History Center and Fort Pitt Museum to Offer Free Admission for Kids this Holiday Season

Check out the recent release from our partners at the Heinz History Center – we’re pleased to partner with them to provide free admission to kids under the age of 17 from now until the end of December.

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 15, 2021 – This holiday season, the “Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh” is offering FREE admission for kids (age 17 and under) now through Dec. 31 at the Senator John Heinz History Center, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, and Fort Pitt Museum, thanks to the support of community partner Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

“Thanks to the generosity of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the holidays will be a bit merrier as families with children enjoy exhibitions and programs at the History Center, Sports Museum, and Fort Pitt Museum,” said Andy Masich, History Center president and CEO. “Our family of museums inspire lifelong learning and provide a safe, fun, and educational experience for kids and adults alike.”

“We are proud to support the Heinz History Center and help remove barriers for the Pittsburgh community to learn more about our region’s rich history,” said Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III, chairman of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services and chair of the History Center’s board of trustees. “We hope to help families enjoy the holiday season and make memories they will cherish for years to come.”

A Very Merry Pittsburgh exhibition

Beginning this Saturday, Nov. 20, visitors to the History Center can relive childhood memories and explore holiday traditions in Western Pa. as part of A Very Merry Pittsburgh, a new holly jolly exhibition at the History Center.

The exhibit features a special section with family keepsakes, artifacts, film, and imagery that explore how Western Pennsylvanians have celebrated major winter holidays, including Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa, through the years. 

A Very Merry Pittsburgh will transport visitors back to the bustling holiday season in Downtown Pittsburgh with decorations and artifacts from popular department stores like Kaufmann’s & Macy’s, Horne’s, and Gimbels.

Highlights include:

  • Memorable objects from Kaufmann’s Santaland, including Santa’s original chair and giant Mr. and Mrs. Claus ornaments;
  • The mailbox where thousands of Pittsburgh children mailed their Christmas wish lists to the North Pole;
  • An interactive play area with retro toys like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Mr. Potato Head, and more; and
  • Festive holiday décor and music.

The exhibit is on view at the History Center through Jan. 17, 2022.

Saturdays with Santa

Join us on select Saturdays this holiday season to take socially distanced photos with Santa Claus inside the A Very Merry Pittsburgh exhibition. Old Saint Nick will appear from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18 (and on Friday, Nov. 26). Santa visits are included with regular museum admission, and visitors can take photos with their own camera or smartphone. Masks are required at all times for all visitors (age 2 and above) while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Holiday Shopping for Uniquely Pittsburgh Gifts

The Heinz History Center Museum Shop is a one-stop shop for uniquely Pittsburgh gifts. From “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to Heinz ketchup, the Museum Shop’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide offers hundreds of one-of-a-kind gifts for the Pittsburgh fans on visitors’ shopping lists.

Shop online at shop.heinzhistorycenter.org or visit 1212 Smallman Street in the Strip District daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No museum admission is required to visit the Museum Shop.

Purchases at the History Center Museum Shop directly support the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

The History Center and Fort Pitt Museum are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the door.

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District. The History Center’s museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa. in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.

Kids Free is supported by:

Kids ages 17 and under receive free admission to the Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum through Dec. 31, supported by Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.  

Visitors to the Heinz History Center can take a socially distanced photo with Santa on Saturdays beginning on Nov. 20 through Dec. 18 (and on Friday, Nov. 26) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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