9 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from Snowball Day to Juneteenth celebrations
Photo courtesy of Carnegie Science Center.
There’s lots of exciting stuff for kids happening this week in Pittsburgh. Your family won’t want to miss out on these top events.
1. Take part in Juneteenth celebrations
This year, the first that marks Juneteenth as an official City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County holiday, celebrates an expanded Freedom Day with an exciting lineup of events. The largest gathering, the WPA Juneteenth and Black Music Festival takes place in Point State Park from June 18-27. A special Youth Fest for ages 6-17 is planned from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 18-20. The sports-themed competitive schedule includes flag football, dek hockey, basketball and even a PlayStation contest in the Gaming Zone. Find the details on music and other activities here.
On June 19, a smaller-scaled Juneteenth party is planned on the lawn at Frick Environmental Center with local music and interactive projects for kids. Bring a picnic basket and blanket to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Check out Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s full month-long line-up of Juneteenth events, including tours of the From Slavery to Freedom Garden, here.
2. Party with your family
Enjoy your closest relationships with a monthly Family Day. Every third Sunday of the month, beginning June 20 and running 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.
3. Tour Threadbare Cider House
The popular family tour at Threadbare Cider House returns on June 20. The tours are geared to kids but will prove just as entertaining and informative to their adult counterparts. Kids keep busy with hands-on activities while learning about making cider and the true story of Johnny Appleseed. The Threadbare name is an homage to his barefoot trek from his Massachusetts home to Pittsburgh in threadbare clothing. Throughout the tour, kids sip sweet cider while moms and dads are treated to delicious varieties of Threadbare’s popular hard cider. Tickets are $10 for up to age 3, $15 for ages 4-18, $20 for grownups. A sourdough pizza is included in the kids’ tickets. Register here for the 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. tour.
4. Go day tripping on a free museum weekend
All six Washington County history museums are free on June 20. Included are sites such as Bradford House, often considered the birthplace of the American Revolution, and the Whiskey Rebellion Education Center. Kid favorites include the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, where families can enjoy a scenic trolley ride, take a guided tour and wander through the collection of trolley cars that date as far back as 1905. Meadowcroft Rockshelter, the LeMoyne House and Duncan Miller Glass Museum are part of the Washington County collection of museums. Reserve your space in advance. Free tickets are limited.
5. Be a music star!
Make Music Day on June 21 is a worldwide event of more than 1,000 cities hosting pop-up music performances throughout neighborhoods. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Make Music Day Pittsburgh in Schenley Plaza invites all ages, styles and levels of musicians to the stage. The festival is designed to inspire and showcase local music. Feeling shy? Relax and enjoy the lineup of talent. Scheduled entertainment includes a Sing-Along with Slippery Rock University from 9-10 a.m., Junkophonics from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and Steel City Ukeles from 6-7 p.m. To find neighborhood music beyond Schenley Plaza, click this link.
6. Cash in your snowballs
The past winter gave kids plenty of opportunities to make and save snowballs in the deep freeze. Bring your snowballs to Snowball Day at Carnegie Science Center and receive $5 admission. The June 20 event includes using snowballs to learn about potential and kinetic energy through designing a catapult. Demonstration theaters will explore snow-focused science. And you can launch your snowballs with a slingshot at the Snowball Launch Site. Tickets are limited, but you can buy them in advance online. Don’t be left out in the cold!
7. Take Dad to the zoo
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium has a full day planned for its Father’s Day Celebration on June 20. Pick up a swag bag of freebies at the Busy Beaver Log Cabin by the Kids Kingdom. Check out the schedule for hourly animal feedings beginning with gorillas at 10:30 a.m. and ending with the sea lions at 4 p.m. And take a break to feed Dad, too! You can order food and pay online for pickup from Jambo Grill. Admission tickets are sold online and at the gate.
8. Pop in on Pop Art Pop Up
Head to the Warhol Green Space for Pop Art Pop Up every weekend, beginning June 18 and running through Sept. 5. The free art activities take place under the tent across the street from the Andy Warhol Museum. Projects inspired by Warhol include silkscreen printing, collage, stamping and photography. While at the Green Space, check out Reprogrammed, an art installation presented by the Warhol Youth Arts Council. Visitors can add their own take on the collaborative exhibit that envisions a bright and inclusive future. No tickets or registration are needed for Pop Art Pop Up, which operates from 4-8 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
9. Learn the secrets of prehistoric hunters
An atlatl (pronounced AT-lat-el) is a spear-thrower used by prehistoric hunters before high-tech arms like the bow and arrow were developed. Atlatls were carved from wood, bone or antlers and were used to increase the spear’s velocity and force to bring down big game like elk or deer. Kids can see the tool in action, learn the proper technique and try out the spear-throwers at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village on June 19. The day includes watching some of the world’s best competitors in the Atlatl Competition. The atlatl activities are free with general admission. Buy your timed tickets here or take your chances at the Visitor Center.