Romare Bearden: Artist As Activist And Visionary
When school’s out for the summer, staying home can quickly feel boring, and the kids get restless. Take advantage of the many activities available around Pittsburgh that are family-friendly and fun! With everything from water parks to historical tours, your family will have no trouble filling the days with memorable adventures.
Delve into History
If you’re looking to beat the heat this summer, it’s the perfect time to visit a local museum or science center and learn more about history and the world around us. For a broad view of history in the Pittsburgh area, head to the Heinz History Center and spend a day learning about everything from famous local inventions to the history of African Americans in the area. There’s something for everyone at the Heinz Center—baseball fans can explore the sport’s history, kids can see original pieces from the set of Mister Rogers, and fans of modern art can see the latest artist on display.
If your family is up for a bit of a road trip, take the opportunity this summer to learn more about the powerful legacy of the area’s Underground Railroad sites. You can plan your route using this list of stops as a guide, or head about an hour away to Blairsville and follow their GPS-tagged route. For the most in-depth experience, make time to get out at several of the stops and read the posted information.
Get Outside and Enjoy the Heat
While finding an indoor location to stay away from the heat seems ideal, it’s always important to devote at least a few summer days to fun in the sun. At Idlewild and Soak Zone, you can soak up the sun while visiting some of the kids’ favorite characters in many of the themed areas. Everything from Story Book Forest to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available to explore alongside dozens of rides suitable for all ages. When everyone is ready to cool down, head to the soak zone to access multiple water slides, a wave pool, and a special “little squirts” area for the kids.
If you’d like a little less of an adrenaline rush, head to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. While you’ll spend a lot of time walking outside, the expansive shade trees and various indoor animal enclosures will provide a respite from the heat.
For one of the best ways to enjoy outdoor Pittsburgh during the hot summer months, hop on board a Three Rivers cruise with the Gateway Clipper fleet. You’ll enjoy snacks, music, and a tour around the city unlike any other. Kid-themed cruises are available throughout the summer, as well as dance and party-focused outings!
Explore Art and Entertainment
Summer nights mean plenty of extra time to enjoy live music, art, and a show. Whether outdoors or inside, taking the family to experience the rich culture of Pittsburgh is a must. Head to Summer Fridays at the Frick for a musical and artistic celebration. Concerts and food trucks are stationed outside on the lawn for family-friendly fun. At the same time, current exhibits inside provide a respite from the heat. Stop by the Romare Bearden collection that highlights a Black artist who “agitated for social change through the visual arts and print media.”
If you’re looking for something laidback and entertaining for the whole family, head to the current showing of Dollar Bank Cinema in The Park. Various family-friendly movies are projected on the big screen throughout the summer at rotating parks. Bring a picnic and a blanket for a fun (and practically free!) night out.
For a more immersive experience, head to Shady Side for one of this summer’s Jams on Walnut featuring live, local bands. You can explore the area’s shops and restaurants before the live music begins. You’ll feel good knowing all proceeds benefit the Humane Animal Rescue!
Whether you’re planning to spend the day indoors, away from the heat, or get outside and embrace the summer weather, Pittsburgh has something for every family to enjoy this season!