things to do in pittsburgh

11 things to do in Pittsburgh and around the region this weekend, from an evening at the racetrack to free mansion tours

Photo above by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash.

This weekend is a busy one in Kidsburgh, full of things to do in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. It’s the kickoff of the Asian Lantern Festival, time to learn all about kindergarten at the Children’s Museum, and there are so many other fun events happening across the city and metro region. Check out our list when making your weekend plans. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, so you never miss a thing. 

All Month Long: Three for Free Museum Admission

Don’t forget to take advantage of this sweet promotion: Visitors report the museums have been busy but not overly crowded. To celebrate The Warhol, The Heinz History Center, and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh all winning a USA Today 10Best award for best museums, they’ve decided to offer free admission all month long. Pittsburgh was the only city to win three categories. Advanced reservations are recommended but not required. Get all the details here

Friday, Aug. 11: Jeremiah’s Place 5th Annual Block Party, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At this free community event hosted at the Kingsley Association, you’ll find carnival-themed food, games, music, raffles and more. You’ll also be able to meet and learn about all kinds of exciting resources from a range of community agencies (and when you visit their tables, you can pick up tickets to play the games outside).

Friday, Aug. 11: Plant Walks, Allegheny Commons West, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join community herbalist Annie Fox on a slow, one-mile walk to learn how to identify local edible and medicinal plants, review safe and ethical foraging practices, and connect with the plant life of our region. Registration is free.

Friday, Aug. 11: Music on the Lawn at SouthSide Works, 6 p.m.

Come on out to SouthSide Works for three live music events, starting at 6 p.m. There’s room to dance and play. Watch boats on the river, bring your pup to the spacious dog park, and check out the free arcade games at Pins Mechanical Co. It’s a perfect summer family evening. Find the lineup here

Music on the Lawn event photo courtesy of SouthSide Works.

Friday, Aug. 11: Opening of Asian Lantern Festival at Pittsburgh Zoo, 6:30 p.m.

It’s time once again for fantastical lights and design at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The zoo says this will be their best year yet as they celebrate their 125th birthday! The festival runs on select Thursday – Sunday nights through October, and there are walk-through and drive-through options. Find more details here

Friday, Aug. 11: Fab4 Racing Revved Up with Marburger Farm Dairy, 7:30 p.m. 

Friday nights at Lernerville Speedway are a blast. The pits open at 4 p.m., and families can watch some practice laps before the racing begins. Tickets begin at $18. Find details about the race, rain delay policies and more here

Saturday, Aug. 12: Kindergarten… Here I Come! 9 a.m. 

At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, rising kindergarteners can practice boarding a bus, meet a school crossing guard, ask questions about starting school, and bring home school supplies. This event is free for each kindergartener and one adult. Extra family members may attend for $8 each. Please register here before attending. 

Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Saturday, Aug. 12: Vicary Mansion Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Beaver County Historical Research and Landmark Foundation is hosting an open house at the Vicary Mansion, located in Freedom (an easy drive from the city!). Check out historical crafters and meet Penn State Master Gardeners who will explain about the flora and fauna of the area. Tours are also available, and this event is free. Find all the details here

Saturday, Aug. 12: Super Science Saturday: Land of the Giants, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Kids can take a closer look at some of the largest specimens in the museum’s collection, from mammoths to giant geodes. Learn how our planet has supported enormous organisms like T. Rexes and sequoias throughout geologic time. Super Science activities are included with museum admission.

Saturday, Aug. 12: Tree Pittsburgh Presents Telltale Skulls at CLP Hazelwood, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

There is so much to be learned about local mammals by their skulls and teeth, and the folks from Tree Pittsburgh will be at the Hazelwood branch of the Carnegie Library to teach families all about it. Find out more about this free event here

Sunday, Aug. 13: Kids Day at Schenley Plaza

Enjoy Kids Day activities like a balloon artist, crafts, special guests and performers, plus rides on the PNC Carousel. This event is free and geared for kids age 8 and under — with no registration required. 

Planning a last minute summer getaway? Don’t miss our sweet guide to Harrisburg and Hershey. And if you want more things to do in Pittsburgh, we’ve also got a roundup of the best outdoor pools for one last summer splash.