Kittanning, Pennsylvania, a small town situated on the Allegheny River, is just over 40 miles from the larger city of Pittsburgh. Located in Armstrong County, Kittanning and the surrounding areas have plenty of activities for kids. Whether you want to stay inside during the colder months or explore the great outdoors when the weather is nice, you'll find something for kids of all ages without having to travel very far.
Kids will have a blast learning about nature at Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center (armstrongedutrust.org). Just a 5-minute drive from Kittanning in Ford City, the learning center has year-round activities and attractions for kids such as nature walks, fauna and flora identification, interpretative trails, an herb garden and wildlife animal mounts. Sugarcreek Community Park (no website; 349 Morgan Rd, Kittanning; 724-548-8867) is an expansive area where kids can explore nature on walking trails, have fun on the playground or toss around a ball on the open green space. About 27 minutes from Kittanning is Mahoning Creek Lake and Dam (no website; 145 Dam Site Rd., New Bethlehem; 814-257-8811), which has stunning views of the valleys and hills. Here, families can go hiking, picnicking, boating or camping, or take advantage of the fishing areas, playground and walking trails.
Sports and Recreation
No matter what time of year, there’s always something for kids to do at Belmont Complex (co.armstrong.pa.us) in Kittanning. This recreational facility has an indoor ice arena where kids can simply skate, play hockey or take skating lessons. The complex also has an Olympic-sized outdoor pool with a water slide for fun in the summertime. Emerald City Gymnastics (emeraldcitygymnastics.net) is also in Kittanning and features gymnastics and tumbling classes for kids of all ages. The gym uses age-appropriate equipment to teach children skills like coordination, balance and strength. The center has a variety of gymnastic equipment such as high and low bars, balance beams, trampolines, a tumbling track and a foam pit. They also offer week long summer camps for children. Sandra Lynn’s School of Dance (sandralynnsdance.com) is about 25 minutes from Kittanning and a variety of classes, including ballet, tap, jazz, acro, hip hop, modern, pointe and contemporary dance classes, for kids ages 2 to 18. The studio also offers week-long summer camps for kids ages 3 to 8.
Activities in Pittsburgh
Going to Pittsburgh is definitely worth the trip because the city has numerous activities for kids including the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium (pittsburghzoo.org), which houses animals from over 400 species, with 22 of those endangered or threatened species. Here, children can explore a variety of exhibits, such as Kid’s Kingdom where there’s a petting zoo, small mammals and reptiles, and the PPG Aquarium that houses marine life. At Carnegie Science Center (carnegiesciencecenter.org), kids of all ages will enjoy the various exhibits like Roboworld, the largest permanent robot exhibit in the world, Space Place where they can tour a model of the International Space Station and the Rangos Omnimax Theater. The center also has Exploration Station, Jr., which is an area for preschoolers to discover and learn about science. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (carnegiemnh.org) features exhibits documenting various events throughout history. With exhibits like Dinosaurs in Their Time, BugWorks and Bonehunters Quarry, kids of all ages will enjoy learning and exploring through hands-on and interactive exhibits.
Fairs and Festivals
If you’re in the Kittanning area in the summertime, check out one of the festivals in the area. The Dayton Fair (daytonfair.com) is 25 minutes from Kittanning in Dayton and usually runs a week in August. The fair features a variety of rides and games for kids, an area with live animals and daily events such as a demolition derby and concerts. The Fort Armstrong Folk Festival (armstrongfestival.com) in Kittanning is also held in August and runs for four days. This is an arts and crafts festival, but there are also activities for children such as craft booths, horse and buggy rides, a magic show, as well as a variety of food vendors. The Ford City Heritage Days Celebration (fordcityheritagedays.com) is 5 minutes from Kittanning in Ford city and is held over the July 4th weekend. The celebration has children’s activities and rides, as well as a parade, fireworks and a variety of food and craft vendors.
- Armstrong County Tourist Bureau: Lakes
- Sandra Lynn's School of Dance: Schedule
- Armstrong Educational Trust: Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center
- Sugarcreek Township: Parks and Recreation
- Armstrong County Tourist Bureau: Parks
- Belmont Complex: About the Belmont Complex
- Emerald City Gymnastics
- The Dayton Fair
- Fort Armstrong Folk Festival
- Ford City Area Heritage Days
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images