8 free family events in Pittsburgh this weekend, from guided hikes to a brilliant block party
This is the weekend to get out and about with your family. There are so many free family events in Pittsburgh, beginning on Friday night and running well into Sunday. Check out this lineup:
Friday, April 20: Parks Conservancy Plant Walk at Riverview Park, 6 p.m.-7:30
It’s still Earth Month for a few more days! On this free guided walk, families will learn how to identify local edible and medicinal plants, review safe and ethical foraging practices, and connect with the plant life of our region. You’re welcome to bring a notebook and water bottle (both optional) to this easy hike for Pittsburghers of all ages! Hike is just 1/2 to 1 mile, done at a slow pace on varying grades. Details here.
Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30: Hiking and Nature Challenge at various Allegheny County Parks, various times
Nature lovers ages 10 and older can take part in the Latodami City Nature Challenge in North Park on April 29 and April 30. Participants need a smartphone to download the free iNaturalist app. You’ll join a park naturalist on a hike and make nature observations as you go. You can also Hit the Trail with Park Rangers at White Oak Park for a guided hike on April 30. All of these sessions are free, but registration is required.
Saturday, April 30: Kids Marathon and Pittsburgh 5K Run, beginning at 8 a.m.
Whether you’re running or just cheering on runners, the marathon is one of the very best free family events in Pittsburgh. Kick off the weekend of races with the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run, where 3.1 miles of city streets await you, and you’ll get to cross the official DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend finish line in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. Details on the 5K here. And don’t miss the Sheetz Toddler Trot and the Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh Kids Marathon, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The one-mile Kids Marathon and the Toddler Trot are great ways for kids and their families to participate in the Marathon weekend fun. Just be sure to sign up by the deadline: Registration for Saturday events closes at 8 p.m. on Friday night.
Saturday, April 30: Youth Climate Action Summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Youth climate activists are enacting change all around the globe. Locally, teens ages 13-18 will gather at this summit hosted by Communitopia. Attendees will learn the basics of climate science and organizing from other youth via engaging speakers and collaborative conservations. Exploring the intersection of social justice and climate change, the summit includes a keynote talk by Mayor Ed Gainey, interactive breakout sessions, a guided action plan, networking and free lunch. Read our story here and register here for free.
Saturday, April 30: Handmade Arcade Spring Market at Construction Junction, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Setting up shop within Construction Junction’s sprawling warehouse, this pop-up market will showcase 30 local makers. From home décor and ceramics to funky accessories and eclectic jewelry — it’s a great spot to find one-of-a-kind gifts for mom and dad — or a just-because treat for yourself. The free market will also feature blacksmithing demos, collaborative poetry writing and food vendors.
Saturday, April 30: Bark & Brunch at Hazelwood Green, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Our city’s furriest friends and their hoomans are invited to kick off the season of outdoor fun at Hazelwood Green. Shop for pup treats and gear at the vendor market, get your dog camera ready at the mobile grooming spa, support local rescues (and maybe take home one of your own!) and jam to music by DJ Femi. The free event will also feature canine caricatures, training demos, an agility course, a costume contest and more. Register for free.
Saturday, April 30: Arbor Day Celebration in Mellon Park, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Join Friends of Mellon Park, the City of Pittsburgh and Tree Pittsburgh to celebrate Arbor Day surrounded by the natural beauty of Shadyside. Plant trees with Mayor Ed Gainey, play yard games and join a scavenger hunt. The free event will also feature science and art activities, guided tours, food, and music by Lee Robinson, Sunburst School of Music and the Barack Obama Academy P.E.P. Marching Band.
Saturday, April 30: Block Party at the August Wilson House, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Head to the Hill to celebrate what would have been the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s 77th birthday. The free, family-friendly event will feature vendors, children’s activities, dance performances, and opera, gospel and rap music. Block party-goers can support the restoration of August Wilson’s childhood home at 1727 Bedford Ave. by purchasing a personalized brick that will be incorporated into the site. Helping to launch the Legacy Brick Campaign is actor Russell Hornsby — who played Lyons in Denzel Washington’s film and Broadway adaptations of “Fences.”
Looking for more free family events in Pittsburgh? Check out our lineup of free and ticketed events coming in May: 10 can’t-miss events in May for Pittsburgh kids, from the Children’s Festival to Remake Learning Days