9 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from shark flicks to vintage baseball
Kids can celebrate wildlife, discover history and learn trade secrets about ice cream. We have all ages and interests covered in things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh.
1. Talk about sharks (at home)
Has Shark Week inspired your kids to learn more? Phipps Conservatory’s Environmental Film Series dives into the subject with two films: “Biggest Fish in the Sea” and “Tracking Tigers.” Watch both 30-minute documentaries, then join the discussion with Jasmin Graham of the Marine Science Laboratory Alliance Center of Excellence. The conversation takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21 via Zoom. Kids will learn about our connection to the marine world, even though we live far from the seashore.
2. Be historically artful (in person)
The Frick Art Museum is the latest to reopen — with timed tickets and safety precautions — beginning Saturday, Aug. 22. Kids love the free Car and Carriage Museum with its vintage autos and blast-from-the-past carriages. The permanent art collection is free to view, as is the “War & Pieces” exhibit, with sculpture built from broken porcelain. Check out the cool necklaces in “Maker & Muse: Women in Early Twentieth-Century Art Jewelry” on exhibit through Sept. 27. Admission is required for this special show at $15, $8 for ages 6-16.
3. Dance the Story (at home)
Over the past few months, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has grown its collection of Dance the Story programs. Favorite stories from authors like Maurice Sendak and Eric Carle are featured, along with activities, crafts, downloadable coloring pages and games. The free recorded programs are accessible on Facebook and YouTube to inspire little kids to move and dance along with ballet educators.
4. Catch a ball game (in person)
We can’t get into PNC Park this summer to watch the Pirates, but families can show up to cheer for the Addison Mountain Stars and the Somerset Frosty Sons of Thunder. The annual Vintage Base Ball game returns to Meadowcroft Rockshelter this Saturday, Aug. 22. The doubleheader, running from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., follows the original 1860s rules, uniforms and equipment – or lack of it! In the early years, no one used a glove for fielding the ball. The games are included with admission, which is free for ages 17 and younger through the end of August.
5. Take a walking tour (in-person)
At a time when many of the usual tours are canceled, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation offers six self-guided walking tours. The free, 2-page guides – all centered around Downtown – can be downloaded at home before heading out. Choose from themes like Bridges and River Shores, Market Square Area, and Gateway Center. The tours include a mix of history and architecture with lots of photo ops. Be sure to grab a selfie with the nearly 150-year-old lions at Dollar Bank.
6. Get social over ice cream (at home)
All those families who scream for ice cream will find more reasons to enjoy their favorite frozen treat with A Virtual Ice Cream Social at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23 via Zoom. Pittsburgh ice cream experts will offer demonstrations, tips and recipes. Learn how to make Klondikes at home, explore the science behind ice cream and discover innovative toppings. Admission to the all-ages show is $10 at Eventbrite and includes a “We Got The Scoop Passport” with free and special offers from local ice cream shops.
7. End summer with a blast (in person)
Carnegie Science Center gives families a break with super savings for a last blast of summer. Enjoy $5 off admission from Monday, Aug. 24, through Friday, Aug. 28. Your ticket price includes lots of favorite exhibits like the USS Requin submarine, the BodyWorks’ examination of the human brain, and Works Theater’s electrifying experiments. Don’t forget to take a close look at the Miniature Railroad & Village. Reserve your timed tickets in advance online. Educational movie prices are discounted, too, to $7. Catch a time for “Humpback Whales” and “National Parks Adventure” to make your visit complete.
8. Hurry up and celebrate two of the world’s slowest animals (in person)
It’s Sloth Week at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, where Wookiee (turning 20) and Vivien (turning 3) are celebrating their birthdays through Sunday, Aug. 23. Look up in the rainforest canopy to spot one of the sloths, who move at the crazy speed of 0.2 mph. Meet a sloth in person Thursday through Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and noon. Or buy a Sloth Encounter by Sunday and get 30 percent off.
9. Drive out to a free drive-in (in person)
Allegheny County Parks’ Family Drive-in Movie series continues weekly screenings through Oct. 3. This week’s kid-friendly flicks present “Finding Nemo” on Thursday, Aug. 20, at South Park and Saturday, Aug. 22, at Hartwood Acres. “Lion King” screens on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Boyce Park. Gates open at 7 p.m. with entry based on a first-come, first-served basis.
Citiparks’ Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park returns this Saturday, Aug. 22, with “Charlies Angels.” Make ticket reservations here at 10 a.m. on Thursday, when the location will be announced. Don’t dilly-dally: This popular event has sold out with every screening so far.