10 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, with robots, race cars and sandcastles

Photo courtesy of OpenStreetsPGH.

Another fun-filled week is on deck for kids in Pittsburgh. Ready, set, go have a blast!

1. Cruise through OpenStreetsPGH

Walk, bike, dance or skate your way through Hazelwood via OpenStreetsPGH from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 25. Take a fitness class, learn about bike safety, create a custom decal and take your turn on an electric bike. You’ll work up an appetite for a refreshing Stickler’s Popsicle and delicious eats from other food trucks. Check out the schedule and route to make the most of 2 miles of open streets without vehicle traffic.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

2. Catch up with the Zoomobile

Pittsburgh Zoo education staff are making the rounds to Carnegie Library neighborhood branches to present Zoomobile: Wonders of Wildlife. The free program uses live animals to explore how fur, feathers and scales help each creature adapt to their individual habitats. Catch up with the Zoomobile at 1 p.m. July 24 at CLP-South Side and 3 p.m. July 31 at CLP-Hazelwood. There are lots more dates through August. No registration is needed for these outdoor events.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Science Center.

3. Meet the newest robots in roboworld

Seven new robots were added to Carnegie Science Center’s roboworld, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit. The “legen-dairy” RoboCow demonstrates the many ways robots help farmers in the field and in the barn. Learn how robots lead tours and answer questions in museum settings with the collection of MoBots. Tom Servo and Crow, a pair of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” robots, are the newest sci-fi robots to be inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. This wise-cracking pair contributed to the popularity of the cult favorite. A visit to roboworld is included in your general admission tickets.

4. Pack a blanket for free movies around town

Dollar Bank Cinema in the Parks and Allegheny County Movies in the Park continue their free family entertainment series. And check out Movies on the Mon at Southside Works.

  • “Toy Story 4” (G) screens on July 22 at Brookline Memorial Park, July 23 at Arsenal Park and July 24 at Grandview Park.
  • “Jurassic Park” (PG-13) roars onto the big screen at Flagstaff Hill on July 28.
  • “Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” (PG-13) brings The Force to Riverview Park on July 24.
  • “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” (PG) begins its week on July 25 at Schenley Plaza, July 26 at Highland Park, July 27 at West End Overlook and July 29 at Brookline Memorial Park.
  • “Madagascar” (PG-13) screens at Hartwood Acres on July 28 and at South Park on July 31, with family activities beginning at 7:30 p.m.
  • “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (PG) takes Mister Rogers to Southside Works.

    Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

5. Name that troll!

Dozens of trolls – big and small – have taken over Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens during The Secret Lives of Trolls summer flower show. A giant troll, who can be found in the pond in the South Conservatory, needs a name. This gentle creature is friendly, kind and loves to greet visitors with a song. Submit your name suggestion and include the reason behind your choice. The winning name will receive a $100 Phipps gift card. Act quickly – submissions will be accepted through Aug. 1. We can’t wait to learn the final moniker!

Photo courtesy of Kennywood Park.

6. Head to Kiddieland and Kidfest

As if Kiddieland weren’t enough fun, Kennywood Park adds extra attractions for its three-day Kidsfest running July 22-24. Little ones will love meeting their favorite superheroes, princesses and puppy pals, perfect for adorable photos! Expect lots of kid-friendly activities, too. Buy tickets here and make a date with Kenny Kangaroo.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

7. Watch the Vintage Grand Prix Race

Satisfy your kid’s need for speed at the Vintage Grand Prix Weekend where full-size versions of favorite Hot Wheels cars will be lined up in all their buffed and polished glory. Bring a basket of goodies and chairs to set up to watch the race. The big race events take place on July 24 and 25 in Schenley Park. Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older, free for ages 12 and younger, and is good for both days. The donations will benefit organizations like the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Merakey Allegheny Valley School. Find details on the schedule, parking and shuttle buses here.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Science Center.

8. Explore river science at H2Oh! Weekend

Explore river science at the H2Oh! River Weekend at Carnegie Science Center on July 24 and 25. Two days of aquatic experiments engage kids in a greater understanding of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. Kids will learn the chemistry of turning river water into clean drinking water. They can make a cloud in a bottle to illustrate the water cycle in nature. And outdoors, they will get competitive in a River BINGO scavenger hunt on the North Shore. It’s all included in your general admission timed tickets.

Image courtesy of South Park Theatre.

9. Pull up a chair for children’s theater

Imagine being a girl no taller than your thumb. She faces so many challenges, from giant-sized butterflies, big birds and enormous mice. But Thumbelina learns that friendship is a big deal, too. Tiny Thumbelina has the starring role in the next production of South Park Theatre’s lineup of kid-focused programming,  running July 26-Aug. 4. Bring chairs or a blanket for lawn seating in front of the outdoor stage. Performances run at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. The $5 admission, free for ages 3 and younger, is sold at the door. Seating is limited to 150 patrons to allow social distancing.

Image courtesy of Viking Books for Young Readers.

10. Build a better sandcastle

Carnegie Museum of Art presents this new, in-person program for kids on the opening day of Extraordinary Ordinary Things in the Ailsa Mellon Decorative Arts and Design galleries. The first installment of Story Saturdays includes reading “How to Code a Sandcastle,” by Josh Funk, at 11 a.m. July 24. Kids learn how creating code with help from a friendly robot leads to the perfect sandcastle structure. An art-making activity, designed for kids 12 and younger, follows the reading. Registration is priced at pay-what-you-wish.