10 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from a dinosaur drive-thru to a Big Day Aht
Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.
There are lots of big things happening this week, from annual favorites to brand-new events. Check out these 10 picks for exciting things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh. Ready, set, go have fun!
1. Hey, yinz guys, git aht-side!
Venture Outdoors celebrates its 20th anniversary with a Pittsburgh accent. Big Day Aht packs a full array of fresh-air programming into a single day on June 5. The 30-plus activities include many that are geared to kids of all ages and abilities. Sign up for a Tyke Hike, a geocaching experience or a Survival Skills Workshop. Bring your pup along for a Doggie Adventure Hike or take an intro class in camping. Many activities are free, but all require registration.
2. Experience Carnegie Museum’s Inside Out
Carnegie Museum of Art moves its cultural encounters outside this summer with a new series set in the Sculpture Courtyard. Inside Out plans a full schedule of pop-up performances, DJs, art activities and kid-friendly eats, plus food trucks and beverages. Check out the lineup here. Inside Out launches on June 5 and operates from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 4. Admission is free, but capacity is limited to first-come, first-served. Plan to spend time in the museum, too? Reserve timed tickets here.
3. Follow the adventures of a firefighter dog (at home)
The June 9th edition of Hop into History at the Heinz History Center features a Pittsburgh Puppy Tale. The virtual series for little ones from ages 3-5 gives kids a playful insight into Pittsburgh history. In this session, kids will hear about Dog Jack, a brave pup that was a member of a firefighter unit before he joined the Union Army during the Civil War. Registration is free.
4. Refill your Pittsburgh Parks Prescription
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Pittsburgh Rx Service and Toolkits will help kids explore our city parks in new ways. Head to the website to begin the adventure. Click on one of the neighborhood parks to find a printable activity sheet that’s specifically designed for that individual park. We love browsing through them all to find parks we’ve never visited before. The website includes suggestions for exercise and inventive ways to play in all the parks. Seasonal activity sheets guide families to things to do throughout the year. You’ll find a link to the conservancy’s events calendar, too.
5. Zip through town on a Segway
You know you want to try it! And what a fun way to hang with your teen. Segway Pittsburgh offers tours for kids from age 14 to their grownups. The 2-hour Downtown Pittsburgh Tour covers 5 miles, crossing the Andy Warhol Bridge to North Side sights and across the Smithfield Street Bridge to the South Side, as well as circling the fountain at Point State Park. Along the way, guides point out details and offer a fun narrative through a headset. Make reservations here for the tour, priced at $59.
6. Enjoy movies under the stars
Following Allegheny County’s spring drive-in season, the free Movies in the Parks summer series invites families to leave their cars and lounge on blankets or chairs for an open-air cinema experience. The weekly fun begins at 7:30 p.m. June 2 (Hartwood Acres) or June 5 (South Park) with kid-friendly activities before the sunset screening. “Dolittle” launches the season, followed by “Scoob!” Grownups will enjoy sharing some of their nostalgic favorites, like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Check out the complete lineup here.
7. Be the artist at Three Rivers Arts Festival
We’re excited about the return of a more traditional, in-person Three Rivers Arts Festival, running June 4-13. Grownups love the live music, artist market and all that fragrantly tempting festival food. But kids want more to stay engaged. Creative Activities is just the ticket! The Giant Eagle Activity Zone hosts cultural groups that have organized all sorts of hands-on and interactive endeavors. Explore movement with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, make a take-home box instrument with Unisound or mold seed bombs with Union Project. Find storytelling that engages kids through dance, music and dramatic play at EQT Plaza. And stop by Katz Plaza for a group painting session. Not ready to join the crowds? The schedule includes virtual activities, too.
8. Drive through a herd of dinosaurs
Your dinosaur-crazed kids will love Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru when it makes a Pittsburgh stop during its national tour. More than 70 animatronic dinosaurs will make their home at The Pavilion at Star Lake from June 4-13. Along with a fierce T. Rex, the sail-back Spinosaurus and an intimidating Triceratops, adorable baby dinosaurs will offer a smiling welcome. Through the hour-long tour, an audio guide will offer informative background on the creatures. Dino wranglers will stop by your car for more personal interaction. Boost your kids’ anticipation by downloading free Jurassic Quest activities like a coloring book, word search and foldable projects. Ticket prices range from $39-$80 per car, depending on the date and vehicle size.
9. Take a kiddie cruise
The Gateway Clipper Fleet’s kid-themed cruises return on June 6 with a Princess Cruise. Popular royal heroines will be on hand to greet little princesses and lead them in fun activities like a DJ dance party. Action fans will prefer the interactive Superhero Cruise that launches June 13. The youngest set heads to the Trolls & Pup Patrol Cruise, the most popular kids cruise, planned for July 11. Find all the details for your river adventure here.
10. Take a part in the BioBlitz
Explore the biodiversity of Schenley Park with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ annual BioBlitz Family Fun Festival on June 6. Choose from more than a dozen free activities led by scientists and naturalists. The lineup includes walks that focus on subjects like spiders, fungi and snails. Or kids can try their hand at botanical drawing, learn about birding or enjoy a yoga stretch. Registration is free but required for each activity.
Making summer plans for your kids? Be sure to check out 30 Pittsburgh summer camps for a super 2021 season.