family-friendly events in Pittsburgh

5 family-friendly events in Pittsburgh this weekend, from bird counting and First Night to noontime fun at the Children’s Museum

As we celebrate the end of 2021 and kick off the new year this weekend, there are plenty of family-friendly events happening in Pittsburgh. Check out these options:

Friday, Dec. 31: Countdown to Noon at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
No need to wait until midnight — celebrate New Year’s Eve at this bedtime-friendly event with activities for the whole family. Create glowing light objects in the MAKESHOP, see performances by Lee Robinson & Band and Confluence Ballet, and create a wish for 2022 on a disappearing water-painting wall. Buy tickets here.

family-friendly events in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Friday, Dec. 31: Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.-12 a.m.
For the first time, the region’s largest arts-focused New Year’s Eve celebration is completely free. Spanning the 14-block Cultural District, the six-hour event will take place on four stages plus multiple art galleries and performance spaces. Get all the details here in Kidsburgh’s First Night Guide.

family-friendly events in Pittsburgh
Map for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022 courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Friday, Dec. 31: Highmark Holiday Pops Online Concert, 8 p.m.
Stay indoors and cozy for New Year’s Eve by pulling up a front-row seat at home for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s celebration of carols, classic songs and singalongs. Conducted by Byron Stripling, the virtual concert features vocalist Vanessa Campagna. Watch for free here.

Saturday, Jan. 1: Bird Count at Latodami Nature Center, 8-11 a.m.
Thousands of volunteers will be out counting birds this weekend across North America, and you can help right here in North Park. The 122st annual Christmas Bird Count is a valuable bird census that documents our continent’s bird species. Register for free here.

Saturday, Jan. 1: First Day Hike, Point State Park and area state parks, various times
Start the New Year off right with an invigorating fresh air hike through one of our local state parks. The closest one is Point State Park, where park staff will lead an easy hike from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. along the paved trail and offer insights into the park’s history. Other First Day Hikes include a more vigorous 3-mile outing at Raccoon State Park (10 a.m.-noon) and a leisurely 2-mile hike along the lake at Laurel Hill State Park (2 p.m.-3 p.m.). Moraine State Park offers choices, too: At the Sunken Garden Trail (1 p.m.-3 p.m.), pick the 2-mile or 3-mile loop. The 2-mile Pleasant Valley Trail (1 p.m.-3 p.m.) can be extended by adding the 3-mile Hilltop Trail. Registration for all the First Day Hikes is free but required. Follow the individual links above to register.

Want more things to do this weekend in Pittsburgh? Check out our guide to fun things happening throughout January. And don’t miss our guide to First Night!