January family events in Pittsburgh

18 January family events in Pittsburgh you won’t want to miss

Photo above by Michal Janek via Unsplash.

Kick off the new year with Kidsburgh and all the great January family events in Pittsburgh that we’ve found for you.

It’s no secret to locals that this city is pretty consistently jam-packed with affordable family fun, and January 2023 is no exception. There’s a robust round of theater shows this month as well as some creative library programs that appeal to all ages. And of course, it’s time for the penguins to parade at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium as temperatures drop. 

Jan. 1- 8: Free Admission to the Heinz History Center 

Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of free admission for kids 17 and under to the History Center, Fort Pitt Museum and Meadowcroft Rock Shelter. Find all the details here — and remember, if you miss this free admission window, they also participate in Museums for All.

Photo courtesy of the National Aviary

Jan. 4: Early Childhood Mornings at the National Aviary

Little learners will enjoy engaging mornings with art activities, sensory play and books to read. Free with general admission to the National Aviary — get the scoop here

Jan. 4, 11, 18, and 25: Seedlings: Winter Wonderland at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Kids ages 3-6 will examine different outdoor nature themes every week with a youth educator. Registration is $15. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden has all the details here

January 5-8: “Cirque du Soleil: Corteo at PPG Paints Arena

Cirque du Soleil brings its trademark magic with elaborate acrobatics and humor. This time, they’re telling the story of Corteo as acrobats twirl through the heavens. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased through PPG Paints Arena.

Jan. 7-8 (and all Saturdays-Sundays through Jan. 29): Penguins on Parade at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium

Crowds gather on Saturdays and Sundays to watch the penguins waddle in their personal tuxedo style. Check ahead for weather conditions to prevent disappointment. Free with zoo admission

January 7-8: Great Train Show at the Monroeville Convention Center

More than 80 exhibitors from across the country will operate model train displays and offer workshops and demonstrations. Admission is free for ages 11 and younger, $12 for grownups on Saturday (which includes Sunday admission), and $11 for grownups on Sunday. Purchase tickets here

Photo courtesy of Assemble.

Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28: Saturday Crafternoons with Assemble Pittsburgh

This weekly drop-in STEAM program is for kids ages 5-11 years old. Kids will learn to create, imagine, and dream with the staff at Assemble. Find out about the great things they have going on here

Jan. 8: Abbott & Costello Double Feature at the Harris Theater

 The second-annual Januscary Film Festival offers a family-friendly, double-feature screening of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.” Be a hero and treat your kids to old-school comedy. Kids ages 12 and younger are free! Check out the Harris Theater’s website for more info

Jan. 10: Allegheny Land Trust Presents “Lollipop Lab,” Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Allegheny

Kids in grades 3-6th can become “flavorologists” as they learn about how to mix and make all their favorite creations. They will even learn about the critical ways that plants are involved in creating candy. More info here.

Photo courtesy of the National Aviary.

Jan. 11: Sensory-Friendly Morning at the National Aviary

Activities include touchable biofacts like eggs and feathers, plus interactive play spaces. The live immersive bird show uses consistent lighting and volume levels, setting the stage for an engaging experience for all guests. Guests can borrow Sensory Bags from Kulture City with helpful items like headphones and fidget toys. More info can be found here

Jan. 12-15: Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center

It’s a weekend designed for engineers of all ages. Along with other activities and railroad exhibits, the Locomotion Weekend includes “Rocky Mountain Express” screenings in The Rangos Giant Cinema. Activities are free with general admission. The film admission is $7. 

Jan. 13-16: “Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer” at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center

This performance tells the life story of civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer whose activism was infused with spirituals, protest songs and conviction. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here

Jan. 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4: Teen Job Shadow at the National Aviary

Teens ages 14-18 with a passion for working with animals go behind the scenes on four Saturdays with National Aviary experts learning about animal care and conservation. Registration is $299 for this series of four educational sessions.

Jan. 14: “Llama, Llama – Live!” at the Byham Theater

It’s that time of year when the city kicks off its fabulous children’s theater program (See the whole lineup of shows and get details here.). This year, the series opens with this storybook favorite, brought to life on stage. Tickets are $12 and more information can be found here

Jan. 21: Health and Wellness with Sesame Street and WQED at Bayne Library

Join the staff at Andrew Bayne Memorial Library in Bellevue as well as WQED health and wellness educators to learn about fruits and veggies with hands-on experience — including preparing a recipe together! This event is free and open to all ages, but probably best for ages 2-6. Note: No Sesame Street characters in costume are appearing. Get more details here

Jan.21-22: “Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure” at the Benedum Center

 The Paw Patrol pups are back to save the day, but this time they are live on stage. Little ones will love playing along with their antics and possibly even saving the day!  Tickets start at $42.25 and can be found here

Jan. 20-29: “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad” at The New Hazlett Theater

Discover the courageous journey and heartwarming adventures of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, as she freed herself and others from the world of slavery at The New Hazlett Theater. She is best known as “The American Moses.” Filled with spiritual songs, this show will help children and adults experience Tubman’s determination and charity.

Jan. 21:  Hip-Hop Music Camp at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center

The first session of this four-session camp covers the history and evolution of hip-hop and lyrical content, plus the connection between August Wilson and hip-hop music. Camp concludes with a live performance. Registration is $15 per session, more info can be found here

Are you signed up for the Kidsburgh newsletter? It’s the best way in the new year to make sure your family knows what’s going on around the city. If you haven’t visited the Carnegie Science Center’s newest exhibit on Mars, it’s a great cold-day activity. In fact, we have a big guide to indoor play places for when Pittsburgh winter is in full force. 

If you’re looking for more January family events in Pittsburgh, don’t miss our big guide to events happening all winter long