(BPT) - As people across the country are again starting to travel and plan those long-awaited vacations, many cities are promoting themselves as the ultimate family-friendly destination. Yet, only one city can officially call itself KidsBURGH. That would be Pittsburgh.
The city — long known for its hundreds of bridges, sports teams and Primanti Bros. sandwiches — now also boasts a thriving arts and culture district, including the world renowned The Andy Warhol Museum, a growing technology reputation in part due to the engineering and robotics talent annually graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, and the many Only in Pittsburgh family attractions such as the National Aviary, Carnegie Science Center, the Gateway Clipper Fleet and so much more. It is no wonder that Pittsburgh has become a major travel destination for business events, sports events and leisure visitors.
And, those leisure visitors include kids of all ages.
“We are so proud to officially say that Pittsburgh is KidsBURGH,” Tom Loftus, chief marketing officer for VisitPITTSBURGH, the city’s official tourism and promotion agency, said. “Not only does it have a nice ring to it, but our Only in Pittsburgh family attractions help differentiate us from all the other cities that also are reopening.”
VisitPITTSBURGH saw the value of the KidsBURGH brand many years ago when it sought and received a trademark, and the brand continues to be solidified with the quantity and quality of Pittsburgh’s family-fun attractions, including: Kennywood, the historic amusement park, and its sister attractions, Idlewild & SoakZone and Sandcastle; the Gateway Clipper Fleet, which makes cruising on one of the city’s famous three rivers a must-do activity; the National Aviary, the only indoor dedicated bird zoo in America; the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium; the Duquesne Incline, one of Pittsburgh’s centuries-old funiculars that shuttles riders to the top of Mount Washington, providing spectacular views of the Downtown skyline; Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; and biking along Pittsburgh’s 24 miles of riverfront trails. Speaking of biking, an ambitious family could opt to ride the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail and bike from Pittsburgh all the way to Washington, D.C.
Not a bike enthusiast? That’s OK! Pittsburgh has 90 unique neighborhoods waiting for you to explore. Maybe the most famous neighborhood is the one not officially listed on the city’s map but easily identifiable by kids of all ages. Pittsburgh is, course, also Mister Rogers’ neighborhood. The city icon’s legacy is present during any visit to Pittsburgh. From the Tribute to Children statue, a bronze likeness of the television star located on the North Shore, to a special exhibit dedicated to Mister Rogers within the Senator John Heinz History Center, there are plenty of ways for families to connect with Pittsburgh’s friendliest neighbor.
“The Heinz History Center is very proud to feature the largest collection of original items from the ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ television set,” Brady Smith, the History Center’s Director of Marketing & Communications, said. “From the original entryway and living room set that Fred Rogers walked through to begin each show, to King Friday XIII’s Castle, Mr. McFeely’s ‘Speedy Delivery’ tricycle and more, old and new fans are sure to find plenty to explore at the Heinz History Center.”
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Heinz History Center is only one of an impressive collection of museums in the three rivers city. Families can spend hours if not days enjoying the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Science Center and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the latter of which showcases one of the country’s largest collections of dinosaur bones.
“The Carnegie Museum of Natural History invites you to step back in time and walk among the dinosaurs and other ancient creatures in our Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit,” Sloan MacRae, the museum’s Director of Marketing, said. “Whether it’s Dippy, our friendly ambassador and most famous fossil, or the world’s first T. rex fossils, visitors of all ages are enthralled by our galleries, which feature many real dinosaur skeletons and 10,000 other natural wonders.”
“We have been told that it must be easy to promote a city that has emerged as a major travel destination,” Loftus laughed. “It does help that we have so many Only in Pittsburgh attractions, including our KidsBURGH partners. But, in a market that is bursting with options, our job is to convince travelers to visit Pittsburgh. We know that once they are here, the city will sell itself.”
For more information about how Pittsburgh is KidsBURGH, go to visitpittsburgh.com/kidsburgh.