In the 9 years I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, I feel like I’ve searched under every rock and stone to scope out some pretty amazing places. When I had my son in 2008, we set sail on all kinds of new adventures. We’ve ventured high and low to to parks, festivals and pools. My skills were put to good use when I was asked to help coordinate summer camp field trips for a large group of children in a non profit organization. Our main goal was to find fun, entertaining places near the area for a super low price. So, through years of research (haha) this is the list I’ve compiled of inexpensive things to do in Pittsburgh.

1. Watersteps (FREE)

If you’re heading down to Heinz Field, the Science Center or PNC park plan on going early or staying late (and bring an extra change of clothes)

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2. Round Hill Park and Exhibit Farm (FREE)

1,101 acres of beautiful land, an array of animals, awesome playgrounds and sprinkler parks. Pack a picnic and a change of clothes! We had a blast here.

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3. Pleasant Kingdom (FREE)

I feel like this park is a well kept secret. It’s a completely wooden park with basketball, tennis courts and picnic areas. It also has a small fountain/sprinkler feature. We would frequent this park before we went to the YMCA Cloverleaf pool. It’s always well kept and plus it’s completely shaded!

pleasant kingdom
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4. Troy Hill Sprinkler Park (FREE)

What a blast! There were tons of water features and a small playground attached. Great, fun way to stay cool.

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5. Roving Art Cart (FREE)

This is a great program that travels to different locations around Pittsburgh with unique, fun, creative art projects for children.

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6. South Park Game Preserve (FREE)

Bring some bread! Located next to the “Bumblebee/ Black & Gold” playground, the game reserve is tucked up the hill and is home to peacocks, buffalo, fish, turtles and ducks (and tons of other wildlife). I would suggest making a day of it with the South Park Children’s Theater.

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7. Water Feature at PPG Place (FREE)

Check for times when the fountain is turned on, but I believe it’s on during the weekdays around 12:30 PM and again later in the afternoon. It’s a blast to watch the kids run through and listen to the belly laughs!

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8. Movies in the park (FREE)

This is on our bucket list for this summer! The one pictured below is from the Cinema of Grandview Park on Mt. Washington but there are multiple locations throughout Pittsburgh.

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9. Blue Slide Playground at Frick Park (FREE)

I keep hearing about this park so we MUST visit soon!

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10. Robinson Clever Park (FREE) and Pool ($5/person)

We’re suckers for wooden playgrounds! We easily spent many days walking back and forth from pool to playground. It’s super close to Montour Trail and the Mall at Robinson.

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11. Fun Fore All ($5/person for Ballocity)

It’s like Chuck E Cheese on steroids (with better prices). There are different deals for on different days so it’s friendly for all budgets. Mondays are 5 cent video games! We LOVE Ballocity… it’s like a three-story hamster maze with ball cannons, slides, secret passageways, a “ball-cano” and crawl spaces (it’s big enough for parents, too).

Be warned, though: there are a lot of other attractions that can add to the cost (but are definitely worth it). There’s a huge arcade, kiddies rides, a rock climbing wall, go-karts, batting cages, mini golf and a food court. You can easily spend an entire afternoon there!

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12. The Incline (about $1.50/ride if I remember correctly) and Station Square (FREE)

We’ve enjoyed riding the incline up to Mt.Washington and taking in the amazing view. You can look for events in station square, but it’s always fun to walk over and enjoy the fountain shows and the view of the river.

13. Soergel Orchards (FREE admission, cost varies for other items)

We love going there ANY time of year, but this week we enjoyed picking our own strawberries at Soergel’s! There are multiple play areas, tractor rides, a greenhouse, a petting “zoo,” and multiple stores. We love the “Naturally Soergel’s” store with natural, organic and gluten free products.

orchards
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14. North Park Boat House (FREE to visit park / rates for rentals vary)

Kayak Pittsburgh in North Park adds really fun options to your trip to the park. Plus, we love the playgrounds located right next to the boat house.

Kayaks: $16 / hour

Bikes: $8 / hour

They also have canoes and pedal boats!

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15. Western PA Miniature Railroad Museum ($6/adult or $4/child)

This little treasure is something I happen to stumble across in my travels. It’s a HUGE indoor miniature railroad museum that blows the exhibit at the Science Center away. What’s really cool is that it’s based upon places in Pittsburgh!

railroad
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16. South Park Children’s Theater ($2/ person)

This was a great way to introduce my son to “live theater.” It’s an outside stage with on the ground seating. The shows are for children, put on by children. Snacks are available for super cheap (or you can bring your own). It’s within walking distance of some pretty cool parks, including the “Bumblebee” Park and South Park Game Preserve.

