things to do in Pittsburgh

11 things to do in Pittsburgh this weekend, from free plane flights to fall celebrations and the Chinese Cultural Festival

With the autumnal equinox on Thursday, this weekend is the first official weekend of fall in Pittsburgh. There’s a ton going on for families and kids – including a slew of fall festivals and pumpkin-themed fun. Check out this weekend’s many things to do in Pittsburgh with kids:

Sept. 22-25: Pittsburgh Zoo Asian Lantern Festival, 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

This festival runs every weekend through the end of October (though check the calendar to find out which evenings are drive-through or walk-through events). If you’ve been before, no worries – the lanterns are unique to this season’s display. 

Photo by Sally Quinn.

Friday, Sept. 23: Story Time at Schenley Plaza, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Children and their caregivers are invited to enjoy a story under the Schenley Plaza tent. Bring your children and enjoy a story under the Schenley Plaza tent. Once the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s storytime is completed, the PNC carousel will be available for free rides. RSVP’s in advance are encouraged but not required.

Saturday, Sept. 24: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Kids Day at the Backyard, 12 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Join in the fun by creating your own Llama puppet or Gruffalo wooded scene, and celebrate your strengths through art. Spin the wheel for the chance to win prizes including PNC Broadway tickets, Children’s Theater and Bridge Series tickets, show posters and more family-friendly prizes. Take a selfie with the Gruffalo and get a sneak peek into the 2023 Children’s Theater Festival. You can also play free yard games, and enjoy food from the Coop Chicken and Waffles food truck and mocktails from Pittsburgh Mobile Bars. More info can be found here

Saturday, Sept. 24: Chinese Cultural Festival at Mellon Park, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Join others from around the city for the seventh annual Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival. The event is hosted by the Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Center and is held at Mellon Park in the Shadyside and Point Breeze neighborhoods. This all-day celebration features local Asian food, exhibits and a variety of performances. Best of all – it’s free!

Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25: Evans City’s PumpkinFest (see times below) 

This is the first time the borough of Evans City is hosting PumpkinFest. Head north for live pumpkin carving demonstrations, a kids’ tractor pull, foam parties and horse-drawn carriage rides. With a circus group and various bands providing live entertainment, the event will be hopping on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (While you’re in town with Halloween not far away, don’t miss a chance to stop at the cemetery where Night of the Living Dead was filmed.)  

things to do in Pittsburgh
Evans City is getting ready for PumpkinFest!

Friday, Sept. 23, Moonrise Maker Market, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

At the Moonrise Maker Market, families can browse art and crafts by 30 local artists in Market Square. There will also be activities for kids such as spin art, personalized poetry and more. DJ Mary Mack will be spinning for this event, which is free and happening rain or shine. 

Image courtesy of Handmade Arcade.

Saturday, Sept. 24: Hay Day at Hartwood Acres, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Come to one of Allegheny County’s large county parks for Hay Day, a fall festival at  Hartwood Acres. The family event includes hayrides, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, entertainment and games. This event is free to all attendees. If you can’t make this one, South Park’s Hay Day is the following weekend. 

Image courtesy of Allegheny County Parks.

Saturday, Sept. 24: Junior Great Race, 9:30 a.m.

Kids get race weekend started for the Richard S. Caliguri Great Race weekend. Between the Diaper Dash, Tot Trot, and Family Fun Run, there’s an event for little Pittsburghers of any age. The Dollar Bank Junior Great Race begins at 9:30 am at Point State Park, and pre-registration is required. Cost is $10 per family.  

Saturday, Sept. 24: Young Eagles Day at Washington County Airport, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Do you have a child who dreams of becoming a pilot, or even just wants a chance to head up in a plane? The Experimental Aviation Association seeks to give kids ages 8-17 experience with flight. Participants will experience a pre-flight checklist, a 15-20 minute flight, and the chance to learn from real certified pilots about their careers. Pre-register here.   

things to do in Pittsburgh

Saturday, Sept. 24: Preschool Adventures at the Carnegie Science Center, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

If you have a little one between the ages of 3 and 5, they will love Preschool Adventures: Bubble Science at the Carnegie Science Center. This series of workshops is designed for little scientists to cultivate a love for learning and to teach them basic science concepts. The cost is $14, separate from Science Center admission.

Saturday, Sept. 24: Riverview Park Trail Work Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pittsburgh is home to a plethora of amazing green spaces, and kids can learn how to help take care of them. Join trail stewards and the Friends of Riverview Park the last Saturday morning of each month (May-October) to work on trail projects in Riverview Park. Meet at the Visitors Center in Riverview Park, and if possible pre-register so the rangers know how many families are coming. Tools and gloves are provided for volunteers of all ages, but come dressed to get dirty. 

Looking for more things to do in Pittsburgh? Don’t miss our giant roundup of local fall happenings that will entertain your family through the end of November. It’s still RADical days, too, so check out this list of free events to match every interest.