Ask my kids where their favorite indoor play space is, and the answer is going to be the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. With 5 levels of fun, plus the backyard play space, you can spend hours here. This is a great place for my sensory seeking kids to get tons of educational input through play. We'll share our tips and tricks to help you and your family get the most out of one of our favorite Pittsburgh play places. Here are 6 things to know before you go:
1. Pack a Lunch and Snacks
The Children's Museum opens daily at 10am and I like to be there first thing in the morning (usually because it's really easy to spend the entire day here). A HUGE perk about the Children's Museum place is the Big Red Room Café that not only serves affordable, fun, and nutritious food, but also hosts picnic style tables for families to gather your own packed food for lunch or snacks. #winning
2. Start with the Art
We like to start in the Art Studio, where the kids can create their own masterpieces that they will take home. This often involves paint and other mixed media, and almost always needs time to settle or dry. Starting our day in the Studio allows us to leave any projects on the racks to dry while we are exploring the rest of the museum.
3. Dress the Part
After my kiddos are done with the art, they typically run straight to the limb bender, or what I lovingly call the ant hill wall (it reminds me of an old school science project watching the ants move around from behind a piece of plexiglass). As much as I loved dressing my little girl up for days out, I quickly realized that a dress was not the best attire for this activity. Dress your kiddo in loose, easy to move in clothing for the majority of the museum. There is also a water floor, so it's wise to pack a bathing suit and a towel or at least a change of dry clothing.
4. Let Your Kids Explore at their Own Pace
We could easily come down here and spend all day just in the wall, but at some point I call them out, so we can move through the Makeshop, Attic, Garage and rest of the 1st floor exhibits. On a good day, my daughter won't make me walk through the Gravity Room. While I let them play freely in each room. I will gently remind them that there is still more to see in case they want to move on. Many times I will actually start in the Art Studio, then walk all the way to the last exhibit, working my way back towards the Makeshop. That way, the kids can see what they have left to accomplish in the museum in front of them.
5. Save the Best for Last
Pro-tip here - along with bringing the change of water clothes. I suggest doing the water floor last. If you have little fish, they will want to spend all day in here so saving it for the end of the visit means you don't have to worry about squeezing in anything else.
6. Infant - Toddler Mama Need to Know
The Children's Museum is stroller friendly with ramps and elevators. There are changing stations and toddler potty seats in most bathrooms, a nursing station and a nursery. And, if you run out of diapers or wipes, the front desk is happy to help you out!
Have you been to the Children's Museum? Any tips you think we should add? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll check them out!