School is over and the kids are home for the summer. There’s no better way to entertain them than by stopping by the Heinz History Center for a day of history-filled fun.
Thanks to UPMC, every Sunday in June kids receive free admission to the History Center. Enjoy a day at the History Center with the top spots for kids listed below.
Build Your Own City in Kidsburgh
Location: Great Hall (first floor) & Mezzanine
The number one spot for kids at the History Center is a place specifically designed for the history-makers of tomorrow. A fun and interactive playplace, Kidsburgh is a two-tiered area for kids to make-believe and be creative. Here, kids can dish out some “ice cream” at the deli or “milk” a fiberglass cow. Children can also play with an interactive map of Pittsburgh and design their own version of the city using models of buildings, boats, and sports stadiums. When they’re done, kids can take the 12-foot spiral “Liberty Tubes” slide down to the Great Hall.
Exercise Your Body and Mind in the UPMC SmartSteps
Location: Museum Stairwell
This one-of-a-kind exhibition encourages visitors of all ages to work their way through the museum by taking the stairs. Along the stairwell are colorful murals and wellness tips, health information, and unique facts about Pittsburgh history. Children will have a blast as they enjoy a healthy activity while learning. Those who participate in the SmartSteps exhibit, and mark off each floor, will be rewarded with a complementary collectible Heinz pickle pin!
Jump (and Race) Around the Sports Museum
Location: Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, second & third floor
Are your kids full of energy? Look no further than the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a museum within a museum. Here, kids (and adults) can test their endurance, strength, and enjoy some friendly competition in the interactive stations located throughout the museum. On the second floor, play a game of bocce, putt a hole of golf at the famous Oakmont Country Club church pews, or test your jumping skills. Kids can also drive a kid-sized powerboat, create their own Olympic medal, or discover the various textures of racing shoes. If your kids are more into the Steelers or Penguins, head upstairs where they can toss a football to Lynn Swann or take on cross-state hockey rival Philadelphia Flyers in a rousing game of bubble hockey.
Learn About Innovators of Pittsburgh’s Past
Location: Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibition, second floor
The Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibit celebrates Western Pennsylvania’s immense impact on the world with over 50 hands-on activities and audio-visual displays. With this abundant amount of activities, you and your kids will be fully submersed in history come to life. The exhibit celebrates Pittsburgh’s historic accomplishments, from the region’s earliest inhabitants 19,000 years ago at Meadowcroft Rockshelter, to its transition into the 21st century as a leader in medicine, higher education, and robotics.
Create Something New in Discovery Place
Location: Discovery Place exhibition, third floor
If your kids thought Kidsburgh was awesome, just wait. A world of its own, Discovery Place offers a wide array of activities for kids to learn about Pittsburgh history through hands-on and high tech interactive displays, color graphics, and challenging games. The exhibit provides a learning space for kids to explore innovations from the Pittsburgh area and follow along the invention process in a fun and interesting environment. At the Engineering Playground, kids can create bridges using large foam blocks as well as design a piece of pop art and much more. There’s no limit to what you can create in Discovery Place.
Take a Picture with the Giant Ketchup Bottle
Location: Heinz exhibition, fourth floor
No trip to the History Center is complete without visiting the Heinz exhibit. Visitors of all ages can stop by and enjoy the exhibit while learning about H.J. Heinz and the history behind his iconic company. One may also learn where the number “57” came from and why it’s still used on Heinz products today. Before you leave the exhibit, make sure to grab a picture with the giant Heinz ketchup bottle and take a trip to the past as you watch the reruns of Heinz commercials that have aired all over the world.
Visit Mister Rogers and Friends
Location: Special Collections exhibition, fourth floor
Make sure to stop by and say hi to the world’s favorite neighbor, Mister Rogers, before you end your day at the History Center. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the nostalgia of one of America’s favorite TV shows and get a behind-the-scenes look at the original sets. With artifacts like King Friday XIII’s castle, Mr. McFeely’s tricycle, and the Great Oak Tree, you’ll be swept back into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe in no time.
Megan Stouffer is the History Center’s marketing & communications department’s summer 2019 intern.