10 fun outings for families in Pittsburgh

Make this adventure a combo: fish with the family at North Park Lake and add a visit to Tomato Pie Café on East Ingomar Road just outside of North Park. Try for a table on the front patio. Tip: It’s cash only.

Posing with the sports statues at PNC Park. Photo by Erica Gidley.

Posing with the sports statues at PNC Park. Photo by Erica Gidley.

Photos with the PNC Park baseball statues and lunch at the Warhol Café

Attending a game at PNC Park is super fun but even if the Pirates are out of town you can still have a blast posing with the statues, each honoring a legendary Pirates baseball player. Get started at the center field entrance with the Roberto Clemente statue. Head down the sidewalk toward the left field gate and pose with Willie Stargell. Make your way around the park to the home plate main gate where Honus Wagner will greet you. Lastly, near the right field entrance Bill Mazeroski’s statue recreates a scene from his memorable run around the bases after hitting a home run to win the 1960 World Series.

After creating your statue scrapbook, head over to the Warhol Café  in the Andy Warhol Museum lobby (museum admission not required). And if you still have a few more smiles left for the camera, pose for a souvenir family picture in one of the two photo booths at the museum (one in the lobby and the other on the lower level).

Pick your own fruit and flowers at Simmons Farm and dinner at Peters Township Farmers Market

How much better does fruit taste when you pluck it right off the tree? Find out at Simmons Farm where you can pick peaches, apples and more from the orchard. Get a container at the market before picking but make sure to call ahead to check availability. You can also cut flowers for a beautiful bouquet straight from the farm’s flower fields. Scissors and buckets provided. Go on Wednesday and you can head to the Peters Township Farmers Market afterward for dinner. A wide variety of vendors ensures plenty of fresh food choices.

Creek hiking at Walker Park near Sewickley. Photo by Kim Harbaugh.

Creek hiking at Walker Park near Sewickley. Photo by Kim Harbaugh.

Creek hiking at Walker Park and cookies at The Ultimate Pastry Shop

It’s fun to combine hiking with water play and your family can do just that at Walker Park along Little Sewickley Creek Road in Leet Township. The creek is shallow enough to walk through and most of the area is shaded. Have fun balancing on fallen trees and looking for salamanders. Make sure to bring water shoes or old sneakers along with a change of clothes and a towel: you will get wet. And messy.

After your creek hike head to The Ultimate Pastry Shop, a quaint bakery in Sewickley. Choose from cute cookie designs, colorful gourmet cupcakes, luscious cakes and other desserts.

Mansion exploring at Hartwood Acres and lunch at Hartwood Restaurant

Hartwood Acres is a great place to be during one of the many festivals and free concerts on the lawn. But with 629 acres of green space and wooded trails, it’s worth a visit anytime. Take the trails to the Hartwood Mansion, a circa-1929 Tudor home that offers tours but is an adventure just to walk around and explore. Highlights include the beautiful flower garden (with butterflies everywhere), fascinating architecture, a dog cemetery and horse stables.

Check out the Hartwood Restaurant for lunch after you leave the park. The food is fresh and the patio seating is beautiful on a late summer afternoon. Ask to view the Whispers window, crafted in the late 19th century of stained and painted glass.

Nature hiking is fun at Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens. Photo by Erica Gidley.

Nature hiking is fun at Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens. Photo by Erica Gidley.

Nature hiking at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and lunch at Café Chocolade

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is a magical place to take your family for a nature hike. Get started on the Arboretum Trail and Lotus Pond Trail, two paths that cover less than a mile when walked together making them appropriate for even the youngest hikers. Look out for the stepping stones across the pond, bird feeders and loud bull frogs among the lilies and irises. You might even see a blue heron fly in for a fish. Discounted admission is available for Allegheny County residents and military. Check out all the trails available on this map.

Grab a delicious lunch at Café Chocolade and try to get seating outside on the garden terrace. Save room for one of the European pastries, many of which are gluten-free.

Got some ideas that your family loves? We welcome comments below!