Summer Kids | Summer Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Summer Kids

Hands-On Harley-Davidson at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, beginning May 20
Hands-On Harley-Davidson at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, beginning May 20


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Library branches throughout the city offer daily kids’ and teens’ programs — like puppet shows, sing-alongs, STEM workshops and literature discussions — all summer.

Carnegie Science Center. Most of the ongoing science exhibits are kid-centric, including SpacePlace, roboworld, the Highmark SportsWorks. The Exploration Station teaches youth about lasers, electricity and solar power. North Side. 412-237-3400 or

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This season’s exhibit, beginning May 20, is Hands-On Harley-Davidson, which includes an interactive motorcycle ride, as well as a mock dealership and engineering lab. North Side. 412-322-5058 or

Citiparks Dek Hockey. Dek hockey is basically ice hockey without the ice or skates. Full-size rinks are open at Banksville Park, Bloomfield Park, Brookline Memorial Park, Hazelwood’s Lewis Playground, Marmaduke Playground in Brighton Heights, and South Side’s Ormsby Playground.

Citiparks Recreation Centers. City rec centers offer sports and outdoor activities for youths and all ages; archery, table tennis, volleyball, dance and karate are just some of the options available. Most centers are open 1-9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.

Citiparks Swimming Pools and Spray Parks. From June 13 through Labor Day, the city offers a chance to cool off at 18 outdoor swimming pools; swim lessons (free from June 26-July 7) are available at each. Spray parks, a beautiful combination of sprinklers and playground, open May 27 in Beechview, East Hills, Shadyside, Troy Hill, Beltzhoover and Hazelwood. 412-323-7928 or

Heinz History Center. Youth-friendly exhibits include Mister Rogers Neighborhood, the Kidsburgh playplace, and the interactive Discovery Place learning space. The museum also hosts “Living History” events at Point State Park, including a family fishing day on May 28. Strip District. 412-454-6000 or

Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library. Children up to age 6 can improve their social and motor skills in this indoor art-and-play space, which also features a library full of parenting books for members. Hours vary, so call or check online. Shadyside. 412-682-4430 or

Summer Kids
The Exploration Station at Carnegie Science Center

Pittsburgh Pirates Kids Days. It’s all about kids on Sundays at PNC Park. Special ticket and concessions prices are offered, as well as special events for children to participate in, like a chance to run the bases. North Side.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The hands-on Kids Kingdom area is rated one of the top children’s zoos in the country. The zoo also hosts themed programs called “Wild Wednesdays” that take place from June 14-Aug. 2. Highland Park. 412-665-3640 or

Tyke Hikes. Venture Outdoors offers weekday-morning nature hikes in area parks. Hikes are geared toward children younger than 6, and center on themes like waterways and birds. Stroller-friendly. 


Assemble. A community space in Garfield that encourages artistic and technological creativity offers weekday camps from June 19-Aug. 18. Themes this year include superheroes, DJs and solving problems of the future.

Carnegie Museums. From June 12 through Aug. 25, kids ages 4-13 can participate in camps with activities including art classes, pseudo-archeology digs, and interactive history experiences.  For kids in Westmoreland County, full-day sessions are available at Carnegie’s Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector, Pa. Oakland. 412-622-3288 or

Carnegie Science Center. A variety of science-themed camps are available for children ages 4-18. Kids can learn about engineering, robotics, video-game science and insects. Camps run June 5-Aug.18. North Side. 412-237-1637 or

Citiparks Citicamp. Pittsburgh Citipark recreation centers host day camps for children 7-12. Adventure titles include “Inventor’s Workshop,” “Scales and Tales” and “Urban Adventures.” Programs run from June 20-Aug. 12. See individual rec centers for details.

Citiparks Sports Academies. Kids ages 7-12 looking for a sport-specific experience with scrimmages, fun competitions and a real game can partake in six week-long camps, including tennis, volleyball, flag lacrosse and basketball. Camps run from June 19-Aug. 11. 412-255-2539 or

Citiparks Tot Camp. From June 20-Aug. 5, half-day camps are held for kids ages 4-6. Themes include “small scientists” and “all about art,” and each theme lasts one week. 412-885-7445 or

Frick Art & Historical Center. Starting July 17, the Frick offers a week-long day camp for kids ages 10-13 delving into creative art. Beginning Aug. 14: a full-day program for kids ages 7-10 exploring the museums exhibits and partaking in sculpturing, painting and printmaking. Point Breeze. 412-371-0600 or

Summer Kids
Photo courtesy of Citiparks
Citiparks Spray Parks, June 13-Labor Day

Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. Five week-long, half-day classes run four consecutive weeks beginning June 19. Classes include a yoga camp, a DIY maker class, a sewing camp, many dance classes and more. Most camps for ages 6-12, and a 12-17 camp has been added this year. Bloomfield.

National Aviary. Running from June 19-Aug. 4, kids ages 4-18 can interact with birds, go on birding-photography hikes and even get lessons on training falcons by a licensed falconer. North Side. 412-258-9439 or

Phipps Conservatory. A series of camps exploring ecology, botany and conservation is available from June 12-Aug. 24. For kids ages 2-13. Oakland. 412-441-4442 x.3925 or

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Full-day and half-day camps are available from June 12-Aug. 25 in a range of disciplines for kids ages 4-13. High school immersion camps (ages 14-18) are also offered that teach a wide array of subjects, from digital photography and ceramics to jewelry-making and a mini drone class. Shadyside. 412-361-0455 or  

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. From June 12-Aug. 18, kids ages 2-13 can attend half-day and full-day summer zoo camps that offer story time for little ones, animal study and interaction for older kids, and even the opportunity to create a “Commercial for Conservation” with a film crew. Highland Park.

Saltworks Theatre Company. The Young Actors Studio camp teaches kids ages 4-16 about movement, role-playing, improv and other stage techniques at day camps held in Sewickley and Oakland. Camps run from July 24-Aug. 4. 412-621-6150 x.205 or

Steel City Rowing Club Camp. Summer camps for experienced and novice rowers and other river activities are offered to kids ages 8-18 in half- and full-day sessions from June 6-Aug. 8. Verona. 412-828-5565 or


May 25

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Presents Kids Cook. Kids ages 5-11 will learn how to prepare and taste delicious recipes at this event at the Carnegie Library Knoxville branch beginning at 2 p.m. Knoxville. 412-381-6543 or

June 1-3

Allegheny County Marbles Tournament. Allegheny County is home to 11 National Marbles Champions, so the county’s tourney is the crème de le crème. Watch at the County Courthouse Courtyard, and see which winners head to the national competition, June 19-23 in New Jersey. Downtown. 412-350-2455 or

June 13-Aug. 4

Citiparks Roving Art Cart. On its 44th season of providing free multi-media art projects for kids, the Roving Art Cart travels around and sets up shop in city parks in almost every neighborhood. The cart can be visited Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., for eight weeks throughout the summer. 412-665-3665 or

June 19-24

Frick Park Red Clay Junior Open. Three divisions — 16 and under, 14 and under and 12 and under — can compete in this annual tennis tournament. Both Pittsburgh and non-city residents are welcome. Regent Square. 

Sept. 9

Alphabet Trails and Tales. A walk through Frick Park teaches hikers 26 awesome things to do on its Alphabet Trail. The free event promotes early-elementary literacy through a day of nature, reading and hand-painted sets. 412-665-3665 or