17. $1 Movies at Cinemark in Robinson

On Tuesdays at 10:00am the Cinemark in Robinson is offering $1 family movies. If you’ve ever been to this theater, you know it’s amazing! The theater is not too far from Clever Park (if you want to make an afternoon out of it).

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18. Jump Zone ($9/child for Open Play)

The most awesome, huge, inflatable bouncy houses that any energetic little boy (or girl) could ever dream of. When we went to the Allison Park location, they had a huge Sponge Bob attraction and inflatable Batman that was a huge hit. Check listings for “open play” dates and times.

jumpzone
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19. Games N’ At (game prices vary)

This is another location on our bucket list this summer! Can’t beat an old school arcade!

They have “unlimited play on pool tables, ping-pong, basketball, pinball, video games, air hockey, foosball, X360” and tons of other games! And something called “Duckpin Bowling” that looks really fun!

20. Triple B Farms (FREE)

We went last year to pick pumpkins but they’re open all year round. We loved the monster truck slide, the play areas and the different livestock. We’re planning on returning to see the “Bee Barn” to see bees working behind glass. How cool!

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  7. I would just like to say, don’t bring bread, bring thawed peas. They are better for the birds and holy cow you should see them cluster for those peas.

  8. Ecosystems Science Summer Camp – $14/day!

    Join South Fayette Library this summer for a seriously exciting summertime science program for kids entering grades 1-5! “Ecosystem Science” is a hands-on exploration into the fascinating science of our natural world. Participants will crack open rocks from right here in Pittsburgh to reveal the REAL 300-million-year old fossils within – an will take one home! We’ll explore the effect of snake venom on prey and other amazing animal and plant adaptations. We’ll create our very own biomes, race cars powered by solar cells, and discover the secrets of soil and water with scientific tests!

    Camp Dates:
    Monday, July 14 – Friday, July 18th. Come for one day, or the whole week!

    Sessions:
    Grades 1 – 2 1:00PM until 2:30 PM
    Grades 3 – 5 3:00PM until 4:30 PM

    Location:
    515 Millers Run Rd, Morgan, PA 15064
    (412) 257-8660

    More Info & to register:
    Contact (412) 257-8660.

  9. My husband and son (2 years old) were thinking about making a trip out to Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks. We were planning on traveling my train. How realistic or practical will it be to get around to many/different places on foot? We were hoping to NOT need the car seat.

    1. Hey Amanda! I’m so excited for you that you’re going to visit Pittsburgh! Where will you be staying? And where will you be planning on visiting?
      There are tons of ways to get around Pittsburgh. If it’s ok, I’d like to email you with some suggestions! :)

  10. #14. The boat house in north park is now a resturant called OTB at the boathouse. Great food and kids meals come on a frisbee for the kids to keep!! Adventure outdoors still has kayak and bike rentals next door too!!!

    1. That looks like it would be a lot of fun! We’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for the update, Jennifer.

  11. […] Persistent Pittsburgh mom blogger Sara Crytzer, at Curious Little Kid, has compiled not one but two great lists of “20 things to do for under $20.” Check them out here and here. […]

  12. Should check out Sky Zone in Leetsdale,PA. Just past Sewickley on Route 65 (Ohio River Blvd.)It is a trampoline park, with a foam pit, Skyrobics classes and Toddler times. They also do parties! I love going there and it’s a great workout. An hour jump session is only $13/per person. They have a Friday night kids jump 11-15 yr olds (Sky Mania) and a Saturday teen jump 16+(Sky Slam)Its $18 for an hour and half and they get 2 slices of pizza and a drink!

  13. Would love to here more about Pittsburgh activities for children. Is it possible to get on a mailing list ?………Thank you

    1. Thank you for reading! If you go to the homepage you can enter your email address and subscribe to new posts. Hope you enjoy!

  14. […] I first posted 20 Things to do in Pittsburgh for Under $20 I had no idea it would have such an overwhelming response. Sincerely, the places and […]

  15. Home depot offers free workshops for kids to build things like bank race cars, bird feeders etc. just check your local home depot, kids love it.

    1. I’ve heard really great things about their program! I see the nest workshop is February 1st and it’s a “make your own Race Car”… we will have to check it out! :)

  16. It is a great list , gives a lot of idea to a mom who is new to Pittsburgh! I have bookmarked it in my cell. Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks Celia! Hope you’re getting settled in and enjoying Pittsburgh! :)

  17. […] 20 Things to Do in Pittsburgh for Under $20 […]

  18. […] many readers have written in with great reviews on Triple B Farms after we mentioned them in 20 Things to Do in Pittsburgh for Under $20. To celebrate, we’re giving away family package of four tickets to the Peach Festival at Triple B […]

  19. The Western PA Train place is not open during the summer. It’s only open around the holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. So don’t make a trip there now.

