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Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

Cleveland
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Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

We are driving to Pittsburgh from Cleveland for a family vacation in June - arriving Sunday night for 5 days. The boys are 2 yrs old. We have 2 destinations set for sure - Idlewild and the Pittsburgh Zoo.

We have to stay at a Courtyard since we can get discounted rooms. Currently we are planning on staying at the Pittsburgh Greensburg Courtyard. Should we look at another Courtyard?

With the kids being 2 we plan on going to the zoo on Monday and Idlewild on Wednesday. We are figuring they might need a day to relax. Also they need their naps. Any other suggestions on places to visit or things to do that are kid friendly?

Fort Ligonier?

Thanks in advance.

Pittsburgh...
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1. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

Greensburg is a great halfway point between downtown and Ligonier.

Take the kids for a ride on the Duquesne Incline. We took our son when he was just a little older than 2 and he loved the ride, and the view from Mt. Washington is great.

The Carnegie Science Center is also very kid friendly, with activities for all ages.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

Hi Wsupporter.

My kids are in their teens now, but when they were your kids' ages they loved going to the Carnegie Science Center and to the Children's Museum. Both are on Pittsburgh's North Shore.

Also highly recommended is the National Aviary (which is also on the North Shore). I'm sorry to say we've not been yet, but Everybody I know just raves about it.

The Science Center is great for all ages but there's also a special area on one of the upper floors created just for younger kids.

You might also hear a lot about Kennywood. Just speaking for my family experience-- the rides at Kennywood scared my kids when they were younger, which made for a very stressful family outing!

You'll be glad you went to Idlewild instead. We still go every Labor Day weekend. And don't forget your swimsuits for the Soak Zone.

Hope you have a terrific time on your Pittsburgh area vacation.

links:

www.pittsburghkids.org >> Children's Museum

www.carnegiesciencecenter.org >> Science Center

www.aviary.org >> National Aviary

Pittsburgh, PA
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3. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

I live in Greensburg, so if you have any questions about that area, I'll try to help you out. The Courtyard is very new, so it should be very nice. I only live about a mile from it, and it right next to Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Target if you forget to pack anything! Idlewild is great for little kids because they can ride almost all the rides, and the Storybook Forest is built just for them.

Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

Traffic between Greensburg and Pittsburgh via the Parkway is a challenge so plan your visit accordingly 7a-9a into the city and 4p-6p leaving the areA.

Totally agree with the Aviary and Children's Museum suggestion

Cleveland
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5. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

Thanks for all the info. We will try to check out the National Aviary and Science Center.

pittsburgh
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6. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

If it were me, I'd try to stay in or near Pittsburgh. Greensburg will add an hour to your trip from Cleveland. If you want to go to Idlewild, you could make a day trip of it. Otherwise, Kennywood would do very well. There's a very gentle Kiddieland section that will suit the most timid of tastes. There also is Sandcastle, a water park with gentle sections for little ones. Children love the Aviary. And Phipps Conservatory has a butterfly feature that has butterflies wafting among the flower displays. Not to mention lovely outdoor gardens, a free carousel nearby, surrounded by a wade-in fountain and food kiosks. And yes, the inclines (there are two) are popular with children of every age. The Children's Museum is a good idea, as is the newly designed dinosaur exhibit at the Carnegie Museum. Pittsburgh has one of the three most extensive collections of dinosaurs in the world. (The others are NY's Museum of Natural History and Yale. The stuff you see everywhere else are plaster copies). Five days? You'll hardly be able to fit everything in.

pittsburgh
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7. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

I forgot that you mentioned naps, in which case I would definitely avoid going all the way to Greensburg when there are two new Courtyards right in the heart of Pgh. You could comfortably take advantage of all the things I mentioned in my last post and yet easily return to your room for naps, etc. Not to mention that there's lots of life around these motels. Try for the Courtyards in Shadyside or downtown.

Lancaster
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8. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

I'm going to bump this up a little since my topic is similar....making a family trip to Pittsburgh (in August) with two girls -- 12 & 4. Our tentative plans are to hit Pittsburgh Zoo, one of the inclines, and the Carnegie Science Center. From reading the above posts, it seems as though I should check out the National Aviary too.

What is the best way to find a budget to mid-grade hotel within good proximity to those locations? Do you have any good suggestions?

Thank you!

Pittsburgh...
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9. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

Signer, try Priceline or Hotwire for a 4 star hotel. Some people posted that they were getting rooms at the Renaissance for under $100/night.

The 4 star hotels in downtown are the Omni, Ren and Westin.

10. Re: Idlewild Park & Pittsburgh Zoo

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