16 January events in Pittsburgh that your family won’t want to miss

Above photo courtesy of Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

Kick off the new year right with a slate of fun family activities, including many that are free or low cost to families. Our January events guide is full of indoor and outdoor fun for Pittsburghers of all ages.

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Here’s what’s on tap around the Pittsburgh region this month:

Wednesdays in January

At Public Lands in Cranberry Township, kids can check out the climbing wall weekly all month long. These climbing sessions are 90 minutes long and cost $15, with guided instruction provided. Participants must be between 6 and 17 years old. Register here.

Saturdays and Sundays in January

It’s that time of year again where the penguins at Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium parade around each Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The parade happens when the weather conditions are just right (typically between 25 and 45 degrees, but check the zoo website before venturing out). Penguins on Parade runs every weekend through January and February.

family-friendly events in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.

Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Storkbites New Mom Support Group

Have a new baby under age 1? This group, led by a labor and delivery nurse, is a great place to meet other local parents. Read more about it right here. Storkbites meets on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Mt. Lebanon. Meetings are free, and while groups run in six-week sessions, moms are welcome to join in mid-session. Find the details on the Kidsburgh calendar. While the current session begins Jan. 2, participants are welcome to join at any time. Please email Edi at storkbitespa@gmail.com with any questions.

Jan. 6: PiratesFest

It’s time to get hyped up for the 2024 Pirates baseball season (Andrew McCutchen has signed on once again!). Guests at this event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center will get to meet Pirates’ players, get autographs, play games, and shop at a pop-up store. This event is free, but registration is suggested.

Jan. 7: Pittsburgh Reptile Show

Have a scaly, cold-blooded pet at home, or just some kids who are curious about them? This reptile show, hosted by ReptiRoots, will have animals for sale, demonstrations and learning experiences for visitors of all ages. The cost is $6, and kids under 4 are free. Find more info here.

Courtesy of ReptiRoots.

Jan. 9: Sensory-friendly afternoon at the Children’s Museum

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., guests will experience adjusted lighting and sounds throughout the museum. There will also be fidgets, ear coverings and other adaptive tools available. This event is part of regular museum admission. Find out more here.

Jan. 9: Incubator Productions Presents: Turn Your Think Into Ink! – Cartooning Basics at CLP

This event, which is designed for teens, will teach the basics of storytelling and creating cartoons. This event is free and will be held at the Woods Run branch of the Carnegie Library at 5:30 p.m. Find more details here.

Jan. 11: Littlest Animal Friends

Caregivers and your little ones, visit Animal Friends for an experience where you can nurture your child’s love of four-legged friends while engaging in animal-themed activities from story time to singing to artmaking. Also included are play and exploration time in the Humane Education & Engagement Center, as well as an optional adoption-floor scavenger hunt to acquaint you with adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits. The event is free, but registration is required to attend.

Jan. 13: Attack Theatre Dance Company at CLP

This art education program connects with students through the power of creative play.  Each program focuses on using dance and movement to hone other skills such as critical thinking, communication, and creativity. This event, which is at 2 p.m. at the Beechview location, is free and open to kids of all ages. Find out more here.

Jan. 13: Mad Science Presents Brixology: Bridges at CLP

Mad Science is back at the Carnegie Library again, this month at the West End location from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Come learn all about the science behind something Pittsburgh has a lot of… bridges! Find more details here.

Jan. 13 and Jan. 14: Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center

Got a train-loving kid (or are you a train-loving adult?) For just this weekend, many different model trains will be set up in the lobby of the Science Center, showcasing the art of model railroading in the region. This event is included with general admission. Find the details here.

Photo by Sally Quinn.

Jan. 15: “Justice in Action” at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Each year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the KST honors his legacy with activities, education, and performances. This event is “pay what moves you,” even if that is only $2. Register and find out all the details here.

Jan. 15: Hazelwood MLK Day Brunch

This event will feature delicious food from Nicky P’s cafe, plus various activities and speakers who will share about the life and legacy of Dr. King, and musical performances. Find the details here, and be sure to register! This event is free.

Jan. 17: Powdermill Nature Reserve After-School Story Stroll

Explore Powdermill on a family story stroll! Join their educators and naturalists on a guided walk through the forest trails as they read and discover fun nature stories. Look for pages along the way and enjoy hands-on activities as the story unfolds. (This monthly event will feature a different book each month as the seasons change.) Registration is recommended.

January 19-28: “Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” at the New Hazlett Theater

Prime Stage is back with another family-friendly show this month, which will tell the brave story of Rosa Parks and the bus boycott that was pivotal to the civil rights movement. There are sensory-friendly performances, audio described performances and ASL-interpreted performances. Find info on the various shows here.

Courtesy of Prime Stage.

January 21: Mini Pop Kids Live presents The Good Vibes Tour at The Oaks Theater

This pop concert is performed for kids by kids. This lively and upbeat concert features songs by Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Olivia Rodrigo, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and even some throwbacks for the parents. Tickets begin at $29 and can be purchased here.

Have a family-friendly local event that you want to share? Submit it to our calendar here!