  20. […] having great success with the article 20 Things to do in Pittsburgh Under $20, I realized I could continue to write about exactly what my son and I enjoy doing; exploring […]

  21. Nice list, but I’m not sure if PPG would be thrilled to have its water feature on here. The number of people using it as a public pool has got out of hand and I think they’re trying to downplay it a little.

  22. Don’t forget the great Miniature golf course near Roundhill Farm the family Funscape miniature golf love going there

  23. Mini-golf at VIP in South Park is $3.oo for 18 holes before 5:00 pm on weekdays.

  24. Frisbee golf is a cheap activity (most times the most expensive part is having a few frisbees on hand). If you Google Frisbee Golf you can find golf courses clear across the country ( most are free). There are 9 hole and 18 hole courses, many even have maps you can print out with two different skill levels marked throughout the courses. We have even met friends on vacation to play in Arizona and OH.

  25. Great list except for the Water Steps on the North Shore. They are beautiful to look at, but that is all they were intended for when built. People should not be wading in here. It is unsafe because the steps get slippery and homeless people bathe in there. I know because I work down there and see them in the early morning. Please keep children out of the Water Steps!

  26. We’re going to have to try the Gemini Children’s Theater! Always excited to try new places! :)
    I usually find good deals on Groupon.com for the Pittsburgh area as well. For those of you with teenagers: Consider the one for “Laser Storm” laser tag in Ross on McKnight Road. $21 for two games, up to four people… normally a $44 value.
    http://www.groupon.com/deals/laser-storm-pittsburgh-5

  27. Oh thank god! I’ve been looking for a good list of places and things do this summer without breaking the bank.

  28. me too debbie, i have a 13 year old, and things can get pricey for things she likes to do,i can’t afford to go to kennywood,sandcastle all summer,so i would love to know if there is something age appropriate for teenagers under 20 bucks!!!

  29. The Water Steps is fun but not entirely “free” since you have to park somewhere and unless you go when the Pirates are away, could cost a lot. We always went when we could park on the street for 75¢ an hour.

  30. Gemini Children’s Theater — Tickets are $12 each! Concessions are $1.00 for any item. All shows are performed by local, Pittsburgh actors including students. All shows are original, musical adaptations of classic children’s stories or Gemini, original shows. Children participate in all shows either from their seats or are invited to the stage. We only seat 124, so the setting is very easy for parents. The interaction helps active kids because they get a chance to get out of their seats and move – then sitting for other parts of the show is much easier! Our season runs September – May!

  31. Fantastic list! Now does anyone have ideas (that are cheap) for things to do in Pittsburgh for older kids? I have teenagers…I love that we can show them how fun Pittsburgh is WITHOUT spending a lot of cash.

  32. LIving Treasures Wild Animal Park in Moraine and Donegal are super fun and kids are only 7.00 a piece. You can feed the animals and on Thursdays at the Moraine location they have animal enrichment lectures and special things that you learn about them. My kids love it.

  33. Great list! Three things I would add off the top of my head would be the free gallery crawls in the Cultural District, free concerts at Hartwood Acres, and cheap movies at the Dependable Drive-In.

  34. The alle-kiski railroad-tickets are about 7 per person. They have a Halloween special and a Christmas special. They are a locally owned and operated railroad-and are SUPER FAMILY friendly. :) let the kids in the engine, answer all questions, beautiful scenery, the whole shebang. http://www.kiskijunction.com/

    1. We did this a few years ago, with my daughter & cousins. It was a lot of fun for very little money. The drive is the biggest investment.

  35. Just double check before going to the Miniature Railroad – I believe they are only open during the holidays.

    1. You are right. The Western Pa Model Railroad Museum is only open during the Christmas holidays (my father is a member of the museum). They typically open a week or two before Thanksgiving and their show runs a week or two into January. They are staffed by volunteers so they only open on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays so definitely check the schedule before you go. But it is well worth it. There’s lots of stuff to do and see there!

  36. Don’t forget Kids Bowl Free at local bowling alleys all summer. 2 free games of bowling every day for kids. They have shoe passes and a family pass that can be used for adults or older kids too. Great fun on those rainy days that keep you inside or away from the pool!

  37. Gemini Children’s Theater in Point Breeze! Tickets are typically under $20!! GREAT SHOWS!!

  38. […] So many people get so busy with life they rarely, if ever, find time/energy to be a part of their community. There’s no excuse for this, truly. There’s simply too much to celebrate about the renaissance occurring in this once dilapidated steel town to remain behind closed doors (for some super cheap, even free, family-friendly community events check this outhttp://curiouslittlekid.com/child-development/20-things-to-do-in-pittsburgh-for-under-20/) […]

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