5 Must-Visit Museums in Pittsburgh to Help Spark a Lifelong Curiosity

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By The Keystone Staff

August 25, 2023

Unleash your curiosity at one of the top 5 must-visit museums in Pittsburgh. Explore engaging exhibits and ignite lifelong learning at these unique Pa. museums.

Looking for something to do with your kids that will get their minds working? These five must-visit museums in Pittsburgh have something for all ages to help spark lifelong curiosity. 

Whether you’re looking to learn something new about art, miniature railroads, or something in between, we’ve got you covered with these unique suggestions.

Miniature Railroad & Village: A Meticulous Recreation of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Nestled within the Carnegie Science Center, the Miniature Railroad & Village is a hidden gem that captures the hearts of both kids and adults alike. This incredible attraction showcases the meticulous work that went into recreating iconic landmarks throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. From bridges to buildings, every detail has been carefully crafted to transport visitors into a miniature world of wonder.

Pro tip: it’s a fantastic place for a family outing around the holidays. It has become one of the highlights of Christmas in Pittsburgh, as families gather to witness the enchanting display of trains and miniature landscapes. 

General Admission tickets are available for purchase and range in price ($25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for children between the ages of 3-12). Children two years of age and under are admitted for free. When you purchase tickets, you’ll indicate the date and entry time you wish to visit the attraction. 

The Carnegie Science Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., though the Miniature Railroad & Village only accepts general admission slots until 3:30 p.m.

NOTE: The Miniature Railroad & Village are currently closed for annual maintenance and will reopen on Oct. 6.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: A World of Fun and Exploration

If you find yourself in the bustling city of Pittsburgh, make sure to take your little ones to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This is not your average children’s museum—it’s a place where imagination knows no bounds and curiosity is encouraged to flourish.

With three (wheelchair accessible) floors of interactive exhibits, there’s something for children of all ages to enjoy. From the water-play floor that promises endless splashing fun to the hands-on activities that ignite creativity, the Children’s Museum offers a variety of experiences that will keep kids engaged and entertained for hours.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Admission is $19 for adults and $17 for children ages 2-18. Children under 2 are admitted for free. However, thanks to a grant from RAD – the Allegheny Regional Asset District — through the end of August, general admission is free for visitors on every operating day.

Mattress Factory Art Museum: Where Art Meets Imagination

If you’re looking for a truly unique art experience, look no further than the Mattress Factory Art Museum. This hidden gem is a haven for those who appreciate incredible and unconventional works of art. As you step through its doors, be prepared to have your mind opened and your perspective challenged.

The staff at the Mattress Factory Art Museum are friendly and helpful, ensuring that your visit is both enjoyable and informative. The work showcased here is unlike anything you’ve seen before. From installations that defy traditional boundaries to thought-provoking pieces that spark conversation, this museum has it all.

One current installation is Asim Waqif’s “Assume the Risk 2023” exhibition where Waqif creatively reuses materials to craft an interactive sound installation. He defies conventional museum norms, inviting participants to playfully co-create within a dynamic space that questions artistic ownership and challenges traditional expectations.

While the Mattress Factory Art Museum may not be for everyone, it offers a refreshing departure from the traditional art museum experience. It invites you to be open-minded and embrace the unexpected. So, if you’re willing to venture outside your comfort zone, this museum promises to be a truly unforgettable journey into the world of contemporary art.

Explore the Mattress Factory Art Museum at your convenience with flexible hours, including late access until 8  p.m. on Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. availability from Thursday to Saturday. Tickets range in price—$20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, $10 for active duty military and veterans, and $10 for visitors with limited mobility.

The Andy Warhol Museum: A Cool Experience for Art Enthusiasts

Andy Warhol, a Pittsburgh icon, is celebrated at The Andy Warhol Museum. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this museum offers a cool experience that showcases the life and works of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

The museum provides a comprehensive exploration of Warhol’s art, offering visitors the opportunity to delve into his world and gain a deeper understanding of his artistic vision. From his iconic pop art pieces to his lesser-known works, the museum presents a diverse collection that highlights the evolution of Warhol’s career.

Admission to the Andy Warhol Museum is $25 for adults and $13 for children, seniors (65+), and students. Members and children under 3 always receive free admission.

NOTE: Admission is free through the end of August.

Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, with the museum staying open until 10 p.m. on Fridays. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Carnegie Museum of Art: A World-Class Collection in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is fortunate to have a world-class art museum. The Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) boasts an impressive collection that showcases both local artists and renowned works from around the world.

From the moment you step foot in the museum, you’re greeted with a wealth of artistic treasures. The CMOA is a treasure trove of visual delights, offering a diverse range of styles and mediums that will captivate art enthusiasts of all kinds. You can browse through the museum’s “What’s on View” section of its website in advance to get an idea of the type of art you’ll encounter here.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the hours extended until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to make the admission process easier. Admission is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65+), $15 for students and children between the ages of three and 18. Children two years of age and under are admitted for free.

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by The Keystone staff.

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