5 Springtime Activities for Sprouts in the Steel City

As the snow starts to melt and Steel City’s weather gets milder, you’ll probably find yourself with kiddos who are just a little bit antsy. And honestly, after being cooped up inside all winter, who could blame them? You might even be feeling the same way yourself! Not to worry. Spring is the perfect time to explore some of Pittsburgh’s most exciting attractions, and considering how familiar Pittsburghers are with rain, we’ve got plenty of activities to keep you busy regardless of what the unpredictable spring weather decides to do!

We’ll keep you up to date on the best springtime S.T.E.A.M. activities at 5 of our favorite places in the ‘Burgh:

  • Phipp’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquariums
  • Carnegie Science Center
  • Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
  • Snapology Discovery Zone

Phipp’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Three children are lined up at a table in Phipp's Conservatory, completing a hands-on activity with the guidance of a Phipp's employee
Children learning about nature with hands-on activities at one of Phipp’s Conservatory’s Discovery Stations. Image courtesy of Phipp’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Ages

All

Cost

$17.95 for adults, $11.95 for children aged 2 - 18 years old

Activity Details

Nothing says “Spring has sprung!” quite like being surrounded with beautiful blooms. If you’re looking for a little flower power to brighten up your day, you’ve definitely found it. Phipp’s offers a variety of springtime programs for little ones including Discovery Stations placed throughout the building, the SEED Classroom bee observatory, and a variety of weekly activities including story time and potting your very own plant! Plus, with the Scents of Wonder spring flower show opening March 10th, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the most colorful and fragrant blooms Phipp’s has to offer. With gardens both indoors and out, Phipp’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a great option, rain or shine!

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Image may contain: outdoor
A gorilla at the Pittsburgh Zoo enjoying some sunshine. Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium’s Facebook page.
Ages

All

Cost

$13 for adults, $12 for children aged 2 - 13 years old (Note: prices go up in the summer!)

Activity Details

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium are always a hit: who wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with deer, pet a stingray, or tunnel like a meerkat? Spring is the perfect time to visit because the cooler temperatures mean that many of the animals who-- like the rest of us-- feel a little sluggish in the dog days of summer will really be out and about. This spring there are also several opportunities for high-schoolers to get a closer look at what it’s like to work at the zoo with Pizza with the Keepers on March 18th and Keeper Conversations on April 3rd. If you’ve got an aspiring zoologist on your hands, it’s definitely something to keep in mind! And if nothing else, you’re never too old for the giant slide!

Carnegie Science Center

Kids and grown-ups alike will love stargazing in the Buhl Planetarium. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Science Center.
Ages

All

Cost

$27.90 for adults, $19.90 for children aged 2 - 13 years old

Activity Details

The Carnegie Science Center has been providing kids with awesome, hands-on educational experiences for decades, but it’s still at the top of our list. With four floors of interactive exhibits and amazing programming, you’ll find something here for everyone. Watch a movie in the Rangos Giant Cinema, space out in the Buhl Planetarium, or place air hockey with a robot in the Roboworks exhibit. This spring the Carnegie Science Center is also hosting a few Science Sleepovers. The Awesome Astronomy Sleepover on March 9th gives budding astronauts a chance to find out what it’s really like to explore space, and the Camp-In Sleepover on March 23rd will teach kids everything they need to know to be an outdoor camper, including how to navigate by the stars and the science behind fire. It’s the perfect way to spend a rainy Pittsburgh day!

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History

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Dippy the Diplodocus is a Pittsburgh icon… and waiting for you at the Museums in Oakland! Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History Facebook page.Carneige
Ages

All

Cost

$19.95 for adults, $11.95 for children aged 2 - 13 years old

Activity Details

Want to hear a great deal? It’s two museums for the price of one! Have a true S.T.E.A.M. experience by digging for dinosaur bones at the Museum of Natural History and also examining beautiful works of art (like Monet’s very seasonally appropriate Water Lilies) at the adjoining Museum of Art. The Museum of Art also offers in-gallery art-making activities all through the spring from 12:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturdays and Sunday, which are free with museum admission. This classic Pittsburgh destination is sure to provide the whole family with a memorable adventure!

Snapology Discovery Zone

A child exploring robotics with Lego’s during a Snapology Discovery Zone workshop. Image courtesy of Snapology.
Ages

All

Cost

$30 for a 2 hour workshop

Activity Details

If your kid likes Legos, wants to be an engineer, or could just use a fun space to get creative, Snapology Pittsburgh Discovery Zone is the place to be. Snapology offers a variety of 2 and 3 hour workshops and classes to keep your kids entertained with everything from animals to fidget spinners to robots. If you’d love to see a botanical show at Phipp’s but don’t think it’s up your kid’s alley, Snapology offers evening workshops designed specifically to give parents the night off! Snapology is also sensitive to the needs of children with special needs. They regularly host Bricks and Buddies events, during which Snapology provides each guest with a buddy who will guide and support them through an activity or simply play freely in the Discovery Zone, allowing your child to walk away feeling confident and with a new friendship. The next Bricks and Buddies event is on March 25th, but register soon! There are a limited number of spaces available.

These activities should give you and your little ones plenty of opportunities to get out of the house month regardless of what the weather has in store. Rain, snow, or sunshine, there’s something on this list for everyone. Do you have other suggestions? Did you go to one of these events and have a great time? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!