9 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from owl prowls to Dr. Frankenbean

We’re loving this season with fresh-air opportunities to hike trails, visit creatures and enjoy outdoor theater. Cool hands-on activities are within easy reach, while virtual experiences continue to entertain. It’s all covered this week with our top things to do with kids in Pittsburgh.

1. Prowl after owls (in person)

Lace-up your hiking boots, check your flashlight’s batteries and head to a local park to hunt for owls. The National Aviary’s twilight Owl Prowls, led by ornithologist Bob Mulvihill, includes lessons on owl species and behaviors as you follow wooded paths. The Owl Prowl hits Settlers Cabin on Oct. 16, Frick Park on Oct. 18 and 25, and Glade Run Lake on Oct. 24. Your $15 tickets can be purchased here. Recommended for ages 7 and older.

2. Meet Dr. Frankenbean (in person)

Dr. Frankenbean and his sidekick, Ogre, have worked for 20 years to develop genetically modified beans, a project that angers the villagers. Three of the beans end up in the hands of a boy named Jack. Instead of growing into a gigantic beanstalk, they become the outrageous Bean brothers. Madcap shenanigans ensue in the South Park Theatre production of “Jack and the Frankenbeanstalk.” This funny, fast-paced show runs weekends from Oct. 16 to 25 on the outdoor stage. The outing includes bonfires and free s’mores and hot apple cider. Tickets are $5 for kids, $8 for their grownups.

3. Make tie-dyed masks (at home)

You need to wear masks, so why not make them as stylish and fashionable as you can? Carnegie Science Center’s series on Something to Do, Watch and Read came up with this hands-on project. Kids, with adult supervision, can follow the step-by-step directions to make cool tie-dyed masks for the whole family. And while they’re at it, experiment with matching T-shirts, too.

4. Go to a gallery getaway (in person)

Kids ages 3-18 who visit the Carnegie Museum of Art on Family Days will receive an Art Cat bag of gallery adventure activities, drawing materials and cool ideas for continuing the fun at home. The Oct. 17 event is timed to Super Science Days at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, so you can take advantage of both museum happenings with one admission ticket. Get your timed tickets here.

5. Meet the author (at home)

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures’ series for kids, Words & Pictures, returns this season in a virtual form. Newberry medalist Lois Lowry is first up on Sunday, Oct. 18. The author of the best-selling “The Willoughbys” brings her new sequel, “The Willoughbys Return.” Tickets are free, but you’ll need to register for this online event.

6. Get RADical (in person and at home)

Check out this week’s free RADical Days virtual and in-person offerings. View the complete calendar here.

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden offers free admission on Thursday, Oct. 15. Make your reservation here.

Fort Pitt Museum takes its turn on Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18. Register for free timed tickets here.

7. Go to the theater (at home)

Prime Stage Theatre’s Zoom production of “Mockingbird” is based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Kathryn Erskine. The story involves Caitlin, a girl on the autism spectrum. She once relied on her brother to make sense of the messiness of emotions and relationships, but now she is on her own to face the world. “Mockingbird” will be presented at 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. Register for your free admission here.

8. Put your artwork on display in a museum (in person)

Kids can get their 15 minutes of fame early in life! The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh offers kids the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in the museum’s windows. Deposit your flat creations – sized at 11-inches-by-17-inches or smaller – in the dropbox on the museum porch. Or mail to: Window Gallery, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 Children’s Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212. Don’t forget to include the artist’s name. Look for your artwork in the windows throughout October and November.

9. Join the Sesame Street conversation on anti-racism (at home)

Families can set their DVRs to record “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special.” airing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 15 on WQED-TV. The program is intended to be a co-viewing experience for kids and parents, who can consult the viewing guide in advance to be prepared to answer questions. In the program, Elmo, Abby and other friends explore their identity and skin color and learn to have pride in their culture and race. Games, singing and celebrity guests add an entertaining touch, along with fun downloadable activity sheets.