8 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from free drive-in movies to behind the screams at Kennywood

Image courtesy of Disney Pixar.

There’s so much happening for kids in Pittsburgh. Here are our top choices for the week. (And most are free!)

1. Cruise to free drive-in movies (in person)

The outdoor movie season is underway with Allegheny County Parks and the City of Pittsburgh’s free family-focused series.

“WALL-E,” part of the Dollar Bank Drive-in Movie Series, lights the screen at the Pittsburgh Zoo parking lot on April 24. Register early for a parking spot to prevent disappointment. Tickets will be available at 10 a.m. on April 22.

“Enchanted” will be screened on April 23 at Boyce Park and on April 24 at Settlers Cabin Park. Parking spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Movies begin at dusk.

Photo courtesy of The Frick Pittsburgh.

2. Admire beautiful hood ornaments (in person)

Do you have a kid who’s crazy about cars? They will be fascinated by Cast in Chrome: The Art of Hood Ornaments, opening on April 24 at The Frick Pittsburgh’s Car and Carriage Museum. More than 30 shiny hood ornaments from the 1920s and 1930s will show the evolution of these once practical and later purely decorative objects. You’ll find a racing greyhound, a rocket ship and mythological creatures among the collection. Some pretty amazing automobiles are part of the exhibition as well. Admission is free, but timed tickets are required.

Image courtesy of Citiparks.

3. Pick up a KidSMART Club kit (at home)

Citiparks’ free KidSMART Club @ Home after-school program returns for a six-week spring season of entertaining and educational activities for kids in grades 3-5. With SMART standing for “science, math, art, reading and technology,” there promises to be plenty of DIY fun and exploration. Kits can be picked up at select recreation centers on a first-come, first-served basis, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Click here for a printable schedule and locations.

Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

4. Go on a high-tech scavenger hunt (in person)

On April 25, Venture Outdoors’ Black and Gold Geocaching event will give kids a chance to explore the North Shore while learning fun facts about Pittsburgh. Your family will work as a group using a handheld GPS unit, which is included as a rental in the registration fee ($5 for kids, $12 for grownups or $25 for the whole family). At the end of the hunt, participants will receive black-and-gold swag. This geocaching event is best for families with kids ages 6 and older. No need to call the geek squad: Prior geocache experience is not needed. Register here.

Photo courtesy of Doors Open Pittsburgh.

5. Peek behind the screams at Kennywood (at home)

While we wait for our favorite amusement park to open for the season, Doors Open Pittsburgh ups the excitement with Virtual Kennywood: Behind the Screams on April 26. Learn the secrets held by this 123-year-old playground of thrills during a storytelling session hosted by Kennywood’s Nick Paradise and the Heinz History Center’s Brian Butko. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish from $5 per device. Potato Patch Fries not included.

Photo by Uriel Mont.

6. Go birding in the city (in person)

Observe National Go Birding Day, held on the last Saturday of April every year, with a family outing to Point State Park on April 24. Park staff will lead the group on a short bird count of species found in the park. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather for this outdoor activity. Choose your session and register for free.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

7. Learn how teens are working on gun violence prevention (at home)

Kids will learn how they can affect change through Gun Violence Prevention: A Discussion with Young Community Leaders. The panel discussion is included in this year’s virtual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, hosted by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Kathryn Fleisher, a college student who founded Not My Generation after the Tree of Life massacre, will lead the discussion. The group places a priority on bringing together diverse communities to build meaningful change. View the free session at 7 p.m. on April 28 via the Trust’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

8. Make music (in person)

Little kids with a penchant for making music will find their muse at Carnegie Science Center’s monthly Music Mondays on April 26. Kids will sing and play along with favorite childhood songs like “Old MacDonald” and “Wheels on the Bus.” The hour-long activities are included with general admission. Buy your timed tickets here.

Bonus events: Check out 10 groups helping kids celebrate Earth Day throughout April.