Pittsburgh with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

Pittsburgh with Teens: A Family Vacation


Family travel with teens in tow doesn't have to be a chore, particularly in cities like Pittsburgh where there are tons of things to do, restaurants to visit and attractions to enjoy. The only problem youÕll have when visiting Pittsburgh with teens is trying to decide which fun-filled activities to choose. Below are some family vacation ideas to help make your trip to the 'Steel City' enjoyable for everyone.


Before you set off on your Pittsburgh family adventure, begin your day with a hearty breakfast at P&G Pamela's Diner (60 21st Street, Pittsburgh, 412-281-6366), located in the Strip District. Pamela's famous hotcakes were served to President Obama and 80 veterans on Memorial Day in 2009. The diner features a '50s theme with a mouthwatering menu that includes hotcakes, crepes, omelets, waffles and everything in between.

Insider tip: Pamela's only accepts cash, so be sure to stop at the ATM before breakfast.

Amusement parks are a favorite destination on family vacations for teens and adults alike. Kennywood (4800 Kennywood Boulevard, West Mifflin, 412-461-0500) is an historic amusement park located just a few minutes away from the downtown Pittsburgh area in the town of West Mifflin. The park, originally opened in 1898, offers a variety of rides and shows sure to please even the pickiest teen, including a handful of roller coasters and thrill rides.

Phantom's Revenge is known as one of the fastest roller coasters in the world with speeds up to 85 mph and a drop of 230 feet. If roller coasters are not your teen's scene, Kennywood also offers classic rides such as paddle boats and bumper cars that will not cause your stomach to drop. If the heat gets to be too much for your family, cool off on one of Kennywood's water rides such as the Log Jammer or Raging Rapids.

Admission is $35.99 for adults and $22.99 for children under 46' tall. Opening hours depend on the season, so be sure to visit the website or call ahead before planning your visit. During kids' vacations from school, weekdays tend to be less crowded.


For those looking for calmer things to do in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium (7340 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, 412-665-3640) is a good choice for a family vacation.

The zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals, including 22 threatened or endangered species. The zoo is divided into seven areas: African Savanna, Asian Forest, Kids Kingdom, Bears, PPG Aquarium, Tropical Forest and Water's Edge. Each area features animals and lush vegetation from each unique climate to fit into the section's theme. The PPG Aquarium features over 40 exhibits that house animals such as sharks, polar bears and penguins.

Admission costs $13 for adults and teens, $12 for seniors, and $11 for children aged 2-13.

If your teens have an interest in art, make a stop at the Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 412-622-3131). Displays focus on modern art including Van Gogh, Cassatt and Degas. In recent years the museum has also added photography and video art sections to its displays to keep up with new technologies.

Admission to the Carnegie Museum of Art includes access to the Museum of Natural History and costs $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $11 for students and children aged 3-18.


A full day of exploring Pittsburgh with teens will no doubt leave you all hungry. To silence your noisy stomachs, visit The Spaghetti Warehouse (2601 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, 412-261-6511) and fill up on large portions of authentic Italian food and fresh bread.

After dinner, round out your family vacation in Pittsburgh with one of the city's scariest things to do: join the Haunted Walking Tour of Pittsburgh. The walking tour, which is led by historian and raconteur Woody Cunningham, lasts approximately one and a half hours and takes visitors through the historic and ghostly past of Pittsburgh. Along the way you'll learn about the Pittsburgh building that many consider the most haunted house in America, Congelier House.

Tours cost $15 per person (teens and children included) and begin outside the main entrance of the Grand Concourse in Station Square,100 West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh. For information call 412-302-5223.

After the ghostly walking tour, calm your nerves with some decadent sweets at Dozen Bake Shop (807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, 412-281-4800), located in the Strip District. Dozen Bake Shop features a menu of freshly baked desserts including pies, brownies, cinnamon rolls and cookies. Its ever-growing cupcake menu boasts an impressive variety including Pina Colada, Banana Butterscotch Bliss, Margarita, Apple Pie and Strawberry Shortcake. The Dozen Bake Shop also offers a vegan menu.

Although teenagers can sometimes be hard to please, Steel City offers plenty of things to do to make any family vacation a success. From amusement parks to ghostly tours, there are many activities that can make visiting Pittsburgh with teens your best family vacation yet.

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