10 can’t-miss February events for kids in Pittsburgh
Set your sights on a fabulous February with our jam-packed guide to kid-focused events. Dinosaurs, circus magic and a special “Star Wars” performance are part of the lineup. The forecast ahead calls for high spirits with a 98 percent chance of joy.
As always, do be sure to pack your masks and visit each organization’s website and social media to stay updated about COVID safety protocols and guidelines.
1. Feb. 6: Avi, Words & Pictures (virtual)
Kids will get a fresh perspective on the Revolutionary War with Avi’s new novel, “Loyalty.” A young British Loyalist flees to Boston with his family after his father is killed by rebel vigilantes. Wanting to avenge his father, he becomes a spy for the British. But after witnessing hypocrisy and contradictory information, he struggles to determine where he should place his loyalty. Avi, a Newberry Medalist and author of more than 70 books, is the latest to be virtually presented by the Words & Pictures series from Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures. Tickets are free and the event can be viewed throughout the week.
2. Feb. 9: Hop into History: Jazz it Up, Heinz History Center
Early learners ages 2-5 and their adults explore the city’s local history during the Heinz History Center’s Hop into History series. This month, the spotlight points to Pittsburgh’s contributions to jazz through the story of legendary singer Dakota Staton. Instruments will be on hand for kids to play along to Staton’s songs and compose jazzy tunes of their own. The $20 registration covers two kids and two adults, and it allows daylong admission to the History Center.
3. Feb. 11-13: Jurassic Quest, David L. Lawrence Convention Center
On Jurassic Quest’s visit to Pittsburgh in June, families drove through an outdoor dinosaur exhibit. Now your dino-crazed kids can walk alongside more than 100 life-size animatronic dinosaurs inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This exciting event includes interactive science activities, themed rides and dinosaur shows. Timed tickets, sold in advance, are $22, with unlimited entry tickets priced at $36.
4. Feb. 12: Super Science Saturday: We Love Nature, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Forget Valentine’s Day. Carnegie Museum of Natural History welcomes families to celebrate Palentine’s Day. The fun is part of this month’s Super Science Saturday event, which explores the connections between creatures that help each other as pals of sorts. Consider the birds that clean the teeth of crocodiles and the ants that care for aphids. Activities are free with museum general admission. No registration is required, but advance tickets are suggested.
5. Feb. 12-13: Cirque Mechanics in Birdhouse Factory, Byham Theater
Cirque Mechanics cites inspiration from the style of Diego Rivera, the fascinating intricacy of Rube Goldberg creations and Charlie Chaplin’s slapstick humor. With that crazy mix of influences, the company’s Birdhouse Factory tour brings a stylized comedic circus performance with surprising effects: A contortionist performs atop a turntable that’s powered by unicyclists and a trapeze artist is controlled by an acrobat inside a giant gear. The EQT Bridge Theater Series show is recommended for ages 6 and older. Tickets are $12.
6. Feb. 12 and 26: Hip Hop Camp: Go DJ Sessions, August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Under the guidance of educator Lex Gonzales, kids ages 10-18 will learn DJ basics using Serato DJ software. The two sessions will cover skills like beat matching, mixing, sampling and creating song collection “crates.” Both sessions will be presented on Zoom, followed by a virtual concert on March 5. Registration is free and includes a swag bag. Don’t delay: Class size is limited.
7. Feb. 19-20: “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (The Musical),” Byham Theater. From Feb. 1: The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. And
Such perfect timing! The star of Mo Willems’ beloved “Pigeon” picture book series charms fans in two fun-filled ways this month. The Children’s Museum’s traveling exhibition, The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh, created in collaboration with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, returns home Feb. 1 with all the interactive whimsy and humor we love. Pigeon also stars alongside Elephant and Piggie in the comical musical version of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” on Feb. 19 and 20 at the Byham Theater. The stage show incorporates actors, puppets and songs. Tickets are $12. Best for giggly kids ages 3 and older.
8. Feb. 26: Story Saturdays: “With My Hands,” Carnegie Museum of Art
The February episode of Story Saturdays at Carnegie Museum of Art delves into “With My Hands: Poems About Making Things,” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Kids ages 12 and younger will enjoy a reading from a collection of relatable maker poems, followed by a hands-on creative activity inspired by the book. Registration is free with general admission.
9. Feb. 26-27: Flamingo Fest, National Aviary
The National Aviary shines a spotlight on its pretty-in-pink flock with the two-day Flamingo Fest. The schedule is packed with activities designed to teach families about these beautiful birds. Kids can visit the Wetlands habitat for a flamingo talk and learn about the adaptations of its specialized bills and spindly legs. Expect an entertaining storytime, plus a take-home craft kit. Flamingo Fest activities are free with general admission. Buy advance tickets online to prevent disappointment.
10. Feb. 25-26: “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” in Concert, Heinz Hall
Listen to the live John Williams musical score performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra while watching “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” Fans will revel in watching the epic film in a whole new way. And the experience gives kids a terrific introduction to symphonic power in storytelling and filmmaking. Relive the excitement with tickets that start at $25.
Bonus events for kids in Pittsburgh:
Through Feb. 3: “My Brother Chases Dinosaurs,” Pittsburgh EU Film Festival (virtual screening)
Through Feb. 27: Penguins on Parade, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Feb. 5: “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Byham Theater
Feb. 5: Junior Ranger: Storytime with the Park Rangers, South Park
Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26: Saturday Crafternoons, Assemble Pittsburgh
Feb. 9 and 26: Preschool Adventures, Carnegie Science
Feb. 12-13: Mural Mashup Weekend, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Feb. 15: “Blippi the Musical,” Byham Theater
Feb. 19-20: Ceramics Exploration Weekend, Museum Lab