Carnegie Science Center view down the Main Street on Carnegie Science Center's Miniature Railroad & Village display.

There is so much for children to do at this imaginative science museum in Pittsburgh that they may never get to Exploration Station, the enormous fourth floor filled with interactive exhibits designed just for kids.

Many children become sidetracked in SportsWorks, an entire building that emphasizes the physics of sports with virtual reality rides that rival any amusement park for fun. Kids can run a race against a life-size virtual image of Jackie Joyner-Kersee on a real track with lanes or play a game of optical illusion mini golf. Or they can design their own roller-coaster ride on a special computer, then head into a simulator, get strapped down, and experience the ride they've just created.

At the Miniature Railroad & Village display, adults will marvel at the minute historical accuracy of familiar Pittsburgh neighborhoods, while kids are spellbound by its special animated features. There is a working amusement park, and if you look closely, you'll see PBS's Mr. Rogers sitting on his front porch swing.

One of the museum's signature exhibits, the World War II-era USS Requin submarine, shows in exacting detail how the submarine would have looked onboard during its time of service. The exhibit is brought to life by dynamic sound effects.

The center has three theaters that run science shows all day long, and a planetarium has daytime star shows and evening laser light shows.

Carnegie Science Center Information

Address: One Allegheny Ave., Pittsburgh, PA

Telephone: 412/237-3400

Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sun. - Fri. and until 7 p.m., Sat.

Admission: $14 adults; $10 kids

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Pennsylvania State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Pennsylvania, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.