8 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, including a penguin encounter

Photo by Sally Quinn.

This week’s programming entices families with a cookie decorating class, a home theater experience and fanciful dance parties. Older kids will cultivate talent through composing musical beats or writing a winning play.

1. Come face to beak with penguins (in person)

The National Aviary created a program for kids younger than 6 to meet with their most popular species. The Junior Penguin Encounter gives little kids the excitement of meeting real penguins during a session that includes a story and interactive games. These natural science lessons will be treasured by young penguin lovers. Book an encounter in advance to prevent disappointment. Registration is $33, which includes general admission.

Image courtesy of Stage 62.

2. Turn your living room into a theater (at home)

Stage 62 is offering a new program for young theatrical artists to produce works in their homes. The Take Home Tales kit offers music, stories and all the instructions needed for a creative experience. Each kit includes two scripts, songs with audio singalongs and choreography, plus a theater study guide. Activities like mask-making and puppet-making complete the fun. Take Home Tales is intended for ages 5-10. Download materials for $12 at home or pick them up at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie for $10. Check out the details here.

Image courtesy of Jasmine Cho.

3. Decorate cookies in a free class with Jasmine Cho (at home)

Cookie artist extraordinaire Jasmine Cho continues her series of cookie decorating classes through Kidsburgh and Remake Learning Days. Her virtual session on March 6 celebrates Women’s History Month. Cho will share the stories of amazing women while demonstrating her techniques for creating intricate portraits from icing. Hang around after the lesson for an interactive Q&A. Registration is free. Once signed up, you will receive the Zoom link and a recipe.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtamom.

4. Write an award-winning play (at home)

Kids in grades 7-12 are challenged to enter the City Theatre Young Playwrights Contest. Winning one-act plays will have their world premiere at the annual Young Playwrights Festival in the fall. All submissions will be read by a literary committee of theater professionals, who will provide feedback and encourage revisions. Learn how to format plays with this guide. Kids can find answers to their pressing questions, as well as instructions for how to submit their plays, here. The deadline for submission is March 31.

Image courtesy of Phipps Conservatory.

5. Dance like fairies (at home)

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Let’s Move Pittsburgh are presenting the Phipps Fairies and Flora Virtual Dance Class on March 7.  The experience takes kids inside the ballet studio to discover what it’s like to be a dancer. A PBT dance instructor will lead them in the creative movement portion of the class, teaching a fairy dance and ballet basics. There will be a storytime and a maker session with an upcycled craft. Choose from an 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. class. Registration is $12.

Image courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA.

6. Help girls shatter glass ceilings (at home)

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA hopes to inspire the next generation of women. Empower Her 2021: Shattering Glass Ceilings presents weekly virtual sessions with influential speakers and lessons on body positivity, confidence and personal growth. All participants will receive two deliveries with supplies and resources to enhance the sessions, plus a “fab box” of sweet treats and healthy foods. Girls ages 8-17 can sign up here for the free leadership workshops, which begin March 8 and run through March 29.

Image courtesy of United Way of Western PA.

7. Go from coder to composer (at home)

This upcoming Be STEMtacular Summit workshop from United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania will appeal to kids who love coding and making music. Coding: From Coder to Composer, is intended for middle school kids who have beginner to intermediate coder skills. The March 10th Zoom session will show kids how coding structures are used to build the kinds of cool beats that move crowds in dance clubs. Sign up here and learn how to turn your computer into a versatile musical instrument.

Photo courtesy of The Alloy School.

8. Develop your happy feet (at home)

The Alloy School returns virtually through a collaboration between PearlArts and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. The community classes and workshops begin March 6 and are priced at a pay-what-makes-you-happy rate. Little ones ages 3-6 will delight in Jazz/Ballet movements. Kids ages 7-12 can choose between Hip-Hop and Ballet. The entire family is welcome to learn a few new moves in Capoeira, Latin Styles and West African Dance classes. Browse through the class offerings and get set for an invigorating living room dance party. Classes run through April 10.