Children's Museum

Mon-Sun 10am–5pm

Makeshop header


MAKESHOP® is a space for children and families to make, play and design using “real stuff”— the same materials, tools, and processes used by professional artists, builders, programmers, and creators of all kinds. It is also a place where physical materials and digital media resources intersect; where visitors are encouraged to be curious, creative, experimental and innovative. A team of skilled makers and educators is always on hand to help visitors translate their visions into tangible objects. Through special programs, you can make alongside visiting indie crafters, hackers and inventors too.

On any given day we offer a variety of ways that you can explore, interweave, and repurpose to create, learn, and try something new. Every day is a little different, but some of the things you may encounter in MAKESHOP® include:

  • Woodworking
  • Circuitry
  • Textile processes like sewing and weaving
  • Stop-Motion Animation   
  • Take Apart with recycled toys, electrical systems and small appliances

Check the web calendar for upcoming events, workshops and special programs. MAKESHOP® Blog is a source for more information, inspiration, photos and experiments.  MAKESHOP® Blog is currently under construction, please check back soon.

We also offer activities suitable to the skills of our younger visitors everyday, such as:                                                          

  • Build-It: a custom-made building system that lets children create large-scale structures using nuts, bolts, hinges, brackets and panels made of various materials.
  • Open-ended play and material exploration areas such as: Clinky Rods, Light Pipes and Magnet Maze.


MAKESHOP® is a partnership among Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE)

MAKESHOP® closes at 4:30 pm daily.

The Art Here

Design Matters

  • The Children's Museum's prototyping process was key to the creation of MAKESHOP®. We had offered many of these activities in the past but in the summer of 2011 we began exploring more open-ended, tinkering-style programs, with greater facilitation, in a dedicated maker space.
  • MAKESHOP® is designed as a real workshop - unpolished, accessible and functional - and was built using wood and metal with exposed fasteners to tell the story of how things are made. 
  • Cardboard, plastic food containers, old clothes, scrap lumber and broken toys all find new purposes and uses in MAKESHOP®. Many of the materials are reused or upcycled, taking on a new and different life with the help of tools and imagination.

Visiting Tips

Use the downloadable file below for tips for before and after your visit to MAKESHOP.