We only had two days in Pittsburgh, and wished for a few more. The next time we go, we’ll make time for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, and the Kennywood amusement park.
Yesterday, we described the first day of our weekend getaway itinerary. Here’s how we spent our second day in Pittsburgh:
AM – Duquesne Incline
For one of the best city skyline views you will see anywhere, take a ride to the top of Mt. Washington on the historic Duquesne Incline, a restored wooden cable car in use since 1877. At 400 feet, the viewing platform gives you an unobstructed view of the three rivers – the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela – which shape the city and meet at Point State Park.
While the roundtrip fare is inexpensive – just $4.50 for adults, and $2.20 for children – the real bargain is the 50-cent fee for a self-guided tour of the machine room to observe the original hoisting equipment.
Lunch — Doublewide Grill
Pittsburgh’s “South Side” district has a bohemian vibe, and a lot of fun shops and eclectic restaurants. The Doublewide Grill serves up original and delicious food, while heavily incorporating the building’s former life as a service station into the décor. There’s an inspired vegan and vegetarian menu, and plenty on the kids’ menu. My 4-year old daughter had the 7-Up pancakes, while I had the African peanut soup.
PM — Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Dinos rule; my daughter knows this. So we had to visit the world’s largest collection of Jurassic era dinosaurs, housed at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. And while the collection really is impressive, the “Dinosaurs in Their Time” hall wasn’t her favorite part of the museum.
The new “M is for Museum” hall on the third floor is a must-see. This expansive space dedicates themed stations for each letter of the alphabet. (e.g. A is for Artifact, D is for Draw, X is for X Marks the Spot). At the “C is for Collection” table, kids are encouraged to take a basket and create their own collection from a well filled with small plastic animals, butterflies, bugs, leaves, and more.
On the first floor, the Bonehunters Quarry is a big archaeological dig site. Kids get goggles, a pick tool and a brush, then unearth bones. Outside this area is the “Collection Connection” with racks filled with more than 50 tack boxes containing artifacts and literature describing the creature. I dared my son to open the bat box, where we found two shadow boxes containing real, taxidermied specimens. Luckily, they didn’t break after he gasped in fear and dropped them!
–Traci L. Suppa
Traci L. Suppa drags her small-town family to see a quirky array of the world’s largest, longest, or tallest things, and blogs about it at Go BIG or Go Home.