10 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from Steelers history to an urban forest hike
Hey, let’s have fun! Kids (and their grownups) are ready to take a mental break from distance learning and Google Classroom. It’s time to revitalize your competitive spirit and enjoy a little silliness and fresh air. These things to do with kids in Pittsburgh will get you started on the best playtimes.
1. Dive into history – for free (in person)
Kids get free admission at the Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum throughout November. Catch up on Pittsburgh’s athletic history at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Revisit the cozy sentiment of familiar faces in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Find windows into homes of Pittsburgh past. Or explore the origins of our city at Point State Park. Reserve your timed tickets in advance here or at the door.
2. Solve a musical mystery (in person)
Tales and Treats Children’s Theater, a student-run program of the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory at PMT, presents “Mystery on Main Street” under the canopy at Pittsburgh Musical Theater in the West End. The 20-minute musical mystery will be performed on Saturdays, Nov. 7 and 14. The outdoor festivities, recommended for ages 4-11, begin with a pre-show tea party. Admission for kids is free, $5 for ages 16 and older. Registration is required for all.
3. Decorate a holiday mask (at home)
Prime Stage Theatre invites creative kids (and grownups) to compete in its Mask Your Aid Fundraiser. Design and submit original holiday-themed masks by Wednesday, Nov. 11. Submissions will be judged according to age, with winners announced on Nov. 15. Those with winning masks will receive their design on a cloth mask, plus complimentary links to performances of Prime Stage productions of “One Christmas Carol” in December and “Sojourner’s Truth” in February. Entry fee is $10. Register here.
4. Explore Pittsburgh’s largest urban forest (in person)
Dress for adventure with this hike through part of the 600-acre Hays Woods Park on Saturday, Nov. 7. Expect to scramble along deer runs, hike up and down hills and check out hidden trails. Pack a lunch to enjoy on a spot overlooking the Monongahela River. This excursion works for ages 6 and older. Participation is priced at $5 for kids, $8 for their grownups or $20 for a family. The property is owned by the URA, which requires a release to be signed in advance. Register here.
5. Move it, move it! (at home)
Let’s Move Pittsburgh at Phipps Conservatory programs fun ways for little kids to move it, move it! The Playful Pop-up Series schedules virtual gatherings with a nod to nature on Wednesdays, Nov. 4, 11 and 18. Sessions like flying friends, ocean staycation and animal adventures promise to engage preschoolers in physical and educational ways. Playful Pop-ups are $15, but you can also download and print free Pop-Up Card activities to do with kids on your own.
6. Go on a high-tech scavenger hunt (in person)
Venture Outdoors’ Black and Gold Geocaching on Sunday, Nov. 8, will give you a chance to explore the North Shore while learning fun facts about Pittsburgh. Your family will work as a group with a handheld GPS unit, included as a rental in the registration fee of $12. At the end of the hunt, participants will receive black-and-gold swag. This geocaching event is best for families with kids ages 6 and older. No need to call the Geek Squad: Prior geocache experience is not needed.
7. Make art from the Factory (at home)
The Mattress Factory artists invite kids to join them with curbside pick-up art kits for a stimulating after-school activity. Pick up the free kits after 11 a.m. every Wednesday. Separate age-appropriate kits are available for ages 3-12 and 13-18. The kits include all the supplies and instructions needed to inspire young artists. It’s a fun way to bring contemporary installation art into your home.
8. Immerse yourself in fairy tales (at home)
Little Lake Theatre’s virtual production of “Family Fairy Tales” makes its debut on Friday, Nov. 6. Register to get the link and your family can view the performance anytime throughout the weekend. The play involves a happy prince, a giant’s garden and a rocket that comes to life. Little Lake’s talented apprentices created “Family Fairy Tales” with the mission of entertaining the whole family. The suggested donation is $20 per family.
9. Engineer a bridge (at home)
Kids in first to third grade will be challenged in Assemble’s Building Bridges Day Camp on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Kids will explore bridge designs from around the world, then engineer a suspension bridge with recycled materials. Pick up the Building Bridges kit, included in registration, on Friday, Nov. 6. Free for Garfield kids, $10 for all others. Sign up here.
10. Take your family on a field trip (at home)
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents a virtual field trip that’s free to schools and people of all ages. The Black Violin: Impossible Tour has performed for more than 100,000 kids in the U.S. and Europe. Classically trained musicians Wil B on viola and Kev Marcus on violin are joined by DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes. Together, they blend classical music with hip-hop. For the complete experience, download a study guide, a Q&A with the musicians and a 45-minute performance that your family can enjoy on your own schedule. No school bus required for this field trip!