As a nanny, I search for the coolest and most interesting places to visit in Pittsburgh. No place in the city offers museums, a carousel, cultural rooms and gardens, except Oakland. I absolutely adore taking my Nanny Kids (NK for short) to Schenley Plaza and riding the whimsical carousel and running across the lawn with the towering Cathedral of Learning overhead. There’s a clean public restroom, takeout restaurants and a large tent all for convenience. During the summer, Pittsburgh Parks offer games such as life size connect four and corn hole located on the lawn.
Another wonderful location is the Cathedral of Learning, itself! The Cathedral has a sprawling lawn and gardens with wonderful views of Heinz Chapel. Inside, there are the Nationality Rooms which allow your children to immerse themselves in different worldly cultures. Go up to the observation deck on the 36th floor and check out the amazingly stunning views of Oakland and in the distance, Downtown Pittsburgh. The kids will love playing I-spy while gazing down 36 floors! It certainly helps the Cathedral elevators have been updated in the past few years. Makes for navigating much easier to do with young ones and strollers.
Of course, Oakland has museums! The Natural History Museum is awesome for kids of all ages. The dinosaurs are probably the most popular. I know my Nanny Kids love to dig in the archaeology dig station. They looks so official with the giggles are archaeology tools. The lady bugs and hollowed logs are a must-visit. The Arctic and Egyptian exhibits are incredibly interesting (especially the life-size igloo!).
The CMOA (Carnegie Museum of Art) is located inside the same building. The amount of installations, paintings, sculptures, photography, furniture and traveling exhibitions continually make us want to return. It’s a great way to introduce the young ones to the many forms of art.
The Main Carnegie Library of Oakland offers so much for children. The librarians host storytimes throughout the week for all ages. The children’s section offers computers, blocks, trains, Books! Books! Books! Another great facet is the cafe with seating for a library picnic on those rainy or cold days. Plus, there’s coffee for adults!
I must admit I’m partial to Oakland being a Pitt grad. However, being a nanny has given me a greater appreciation for all it has to offer! I hope this article entices you to explore this wonderful area of our fair city with your children!
Links to assist planning your Oakland visit: