9 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from puppy love to Cinderella

Photo by Artem Beliaikin.

Midsummer is the perfect time to embrace all the season has to offer. Make the most of Pittsburgh parks with fresh-air movies under the stars, a free family celebration and puppy parties. You’ll find new challenges and learning experiences, too, including a special moms’ night out. Here are the highlights:

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

1. Stream a magical fairytale

Pittsburgh Festival Opera invites families to their virtual production of “Cendrillon,” a French version of the familiar “Cinderella” story. The magical opera by Pauline Viardot was performed by Pittsburgh artists and condensed into a 45-minute adaptation, a perfect length for kids to enjoy. Tickets, priced at $10 per household, go on sale on July 16, allowing three months of streaming. English subtitles and ASL interpretation are part of the offering.

Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

2. Nurture an interest in gardening

Cultivate junior gardeners with Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens’ new Kids Plant Club. It starts on July 20 by picking up a kit with 10 flowering plants ready to transplant into the garden. On July 21, tune into a virtual class that explains the care needed to keep the plants healthy and thriving. A second kit and class for budding botanists will take place in August. Registration is $60.

Image courtesy of Allegheny County Parks.

3. Celebrate puppy love

Kids and their pups can enjoy a fine time together at weekly Dog Days of Summer events throughout the Allegheny County Park system. The free events run from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays. Dogs will have a blast splashing in the puppy pool and playing games with their two-legged pals. Giveaway treat bags can be shared between dogs and their humans. Head to White Oak Park on July 15, South Park on July 22 and Settlers Cabin Park on July 29. Find the complete schedule here.

4. Head to free movies around town

Dollar Bank Cinema in the Parks and Allegheny County Movies in the Park continue their series of free family entertainment.

  • “Frozen 2” (PG) runs at Pittsburgh parks through July 17. Chill out on July 15 at Brookline Memorial Park, July 16 at Arsenal Park and July 17 at Grandview Park.
  • “Wonder Woman 1984” (PG-13) brings girl power to Riverview Park on July 17.
  • “Toy Story 4” (PG) begins its week on July 18 at Schenley Plaza, July 20 at West End Overlook and July 22 at Brookline Memorial Park.
  • “50 First Dates” (PG-13) screens at Hartwood Acres on July 21 and at South Park on July 24. Family activities begin at 7:30 p.m.
Photo by Daria Obymaha.

5. Become a hairdresser

Sugar Plum Parties is known for styling fancy princess-style hairdos for its young clientele. Since parents frequently ask how to do braiding and other techniques, Sugar Plum management is holding a Hair Training session at noon on July 18. Bring your own comb, brush and child to learn the secrets to create fun hairdos. Kids will also have their nails painted and enjoy snacks and drinks. The cost is $20 per parent-child pair. Register here.

Photo courtesy of Angelina Spicer.

6. Have a mom’s night out on the ‘Postpartum Revolution Road Trip’

Comedian and health activist Angelina Spicer understands the rollercoaster ups and downs of postpartum depression. She shares her personal journey with a raw, comedic style in her “Postpartum Revolution Road Trip,” which makes a stop in Pittsburgh on July 17. You might have caught a preview in Angelina’s appearances on Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan. This weekend, she’ll park her pink tour bus outside the Tull Theater in Sewickley, where Angelina will screen her comedy special followed by a discussion with postpartum depression survivors and experts. Watch the trailer and buy tickets for a fun and insightful evening here.

Image courtesy of VisitPITTSBURGH.

7. Sign up for VisitPITTSBURGH’s new Adventure Pass

You needn’t be a tourist to take advantage of VisitPITTSBURGH’s new Only in Pittsburgh promotion. Sign up for the KidsBURGH Adventure Pass and enjoy discounts and ideas to make the most of Pittsburgh attractions. Check into five spots by the end of the year and be entered to win a two-night stay in a Pittsburgh hotel, plus four passes to family favorites like the Carnegie Science Center, the National Aviary and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Sign up for the Adventure Pass here via text or email. There’s no need to download yet another app.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

8. Party with the family

Enjoy your closest relationships with the monthly Family Day, hosted by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Every third Sunday of the month through October, Family Day delivers a free afternoon of performances, special guests and hands-on craft activities at Allegheny Commons Park. No registration is required. Just bring the kiddos along between 2 and 4 p.m. on July 18.

Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

9. Be part of the Youth Climate Advisory Committee

Are your high school and college kids passionate about climate change and the environment? Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens welcomes them to join a youth-led climate advisory committee to bring their enthusiasm and creativity to help develop environmental challenges to the Pittsburgh community. Kids 16 and older can apply to be a committee member. The stipend-based position runs from August through July with twice-monthly meetings and weekly tasks. There are openings for committee leaders as well. It’s an exciting opportunity to work with scientists and organizations to make a difference.