their ticketing services.

12 thoughts on “Favorite Pittsburgh Hangout

  1. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

    When I read post like this for a split second I miss the states then get over it. Still its spring and I’m sure it has to be great to get out and get fresh air for free. I never get tired of going to the park and just chilling and watch people be people. Have some fun for me.

  2. donebyforty

    It’s been a while since I’ve been on the North Side. The last time, I went up for a Pirate game and some Irish bar beforehand…great scene walking over the Clemente bridge, too.

    I seem to end up in Regents Square a lot when I visit, as my close friend’s house is right there.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      You haven’t been to Pittsburgh if you haven’t walked over the Clemente Bridge to a Buccos game!

      Regents Square is somewhere I’ve just started taking note of in recent years, too. Hope you get to come back soon for nostalgia’s sake!

  3. Kate

    The Children’s Museum was one of my favorite places as a kid! I haven’t been there in ages. The Science Center is a great asset, too. (They even have occasional 21 plus nights for kids at heart like me.)

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It’s still really awesome! For adults, too. 🙂 They still have a lot of that museum-like memorabilia from when we were kids! And the science center’s 21+ nights are kind of amazing for sure.

  4. Chela

    Cat at BudgetBlonde recently wrote about taking her little ones to the Children´s Museum in Boston, and I commented there that, um, maybe it´s a little weird, but my husband and I love going to children´s museums even though we don´t have kids! Haha! It´s one of our favorite things to do–always fun. If I´m ever in Pittsburgh I´ll have to check this one out! 🙂

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Haha no I don’t blame you! They’re freaking awesome! I’m glad I had kids because I probably would’ve never known how cool they are without them. For some reason this was one place we never visited when I was growing up here.


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