18 things to do in November for Pittsburgh families — many of them free!

Photo above courtesy of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

It’s time to say goodbye to the spooky season and ring in the most wonderful time of the year in Pittsburgh. Between Light Up Night festivities, holiday performances and Phipps’ winter flower show, there’s no shortage of things to do in November in Pittsburgh.

We’ve got a roundup of some of the best ones, including a bunch that are totally free! 

Nov. 2: Buzzword PLAN Family Fun Night

Come out to the SHIM South Hills Family Center for a free night of family fun and literacy with the folks at Buzzword. This free event is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes dinner. To get a clear headcount for serving dinner, registration is strongly encouraged.

Nov. 2: An Evening with “Dork Diaries” Author Rachel Renée Russell

Enjoy a free evening courtesy of the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures series hearing all about the iconic book series straight from the source. This event, which is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., is at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. Find more details here.

Nov. 3-12: “The Miracle Worker,” New Hazlett Theater

Prime Stage Theatre Company opens its season with the Tony Award-winning play about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Best for ages 11 and older. Tickets include pay-what-you-can dates, sensory inclusive, ASL and audio-described dates.

Courtesy of Prime Stage Theatre.

Nov. 4: Family Nature Walk at Powdermill Nature Center

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History will be leading this family nature walk from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended, and folks who show up ahead of time will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Find the details here.

Nov. 4: Song Shop Concert: Violins of Hope, Bitz Opera Factory

Pittsburgh Opera partners with Violins of Hope for a powerful concert. Bring a bag lunch or snack for this lunchtime concert. Registration is free.

Nov. 5: Twilight at Mansfield, Oliver Miller Homestead

The Oliver Miller property will be beautifully lit by candle, lamp, lantern and crescent, offering a rare opportunity to see this historic place in a quaint, traditional evening setting. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of fresh baked goods during this lovely autumn event. Admission is $2.

Nov. 6: “Rossum’s Universal Robots” staged reading

At the New Hazlett Theater, enjoy a dramatic reading of a 1921 play about the “future” of robotics, which we are living in right now. Has science fiction become reality? Discover how the script of “R.U.R.” and the world of robots created by playwright Karel Čapekin in 1921 is coming true today. This show is at 7:30 p.m. and costs $12 for students and $27 for adults. Details can be found here.

Courtesy of Prime Stage Theatre.

Nov. 9: Littlest Animal Friends

Join Animal Friends at 11 a.m. and nurture your child’s love of four-legged friends while engaging in animal-themed activities from story time to singing to artmaking. This event also includes play and exploration time in the Humane Education & Engagement Center, as well as an optional adoption-floor scavenger hunt that will acquaint you with adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits. Registration is required to attend and the cost is $10.

Courtesy of Animal Friends.

Nov. 10-12: Cirque Carnival, Heinz Hall

Troupe Vertigo joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to amaze audiences with physical feats by aerialists, acrobats and strongmen, all choreographed into live works of art in front of and above the Orchestra. Tickets are $25-$105.

Nov. 13: Hope in the South Hills

South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) is hosting this free Violins of Hope Pittsburgh event highlighting the importance of resilience and hope. Students from Bethel Park High School, Mt. Lebanon High School and Upper St. Clair High School will take the stage  at the Upper St. Clair High School Theater to deliver original essays and perform on historic violins and violas that once echoed with the music of Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. This event highlighting perseverance, hope, inclusivity and the importance of a closely-knit and unified community will be hosted by Shannon Perrine of WTAE-TV.

Nov. 14: Kids Eat Free at Family Night Out event Hofbrauhaus

What is more Pittsburgh than German food in the fall? From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Limit is one meal per child. There will also be a balloon artist on hand for more family fun!

Courtesy of Hoffbrauhaus.

Nov. 17: “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Heinz Hall

 Watch a screening of Disney’s holiday classic “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with Grammy-winning composer Danny Elfman’s musical score performed live to the film. Tickets are $35-$110.

Nov. 17: Winter Lights Illumination Night at Westmoreland Museum of American Art

It’s time for an evening of classic winter cheer. This event is free and appropriate for all ages. There will be warm drinks for kids and adults as well as ice carving, gingerbread art, s’mores, and lots more fun. This event begins at 7 p.m.

Nov. 17: Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

This year’s “Season’s Greening” theme highlights the beauty of the season with lush decorations, beautifully arranged poinsettias and eye-catching lights. Timed tickets are required.

holiday things to do in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Nov. 18: Oakmont’s Hometown Christmas

Beginning at 3 p.m. Oakmont will become a winter wonderland. There will be Christmas movies on a big screen, a parade and visits with the big man himself at 5 p.m. Treats will be available from the famous Oakmont Bakery. Find all the details here.

Nov. 18: Highmark Light-Up Night

This classic Pittsburgh event is back this year with everything local families have come to love — food, entertainment, activities, and festive cheer. Check the event website for details

Nov. 19: Giving Thanks on the Frontier, Oliver Miller Homestead

Celebrate bounty and blessings with 18th-century traditional foods and festivities that will be presented as the Millers would have known them. Admission is $2.

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1: The Magical Polar Experience

At the Palace Theatre, this fully interactive experience will take kids on a journey on the Polar Express. There will be a showing of the film, live performances, a visit from Santa and more. Tickets are $29 and info can be found here.

Looking for more updates on family fun? We put out a twice-weekly free newsletter at Kidsburgh that will keep you in the loop. You can also follow us on Instagram.