7 fun (and mostly free!) things to do around Pittsburgh this weekend with kids

Photo above by MI PHAM used by permission via Unsplash.
Saturday, Sept. 18: The Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics! Here in Pittsburgh, we make everything fun — even garbage cleanup. This weekend, gather up a team of kids and grownups to sign up for the Garbage Olympics. It’s a friendly competition to see who can remove the most litter, debris and garbage from our city’s streets between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday. Team captains will report the results to the Clean Pittsburgh Commission for final scores and judging. Learn more and register here to make Pittsburgh cleaner and more beautiful! 

Saturday, Sept. 18: Water Festival at Buffalo Creek Nature Park

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania hosts a family festival at its new Buffalo Creek Nature Park. The Buffalo Creek Water Festival will entertain and educate kids with a menu of activities from fishing to nature crafts and games. Food trucks will be on hand to feed families hungry from all that outdoor exploration and play. Registration is free, but required.

Saturday, Sept. 18: Young Artists in the Garden at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden  
From 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., kids can join art educators at the Weisbrod Learning Pavilion in the Garden of the Five Senses to make a craft, play games, read books or color. The session is free with admission to the Botanic Garden ($7 for kids age 3 and over, $12 for grownups).
Sept. 18-19: Revolutionary War Encampment at Oliver Miller Homestead

In 1772, Oliver Miller, his wife Mary Tidball and their 10 children settled on the property within the wilderness that is now South Park. The living history demonstrations that take place every weekend at the Oliver Miller Homestead give kids an understanding of what life was like for this frontier family. On Sept. 18 and 19, a special Revolutionary War Encampment event will highlight the experiences of the country’s earliest soldiers. Admission is $2 per person.

Reenactors at the Oliver Miller Homestead. Photo used by permission.

Sunday, Sept. 19: Family Day

From June through October, the third Sunday of each month is Family Day at Allegheny Commons Park. Visit the park between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. for free activities for the whole family, including craft activities and visits from balloon artists, performers and other special guests. No registration required — just drop by!

Hello Neighbor’s Home Sweet Home event happens on Sunday, Sept. 19.

Sunday, Sept. 19: Hello Neighbor’s Home Sweet Home 

The whole Pittsburgh community is invited to help celebrate and support our refugee and immigrant neighbors at the third annual Home Sweet Home fundraiser, happening at The Priory Grand Hall from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. This family-friendly event will feature cultural sweets provided by refugee women working with Hello Neighbor’s mentorship program. There will also be live music and live mural painting. Each woman is being paid a living wage and will receive a portion of proceeds from the event. Local restaurants and bakeries will also be serving desserts and Pittsburgh favorites. The best part? 100% of funds raised will support work with – and for – our newest neighbors here in Pittsburgh. Order tickets here (you are welcome to pay what you can, or pay a donation of $40 per adult and $10 per child) for this afternoon of delicious food and cultural connection.

And a bit further out of town…

Sept. 18-19, EQT Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival

What’s more fall than perusing handmade arts and crafts amidst the backdrop of a charming covered bridge? The 50th annual Covered Bridge Festival features vendors spanning 10 different locations in Washington and Greene counties. “All 10 sites are pleased to bring this cherished event back to the area as the unofficial kick-off to the fall festival season,” Dana Bucci with Visit Washington County told NEXTpittsburgh. Offerings include seasonal decor, jewelry, an array of artwork and unique gifts. And don’t worry about cooking that weekend — we’re told you’ll find more homestyle food than you could shake a chicken on a stick at. Admission and parking are free. Most sites are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here for more arts festivals happening around our region this fall!