Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Review: Field Trip Friday

We can’t wait for it to warm up here in Pittsburgh, but we won’t let the weather stop us from having fun!  This past week, we took a really fun trip to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and can’t wait to show you around!

Pittsburgh Children's Museum

We started our trip in the Studio, where the kids painted, molded and pressed.  Fun easels for painting with tempra, and water color painting platforms provide the perfect palate.
What kid doesn’t love to roll, pinch and sculpt with clay?  Mine are no exception.  The screen print machines are pretty exceptional though, offering something special that we’d not had the opportunity to try elsewhere.  My hands were so busy, I forgot to grab my camera!

Our next stop at the museum was our long time favorite spot there – the Nursery. We could really have spent the whole day right there on this one floor.  We started out with the train table (since that’s of course our constant addiction at home).  It’s super since there’s plenty of room and enough trains for everyone on these spacious tables.

Julie is totally mesmerized with these awesome washers on a threaded rod.  Such a simple idea, but she has always loved the high pitched jingle as the metal falls.


Brayden had a blast at the light up sand tables.  With the shovels and scrapers, it was great to get in a little sensory fun with an interesting twist!

Other favorite things in the Nursery were the see-saw that makes bubbles, the giant lite-brite, and the large sensory table filled with plastic pellets.  This is such a great space for all the little ones as it also includes soft play areas for babies ready for tummy time, plenty of books, blocks and more.  Like I said, we could have spent all day there – but we needed to move on!
The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Our next stop for Julie was the water floor known as Waterplay.  Brayden was too desperate to get back to this very cool crawlspace thing that reminded me of an Ant Farm located across from the Makeshop.  The Waterplay area is brand new – just renovated in 2013 – and is an entire floor filled with water features. Make it rain on your head, float a boat along the Water Mover, paint on the giant board, or get chilly with the shaved ice table.  Again, my hands were so busy that I forgot to take a picture!  Really excited to bring the kids back in their bathing suits to spend even more time here on our next visit.  We struggle with outside spray parks because of the flight risk, but this indoor version might be just right for us.  I’d really recommend bringing a full change of clothes or even a bathing suit if you’re planning to try this out.
Back downstairs, we visited the Attic where Brayden fell in love with the oversized doll house and all the cloth people inside.  Julie ventured up into the Attic’s “Gravity Room” – this was definitely not for her and she panicked a bit.  Lesson learned there!
Oversize Doll House CMoP
We also loved the Color Bouncer in this area – an enormously complex robotic contraption that measures the weight (I think) of balls and automatically tosses them in the right bucket.  I’m not sure the kids noticed the color matching, but they adored this feature all the same.
Our final stop was in the new exhibit space – currently featuring XOXO, an exhibit about love and forgiveness.  This beautiful exhibit captures the joy of emotions shared with those closest to you.  I whisper and speak “I love you” to my kids at least twenty times a day so they’re no stranger to the concept, but it was great to see these feelings visualized and in motion throughout the installation here.  Through touch, holding hands brought special messages for visitors.  Words of love drew light onto the screen.  Sharing a see-saw together, kids learned about teamwork and balance.
XOXO Pittsburgh
We had a wonderful time at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and can’t wait to go back.  Lucky for us, we sprang for the membership, so we’ll have the freedom to go any time we’d like!  For our family, we chose the Extended Family membership, which means we can bring our family of four – plus Grammy and Pap.  We definitely need the backup!
A few little notes on our experience for anyone planning to visit:
  • Smocks are provided in the Studio area.  We like that our smocks from home have long sleeves, so we opted to bring our own.
  • They have a great lunch area where we saw guests purchasing food, and also bringing food from home.  We thought the options there were lovely – healthy choices at reasonable prices.
  • Parking is only a few dollars, but be prepared and make sure you get a ticket for this.
General Admission is $13
Children 2-18 are $12
Seniors are $12
Children under 2 are FREE
And best of all – on March 20th, in celebration of Mr. Rogers Birthday, you can visit the museum for absolutely free!  What a great opportunity to check out this fantastic Pittsburgh resource and connect with your favorite kiddos.
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